The Bankruptcy Code and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court can be very forgiving when it comes to the right debts and debtor. In the majority of cases, a debtor released from responsibility to debts (discharged from debts) is given a fresh start for building credit and a significant lightening of the demanded financial load. However, there are times when filing for bankruptcy is unadvisable given the type and circumstances of the debt in question. At Behm Law Group, our attorneys can guide and protect you when it comes to filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.
For many individual filers and some businesses, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the most beneficial type of debt relief. Under Chapter 7, the debtor is released from all debts deemed dischargeable and the debtor’s assets (excluding allowable exemption claims such as homestead, vehicle and others) are distributed to creditors as debt repayment. In most cases, however, a person will be able to retain all of one’s property because the exemption allowances are very generous.
In some cases, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not beneficial to the debtor because the debts owed are non-dischargeable and could likely be denied for discharge.
Several types of debt are not recognized as dischargeable in U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. These include debts that obligate the debtor to the welfare of another person—for example alimony and child support debts or debts to the debtor’s employees. Similarly, debts for injury or death caused by alcohol consumption owed to another person are not discharged under Chapter 7. Educational debts such as student loans and several types of tax-related debts are also common types of non-dischargeable debts. However, student loans can be discharged if one is able to demonstrate “undue hardship” under 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(8). In order to do this, one must go beyond the initial bankruptcy filing and one must actually sue the student loan creditor and request the bankruptcy court to discharge the student loan debt. The burden of proof regarding “undue hardship” is on the person seeking to have the student loan debt discharged.
Denial of Discharge:
While debts that do not fall into the non-dischargeable category are approved under Chapter 7 for release from the debtor more often than not, there are times when debts are denied for discharge. These cases include those where the debtor has not kept accurate financial records, has committed a bankruptcy crime, has inaccurately explained assets or the loss thereof, or any cases where the debtor has committed fraud related to bankruptcy, assets, or debts. All that one has to do to have one’s debts discharged is to be honest and forthright with one’s bankruptcy attorney and list all of one’s assets and liabilities in one’s bankruptcy petition and related schedules.