You decided to file for bankruptcy and get a fresh start thinking that this will wipe out all of your debts and problems. But this is not always the case, because the process of bankruptcy discharges only certain debts. The availability of discharge depends on the type of bankruptcy, the type of debts and the debtor. That means you do not have to pay debts that are dis-chargeable in your bankruptcy, however, there are some bills that you must or should continue to pay, depending on your situation.
- Post-petition debts. Debts that you incur after you filed for bankruptcy are called post-petition debts and are not included in your bankruptcy, so they will remain your responsibility, with some exceptions. Some common post-petition debts that you should continue to pay include:
- Current utilities
- Current rent and lease payments
- Recent federal, state, and local taxes.
- Debts that are not listed on the schedules filed at the outset of the case.
- Child and spousal support. Child and spousal support claims will not be wiped out by your bankruptcy, nor are they subject to the automatic stay, so you must continue to pay them from your regular income.
- Debts owed to certain pension plans.
- Student loans. They may be dis-chargeable, however, only if the court finds that paying off the loans will impose an “undue hardship” on the debtor and his or her dependents.
- Certain debts owed for cooperative dues and fees.
- Certain Secured Debts. If you owe a debt that is secured by property, then you should continue making regular payments if you wish to keep the property.
- Some common secured debts include:
- Home equity line of credit.
- Car loan.
- Government imposed restitution, fines and penalties.
- Debts from willful and malicious acts.
- Debts from misuse, larceny, or breach of fiduciary duty.
- Voluntary payments on debts. These include loans from friends and relatives, or medical bills from doctors or dentists that you wish to continue paying after you file bankruptcy. You can make voluntary payments to these creditors, but you are not legally obligated to do so.
- Debts from fraud, including certain debts for luxury goods or services earned within ninety days before filing.
- Reaffirmed debts.
- Debts from a divorce settlement agreement or court decree, if the debtor has the ability to pay and the disadvantage to the recipient would be greater than the benefit to the debtor.
- Debts resulting from personal injury damages or wrongful damages to others from driving while intoxicated.
- Debts those were non-dis-chargeable in a prior bankruptcy.
- Debts not dis-chargeable in a previous bankruptcy because of fraud.
So even if you think you are getting a fresh start with the bankruptcy process, keep in mind these debts are generally not dis-chargeable and you will still owe. Also keep in mind that once your bankruptcy case is closed and the automatic stay is terminated, you will remain legally obligated to pay these non dis-chargeable debts.
Marc Aaron Goldbach attorney at Goldbach Law Group handles all sorts of Bankruptcy cases and he is ranked as one of the premier bankruptcy lawyer in Long Beach areas. He can also be reached at (562) 696-0582/(562) 216-8296.