Bankruptcy: Some Debts Will Remain after Bankruptcy

If you're thinking about filing bankruptcy, one thing of which you should be aware is that in bankruptcy some debts are non-dischargeable. That means that even after a successful bankruptcy filing, there are certain types of debts that the debtor will still owe.

Types of non-dischargeable debts

These are the types of debts where either the government's interest or another individual's rights are considered superior. For example, child support debts are not discharged, because the child's right to support is considered superior to other interests. However, child support enforcement may not pursue a new order, because of the automatic stay on current cases in which you're involved. Think of bankruptcy as a pause button for pending cases.

Some non-dischargeable debts will be things a fair number of debtors are likely to have, such as delinquent taxes. Others are less likely - personal injury awards as a result of injury you caused while driving under the influence, for example, may not be as common. If you owe a debt to your child or to the government (such as a court), those are much less likely to be discharged.

Creditors can object to discharge - but they must prove their case

Also, debts cannot be discharged if a creditor successfully objects in the bankruptcy proceedings to its discharge. The creditor has the burden of proof if they claim the debt should not be discharged, meaning that they are the ones who have to prove their case. You don't have to prove that the debt should be discharged.

Reasons for successful objection to discharge

The best argument for a successful objection to discharge involves perjury or misinformation on your part - for example, if you intentionally provided misinformation on your tax returns, in your bankruptcy filings, or on the application for the loan which you want discharged. It's generally against a court's policy to allow an individual to benefit from intentionally provided information, which is why the creditor may successfully object to this discharge.

While some debts will not be discharged, many will, so bankruptcy is likely still a great option for you if you're struggling with debt. Contact us to discuss whether bankruptcy is the right option for you and to understand what debts are likely to be discharged and which ones are not. We can also make sure that your bankruptcy filings are complete and thorough to minimize the possibility that a creditor will successfully object to discharge of a debt.

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