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What debts are not discharged in bankruptcy?

Ohio residents going through bankruptcy will learn that some debts will not be discharged. These include taxes that the government assessed within 240 days of filing for bankruptcy and most outstanding student loans. Other debts that will not be discharged also includes criminal fines and DUI-related debts and most obligations resulting from a divorce order.

Another type of debt that the court will not discharge in a bankruptcy case is anything that appears to be fraudulent in some way. Creditors can claim that the debtor planned to not pay back the debt from the beginning if the debtor incurred the obligation less than three months before filing for bankruptcy. The court could even deny discharge of any debts if the debtor does not disclose all of his or her assets that the court could use to pay creditors.

The debtor is still obligated to fulfill all other aspects of the bankruptcy process even if the court denies the discharge. This means that in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court may still order the liquidation of the debtor's assets, even if it does not discharge any debts. If a creditor takes legal action against the debtor, it could mean that the debtor must pay back the full amount of the debt.

When filing for personal bankruptcy, an attorney can help a debtor complete the paperwork accurately and completely. Attorneys can also advise their clients on what types of debt the court will discharge during the bankruptcy proceedings. This can help a client determine whether bankruptcy is the most appropriate form of debt relief available.

Source: Ohio State Bar Association, "Bankruptcy ", October 07, 2014

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