Thompson Law Group, P.C.

What should I know about a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge?


For debtors in Pennsylvania who want to restructure debt and keep a home or a motor vehicle, Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a worthwhile option. Before taking that step, however, there are important points to keep in mind. The discharge itself is a key factor in a successful filing and understanding how the process works is fundamental to a case. Having legal assistance from the start can help a debtor determine if Chapter 13 is the best choice and with moving forward with a case.

The debtor will be eligible for a discharge under Chapter 13 when the payments have been completed. The debtor must do the following: if it is applicable, all domestic support payments that were due before the certification have been made; there could not have been a prior discharge within two years for a Chapter 13 and within four years for other bankruptcy chapters; and the debtor must have taken and completed a financial management course that is approved by the court.

When the discharge is granted, the debtor will be released from debts that are part of the plan. Some debts are exempted in Chapter 13. This can include a mortgage on a home, child support, spousal support, taxes, debts from restitution for criminal fines and personal injury cases in which the debtor is paying for a DWI or DUI case. There are more dischargeable debts under Chapter 13 than there are under Chapter 7. With Chapter 13, the creditors will be getting a portion of what is owed. This is different from a Chapter 7, in which there is a discharge and the debtor generally does not have anything worth repossession, such as a home or an automobile of significant value.

The idea of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to put an end to debtor harassment and to retain certain properties that would otherwise be lost. For people who are facing financial difficulty and fall into the category of benefiting from a Chapter 13 discharge, a law firm that is experienced in helping clients with filing for Chapter 13 is essential to a case.

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