For those in Wisconsin overwhelmed with debt, filing for bankruptcy provides for a fresh start. Bankruptcy discharges most types of debt, but it is important to understand what debts do not qualify for discharge.

One of the reasons people file bankruptcy is to get a “discharge.” A discharge is a court order which states that you do not need to pay most of your debts. Some debts cannot be discharged.

For example, you cannot discharge debts for:

  • Most taxes
  • Child support
  • Maintenance
  • Alimony
  • Most student loans
  • Court fines and criminal restitution
  • Personal injury caused by driving drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • Cash advances within a certain amount of days of filing bankruptcy depending on the amount of money
  • A luxury item purchase made within 90 days of the bankruptcy filing
  • Fraud or defalcation while acting as a fiduciary
  • Debts incurred as a result of false pretenses, misrepresentations, or actual fraud
  • Willful and malicious injury to another
  • Debts as a result of a fine, penalty, or forfeiture payable to or for the benefit of a governmental unit
  • Debt that could have been listed by the debtor in a prior bankruptcy case for which the debtor waived discharge or was denied discharge

Before filing for bankruptcy, it is important to know the amount of non-dischargeable debt you have. If you have a significant amount of debts, such as credit cards and medical bills, that can be discharged, bankruptcy can help eliminate them and redirect your focus towards repaying the debts that remain undischarged in the bankruptcy.

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Attorney Shari Lynn Stevens has worked extensively with residents of Northeastern Wisconsin to secure their financial freedom through filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.  She also advocates and represents disabled clients in their Social Security disability claims.