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Discharges in Bankruptcy

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The ultimate goal of bankruptcy is to receive a discharge or court order that releases the individual from being responsible for repaying qualifying debts. Our South Florida bankruptcy attorneys are providing insight into discharges and what they mean for debtors.

What is a discharge in bankruptcy court?

Arrears that qualify to be absolved may include utility bills, medical charges, and credit card balances. Once the court has pardoned the debts, the filer is no longer legally required to pay back outstanding balances. This means that creditors are not permitted to take any additional actions in an effort to collect.

How is a discharge acquired?

The first step is to gather all the necessary documents before starting the process. Next, the filer must submit the petition, required forms, accurate records of debts for consideration as well as those of income and assets, and certificates of attendance to related meetings and hearings. Once the request has been granted by the court, a letter will be mailed to the filer’s place of residence.

Any actions on the part of the debtor that can be interpreted as lack of  cooperation or deceit by the trustee or court may lead to denial of the request. Failure to turn over assets, dishonesty in the information disclosed, or any behavior considered undeserving of the discharge can result in the court revoking the order, even after the case has been closed.

When will a discharge be granted?

The length of time that can be expected for a court to grant a discharge will vary depending on the chapter under which the case is being filed. For example, Chapter 7 will often grant the request promptly due to time constraints for filing an objection. This will often occur approximately four months after the petition is filed with the clerk. Chapter 13 cases will be granted upon completion of the repayment plan, typically within the three to five years allotted.

Which debts are not eligible for discharge?

Following a bankruptcy case, a valid lien does not qualify for dismissal and can be enforced for recovery by a creditor. Additionally, child support, student loans, fines, and incorrectly listed debts are not able to be cleared.

Our South Florida bankruptcy attorneys can be your first line of defense against financial reversals. Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan is a firm with extensive experience in enabling clients to take control of their circumstances and forge a better financial future. If you or someone you know is filing for bankruptcy, our skilled lawyers provide expert litigation, contracts, and asset protection. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our bankruptcy experts.

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