Working with a bankruptcy lawyer is an incredible opportunity to discharge debts and experience a fresh start for your financial life. While Chapter 7 is designed to help you regain your financial footing, there are many debts that cannot be discharged. Understanding which debts can and cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 is vital, since it will likely affect how you and your bankruptcy lawyer move forward.
Discharging Debts Through Chapter 7
First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand the importance of correctly following bankruptcy’s procedure and court rules. Failing to do so as you file for Chapter 7 could result in the court refusing to discharge your debts, even if the debts would have otherwise been eligible for discharge. Working with a bankruptcy lawyer is a secure way to ensure that you’re following all the necessary procedures. A bankruptcy lawyer has the expertise to maximize your rights and benefits reaped from a Chapter 7 filing.
When you follow the procedures with the help of your bankruptcy lawyer, common debts that cannot be discharged under Chapter 7 include:
- Student Loans. Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, student loans will almost never be discharged even with the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. However, it’s important to note that student loans can technically be discharged if they cause undue hardship, but this can be a difficult case to prove.
- Priority debts. Debts such as child custody, alimony, or any other type of support remain your responsibility after the Chapter 7 filing.
- Fines. Any costs accrued during the case such as attorney fees or fines and other penalties imposed from any governing body.
- Debt that is the result of illegal activity. If you have debt that has accrued because of illegal activity such as fraud, it cannot be discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
While these are some of the most common debts that cannot be discharged, it’s important to speak with your bankruptcy lawyer about your options and situation. Meeting with your bankruptcy lawyer will provide you with a realistic view of the options available for your relief.