Updated: March 27, 2019
Filing for bankruptcy can get you out from under debt and give you a fresh start. In both Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, many types of debt will be discharged (wiped out) at the end of your case. This isn't true of all debts, however.
If you have nondischargeable debt and you file for Chapter 7, you’ll still owe these debts after your discharge. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll repay most nondischargeable debts in full through your repayment plan.
You’ll be able to discharge these debts in both Chapter 7 or Chapter 13:
These additional types of debts are discharged in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but not in Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
There are three categories of debts that won't be discharged in your bankruptcy case:
You’ll continue to owe these debts after your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is over, and you’ll pay these debts in full in your Chapter 13 plan:
If you file under Chapter 7, you’ll also continue to owe condo, coop, and HOA fees; debts for loans from a retirement plan; and debts you couldn't discharge under a previous bankruptcy.
You must ask the court to discharge certain debts. For instance, you must convince the court that you won’t be able to repay student loan debt.
Other debts won’t be discharged unless you meet legal requirements. For instance, discharging income taxes won’t happen unless a particular amount of time has elapsed and other requirements are met.
Some debts get wiped out unless a creditor convinces the court that you should remain obligated to repay the debt. These debts include:
Learn about the adversarial proceeding in bankruptcy.
If a significant portion of your debt load consists of debts that might not be discharged, you’ll want to talk to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. A lawyer can review your situation and let you know the likely outcome.