Can I Still Pay My Debts If I File Bankruptcy?

12 Sep Can I Still Pay My Debts If I File Bankruptcy?

There seems to be a lot of confusion out there about what happens to your debts when you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Most debts go away, and you are no longer legally responsible to pay them. Some debts go away if you want them to, but you can reaffirm them sign a contract to keep paying. Most people choose to do this for their home so they can keep it after the bankruptcy. And some debts, like child support, simply don’t go away.

But even if you have legally discharged the debt in bankruptcy and no longer have any legal obligation to pay it, you still can. Frankly, this happens often; particularly where there is an obligation to a family member or close friend. I explain to many clients that they have to list all of their debts, even if they want to pay them. After the bankruptcy is filed, however, they can pay whoever they want even though the debt was listed.

The thing to remember is that you don’t have to pay, and it’s never a good idea to agree in writing to re-pay an unsecured loan. If you’re unsure of who you have to pay and who you don’t consult a competent bankruptcy attorney.

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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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