A bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts. In other words, the debtor is no longer legally required to pay any debts that are discharged. The discharge is a permanent order prohibiting the creditors of the debtor from taking any form of collection action on discharged debts, including legal action and communications with the debtor, such as telephone calls, letters, and personal contacts.
The timing of the discharge varies, depending on the chapter under which the case is filed. In a chapter 7 case, the court usually grants the discharge on expiration of the time fixed for filing a complaint, objecting to discharge and the time fixed for filing a motion to dismiss the case for substantial abuse. This occurs about four to six months after the date the debtor files the petition. The court may deny an individual debtor’s discharge in a chapter 7 or 13 case if the debtor fails to complete “an instructional course concerning financial management.” The Bankruptcy Code provides limited exceptions to the “financial management” requirement if the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator determines there are inadequate educational programs available, or if the debtor is disabled or incapacitated or on active military duty in a combat zone.
If you need further information concerning the bankruptcy process, please feel free to schedule a no cost face to face consultation with one of our licensed and experienced attorneys in our office closest to you.