When you successfully complete the bankruptcy process, a court will discharge certain categories of debt. Other types of debt, however, will survive bankruptcy. At Anidjar & Levine, we can evaluate your case and discuss how bankruptcy can affect your current financial situation. Our bankruptcy lawyers provide dedicated counseling and representation to clients in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas.Non-Dischargeable Debt
A key benefit of filing for bankruptcy is the bankruptcy discharge, which removes any legal obligation to pay back any debt that remains after a liquidation of your assets under Chapter 7 or the completion of a debt repayment plan under Chapter 13. This means that a creditor cannot go after you for payment of an outstanding balance after a court grants you a discharge.
Dischargeable debts are debts that a court will wipe out when you successfully complete bankruptcy. Credit cards and personal loans are some examples of dischargeable debts. Bankruptcy, however, will not discharge all your debt. A non-dischargeable debt is a debt that survives bankruptcy. In other words, you cannot wipe out the debt by completing your bankruptcy case. You are responsible for paying these debts even if you receive a bankruptcy discharge. If you do not pay a non-dischargeable debt, the creditor has every right to take steps to collect on the debt.
Categories of non-dischargeable debt include:
- Unscheduled debt – These are debts that you fail to include in your bankruptcy petition. When you file, it is important to include all your debts, since those left out will not be included as part of your case.
- Family support obligations – You are responsible for making child support and alimony payments even if you file for bankruptcy or successfully complete it. Neither an automatic stay nor a bankruptcy discharge absolves you from paying these types of debts.
- Student loans – Student loans are generally not dischargeable, but in very rare circumstances a Florida court may consider a discharge if the loans impose an undue hardship.
- Reaffirmed debts – These are secured debts that you promised to continue paying, such as car loans.
- Certain types of condominium or cooperative fees, such as HOA fees.
- Personal injury debt, such as a car crash, related to an accident involving alcohol or drugs.
- Certain tax debts, such as tax liens and some employment taxes.
- Court fines and penalties.
Certain categories of debt are non-dischargeable as a matter of public policy. Other types of debt can be made non-dischargeable if a creditor successfully raises an objection to the discharge.Objecting to the Discharge of a Debt
A creditor can raise an objection if it does not want its debt to be discharged. It can file what is called an adversary proceeding. The creditor must state its reasons for objecting to the discharge of the debt. For example, a creditor may object to the discharge if the debt was incurred by fraud. The creditor has the burden of proving its claim to the court. If the court determines that the debt is not dischargeable, it will survive your bankruptcy.Advising Hollywood Residents in Bankruptcy Cases
The Hollywood bankruptcy attorneys at Anidjar & Levine offer personalized and experienced counseling in bankruptcy. We carefully evaluate each client’s unique financial situation. We can discuss the types of debt that you can discharge in bankruptcy, and those that you may not. Our lawyers can show you how a bankruptcy discharge can make it more feasible for you to pay your non-dischargeable debt. Call us at (800) 747-FREE for a free and confidential consultation, or you can reach us online via our contact form to schedule an appointment.