Which Debts are Not Discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

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Embarking on the journey of Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a fresh start for many, but it’s vital to know exactly which debts are not discharged in this process. This guide will illuminate the specifics of which debts are not discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, providing you with the knowledge needed to navigate this path with clarity and confidence. Our aim is to offer support as you take this significant step towards financial recovery.

Government Debts

At the forefront of non-dischargeable debts are those owed to the government. Since the government is responsible for the rules of bankruptcy, it’s no surprise that debts like certain taxes and fines remain after a Chapter 7 discharge. This includes recent income taxes or any government-related financial obligation that hasn’t been due for at least three years.

Student Loans

Student loans are notoriously challenging to discharge in bankruptcy. The criteria for discharging student loan debt are stringent, making it a rare occurrence. If you’re struggling with student loan debt, it’s important to explore other avenues for relief, as bankruptcy might not offer the solution you need.

Trust Fund Taxes

Trust fund taxes, such as sales tax collected by business owners or employee withholding taxes, are also immune to discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The law views the failure to remit these taxes as a severe offense, equating it to misappropriation of funds. Therefore, these types of taxes remain an ongoing responsibility.

Personal Obligations: Child Support and Alimony

Another category of non-dischargeable debts includes personal responsibilities like child support and alimony. These obligations represent a commitment to the well-being of family members and are therefore protected from being wiped out in bankruptcy.

Debts from Deceptive or Harmful Actions

Debts incurred through fraudulent actions or intentional harm to others, such as injuries caused in a conflict, are not discharged in bankruptcy. These debts arise from actions that the law views as morally reprehensible, and thus, they remain the responsibility of the debtor.

Criminal Fines and Restitution

Legal consequences such as criminal restitution and fines are also exempt from discharge. These penalties are part of the criminal justice system’s way of enforcing laws and ensuring accountability.

Credit Card Debts

Recent luxury purchases and cash advances on credit cards have special rules. If these transactions occur shortly before filing for bankruptcy, they may not be discharged. This rule is to prevent abuse of the bankruptcy system.


Navigating Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be complex, but understanding which debts remain is crucial for a fresh start. Remember, while some debts are not discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filing can still provide significant relief and a pathway to financial recovery.

If you have any questions or need compassionate guidance through this process, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to support you in your time of need.

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Jeffrey L. Wagoner


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