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Do I have the right to discharge my debt through Chapter 13?

The strength of the court to enforce bankruptcy rights is an important, if often misunderstood, aspect of the law. Individuals who choose to pursue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy generally enjoy the right to discharge debt, outside of a relatively small list of exceptions. This means that a debtor who properly executes a Chapter 13 plan and finishes making all of the payments according to that plan has the right to the accompanying debt discharge, and the creditor cannot legally object.

When a debtor creates a repayment plan under Chapter 13 and has that plan approved by a court, then the outcome is theirs to lose. As long as all the payments are made under the plan and some other associated requirements like a personal finance class are met, creditors usually do not have standing to object to the debt discharge.

However, there are some sticking points that may prove frustrating. While creditors may not have the right to refuse the repayment plan, they can object to confirmation of the payments that a debtor makes. Furthermore, a chapter 13 discharge may not stand if the same debtor has previously received a Chapter 13 discharge filed inside of two years, or a discharge through Chapter 7, 11 or 12 inside of four years.

If you are considering a Chapter 13 discharge, it is vital to ensure your efforts, time and resources are not wasted through poor preparation. Don't hesitate to enlist the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the creation and execution of your repayment plan, while keeping your rights and future secure.

Source: Findlaw, "The Debt Discharge in Bankruptcy FAQ," accessed May 19, 2017

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