What debts are NOT discharged with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

If you complete bankruptcy and receive a discharge, the discharge will release you from the personal liability of paying for certain unsecured debts. The discharge will also prohibit creditors from taking collection actions against you, including making harassing phone calls, writing you letters, or filing a lawsuit against you.

The types of debts which are discharged, however, vary depending on whether you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws determine what debts are not dischargeable.

List of Debts Not Discharged in bankruptcy

According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, there are 19 categories of debt excepted from discharge under chapters 7, 11, and 12. A more limited list of exceptions applies to cases under chapter 13. For specific information about your case it is best to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer, but in general, the following debts are not discharged after bankruptcy:

  • Debts not identified by the debtor on the lists and schedules
  • Debts for child or spousal support
  • Debts for willful and malicious injuries to person or property
  • 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
  • Debts owed to certain tax-advantaged retirement plans, and debts for certain condominium or cooperative housing fees
  • Debts due to fraud or maliciousness if the creditor ask the court to except them from discharge

Debts discharged in Chapter 13 bankruptcy but not in Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:

  • Debts for willful and malicious injury to property
  • Debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable tax obligations
  • Debts arising from property settlements in divorce or separation proceedings

Although bankruptcy is useful for many debtors, it is not right for everyone. For instance, if you owe substantial tax debts, federal school loans and back child support or if most of your debts are due to high secured loans, bankruptcy may not be right for you. Before filing bankruptcy, it is important to understand what it can and cannot do for you.

As mentioned above, due to the complexity of bankruptcy laws, it is important to discuss any questions you have with a bankruptcy lawyer. Bankruptcy laws can change or be modified by the courts. The information provided above should be considered informational only; it is not legal advice.

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