TAMPA, Fla. - A bankruptcy judge has ruled that Casey Anthony won't have to pay most of her debts, discharging what she owes except for those related to student loans or criminal fines, if she has them.
Judge K. Rodney May signed the order Tuesday for Anthony, who filed for bankruptcy in Florida earlier this year, claiming about $1,000 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities. Court papers list Anthony as unemployed, with no recent income. Most of her liabilities are legal bills.
Anthony was acquitted of murder in 2011 in the death her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, and has been in hiding since then.
In November, the federal bankruptcy judge approved a settlement between Anthony and a Texas search group that helped look for Caylee whose remains were found in December 2008, about six months after she had gone missing in Orlando.
Casey Anthony waited a month to report the toddler missing and was arrested in October 2008. The nationally televised trial lasted for six weeks and ended in her acquittal on the murder charge, but she was convicted on charges of lying to law enforcement.
Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery will be allowed to have an unsecured claim of $75,000 in Anthony's bankruptcy case under the terms of the settlement.
It's unclear if Equusearch will see any of the money.
According to a court document signed by Judge May, the discharge does not dismiss the case.
"It does not determine how much money, if any, the trustee will pay to creditors," the document said. "Most, but not all, types of debts are discharged if the debt existed on the date the bankruptcy case was filed."
Some debts are not discharged during a bankruptcy case, including most taxes, domestic support obligations, student loans and debts for personal injuries or death caused by the debtor's operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated.