Debts that Survive a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are certain debts that are discharged regardless of whether a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 is filed. Discharged means that you will no longer be responsible for repaying them once the bankruptcy is over. In a Chapter 7 you will not have to repay any portion of the debts unless there are unexempt assets that the trustee divides among your creditors. In a Chapter 13 the repayment plan will most likely provide for some portion of the debts to be paid back. If you complete the plan successfully, the remaining unpaid debt will be discharged.

Regardless of which chapter of bankruptcy you file, certain debts will be discharged with exempt of the portion paid back as mentioned above. These types of debts include credit cards, medical bills, some lawsuit judgments, obligations under leases and contracts, personal loans and promissory notes.

In a Chapter 7 there are many debts that are not dischargeable that may be dischargeable in a Chapter 13. If a debt is not dischargeable, that means you owe them after your bankruptcy is over. There are certain debts that the bankruptcy does not affect at all; meaning that you will continue to owe them just has if you had never filed bankruptcy.

  • Domestic Support Obligations
    • Domestic support obligations are child support, alimony and other debts in the nature of alimony, maintenance, or support
    • In order for this debt to be nondischargeable, the domestic support obligation must have been established in a separation agreement or divorce decree, an order of a court or a determination by a child support enforcement agency.
  • Other Debts Owed to a Spouse, Former Spouse, or Child
    • You cannot discharge any debt that you owe to a spouse, former spouse, or child that was incurred in the course of a divorce or separation agreement.
    • While the bankruptcy may get rid of your liability to the creditor, you are still liable to the ex-spouse if the creditor goes after him or her for the payment.
  • Fines, Penalties, and Restitution
  • Certain tax debts

Dischargeability of debts can be an complicated issue and should not be determined by this non-exhaustive list of some of the debts that are not discharged, If you are considering bankruptcy, contact our office for a free consultation to meet with one of our attorneys to determine if bankruptcy is right for you.