What Can and Cannot Be Wiped Out in Bankruptcy: Your Guide to Unveiling Debt Discharge

by: Attorney Noyes

10/20/20232 min read

Petition to File For Bankruptcy
Petition to File For Bankruptcy

When drowning in a sea of debt, bankruptcy can provide a lifeline, offering the promise of a fresh financial start. However, not all debts are created equal, and understanding which ones can be discharged (wiped out) and which ones cannot is essential. In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of debt discharge in bankruptcy to help you make informed decisions.

The Two Main Types of Bankruptcy:

1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (Liquidation):

Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves selling non-exempt assets to pay off creditors, after which most remaining qualifying debts are discharged. This can include credit card balances, medical bills, and personal loans.

2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy (Repayment Plan):

Chapter 13 bankruptcy entails creating a repayment plan to gradually pay off debts over several years. Some debts that cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 may be included in this plan. Once the plan is completed, the remaining qualifying debts are discharged.

Debts That Can Typically Be Discharged:

1. Credit Card Debt: Most credit card debt can be discharged unless there's evidence of fraudulent or excessive use right before filing.

2. Medical Bills: Medical expenses are usually dischargeable unless there's a dispute regarding the necessity of the medical services.

3. Personal Loans: Unsecured personal loans are generally dischargeable.

4. Utility Bills: Past-due utility bills are often dischargeable.

5. Some Tax Debts: While not all tax debts can be discharged, some older income tax debts can be wiped out under certain conditions.

Debts That Are Generally Non-Dischargeable:

1. Child Support and Alimony: Debts related to court-ordered child support and spousal support are typically non-dischargeable.

2. Student Loans: Student loan debts are usually not dischargeable, except in cases of extreme hardship, which can be difficult to prove.

3. Some Tax Debts: Recent tax debts, tax liens, and certain other tax-related debts are usually non-dischargeable.

4. Criminal Fines and Restitution: Debts arising from criminal fines and restitution orders are generally not dischargeable.

Why Legal Guidance Is Crucial:

Bankruptcy laws are complex, and the dischargeability of debts can be influenced by various factors and nuances. Consulting with a seasoned bankruptcy attorney at Noyes & Associates is crucial to understanding how these laws apply to your unique situation. We work tirelessly to protect your interests and guide you toward the most favorable outcome.

Your Financial Fresh Start Awaits:

If you're considering bankruptcy or have questions about debt discharge, don't navigate this challenging terrain alone. Contact Noyes & Associates today for a personalized consultation. Our dedicated team of bankruptcy attorneys is here to help you understand which of your debts can be discharged and to pave the way for your financial fresh start. Don't let the burden of debt hold you back; let us be your guide to a debt-free future.