When a debtor is no longer personally responsible for paying certain types of debt, those debts are considered discharged. It is a permanent order that forbids creditors from either taking any more action against the debtor or even from communicating with the debtor regarding that debt.
Depending on the type of bankruptcy Arizona residents have filed for, the timing of discharge varies. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this usually happens four months after the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court's clerk. Since the debtor is making payments in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that are spread over a number of years, it takes around four years for debt to be discharged under this bankruptcy. In both forms, the debtor must take a financial management instructional course before discharge can be granted.
Even though discharge is a permanent order, it is possible for it to be revoked in some circumstances. If there are allegations in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy that the debtor obtained the discharge fraudulently or failed to admit that they have become entitled to property that would become part of the bankruptcy estate, it is possible that the order be revoked if the request is filed within one year of the discharge. In addition to this, allegations could also be made regarding misstatements in an audit or violations of the Bankruptcy Code. It is up to the court to determine the truth of the allegations and revoke the order.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcies, the allegations must concern fraud.
It is very important for Arizona residents to go through their finances thoroughly before filing for bankruptcy and ensure that the papers they have filed are accurate and correct. If there are any discrepancies, it could lead to a dismissal of the discharge and more legal problems for the debtor. An experienced legal attorney could assist filers with their paperwork and ensure their authenticity.
Source: United States Courts, "Discharge in Bankruptcy" accessed on November 10