At a certain point in your bankruptcy case, you will receive a “discharge.” This means that you’ll no longer have to pay certain types of debt. Some debts, however, cannot be discharged. For example, you’ll still have to pay certain tax claims, child support and alimony, and most student loans.
The timing of this discharge varies, depending on whether you filed for individual bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. (We discussed the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 in an earlier post.) In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the bankruptcy court usually grants the discharge about four months into the case, which gives your creditors enough time to object to your discharge or file a motion to dismiss your bankruptcy case. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court will grant the discharge soon after you complete all payments under your repayment plan. This may take about three to five years.
The clerk of the bankruptcy court will mail a notice of your discharge order to all of your creditors. This notice will inform them that they cannot attempt any further collection activities. If these creditors call you, mail you letters or take any type of legal action against you, they may be subjected to punishment for contempt, which is often punishable by a fine.
You may be denied a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case under certain circumstances. For example, if you destroy or conceal your property, fail to produce certain documents, commit perjury, or fail to complete a course on personal financial management, you may be denied a discharge. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be denied a discharge if you fail to complete a required course on personal financial management.
You may also be ineligible for a discharge in both chapters if you’ve already been granted a discharge in a prior bankruptcy case within a certain amount of time. For specifics, visit our blog entry entitled “How Many Times Can I File Bankruptcy?”
If you’re looking for Las Vegas bankruptcy information about a discharge or any other bankruptcy topic, call us at 702-880-5554. If you are calling from within Nevada, you can also reach us at 702-880-5554. Our bankruptcy lawyers are among Las Vegas’ most experienced and knowledgeable, and can provide you with numerous bankruptcy services that will help you get your financial life back on track.