Discharge of Debts
Bankruptcy provides a way for you to manage and eliminate certain debts. If you successfully complete your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will receive a discharge of certain remaining debts. The Hollywood bankruptcy lawyers at Anidjar & Levine offer seasoned representation in bankruptcy. We can explain how you may be able to discharge certain types of debt through bankruptcy. Contact our office to see how we can help.Discharge of Debts
A bankruptcy discharge releases you from personal liability for specific types of debts. This means that if you did not pay back a creditor in full as part of the bankruptcy, you are no longer legally required to pay back any remaining debt. The bankruptcy discharge prevents the creditor from taking further action to collect on the debt. In other words, the creditor cannot file a legal claim against you, garnish your wages, or harass you for payment.
Examples of debt you can discharge in bankruptcy include:
- Credit card charges
- Medical bills
- Business debt
- Personal loans
Not all your debts are dischargeable. Student loan debt, child support, and alimony are some examples of non-dischargeable debts . You must continue to pay these debts even after you successfully complete bankruptcy.Timing of a Bankruptcy Discharge
Depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed, you can receive a bankruptcy discharge in a matter of months or after a few years. In Chapter 7 cases, your non-exempt property is sold to pay your creditors. If neither a creditor nor the trustee objects to the discharge, a court will grant it about four months from the date you filed the petition.
In Chapter 13 cases, your debt is reorganized, and you make payments to your creditors based on a repayment plan. You will receive a bankruptcy discharge soon after you complete your repayment plan. Most Chapter 13 repayment plans last three or five years, so a discharge is often granted four years after the petition is filed.
An important part of the bankruptcy process is undergoing credit counseling and debtor education. Before you receive a bankruptcy discharge, you must complete a government-approved debtor education course. You must also obtain a certificate of completion, which you then have to submit to the court. If you do not complete the course and submit proof of completion in time, a court may not grant a bankruptcy discharge in your case.Denial of a Discharge
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a creditor has a fixed time to object to a discharge of its particular debt. A creditor or trustee can also object to a discharge of all your debt, such as when they believe that you are hiding assets. The court will notify your creditors of your bankruptcy filing and include a deadline for filing any objections. If a creditor wants to object, it must file a complaint before the deadline. An objection will start an adversary proceeding. The creditor then has the burden of proving the facts alleged in its objection. A court can also deny a Chapter 7 discharge if, for example, you did not complete a debtor education course, or if you hid your property from creditors. A court will also deny a discharge if you received a Chapter 7 discharge in the eight years before your current case.
If you complete your payments under a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you are generally entitled to a discharge. Creditors can object to your repayment plan, but they cannot object to a discharge if you have already completed your repayment plan. You must, however, complete an approved debtor education course in order to receive the discharge. A court will also deny a discharge if you received a Chapter 7 discharge four years before the current Chapter 13 case, or if you received a Chapter 13 discharge within the past two years.Guiding Fort Lauderdale Residents through Bankruptcy
At Anidjar & Levine, we offer diligent representation in bankruptcy cases. Our Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy lawyers can go over your finances and discuss what debts you may be able to discharge by filing for bankruptcy. We can provide individualized counseling and representation to help you through the bankruptcy process. Call us today at (800) 747-FREE or contact us online to set up a consultation at no cost to you.