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Can you discharge all your debts through bankruptcy?

Like many people, you might have assumed that filing bankruptcy would lead to the discharge of all your debts. It is true that you will be able to eliminate many of your debts through Chapter 7 bankruptcy – or repay them through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Yet, filing bankruptcy will not make every single debt of yours go away. It is important to understand, then, which debts will be non-dischargeable in your bankruptcy case.

Understanding which debts are non-dischargeable

The United States Bankruptcy Code prohibits the discharge of 19 different types of debt during bankruptcy. While your non-dischargeable debts may be different in Chapter 7 bankruptcy than they would be in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, certain debts will remain no matter which chapter you file. Among these debts are:

  • Child support and alimony payments
  • Debts for the death or injury of another person while you were driving under the influence
  • Debts you forgot to list when filing bankruptcy
  • Fines and criminal restitution
  • Recent tax debts

Student loans are often treated as non-dischargeable debts in bankruptcy cases. While it is possible to eliminate or reduce your student loans through bankruptcy, this will only happen if repaying them would place an undue hardship on you.

Satisfying non-dischargeable debts

The manner that you satisfy your non-dischargeable debts in will depend on the chapter of bankruptcy you file. If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debts will remain after your case’s discharge. Yet, you may find it easier to repay them with your other debts eliminated. If you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will satisfy your non-dischargeable debts as part of your repayment plan. This plan will last for three to five years and can help make your debts more manageable.

While filing bankruptcy will not eliminate all your debts, it can make your remaining ones easier to repay. With the help of a bankruptcy attorney, you can figure out your best option for satisfying them.

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