In a bankruptcy action is the debtor able to choose which debts are discharged? 39 Answers as of July 08, 2013

In other words, if some accounts are current, can the debtor choose not to discharge those and just discharge the ones which are months overdue?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
You shouldn't/can't reaffirm unsecured debts. It's all or nothing when it comes to your credit cards.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/17/2012
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
All debts must be listed in your bankruptcy filing and will be dishcharged. You can make arrangements to pay back this debt if you want. I would not advise paying on any debts that you have no legal obligation to pay.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/29/2011
Guardian Law Group PLLC
Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
That would not be possible in a Chapter 7 as all debts are treated the same.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 12/28/2011
Neighborhood Law Office, P.C.
Neighborhood Law Office, P.C. | Jim Underhill
This is a question which is often asked about bankruptcy. The answer is no. A Debtor MUST list all debts of every kind and to everyone, and must also list all assets and all income. This is why talking to an attorney as soon as you feel that bankruptcy may be necessary, so that you can find out how to prepare yourself and your finances and assets in a way to maximize the benefit and minimize the loss of assets. Most people find that they lose no assets in a Chapter 7 because of the applicable exemptions. However, some people try to "prepare" and do not consult a lawyer, ending up with a problem. For example, a debtor has a car worth $10,000, with a loan balance on the car of $6000. The debtor then pays off the car thinking that will protect the asset from his "creditors." In fact, here's what happened. In Colorado a car exemption is $5000. So when the debtor started he had a car with only $4000 in equity, well below the exemption and all was fine - the debtor would keep the car and pay the loan as normal. However, when the debtor paid off the car, the car now had $10,000 in equity, $5000 too much for the exemption. The debtor would either have to surrender the car to the trustee (not the creditor) or pay the trustee $5000 to keep the car.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 12/28/2011
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
No, they will all be discharged.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/28/2011
    The Law Offices of Deborah Ann Stencel | Deborah A. Stencel
    When a consumer Debtor files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, she must list every debt she owes (current or not). The Debtor can generally keep secured accounts (house, car) by maintaining payments and insurance and signing a reaffirmation agreement. I suppose it is theoretically possible to keep a credit card but it would be up to the credit card issuer and I have never even seen one offer to do. In any case, I would rarely recommend that a client keep any debt that should could discharge in a bankruptcy even if the creditor would agree to allow her to keep an account open.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    All your debts will be discharged, (assuming no fraud or other weird facts). All your creditors will know as the information is purchased everyday and sent to them, *and the law requires you list all of your debts. *
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    In a Colorado Bankruptcy, a debtor must list ALL debts, even those debts that the debtor intends to keep paying. If you intend not to discharge an unsecured debt, such a credit card, you must enter into a Reaffirmation Agreement with the creditor for those debts. Most creditors will not allow you to reaffirm an unsecured debt (and most bankruptcy attorneys will advise you not to reaffirm them). Reaffirming vehicle loans is much more common but shouldn't be done without the advice of an experienced bankuptcy attorney. Bankruptcy law states that if you don't reaffirm a vehicle loan, the creditor may repossess the vehicle. In my experience, most debtors should not reaffirm their vehicle loans. Although reaffirming mortgages are generally discouraged in Colorado, many debtors insist on doing so for credit or refinancing reasons, once again talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. The most common mistake that debtors make is reaffirming a debt that should not have been reaffirmed.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr.
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr. | John C. Farrell, Jr.
    The short answer is no cannot choose which debts to discharge and which ones you do not wan to discharge.All your property and all your debts that are known to you must be listed in your bankruptcy papers. However,some debts can be reaffirmed which means you the filer will be personally liable for them after bankruptcy. There may be property they you can keepunder the state's exemption system.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Law Office Of Magnolia Zarraga
    Law Office Of Magnolia Zarraga | Magnolia Zarraga
    A debtor cannot choose which debt to discharge. All debt must be listed and therefore all debt is discharged, with the exception of student loans, certain taxes, domestic support obligations and criminal restitution.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/28/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    No, a debtor does not get the option to pick and choose which debts are discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    No, all dischargeable debts must be discharged because no discrimination is allowed among the same types of creditors. You are hoping to keep those credit cards that you have been paying then you should know that most likely the banks will close you accounts, even if current, after they find out you filed a bankruptcy case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Generally, no. In some cases you may reaffirm a debt, but, as I am sure your lawyer has told you (you do have one don't you?), most reaffirmations are a very bad idea with no benefit to you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    No. All your credit card accounts will be closed automatically.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    Not exactly. You must list all of your debts and all of your assets. It can be felonious to fail to do so. It will certainly endanger your discharge if you fail to file an accurate petition. You do not list accounts that are at a zero balance. Those accounts will still get word of your bankruptcy by way of the credit reporting agencies. They may decide to continue extending credit to you. Or they may close the account. It's their choice. After you have listed all of your debts, you may choose to pay some of them voluntarily. Like your brother or your sister. So go ahead and do so after the bankruptcy is filed. You may also wish to keep your house and car. This is quite often possible. Most of the time people simply keep on paying their monthly car and/or house payment. And the bank keeps on taking the payment, even though you have discharges the underlying debt. In other words, you keep on paying the monthly payment, even though you are no longer obligated to do so. Remember, you are discharged from almost all of your debts in a bankruptcy. That includes mortgages and car loans. The funny thing is that the banks still retain their original liens on houses and cars, even though the personal liability of the debtor is discharged. And the bank would still like to get paid for those liens. Therefore, it quite often suits both the banks and the debtors to continue payments as before. But now there's a difference. Now you can walk away from the home or car at any time in the future, if you feel that it has turned into a bad deal. And there will be no deficiency. Very cool. Ask your attorney to explain it. There is another option called "reaffirmation." In that case you will sign a written agreement to reaffirm the old loan, usually on the same terms, but sometimes better terms can be negotiated. Be careful. Make sure that the property can truly be sold (right now) for more than the reaffirmation is costing you. There are a very few car lenders that always insist on either a reaffirmation agreement or surrender of the car. Ford Motor Credit and Santander are the only two idiots I can think of that try to enforce such a foolish policy of insisting on a reaffirmation. Reaffirmations are forever. You can never discharge them, no matter how desperate you become.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    When you file bankruptcy all assets and all debts are listed. Even accounts with zero balances will be closed. Sometimes you can make an arrangement with a creditor to reaffirm a debt. However, reaffirming a debt does not automatically mean that the credit relationship will continue. Generally, unless there is collateral, there isn't a good reason to reaffirm an unsecured debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    A debtor tor cannot choose which items to discharge. One you file, the discharge will be by operation of law and all debts must be included. You will not be able to pick and choose.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc.
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc. | Kevin Ryan
    Generally, the Debtor should make a determination as to whether a secured debt will or will not be reaffirmed by means of negotiating a Reaffirmation Agreement with the creditor. Otherwise, all other debts, other than those specifically excepted from Discharge under the bankruptcy code (such as student loans), must be scheduled and are discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    No. All debts must be included. However, any debt may be affirmed during bankruptcy (although there are relatively few instances where it would be smart to do so).
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    All debts are discharged, period.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    The Stockman Law Office | Mary Stockman Esq.
    Not really. You must list all creditors. You may decide to pay some debt, but there will not be any advantage to you most likely. Most creditors have an independent service which notices them that you filed bankruptcy so they do not violate the automatic stay. If the credit is for a loan secured by a home or vehicle or other asset you may reaffirm the debt and then continue to pay and keep the asset. It is not easy to understand. Just remember the penalty for any creditor to bill for pre-petition debt can be substantial. That is why the creditors do not wish to mix pre and post filing debt.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Law Office of David P. Farrell
    Law Office of David P. Farrell | David Farrell
    You are obligated to list all of your debts in your bankruptcy petition. As a practical matter, once your creditors receive notice of your bankruptcy filing your accounts will be closed. You can reaffirm debts in bankruptcy. Reaffirming means you agree to be obligated on the debt as if the case were never filed. Reaffirmation may require court approval and is frowned upon by the court because it conflicts with the policy of providing a fresh start to the debtor. So, the answer to your question is "yes," but be sure to discuss reaffirmation with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    No, all creditors have to be treated equally in a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Mazyar Hedayat and Associates
    Mazyar Hedayat and Associates | Mazyar Malek Hedayat
    Not the way you are thinking. The debtor must disclose all.debts, but may choose to reaffirm certain ones. Reaffirmed debts will be treated as if they were never subject to the bankruptcy and must be paid in full.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    THOMAS G. GILL, P.A. | Thomas G Gill
    No and why would you want to keep a debt? Sometimes you will want to reaffirm a debt when you are buying a car in which you are not upside down.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Law Office of William C. Wood, LLC | William C. Wood
    Potentially, yes. You can choose to reaffirm certain debts if you choose to do so, but you must identify all of your liabilities in your filing regardless of whether you wish to reaffirm or not. Whether or not to reaffirm certain debts is a complicated decision and should not be made lightly.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Clayton Law Offices | Rose Clayton
    No. When you file for bankruptcy, all of your credit cards have to be included if you owe a balance. You are not allowed to choose which ones you want to keep and which ones are included. The goal of bankruptcy is to give you a true financial start. If you owe debt after you file, then you are not getting the full advantage of the "fresh start". If the account has a zero balance, it does not need to be included. However, many credit card companies will check the daily bankruptcy filings and if they see you filed, they will close out your account, even if you don't owe them anything and even if they were not listed. You will be able to get credit cards again after the bankruptcy filing.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Jakob-Barnes Law Firm, LLC
    Jakob-Barnes Law Firm, LLC | Jennifer Jakob-Barnes
    No, the Debtor cannot choose which debts to discharge. After the bankruptcy, the Debtor can go back and voluntarily pay whoever they want. There is usually no benefit to this.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy | David Leibowitz
    You can choose to reaffirm debts although this usually done with respect to secured debt so as to maintain ownership/possession of that property.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Generally the only debts a debtor can chose to affirm or not is secured ones. There cannot be a preferential "choosing" among the unsecured creditors. If any unsecured creditor has been paid more than $600 in the 90 days before filing, the trustee has an obligation to get that money back and distribute it equally among all unsecured creditors.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    You do not have this luxury in bankruptcy. You must list all debts for the court, and by operation of law your debts are discharged. Certain debts (such as student loan) will remain; others can be reaffirmed (such as car loans), but all must be listed.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
    No. All debts and all liabilities must be listed on the petition and schedules.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Ellahie & Farooqui LLP
    Ellahie & Farooqui LLP | Javed Ellahie
    Generally all debts are discharged automatically after the bankruptcy is completed except some that fit in the following catagories: Student Loans, family support, recent income taxes, payroll tax obligations and a few others. Debtor can "Reaffirm" a debt he/she wants to keep but may have to convince the bankruptcy Judge that this is a good idea. It almost never is. Debtor is required to list ALL the debts and creditors are required not to collect any funds from a debtor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    You have to list all of your debts in a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    You must list all debts and assets. You may pay back creditors after the case is closed if you want to, but why would you want to? If you are thinking of keeping some credit card accounts after filing, your creditors will cancel your privileges.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/27/2011
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