You can only receive a discharge every so often and the formula is a bit complicated for Chapter 13. In Chapter 7, however, the rule is usually every eight years. Of course, no one wants to go through this twice.
Once your case is filed you are on the road to economic recovery. You credit score will bottom out and oftentimes start creeping back up. Often within a year you will have adequate, but not superior, credit. The score is the important thing and you can order it from creditkarma.com for free. You can also get your free credit reports once a year at annualcreditreport.com.The discharge only applies to debts that arose before the date you filed.
It is important to list all your property and debts in your bankruptcy schedules. If you do not list a debt, for example, it is possible the debt will not be discharged. The judge can also deny your discharge if you do something dishonest in connection with your bankruptcy case, such as destroy or hide property, falsify records, or lie, or if you disobey a court order.
No one can make you pay a debt that has been discharged, but you can voluntarily pay any debt you wish to pay. You do not have to sign a reaffirmation agreement or any other kind of document to do this.
Some creditors hold a secured claim (for example, the bank that holds the mortgage on your house or the loan company that has a lien on your car). You do not have to pay a secured claim if the debt is discharged, but the creditor can still take the property, although most will not if you are making your payments.
Some debts you cannot discharge. That means after your case is over, the creditor can still collect if you can pay. The most obvious is child support. Others that are usually, but not always, not discharged are taxes and student loans. Thee are references to criminal fines, divorce obligations, fraudulent debts and a few others. Sometimes ywe will have to file a bankruptcy mini lawsuit to decide if you can get out of a debt. Sometimes your creditor will have to file this "adversary action" to prove that you still owe the debt. The most common adversary actions are those where the creditor claims you charged up your credit cards knowing or thinking about filing bankruptcy. The truth is that probably less than 2% of chapter 7 cases have an adversary action that needs to be decided.
To help ease the stress of considering your options, we offer a free 15 minute consultation. Call Van Epps & Van Epps today at (989) 723-6777, or complete the contact form provided on this site to arrange for your free consultation.
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