A discharge in bankruptcy relieves a debtor from being personally liable for particular kinds of debts. It may not wipe a debtor’s slate completely clean, depending on the types of debts that you have, but it will provide a great deal of relief. In a discharge, a debtor is not required to pay off the debt that is discharged. A discharge is an official court order that prohibits creditors from collecting debts or resuming any form of communication with the debtor.
The amount of time it takes for a discharge to occur varies, depending on when and what chapter bankruptcy was filed. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, a discharge is usually granted approximately four months from the initial date the petition is filed with the bankruptcy court. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, a discharge is typically granted as soon as the debtor as completed all of the payments under the payment plan. This usually happens approximately three to five years after the case is filed. Any unsecured debt that was not paid off in the repayment plan is cleared and included in the discharge.
It is also imperative that the debtors in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases complete a financial management course, or the discharge will be denied.
The debtor will automatically receive notification of the discharge in the mail, unless there is an objection. The Order of Discharge functions as an explanation to creditors that they are prohibited from pursuing further collection activity as the debts owed to them have been cleared. Should a creditor attempt further collections or communications, they will face penalties for contempt.
Objections must be filed with the bankruptcy court within 60 days of the meeting with your creditors. Creditors can object to the discharge of a particular debt or all of your debts.