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Which Debts Can I Include In My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Which Debts Can I Include In My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

When you file for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, most likely, your main goal is to get rid of all of your debt. You are looking for that "fresh start," free from the debt that you have accumulated. So, how do you know which debts will actually be included and discharged in your bankruptcy?

Before we get into what kinds of debts can be discharged, we'll explain what a "discharge" is. A discharge of your debt releases you from being personally liable for that debt. It also stops that creditor from taking any kind of collection action from you. That creditor can no longer contact you and try to make you pay back the money you owe. After your debt is discharged, legally, you are no longer required to pay back that debt.

Now, what kinds of debts are able to be discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy? For most individuals, the majority of your debts will be discharged in your chapter 7. Once your case is filed, all debts that you owed or incurred BEFORE the filing of your case are eligible to be discharged. The following is a list of common debts that will be discharged in a bankruptcy, absent any extraordinary circumstances (such as fraud or criminal misconduct):

  • credit cards
  • store cards
  • collection agency accounts
  • medical bills
  • personal loans
  • signatory loans
  • old utility bills
  • old cell phone bills
  • back rent
  • income taxes (if the owed taxes meet certain criteria)
  • repossession deficiencies
  • civil court judgments
  • unemployment overpayments

As you can see, most of your debts can be included and will be discharged in chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once you file your case, your official discharge will be entered about 3-3.5 months after your filing date. This is when you are legally not liable for those debts. To be certain which debts can be discharged, please contact a bankruptcy attorney. Atlantis Law Firm is located in Rancho Cucamonga and Riverside and will be happy to sit down with you at an initial consultation to discuss your case and exactly which debts will be discharged in your chapter 7 bankruptcy. Please contact us to set up a free initial consultation.


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