Call Now!
Call Us 414-326-9231 608-260-7133 Text Us 414-326-4709
${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}

Is gambling debt dischargeable in bankruptcy?

Compulsive gambling is a problem in Wisconsin like it is most other states where casinos and other legal gambling opportunities are bountiful. Sadly, the lure of a big win has led many Wisconsin residents to lose their savings and get into serious debt.

In fact, a recent article from the Appleton Post-Crescent reported that the average debt of compulsive gamblers who called the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling's helpline in 2014 was $47,000.

The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling also said they received more calls than ever in 2014, with 14,731 calls coming in. Unfortunately, by the time most people ask for help with gambling problems their debt has already spiraled out of control.

Many gamblers in over their heads with debt wonder if it is possible to have their gambling debts forgiven by bankruptcy. Federal law doesn't specifically prohibit the discharge of gambling debts, but the court can treat these types of debts differently than other forms of debt.

Additionally, debts that were incurred under false pretenses or through fraud are not dischargeable under federal law. Although gambling debts aren't always incurred under false pretenses or through fraud, they can be in certain circumstances.

For example, if the gambler signed a credit marker in exchange for chips claiming that he or she had enough money to cover the chips when that was untrue, that could be considered borrowing deceptively.

Or if the gambling that took place was illegal, the bankruptcy discharge could also be denied on the basis of fraud.

Finally, the gambler's creditors or bankruptcy trustee could potentially challenge the bankruptcy on the basis that the gambler incurred the debt with no intention of ever paying it back.   

Ultimately, individuals who are overburdened by debt that was fully or partially made up of gambling losses should talk to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in their area about their options. Although your situation may seem daunting, know that help is available. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Free Case Evaluation

* indicates required field

Miller & Miller Law, LLC
  • VISA
  • Master Cards
  • Discover
Milwaukee Office map Madison Office map Kenosha Office map

633 W Wisconsin Ave, Suite 500
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Phone: 414-312-6581
Fax: 414-277-1303
Milwaukee Office

2810 Crossroads Drive
Suite 4001
Madison, WI 53718

Phone: 608-260-7133
Madison Office

6123 Green Bay Road
Suite 210
Kenosha, WI 53142

Phone: 262-326-1669
Kenosha Office

Appleton Office
4321 W. College Ave.
Suite 200
Appleton, WI 54914

Phone: 920-280-3838
Appleton Office

Brookfield Office
200 S. Executive Drive
Suite 101
Brookfield, WI 53005

Phone: 262-261-0665
Brookfield Office

Glendale Office
6001 N. Green Bay Avenue
Glendale, WI 53209

Phone: 414-973-8662
Glendale Office

Fax: 414-277-1303 - We also have offices in Appleton, Glendale and Brookfield to better serve you.