What are potential obstacles to getting a Chapter 7 discharge?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2022 | personal bankruptcy |

When residents of Will County and the surrounding areas of Frankfort are dealing with overwhelming debt, they want to find viable solutions. For many, they will do whatever they can to stay ahead of debt collectors, make minimum payments and worry about how they will make ends meet. This rarely if ever makes a major dent in their bills.

If the bulk of their debt is unsecured – medical and credit card bills are examples – and they do not own significant amounts of valuable property, Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be a wise option. However, a discharge is not guaranteed. People should know what activities could sabotage their goal of clearing their debt through Chapter 7 and avoid them.

Factors that could prevent getting a discharge

The percentage of cases in which debtors receive a discharge through Chapter 7 is overwhelmingly high. Despite that, it is important to know what might hinder the plan and result in a denial. For example, if the debtor did not maintain proper books or financial records, then the court could deny the discharge. Another reason is if the debtor loses assets and does not provide a satisfactory explanation for it.

Lying during the process can lead to a perjury charge. This too could result in the discharge being denied. Property that was hidden, transferred fraudulently or was destroyed when it might have become part of the person’s estate can lead to a denial. Debtors are required to take an instructional course on financial management as part of the bankruptcy process. Failure to do so could ruin the attempt at getting a discharge.

Even after a discharge has been granted, it can still be revoked if there was fraud; if property was acquired for the estate and it was not reported or surrendered to the trustee; or if documents or information related to an audit were not provided. The trustee or a creditor can request a revocation of the discharge.

It is important to know the rules to get a Chapter 7 discharge

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to help people clear their debt. While it is known as liquidation bankruptcy, most who choose this alternative do not have major properties that will be taken and sold to pay back what they owe, so they can eliminate their debt while keeping various items. Still, there are possible obstacles to getting the discharge if violations are found or abuse is suspected. To have a good chance of successfully completing the process, it is important to know all the details from the start. For that, it is useful to have professional guidance.

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