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Which debts are not dischargeable in Chapter 13?

Declaring bankruptcy offers many people relief from overwhelming and suffocating debt. It is a viable option. With Chapter 13 debts are paid off but at a reduced amount or over a longer period. Depending on your filing and your situation, some debts may even be eliminated.

There are certain debts however which are not discharged with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.

These debts will have to be paid in full according to your plan. Any debts which are not paid in full will remain at the end of your case.

Seven debts you still need to pay

As per the US Bankruptcy Code you will still need to pay:

  1. Secured debt such as a mortgage or car
  2. Back child support
  3. Alimony
  4. Debts for personal injury or death you caused by DWI/ DUI/drugged driving
  5. Student loans in most cases
  6. Traffic tickets and any criminal restitution fines or fees
  7. Tax debts

Five debts that may be eliminated or reduced

You may not have to pay off in full certain debts, also termed unsecured creditors, when you file for Chapter 13. The amount you pay will vary with your disposable income. These debts can include:

  1. Previous charges to your credit card
  2. Unpaid medical bills
  3. Union dues
  4. Fitness center membership dues
  5. Back rent

Chapter 13 is often a good fit for people who have a steady job but have more bills than they have current income.

Why file Chapter 13?

There are many reasons a person or couple may want to file for Chapter 13. You may have experienced a job loss, a drastic change in the economy, a prolonged illness, a loss in income due to investments underperforming or other major financial event. Sometimes debts quietly build until one day what was once under control becomes unmanageable.

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process can bring about much needed relief. But it is complex. When undertaken by someone who doesn’t understand the process it can end up costing more and taking longer than it would with the help of an established legal bankruptcy professional.



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