You may have heard that you can extinguish all of your debt completely in one fell swoop if you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In many cases, most of your debt can be discharged through a successful Chapter 7 filing, and all debts could potentially be discharged depending on the nature of the encumbrances. However, there are some debts that can never be discharged through bankruptcy.
For the most part, tax debts are not dischargeable. Tax liens and property taxes that have been assessed within a year of your bankruptcy filing date cannot be discharged. If you are an employer, taxes that you are required to pay on behalf of your employees, like payroll taxes, can’t be discharged. Plus, sales taxes that have been paid to you by customers that you are supposed to pass along the government are not dischargeable. Though taxes are usually non-dischargeable, when very specific circumstances exist, it is possible to discharge some income tax debts.
If you are required to pay spousal support or alimony, the bankruptcy filing will do nothing to shield you from your responsibilities. The same thing is true for child support or any debts that you owe to your spouse that came about due to a dissolution of marriage. Any legal fees that you may have incurred during a child custody or child support matter would not be dischargeable. If you have financial obligations as a result of a judgment against you after a drunk driving accident that caused an injury, the debt will not be discharged in bankruptcy. You can see a complete list of non-dischargeable debts if you visit this page on the Cornell University Law School website.
The debts that we have been looking at simply cannot be discharged, but there can also be procedural barriers that prevent discharges when they could have otherwise been granted. You have to fill out detailed financial disclosure forms when you file for bankruptcy, and if anything is done incorrectly or dishonestly, discharges can be denied. You also have to complete a debtor education course to qualify for a discharge.
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A ready legal resource is just a phone call away if you would like to explore the debt relief avenues that may be available to you. We have locations in many metropolitan areas in Oregon, including Albany, Medford, and Eugene, and we also have offices that serve the Tri-Cities and Vancouver in Washington. To schedule an appointment, send us a message through the contact page on this website.