What Is A Discharge?

23 Mar What Is A Discharge?

The goal of most bankruptcies is to obtain a discharge. But what is that? In broad terms, a discharge is relief from your obligation to pay that debt. The debt goes away, and you need no longer worry about it.

Thus, in a typical chapter 7 bankruptcy, when you are done, you will have discharged all of your unsecured, non-priority debts. You simply will no longer owe anything to the credit card companies, for example. In fact, the law says that once you file for relief under the bankruptcy act, they aren’t legally allowed to send you any more of those bills.

This is true in a chapter 13 bankruptcy also. After the plan is completed and the payments have been made, the entire un-paid portion of unsecured, non-priority debt is discharged: gone!

Some debts don’t go away: child support, priority taxes, or student loans to name a few. But for the most part, the purpose of the bankruptcy act is to give you a fresh start it allows you to put these debts behind you, not worry about them any further, and get on with your life.

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.
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