Debts that Survive Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Rami N. Nabi

Written by

Bankruptcy Attorney - Tustin, CA

Contributor Level 9

Posted about 4 years ago. 1 helpful vote



Domestic Support Obligations

Domestic Support Obligations include child support, alimony and other debt that is in that nature. In order to be nondischargeable the domestic support obligation must have been established or capable of becoming established in: 1. a separation agreement, divorce decree, or property settlement agreement. 2. an order of a court authorized by law to impose support obligations, or 3. a determination by a child support enforcement agency or government unit that is authorized to impose support obligations. Exception: A support obligation that has been assigned to a private entity for reasons other than collection such as collateral is dischargeable however most support obligations are made for the purpose of collecting support.


Federal or State Fines, Penalties and Restitution

Fines Penalties or restitution that a federal, state, or local government has imposed for violating a law are not dischargeable. One court has held that a restitution obligation imposed on a minor in a juvenile court proceeding can be discharged (In re Sweeney, 341 B.R. 35 (10th Cir. BAP 2006)


Certain Tax Debts

Old regular income tax are dischargeable if they are old enough and meet some other requirements. However, other tax debt are usually not dischargeable. Fraudulent income tax returns are not dischargeable: if you did not file a return or you were avoiding your tax obligation. If the IRS filed on your behalf it is not considered filed by you and will not be dischargeable. Property Tax: These taxes are not dischargeable unless the taxes were due more than a year before you file for bankruptcy. Word of caution if you have your property tax discharged the tax lien will remain on your house. If you sell your house in the future you will have to pay the lien.


Intoxicated Driving Debts

Any debts resulting from an injury or death while you are driving and are illegally intoxicated, the debt is not dischargeable. The rule applies only to personal injuries. Debts for property damage resulting from your accident are dischargeable.


Home Owners Association Fees ( Condo's and Cooperative)

Fees you owed prior to the filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will be discharged. However, any fees due after you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will survive bankruptcy and will not be dischargeable.


Debts for Loans From a Retirement Plan

If your 401(k) or other retirement plan is qualified under IRS rules for tax deferred status and you borrow from your 401 K or retirement plan, the debt will not be dischargeable at your completion of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.


Debts You Could not Discharge in a Previous Bankruptcy

If the bankruptcy court dismissed a previous bankruptcy case of yours because of fraud or other bad, the debt will not be discharged any However, the rule does not apply for the debts you incurred after filing the earlier bankruptcy case.


Student Loans

Student loans will not be discharged in bankruptcy unless the debtor shows undue hardship. When determining whether the debtor has an undue hardship the court will look at all the facts relevant in deciding whether undue hardship exists. These include that you cannot maintain a minimal standard of living, your financial situation will not change and you will not be able to make payments in the future and whether you made a good faith effort to repay your debt.


Debts that the Creditor Successfully Objects To

The creditor can object to the dischargeability of the debt owed to them if they can prove one of the following: 1. The debt arose from fraud 2. The debt arose from debtor's willful and malicious acts 3. The debt arose from embezzlement, larceny or breach of fiduciary duty

Additional Resources

Always keep in mind that there are many exceptions to the rules above and therefore you or your attorney should do some research to determine whether the debt is dischargeable in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

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