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May 2022

Dischargeable vs. Nondischargeable Debt

By | Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

There are many types of debts that bankruptcy can discharge, but not all debts are created equal. 

Most Auburn and Opelika residents seek bankruptcy to wipe out their debts and get a fresh start. While bankruptcy allows for a large elimination of debt, certain obligations (called nondischargeable debts) will survive your bankruptcy discharge. When it comes time for you to file bankruptcy, it is important to know the difference between dischargeable and nondischargeable debts. 

If you have found yourself in difficult financial times, then hiring a qualified Auburn bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark to guide you through a financial crisis may be exactly the help you need.

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

What are Dischargeable Debts?

Dischargeable debts are obligations that can be wiped out by your bankruptcy discharge. When you receive your discharge at the end of your case, you are no longer legally required to pay any of these debts and creditors cannot come after you to collect them. 

Examples of Dischargeable Debts Include: 

  • Credit Card Debt
  • Medical Bills
  • Payments on Motor Vehicles
  • House Payments
  • Debts Related to Your Business
  • Personal Loans

Timing Matters For Dischargeable Debt

Depending on what type of bankruptcy you’re filing, there might be changes in your dischargeable debt. For example, slightly more debts are available to discharge in a chapter 13 case than in a chapter 7 case

The timing of your bankruptcy can also affect which debts are discharged, and which ones are not. 

Pre-Filing Debt

Pre-petition debt is any debt incurred before the day that you file for bankruptcy. At the end of your case, the bankruptcy court will discharge all qualifying pre-petition debt. 

Post-Filing Debt 

In contrast, any debt that builds up after you submit your bankruptcy paperwork is known as post-petition debt. The court will not discharge this debt, and you remain responsible for paying any balances that you incur after the initial bankruptcy filing date. 

What are Nondischargeable Debts?

Nondischargeable debts exist because Congress decided, because of public policy reasons, that allowing debtors to eliminate their responsibility for certain debts would not be beneficial to society. Ultimately, the benefit to a creditor and society as a whole outweighs the benefit that the debtor would gain if their debts were completely discharged. 

Examples of Nondischargeable Debts Include:

  • Student Loans
  • Child Support
  • Personal Injury
  • Taxes
  • Fines

There are other debts that cannot be dischargeable, but only if someone files a lawsuit against you and the bankruptcy court decides that the debts must be nondischargeable. This includes debts incurred by a divorce, fraud, embezzlement, or by a malicious/willful injury. 

However, if you file a case and the creditor of these debts never files a lawsuit, these will automatically be discharged by a bankruptcy court. 

This is not true for the previous list of nondischargeable debts, which will automatically be nondischargeable. 

If you are an Alabama resident looking for an Auburn bankruptcy attorney that can help you work through a variety of financial options to help you overcome your debt crisis, contact David S. Clark.

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.