A discharge relieves or forgives an obligation. In the case of bankruptcy, liability for certain types of debts can be relieved after a period of time. This is not a temporary solution. Once a debt is discharged, the debtor no longer has a legal obligation to pay the debt.

The timing of a discharge depends on the type of bankruptcy that is filed. In the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a discharge is issued a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy case can no longer legally be filed. Typically, a Chapter 7 discharge is issued after 60 days have passed. On the other hand, a Chapter 13 discharge usually is issued after the individual makes all of the payments that were required by the bankruptcy repayment plan. The individual who has filed for bankruptcy and his or her attorney then will receive an order of discharge from the clerk of the bankruptcy court. A copy of the discharge order also will go to all of the individual’s creditors and various other related persons, such as the bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case.

This is an important concept to consider when exploring the option of bankruptcy. For many debtors, harassing phone calls, letters and even calls to personal contacts can occur daily. Filing for bankruptcy can stop these actions and guarantee that no future legal action will be taken against the debtor.

It is important to note that not all types of debts are eligible for discharge. If a lien has been issued against a specific property, this debt cannot be avoided by filing for bankruptcy. Secured debtors can still pursue a claim after a bankruptcy case has been closed. Applicants should consult a bankruptcy attorney if there are any questions about whether existing debts can be discharged.

Source: www.uscourts.gov, “Discharge in Bankruptcy,” accessed Aug. 25, 2014

Source: www.uscourts.gov, “Discharge in Bankruptcy,” accessed Aug. 25, 2014

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