What Does Bankruptcy Discharged Mean?

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF® | Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on December 14, 2022

If your bankruptcy has been discharged, it means that you are now off the hook for the discharged debts. You are no longer obligated to pay them.

Depending on your circumstances and what chapter you filed, you may have some, all, or none of your debts discharged. Any debts that are not discharged are still obligatory.

How Long Does It Take for Bankruptcy to Be Discharged?

How long it takes to get a discharge in bankruptcy depends on under what chapter you filed.

A chapter 7 case typically moves quickly, and you may receive a discharge after 4-5 months.

A chapter 13 bankruptcy will only be discharged after you complete your repayment plan, usually 3-5 years.

Can a Judgement Be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

You may be able to discharge a judgement by filing bankruptcy. If the lawsuit was filed by a creditor over unpaid dischargeable debts and they have not yet placed a lien on your property, filing bankruptcy may remove it.

If they have placed a lien, then they cannot pursue collection, but will be paid from the proceeds of selling the asset. If the debt is nondischargeable, filing bankruptcy will not affect it.

Bankruptcy Discharged FAQs

What does bankruptcy mean?

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a debtor declares their inability to pay back their creditors.

What are the different types of bankruptcy?

There are three common types of bankruptcy known as “chapters” in the U.S. bankruptcy code, Ch. 7, Ch. 11, and Ch. 13, each with varying criteria and consequences.

What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is known as a liquidation bankruptcy. Most of your property will be sold to pay off your debts, then whatever debt in excess of the value of your liquidated property will be cleared.

What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy. With Chapter 13, you are able to keep your personal property and reorganize your debts to a payment schedule that enables you to pay back your creditors over time (often 3 to 5 years).

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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