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What does discharge mean?

Your bankruptcy discharge is the light at the end of the tunnel when you file for bankruptcy.
A bankruptcy discharge :
1) releases you from personal liability for certain specified types of debts. In other words, you are no longer legally required to pay any debts that are discharged. The discharge is

2) a permanent order prohibiting your creditors from taking any form of collection action on discharged debts, including legal action and communications with you, such as telephone calls, letters, and personal contacts.

Does a bankruptcy discharge eliminate all debts?

It depends on which type of bankruptcy is filed. Under Chapter 13, the only debts discharged are those included in the repayment plan. Additional exceptions may apply, depending on the case.

Under Chapter 7, although most debts are discharged, there are still exceptions:

What cannot be discharged in bankruptcy?

Not all debts are discharged. The debts discharged vary under each chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. Section 523(a) of the Code specifically excepts various categories of debts from the discharge granted. Therefore, you must still repay those debts after bankruptcy. Congress has determined that these types of debts are not dischargeable for public policy reasons (based either on the nature of the debt or the fact that the debts were incurred due to improper behavior of the debtor, such as the debtor’s drunken driving).

The most common types of non-dischargeable debts are certain types of tax claims, debts not listed by the debtor on the lists and schedules, debts for spousal or child support or alimony, debts to governmental units for fines and penalties, debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments, debts for personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

How long does bankruptcy take?

Chapter 7 takes about four months to complete. Chapter 13 takes three to five years to complete depending on the extent of your debts and your income

What if you have a lien against you?

Although you are not personally liably for discharged debts, a valid lien (i.e., a charge upon specific property to secure payment of a debt) that has not been avoided (i.e., made unenforceable) in the bankruptcy case will remain after the bankruptcy case. Therefore, a secured creditor may enforce the lien to recover the property secured by the lien.

If I am going to keep my car, does this mean I list it but I still make the payments through out and after the bankruptcy process?

In Chapter 7, YES – On your secured debts – “If you want to keep it you have to pay for it”. In Chapter 13 your car MAY be included in your Plan.

If I have a car that is paid for, do I list it in the bankruptcy?

Yes, you must like all of your assets in the bankruptcy.


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