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After struggling financially for a substantial period of time, you may have come to the conclusion that you need serious help. The idea may have been frightening at first, but as you gain more information, you may realize that bankruptcy could truly help you get back on track. Of course, the process can have its complications, and you certainly want to successfully reach the end of your case.

In particular, you likely hope to reach the discharge portion of your bankruptcy proceedings. Many people find this part the most appealing aspect of this debt relief method, but they may not entirely know what it entails or that bankruptcy cannot discharge certain debts.

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

How soon your debts get discharged via bankruptcy depends on whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With Chapter 7, your nonexempt assets will go through liquidation in order to pay back creditors. After this takes place, the court will discharge your remaining allowable debts. If you file for Chapter 13, you will utilize a repayment plan to pay back your creditors. After you have finished your plan, the court will discharge your remaining allowable debts. 

 

However, either type of bankruptcy cannot discharge the following debts:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Student loan debt
  • Court costs
  • Homeowners’ association fees
  • Unlisted debts
  • Debts remaining from previous bankruptcies
  • Certain tax debts
  • Debts relating to a DUI charge
  • Certain fines or penalties stemming from criminal acts

The time it takes for the court to forgive your allowable debts depends on the amount of time your case takes to complete. With Chapter 7, discharge may take place approximately four months after filing on average, and with Chapter 13, the discharge will only take place after you have completed your repayment plan, which can take three to five years.

Getting back on track

For you, discharging your allowable debts through bankruptcy may be the best course of action. If you would like to learn more about Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or discharging debts in general, you may wish to speak with an attorney.