(NEW YORK) — A federal judge in New Jersey has re-opened the bankruptcy case against Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice.
Giudice just finished serving a 15-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and admitting that she and her husband adjusted their income on bank and tax documents to qualify for certain loans.
Earlier this week, her lawyers argued before U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stacey L. Meisel that the bankruptcy case shouldn’t be re-opened because Giudice has paid off or has agreements to pay 27 of the 29 creditors listed in her 2009 bankruptcy filing, according to NJ.com.
But Meisel ruled against Guidice’s team and ordered the case re-opened. Her decision could mean the reality star’s unsatisfied creditors can collect from any proceeds she gains from a lawsuit she filed last year against her former bankruptcy attorney, James Kridel.
Giudice was not at the hearing.
The judge also appointed a trustee, John Sywilok, who will determine whether all of Giudice’s creditors have been satisfied. “She has made allegations that creditors have been satisfied,” Sywilok told ABC News. “I have to look into that.”
Giudice has written a book and appeared on television since her December release, but any income from those activities is considered post-petition funds and not part of any bankruptcy proceeding.
The only way unsatisfied creditors could collect is if Giudice’s malpractice case against her bankruptcy attorney moves forward.
“Assuming a jury determines the attorney charged with illegal malpractice that he did it then the creditors could collect,” Sywilok said.
The judge will review the case again in 90 days.
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