What is a discharge?
The discharge order is issued by the court and permanently prohibits creditors from taking action to collect dischargeable debts against the debtor personally. This does not prevent secured creditors from seizing collateral if payments are not kept up or other creditors from pursuing property of the estate. The following information is intended as a summary only. You are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney in order to determine the rights and obligations that apply to your individual situation.
Some debts are not dischargeable, and others may be found to be non-dischargeable depending on particular circumstances.
In a chapter 7 case, the bankruptcy court will order that the debtor be discharged of all dischargeable debts once the time for filing complaints objecting to discharge has expired unless:
- the debtor is not an individual;
- a complaint objecting to the debtor's discharge has been filed; or
- the debtor has filed a waiver of discharge.
In chapter 11 cases, the confirmation of a plan of reorganization discharges the debtor from dischargeable debts that arose before the date of the order of relief unless:
- the plan or order confirming the plan provide otherwise; or
- the plan is a liquidating plan and the debtor would be denied a discharge in a chapter 7 case under 11 United States Code § 727.
In chapter 12 and chapter 13 cases, the court will order that the debtor is discharged of dischargeable debts after the debtor has completed all payments under the plan, or prior to plan completion, after notice and hearing, if the requirements of 11 United States Code §§ 1228(b) or 1328(b) have been met.
The granting of a discharge does not automatically result in the closing of a case. All contested matters, adversary proceedings, and appeals must be resolved and the appointed trustee or debtor-in-possession must file a final report and account and request entry of a final decree before the Clerk's Office will close the case.