United States v. Kras, 409 U.S. 434 (1973)

By Professor M. Jonathan Hayes

Issue:  Does an individual have a constitutional right to a bankruptcy discharge without paying the required filing fees?

Holding:   No.  “There is no constitutional right to obtain a discharge of one's debts in bankruptcy.”

Justice Harry Blackmun for the 5-4 majority:     Burger filed a concurring opinion.  Stewart and Marshall filed dissenting opinions

The debtor was in really bad shape financially.  He was unemployed and argued that he needed to file chapter 7 because one of his creditors, a former employer, was accusing him of fraud with respect to the debt and . . .

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