What does Discharge mean?
A discharge in the bankruptcy process is the complete forgiveness of all or part of a debt. All bankruptcies can discharge debt. When a debt has been discharged by a bankruptcy court, the creditor who was owed the debt can never legally try to collect the debt from the debtor.
A discharged debt is backed by the full authority of the Federal Government, and no individual, groups of individuals, local government or its courts, or state government and its courts can override the decree of a bankruptcy discharge. Bankruptcy law determines which debts can be discharged in bankruptcy and which debts have to be paid back to the creditor.
Not all debts are discharged through bankruptcy. In general, debts not discharged by Chapter 7 include child support obligations, spousal support obligations, most tax debts, debts owed to the government other than tax debts including debts to the SSA, Medicare or the U.S. Department of Justice, criminal restitution payments, including medical bills, fines or property replacement costs, compensation owed from a civil case for DUI, and Federal student loan debts (unless the debtor can prove undue hardship). Talk to a lawyer if you have questions about whether your debts can be discharged through bankruptcy.
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