Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
Lindsay has been getting into one mess after another and the drama continues this week for the young actress following her crash this past Friday on the Pacific Coast Highway.
One can’t help but wonder what liabilities she is getting into and how she will resolve them.
As a bankruptcy attorney, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to ponder the issues and obligations that have arisen from her recent foibles and see how she would resolve them in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
Lindsay Just Crashed her Porsche
On Friday Lindsay crashed her sports car on the Pacific Coast Highway, on her way to the set where she is filming the Elizabeth Taylor biography. Although no one was hurt, this became major news within hours.
The liability is damage to her expensive car, damage to the truck she collided with, and possible fines.
So far, the matter is being investigated. News just released today could mean Lindsay is in for more trouble as she initially told officers that she was a passenger, but today it was revealed that her assistant claimed that Lindsay was driving.
If is determined that alcohol was involved, her insurance carrier will likely deny coverage to her. She would also be fined. Fines are a type of debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
Also, any debt she incurs as a result of driving while intoxicated constitutes one of the more unusual exceptions to discharge
. Thus, if she was drunk, any financial liability she incurs from the accident would be non-dischargeable. However, any creditor seeking a determination that the debt is nondischargeable will have to bring an adversary proceeding.
If Lindsay incurred any financial liability, and the car crash was accidental, and she was not drunk, then she would be able to discharge these obligations. That would include any balance due on the car loan or lease.
Lying to the Police About Who Was Driving
This twist will certainly be interesting to follow. It also reminds us of the importance of being truthful in bankruptcy proceedings. Lying to a bankruptcy court is a serious offense punishable as a felony under federal law, meaning the potential of more than a year in jail.
The Stolen Necklace
Lindsay is currently on probation for having shoplifted a necklace. Any debts from this caper cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy. Criminal fines are non-dischargeble. So is restitution.
The Two DUI Incidents from 2007
As indicated above, any traffic fines and restitution obligations are non-dischargeable.
Credit Card Debts
Lindsay surely built up a bunch of debt from being out of work, having stints in jail, and attending rehab. She also lost some movie deals. Several years ago, people said she was broke, owed over half a million dollars and also owed money to her landlord.
In general, credit card debts and other personal obligations are fully dischargeable in bankruptcy, even if bad behavior led to getting into debt. Thus, if Lindsay filed bankruptcy, she would be able to eliminate her credit card debts.
The Playboy Shoot Enables Lindsay to Avoid Bankruptcy
Some commentators have suggested that Lindsay avoided bankruptcy by posing for Playboy last year.
Doing so gave her a quick cash infusion of up to a million bucks that enabled her to resolve her debts for the time being.
Consumers can avoid a bankruptcy filing if they can come up with some cash resources that would enable them to negotiate their debts. We help consumers negotiate credit card debt on Long Island
, which is a viable alternative to bankruptcy.
What Bankruptcy Court Would Lindsay File In?
Lindsay used to live here on Long Island, where my bankruptcy practice is, and where her mother still resides. If she had to file, she would probably want to do it where she could be comforted by her mother.
However, she would be required to file where she has regularly resided for the greater portion of the prior 180 days, which would be Los Angeles.
My Bankruptcy Firm’s (Indirect) Connection to Lindsay Lohan
As a Long Island bankruptcy lawyer
, I previously represented one of the many ex-girlfriends of Lindsay’s father, Michael Lohan, with the filing of her bankruptcy. As a matter of fact, Michael Lohan paid the girlfriend’s legal fee and came to our office to do so.
However, a few weeks later, they broke up and he contacted us, demanding that we return the legal fee! Of course, we did not. We then filed the ex-girlfriends bankruptcy and she received her discharge.