What Is Bankruptcy Discharge?

Bankruptcy discharge is the process of having your debt forgiven after filing for chapter 7. At this point, it is no longer permissible for creditors to contact you in order to recoup a debt, which can be a great relief to the filer. The Balance explains the bankruptcy discharge process as it applies to chapter 7 so you know what to expect.

In general, it takes about four months after the initial filing for debt to be discharged with chapter 7. At this point, your creditors are sent a copy of the bankruptcy order, which you will also receive. In the event you are still contacted by creditors, send a copy of the order to them directly. If contact continues, consult with an attorney about creditor harassment. You may need to file a motion with the court, who will fine the creditor if the issue is not resolved.

With chapter 7, non-exempt assets are used to pay off as much debt as possible. This includes things like any property other than your primary home, investments, jewelry, new vehicles, and other valuable items. In many cases, most types of debt are discharged with chapter 7. This includes medical expenses, personal loans, credit card debt, money owed on leases, and judgments against you. Other types of debt are not able to be discharged, and it will be your responsibility to pay these creditors.

Non-dischargeable debt usually includes student loans, child and spousal support, some taxes, fines, court costs, and any debt that was not included in the initial bankruptcy filing. Also, keep in mind that charges made immediately prior to filing are not usually included. This is especially true of luxury items purchased via credit card. If you have questions about the different types of debt, it is best to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.