What is a discharge and how does the debtor receive the 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 the debtor or the debtor's property to collect the debts.  The discharge also prohibits creditors from communicating with the debtor 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 the debtor:

Creditors provided for in the Chapter 13 plan may no longer initiate or continue any action against the debtor 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, and
  • criminal fines or restitution debts