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Getting the judgment before you file bankruptcy does not affect whether the debt is dischargeable unless they get a judgment for something that is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy (such as fraud, or driving while intoxicated)
As a general rule, it's safest to file the bankruptcy first, but it isn't always necessary.
One reason for filing bankruptcy prior to the judgment would be if the potential judgment is very large and you want to file a Chapter 13 case, the judgment could prevent one from qualifying for Chapter 13 because of the debt limits in that chapter. See Chapter 13 debt limits.
Another reason for filing the bankruptcy first is that once the judgment is entered, they can start trying to enforce the judgment under the laws of your state. Typically this means garnishing wages, seizing bank accounts, and putting lien against property. You don't disclose what your job status is, so it's hard to advise in that regard. In any event, any wage garnishment or other collection action would be stopped once the bankruptcy case was filed.
In your case, with the assets you listed and type of debt, it shouldn't make a difference. However, if you have a job, your wages could be garnished and your bank account seized to enforce the judgment if it is obtained prior to you filing your case.
Mark Markus has been practicing exclusively bankruptcy law in California since 1991. He is a Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, AV-Rated by martindale.com, and A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau.
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