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Bankruptcy Basics - Part 8: The Discharge

The following program was produced by the United States Courts.

Again debtors are usually able to discharge most or all of their debts. To get a discharge, you must fulfill certain duties including the completion of a financial management course after the case is filed. When you take this course depends on the chapter of your bankruptcy case. As with pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, you can find approved providers of this course by calling the bankruptcy court in your area or by accessing a list posted on the bankruptcy Court’s website. The cost of the course varies. Some agencies will reduce or waive the cost depending on your circumstances.

The discharge prohibits creditors from taking any action including sending a letter or filing a lawsuit to collect a discharged debt. Once you get your discharge creditors may not attempt to collect any discharged debt from you. If they do you can file a motion with the court reporting the action and asking that your case be reopened to address the matter. If the Court finds a creditor has violated the discharge it may fine the creditor, require the Creditor to pay your legal fees, or take other action. The discharge does not prevent you from voluntarily paying a debt for personal or other reasons.

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