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Understanding Non-Discharged Debts

If you are filing for bankruptcy for the first time, you may be overwhelmed not only with the financial stress of the situation, but also with understanding the lingo and process of filing for bankruptcy. One such term that confuses petitioners is often the phrase “non-discharged debts.” What does this mean and how can it impact your court case? Understanding what this means can help you grasp what your financial future will look like after the bankruptcy has been filed with the court.

When a debt has been “discharged” by the court during your bankruptcy case it means that you will be no longer be held personally liable for these debts. Most consumer debt, including medical bills and credit card bills, are included in the list of what is considered “dischargeable.” There are, however, some debts that are considered non-discharged debts. This means that the debt for those items will NOT be wiped out. There are several categories of non-discharged debts including the following:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Student loans
  • Many types of taxes
  • Criminal restitution or court fees related to this
  • Attorney fees for child support or alimony
  • Personal injury debt such as a car accident
  • Debts that were left off the bankruptcy petition
  • Fines and/or penalties owed to government agencies

In addition to this partial list, a creditor can petition the court to challenge your discharge during the bankruptcy in order to be non-dischargeable. For example, if a luxury good was purchased immediately prior to the bankrupt the creditor may petition to have that debt be non-discharged. The courts then decide whether to honor that debt in your case of discharge it.

Do you have questions about which of your debts will be considered non-discharged? Contact the Law Office of Barry R. Levine today by phone at 978-922-8440, or visit our website at