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You remain responsible for certain debts even after bankruptcy

| Jul 12, 2021 | Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy helps thousands of people regain their financial footing each year and get a fresh start by wiping away the debt that has dug them into a hole. With one clean swipe, credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans and utility bills disappear.

However, you must remember that not all debt goes away. Such debt is considered “non-dischargeable,” and you remain responsible to continue paying for them. For example, the list includes most taxes, alimony and child support. The list grows longer, too.

Child support, some taxes and student loans

Even if you have sought Chapter 7 or 13 personal bankruptcy, you must understand that certain debt remains. The list of non-dischargeable debt includes:

  • Child support: You must continue paying child support for your dependents and shall continue to do so until that child turns 18. Payments for education, medical costs and basic needs are essential and required.
  • Alimony: In certain situations, payment modifications to your former spouse are possible.
  • Certain federal, state and local taxes: Tax liens must be paid. However, it is possible to discharge some taxes that are several years old.
  • Student loans: In most cases, people who file for bankruptcy must continue to pay down their student loans. However, courts may erase student loan debt in rare situations if the amount brings undue hardship to debtors and their dependents.
  • Debts stemming from incidents in which you willfully and maliciously injured others or damaged property: If you deliberately injured someone in an attack or damaged someone’s home, car or property, you remain on the hook for paying it.
  • Money you owe the government: These may be related to municipal and criminal court matters. You cannot wipe away traffic fines and must still pay restitution and fines related to criminal convictions.
  • Debt connected to injuries or death caused by driving drunk or high on drugs: Such debt may incur from a wrongful death lawsuit.

You can turn your life around by filing for bankruptcy. Many of your debts go away, but others will remain. Some people express surprise when they learn this fact. You must understand this and keep your eyes focused on the future.