In bankruptcy law a a discharge is a release of personal liability of a debtor from certain debts. A bankruptcy discharge varies depending on the type of bankruptcy being filed (Chapter 7,11,12,13). There are certain debts that can never be discharged. You will still owe on these debts.
These non-dischargeable debts include . . .
- Unscheduled debts – This means any debts that are not on the bankruptcy petition. Failure to list all of your debts is cause it deny you a discharge and is a federal crime!
- Taxes – This includes federal, state and municipal taxes. The only exception to this rule is income tax that meets stringent requirements.
- Debts that are owed for spousal or child support. For example, this may include spousal support/alimony and child support. If your ex-wife obtains an order from a state court requiring you to pay $500 per month to her in spousal support, this debt will never be discharged in bankruptcy.
- Debts owed to government agencies.
- Student loans. (unless a true hardship is proven in bankruptcy court) There is currently increasing concern about the increasing student loan debt in the United States. Because of this law, there is little way out for students that default.
- Debts for personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated. For example, if you are sued for hurting a motorist because you were driving drunk, and a judgment is obtained against you, the judgment is not dischargeable.
- Court fines including criminal restitution, criminal fines, or traffic tickets.
- Debts for willful injury to another person or property.
- Recent credit purchases that are luxury in nature, over $500 or purchased within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy.
- There are other debts that may not be dischargeable, but only if the creditor files a lawsuit against you and the bankruptcy court determines it to be non-dischargeable.
If you wish to determine whether any of these or other exceptions to discharge apply to you, please consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Do not assume a debt is dischargeable prior to a bankruptcy filing. Always remember that bankruptcy is complex and what is not dischargeable may hinge on a small distinction.