Chapter 7 Discharge
Chapter 7 debt discharge can be complex. We suggest you speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer prior to filing. Courts usually grant the discharge approximately four months after the original petition for bankruptcy has been filed. The discharge is awarded promptly after the period of time, usually sixty days after the 311 meeting, that creditors are given to file a complaint objecting to the discharge or to file a motion to dismiss the case for substantial abuse.
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Debtors filing under Chapter 7 do not have an absolute right to discharge their debts. The notice of the potential discharge sent out by the court gives a specified time period for a creditor, the case trustee, or the U. S. Trustee to file an objection to this discharge. If a creditor, the case trustee, or the U. S. trustee files a complaint, an "adversary proceeding" begins.
The court may deny a discharge for several reasons such as:
- The transfer or concealment of property with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors
- Destruction or concealment of books or records
- Perjury and other fraudulent acts
- Failure to account for the loss of assets
- Violation of a court order
- If an earlier discharge in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 case commenced within six years before the date the present petition was filed, and possibly if an earlier discharge was granted in a Chapter 12 or 13 case as well.
If the debtor's right to a discharge goes to trial, the burden of proving the essential facts to the objection rest on the objecting party.
Contact a bankruptcy lawyer in your area to find out more about filing for bankruptcy.