Non-Dischargeable Debts in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you don’t own a home, have little disposable income, and are struggling with significant debt, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good way to clean the slate, get your feet back on solid financial ground, and have a fresh start. But filing for Chapter 7, or any other type of bankruptcy, is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. Since this important decision will impact your future for some time, it is vital that you consult an experienced San Fernando Valley Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney before making it. The legal team at Nader & Berneman has been serving the needs of Southern California residents for over 20 years. Let them examine your situation and advise you as to what your next step should be. Call (800) 568-0707 for a free case evaluation.
What Debts Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Will Erase
Basically, Chapter 7 bankruptcy will dismiss all of your unsecured debts. These are debts for which you have no collateral. For instance, if you bought a car and still owe money on it, that debt could not be forgiven because you still had the car as collateral. Unsecured debt dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy includes:
- Medical bills (medical bills are a common cause of bankruptcy)
- Personal loans
- Unpaid utility bills
- Credit card debt (∗if you use a credit card to pay taxes, that debt will not be forgiven)
Debts Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Won’t Erase
The following debts are generally not forgiven by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Debts not listed when you filed the paperwork for Chapter 7
- Most student loans (unless you can show that repaying the loans will cause undue hardship)
- Child support and alimony
- Recent local, state, and federal taxes
- Government imposed fines and penalties, such as parking tickets or criminal restitution
- Outstanding court fees
- Personal injury or wrongful death damages not committed through mere negligence (for instance, debts from damages awarded for assault or drunk driving will not be forgiven)
- Debts that were not forgiven in a previous bankruptcy
- Debts that were not forgiven in a previous bankruptcy due to fraud
- Certain condominium dues and fees
- Debts from certain pension plans
As you can see, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not a "get out of jail, free" card, but it is a way to relieve a good portion of your debt so you can concentrate on paying your non-dischargeable bills.
Choosing to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a big decision, one that you should not make without the input of a knowledgeable debt relief attorney. Call (800) 568-0707 to speak with one of the talented legal minds at the San Fernando Valley offices of Nader & Berneman. Our attorneys have been counseling Southern California residents who are struggling with debt--people just like you--for over 20 years. If you do choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, we can file electronically, that very day, and get you immediate protection from your creditors.