What is a discharge and how do I receive my discharge?

A discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for certain debts known as dischargeable debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any action against you or your property to collect the debts. The discharge also prohibits creditors from communicating with you regarding the debt, including telephone calls, letters, and personal contact.

When all plan payments have been made, a Chapter 13 debtor is eligible for a discharge, as long as you:

Creditors provided for in the Chapter13 plan may no longer initiate or continue any action against you to collect debts that have been discharged.  However, there are exceptions to the discharge which include:

  • debts for alimony and child support
  • most student loans
  • debts arising from death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • debts for criminal fines or restitution.

NOTE:  Once a debt is discharged, you are legally free of that debt.  The discharge is a permanent order that prohibits creditors from taking any type of collection action on discharged debts.   Any attempt to collect discharged debt is prohibited by bankruptcy law.   For your own protection, you should maintain accurate records and copies of all matters related to your bankruptcy.  In addition, you should routinely check your credit report with the various reporting agencies to ensure that discharged debts are not being reported as outstanding.