Rental Subsidy Discrimination Award Not Discharged

by L. Jed Berliner, Western & Central Massachusetts Consumer Lawyer

April 12, 2008

“Section 8” is a phrase indicating public assistance, or a subsidy, for rental expenses. Discrimination against recipients violates Massachusetts law. A state court judgment for $1.00 actual damages, $5,000.00 punitive damages, and attorney fees issued against a landlord who then filed for bankruptcy protections – and lost as to this award.

Bernal v Benham (In re Benham), 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 388 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2008) ruled that the judgment was for a “willful and malicious injury.” Such debts are not discharged.

Congratulations to Attorney Christopher M. Uhl of Worcester, MA for this vindication of the tenant’s rights.

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, wrongful repossessions and foreclosures, credit card defenses, collector harassment, and student loans. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988 and in Auburn in 2013. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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Last modified: February 9, 2013