by Mark E. Godbey, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist
Many people think that once they file bankruptcy, all of their debts are erased. This is not true. There are some debts that cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will not normally wipe out:
- Money owed for child support or alimony, fines, and some taxes;
- Debts incurred after the filing of your bankruptcy;
- Loans you got by knowingly giving false information to a creditor, who reasonably relied on it in making you the loan;
- Debts resulting from “willful and malicious” harm;
- Most student loans, except if the court decides that payment would be an undue hardship;
- 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).
Any creditor can object to a debt being discharged. If that is the case, a hearing is held in bankruptcy court to determine if that particular debt must be repaid.
It should be noted that when a relative or friend has co-signed a loan, and you discharge the loan in bankruptcy, the cosigner may still have to repay all or part of the loan.