Death During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

28 Dec Death During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

What happens if a debtor in chapter 7 bankruptcy dies during the administration of the case? The simple answer is a deceased debtor can receive a discharge of debt, provided the debtor would qualify for a discharge during one’s lifetime. In other words, the case can proceed to completion and you can go to your grave debt free.

The technical answer, of interest to lawyers and judges, is found in the legislative history behind section 727, which provides that an individual debtor includes a deceased individual. Further support is found in Bankruptcy Rule 1016, which provides that death of the debtor shall not stop the case. Thus, a deceased debtor can receive a discharge such that the remaining probate estate [think heirs] is not responsible for payment of the decedent’s debts.

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Andy Miofsky, Esq.

Andy Miofsky holds the highest AV PREEMINENT rating from Martindale Hubbell Law Directory and a perfect 10.0 from AVVO. Andy is an Illinois consumer rights lawyer with offices in Granite City Illinois. Andy represents people with bankruptcy and student loan debt problems throughout the Southern District of Illinois since 1979.
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