Once a debtor receives a bankruptcy discharge, a two page document called “the discharge notice” is issued. This document simply states that the debtor is granted a discharge but won’t specifically mention which debts were discharged in bankruptcy. Why is that? It’s because while there are some debts which receive an automatic discharge, there are some exceptions. Also, there are other debts which are generally not dischargeable but that could be discharged if the creditor fails to challenge the bankruptcy discharge in a timely manner.
Let’s take a look at a few of the facts:
Secured debts can be discharged in bankruptcy as long as the debtor did not sign a reaffirmation agreement. If a debtor didn’t sign a reaffirmation agreement, they can safely assume that their secured debt was discharged in bankruptcy even if they still have the property. The perfect example of this phenomenon is the car loan. A debtor who doesn’t sign a reaffirmation agreement on their car loan is not obligated to pay the debt even if they still have the car in their possession. However, the lender has the power to repossess the vehicle if no reaffirmation agreement was signed.
Unsecured debts such as credit card bills and medical bills are usually automatically discharged in bankruptcy. However, there are some exceptions to the discharge of unsecured debts in bankruptcy. If a debtor fraudulently incurred unsecured debts, they might not receive a bankruptcy discharge of those particular debts.
Some debts, such as child support, alimony and certain taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. If a debtor owed back child support, the obligation to pay support cannot be discharged. However, taxes which meet certain standards can be discharged in bankruptcy. To find out if a certain debt was discharged in bankruptcy, discuss with your bankruptcy attorney.