Bankruptcy is Not a Good Solution to TV Signal Piracy Debt

Posted on June 18, 2015 by Matthew Paré

In short, filing for bankruptcy is not the solution to a TV signal piracy problem.  Given that the plaintiff’s initial demands are well into the tens of thousands of dollars and the modest amount of money that many defendants in TV signal piracy cases have, the possibility of bankruptcy is a common question.  There are two major reasons why filing for bankruptcy is not the answer, however, as this article will discuss.

First, it is not a black-and-white issue as to whether alleged debt arising from a claim of TV signal piracy can be discharged by the bankruptcy court.  There are all sorts of different types of debt that people can have.  When filing for bankruptcy some of the debt can be discharged and taken away and some of it cannot.  The plaintiff or claimant in a TV signal piracy case will likely open up what is called an adversarial proceeding in the bankruptcy court to challenge this dischargeability of this debt and that is an issue that will be litigated.  Some bankruptcy courts have gone both ways on the answer to that question so there is some uncertainty there as to what the outcome of that would be.  In either case it will be something to fight about in the bankruptcy court.  Looking at the big picture, all that has been accomplished by filing for bankruptcy is to change the venue of the litigation from the civil court to the bankruptcy court, but there will likely be just as much litigation if not more once the bankruptcy is filed.  Additionally, if the bankruptcy court were to determine that it cannot be discharged that would be a complete failure and waste.

Second, it is important to keep things in perspective.  While it is true that the initial demands of plaintiffs in TV signal piracy cases are often very large, it is also true that the ultimate settlement figure that can be reached is a small fraction of the initial demands and should be manageable.   The process is very long, which should also afford an opportunity to come up with the necessary money to pay the settlement when the time comes.  Overall, having a case of alleged TV signal piracy against you should not cause you to file for bankruptcy.  If your total financial picture is such that you are going to file for bankruptcy anyway that is fine (and this alleged debt should be included in the petition), but this type of claim should not be the reason that you decide to file for bankruptcy.   

Your best bet in dealing with a claim of TV signal piracy against you is to face the problem head-on with the assistance of experienced counsel in this field of law.  For the two major reasons discussed above, bankruptcy should not be considered the best way out of this problem.  Attorney Matthew Pare has represented hundreds of defendants in TV signal piracy cases throughout the country and can help you as well.  He can be reached at 619-869-4999.

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