Theron Morrison and the Morrison Law Group do not negatively judge any individual who is experiencing financial stress and turmoil. We view every person, Utah resident, and client with compassion and understanding. We want to help those who need help. Call today to schedule a FREE consultation. The Morrison Law Group provides exceptional service because it continues to assist clients post-bankruptcy to ensure their financial well-being. Not all Utah bankruptcy law firms can genuinely make this claim.
Too much debt may be overwhelming and have far-reaching effects beyond financial discord. The inability to repay debt causes stress, and too much may cause serious physical and mental health problems. The bottom line with filing bankruptcy is it gives people a fresh start because a discharge eliminates or, at the least, significantly reduces debt, plain and simple. Any debt that is not discharged must be repaid despite the filing of the bankruptcy case.
However, not all debts are dischargeable by filing a bankruptcy case.
There are three categories of debts that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Some debts, such as domestic support obligations and debts arising out of someone’s death or injury as a result of driving while intoxicated, are never dischargeable.
Some debts are not discharged unless the debtor successfully argues that they are dischargeable, while some are discharged only if a creditor successfully argues against their dischargeability.
Section 523(a) of the United States Bankruptcy Code lists the following types of debts that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy:
- certain tax claims owed to government entities;
- debts not listed on the debtor’s bankruptcy paperwork;
- debts for spousal or child support or alimony;
- debts for willful and malicious injuries to person or property;
- debts to governmental units for fines and penalties;
- debts for most government-funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments;
- debts for personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated;
- debts owed to certain tax-advantaged retirement plans;
- debts for certain condominium or cooperative housing fees; and
- debts incurred shortly before filing bankruptcy.
Obligations where the debtor engaged in fraud and other malicious actions are not automatically disqualified from discharge. The related creditor must file a motion or initiate an adversary case (more about this in future blogs) to request that the court deem the debt as nondischargeable. The representation of a qualified bankruptcy attorney can make the difference in this situation. However, it may be unnecessary. If the creditor does not take any action, the debt will be discharged.
The breadth of a discharge is based on the chapter under which the bankruptcy is filed. The scope of a chapter 13 discharge is broader than a chapter 7 discharge. Debts dischargeable in a chapter 13 case, but not in a chapter 7 case, include debts for willful and malicious injury to property. Here, it is important to note that this only includes injury to property, not to human beings. Other debts not dischargeable in a chapter 7 case include those incurred to pay non-dischargeable tax obligations, and debts arising from property settlements in divorce or separation proceedings.
Theron Morrison has helped 8,000 people file bankruptcy and gain a fresh start. He has helped over 20,000 Utah residents deal with all types of financial difficulties caused by various severe and tragic events. Talk to the Morrison Law Group about your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy options. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.