Discharge Contract in Bankruptcy

Generally speaking, courts do not like agreements that attempt to make a debt non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy courts have been unreceptive to the use of consent decrees and settlement agreements which attempt to create, by contract, a debt that will be non-dischargeable in the bankruptcy of an individual.

Waivers of Discharge

Even the U.S. Supreme Court has held that waivers of discharge are unenforceable. A creditor cannot contract away a debtor’s right to defend his right to a debt discharge by using “boilerplate” covenants of non-dischargeability. Occasionally a creditor will slip language into a contract that says something like: “I understand that this debt is still owed even if I file bankruptcy”. Often this language is put into contracts used by less reputable creditors like Payday lenders or title companies.  The creditor’s hope is that the debtor will believe they are obligated to pay the debt even if they file bankruptcy.

Simply inserting this language into a contract would keep the debt from being discharged in bankruptcy then every lender in the country would put that same language into every contract they entered into. Additionally, this would completely negate the whole purpose behind personal bankruptcy.

Settlement Agreements

Settlement agreements are typically used to bring an end to parties’ disputes and provide a clear outline of the parties’ respective rights and obligations going forward.  Attorneys representing creditors will often spend a great deal of time and energy in trying to ensure that settlement agreements will actually be enforceable.

While, covenants in a settlement agreement that provide for the debtor to waive his right to a discharge are unenforceable as against public policy, creditors will still include such covenants in their settlement documents because this is an evolving area of law. Because settlements agreements related to a fraud claim may provide a narrow exception to the normal rule of discharge ability. If a debtor admits to fraud in a settlement agreement and later files bankruptcy the creditor may try and use the settlement agreement as the basis of a Section § 523 action in bankruptcy court.

If you signed a contract with a non-dischargeability provision and want to know your rights then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE for a free consultation with one of our Arizona bankruptcy attorneys.

Objections to Bankruptcy Discharge

Can an interested party object to your discharge?

Bankruptcy Discharge of Debt:

What is a bankruptcy discharge of debt? A discharge is a release of a debtor from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. 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 in any form in an attempt to collect on the debt. This includes communication via texts, email, phone calls, letters or person contact.

In a typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, a discharge order is entered by the bankruptcy court roughly 70 to 90 days after the § 341 hearing. However, just because a discharge order has been entered doesn’t mean that it can’t be objected to by your Trustee, the United States Trustee, or a Creditor. An Objection to a discharge is very usual, however, there are several common reasons a party will object.

Reasons for Objecting to Discharge

The most common reason for the objection of a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge is for “fraud or misrepresentation of material facts”. Trustee’s and their staff are very skilled and masters at reading paper trails. They can spot a liar from a mile away. So my advice? Don’t lie! Not only can you lose your discharge but concealing assets in a bankruptcy is a felony and punishable by up to 5 years in prison!

Another common reason a Trustee will revoke a discharge is for failure to provide additional documentation. A Trustee may ask for additional bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns or documentation surrounding a particular transaction. So just because you’ve received your discharge doesn’t mean you can ignore your Trustee. Give him or her exactly what they ask for exactly when they ask for it. The bankruptcy court’s main form of communication is through the mail. So if you move during your bankruptcy let your attorney know so he can file a change of address with the court. Otherwise the Trustee may be sending you letters requesting additional documents and you will not be able to comply.

If you need help from an Arizona bankruptcy attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.

* These blog posts are not intended, nor shall they be deemed to render legal advice. Reading these blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it impose an obligation on the part of the law firm to respond to further inquiry.