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Will Bankruptcy Wipe Out All My Debts?

Yes, with some exceptions. When your bankruptcy is completed, many of your debts are "discharged." This means they are canceled and you are no longer legally obligated to pay them.

However, certain types of debts are NOT DISCHARGEABLE in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will not normally wipe out the following:

  • Alimony, maintenance or support for a spouse or children.
  • Mortgages and other liens which are not paid in the bankruptcy case (but bankruptcy will wipe out your obligation to pay any additional money if the property is sold by the creditor).
  • Student loans. Almost no student loans are canceled by bankruptcy. But you can ask the court to discharge the loans if you can prove that paying them is an "undue hardship." However, this is very hard to do.
  • Money borrowed by fraud or false pretenses. A creditor may try to prove in court during your bankruptcy case that you lied or defrauded them, so that your debt cannot be discharged. A few creditors (mainly credit card companies) accuse debtors of fraud even when they have done nothing wrong. Their goal is to scare honest families so that they agree to reaffirm the debt. You should never agree to reaffirm a debt if you have done nothing wrong, unless you can get much more favorable terms than you previously had. If the company files a fraud case and you win, the court may order the company to pay your lawyer's fees.
  • Most taxes. Some taxes are dischargeable in bankruptcy; however, complicated rules govern the dischargeability of tax liabilities and some taxes may not be discharged. For non-dischargeable taxes, we can help with an Offer in Compromise.
  • Most criminal fines, penalties, and restitution orders. This exception includes even minor fines, including traffic tickets.
  • Debts not listed on your bankruptcy petition.

The care and concern you both showed us through this difficult time, as well as the respectful way you handled our case, is greatly appreciated.

Your expertise and patience made this difficult and trying time for our family immeasurably more bearable.

Paul and Barbara, Lakewood, California (Received February 3, 2010 - Card on file)

If you think you have debts that may not be discharged, you should call the Law Offices of Nicholas Gebelt at 866-429-3233(toll-free), 562-777-9159, 626-450-0639, or 714-777-6990 for your FREE PHONE CONSULTATION to discuss whether a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more appropriate in your case. We will tailor a legal strategy for you that will do the job.

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../ 562-777-9159 As a board-certified bankruptcy specialist, Los Angeles attorney Nicholas Gebelt understands the subtleties of bankruptcy law and can help you avoid unnecessarily losing your assets.

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Whittier, CA 90604

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