You are probably aware that the Bankruptcy Code includes Section 523 which sets out the rules whereby a specific debt can be deemed non-dischargeable in a bankruptcy case. Certain types of debt, such as damages arising from a DUI or past due child support, can never be discharged. Other debts, like student loans can be discharged only in very limited circumstances.
In real life, the most common challenges to a debtorâ€™s bankruptcy comes from credit card companies or other unsecured lenders. So called â€œcredit card bingeâ€ debt serves as the most typical example of abuse of the bankruptcy process - most people would understand why a judge would not allow an unemployed debtor to buy a big screen TV and high end stereo system, then file a bankruptcy six months later, wiping out thousands of dollars of recent charges, while keeping all of his purchases.
Other dischargeability challenge cases may be a little less obvious - for example, an unemployed debtor may use his credit cards to buy food, but also to purchase a new cell phone and to buy movie tickets. In these circumstances, your lawyer will most likely be able to negotiate a reasonable settlement of the challenge, leaving some debt to survive your case but payable under reasonable terms.
Credit card and other vendor challenges can give rise to litigation, but usually in those cases I can see the problem coming and the resolution usually involves a financial settlement.
Filing bankruptcy is usually an administrative process. Information is gathered, forms filled out, and thereâ€™s a brief hearing conducted by a trustee. But in some cases an â€œadversary proceedingâ€ occurs.
An adversary proceeding is essentially a case within a case. Itâ€™s a lawsuit within your case...