LGBT Issues in Bankruptcy

Man holding a paper

Question: I feel pretty silly asking this question but I need to get an answer. I live in Dunwoody and I used my credit cards to get gender reassignment surgery. I used to be a man and now I'm a woman. The surgery was expensive and I went overseas to get it done. So there were travel expenses, hotel expenses and medical expenses. I put everything on credit cards. I maxed out 6 credit cards. I owe a lot of money; easily over $100,000.00.

Now that I've gone so far into debt because of the surgery I think I need to file bankruptcy. And I had to buy a whole new wardrobe because I only had guy clothes and I needed ladies clothes. So I went shopping.

Anyway, I really need to get rid of the debt. Can I have my debts included in a bankruptcy? I heard from a friend in Atlanta that the bankruptcy court will not allow you to include debts for gender reassignment surgery. Is this true? It sounds like they are discriminating against the transsexual, gay and the LGBT community.

H.J in Dunwoody.

Answer: The vast majority of credit cards debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy. Indeed, most debts are eradicated in bankruptcy (with the notable exceptions of child support, student loans and most tax debt).

We have not seen any overt discrimination against the LGBT community in the Northern District of Georgia. The debts that you specifically mentioned (medical, travel, hotel and clothes) are dischargeable in bankruptcy. We need to discuss whether a chapter 7 or a chapter 13 is the right "fit" for your particular situation.

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