In the bankruptcy case of Figler, Bruce S.; In re (DirecTV Inc. v. Figler), the bankruptcy court ruled that the debtor could not discharge a judgment resulting from pirated cable TV.
The details of the bankruptcy case:
In May 2004 DirecTV won a $70,450 judgment against a debtor for stealing the company’s signal. Shortly thereafter the debtor filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief; but the bankruptcy court ruled that the judgment could not be discharged. The bankruptcy court found that although the debtor was a subscriber to DirecTV until 1999, his service was disconnected due to a failure to pay his bill. The bankruptcy court also found that the debtor purchased equipment with the fraudulent intent to steal DirecTV’s signal. The $70,450 judgment was ruled nondischargeable.
For debtors seeking a discharge of judgments or other claims during bankruptcy a finding of fraudulent intent could make the claim nondischargeable. If this debtor had a legitimate service hookup with DirecTV and failed to pay his bill, he would have most likely received a discharge of the debt in bankruptcy. But because the debtor purposely pirated TV from the creditor with the intention of NEVER paying, the bankruptcy court found that he behaved in a fraudulent manner and ruled the debt nondischargeable. Don’t allow that to happen to you. If you think that one of your debts may appear to be due to fraud, speak with your bankruptcy attorney about it immediately.