When your bankruptcy is completed, many of your debts are ”discharged.” This means they are canceled and you are no longer legally obligated to pay them. However, certain types of debts are NOT discharged in bankruptcy. The following debts may not be canceled by bankruptcy:
- – Alimony, maintenance, or support for a spouse or children.
- – Student loans. Almost no student loans are canceled by bankruptcy. But you can ask the court to discharge the loans if you can prove that paying them is an ”undue hardship.” Occasionally, student loans can be canceled for reasons not related to your bankruptcy. For example, the school closed before you completed the program or perhaps you have become disabled. There are also many options for reducing your monthly payments on student loans, even if you can’t discharge them.
- – Money borrowed by fraud or false pretenses. A creditor may try to prove in court during your bankruptcy case that you lied or defrauded them, so that your debt cannot be discharged. A few creditors (mainly credit card companies) accuse debtors of fraud even when they have done nothing wrong. Their goal is to scare honest families so they agree to reaffirm the debt. You should never agree to reaffirm a debt if you haven’t done anything wrong. If the company files a fraud case and you win, the court may order the company to pay your attorney fees.
- – Most taxes. The vast majority of tax debts cannot be discharged. However, this can be a complicated issue. If you have tax debts you will need to discuss them with your attorney.
- – Most criminal fines, penalties and restitution orders. This exception includes even minor fines, including traffic tickets.
- – Drunk driving injury claims.