There are many false beliefs when it comes to discharged debts.  Some believe that debts are “erased;” others believe that discharged debts are no longer legal obligations. Neither of these beliefs are accurate.

In simple terms, a discharged debt means that the creditor is enjoined from collecting on that debt from the debtor. The bankruptcy discharge is a court injunction that protects the debtor, personally. The debt is not erased and the creditor may still collect from anyone other than the debtor by any legal means that does not violate the bankruptcy injunction. That may mean repossessing or foreclosing on the debtor’s property (actions that are against the property, not against the person), making harassing collection calls to co-debtors, or even filing lawsuits that do not seek money from the discharged debtor.

Because the discharge order only prohibits a creditor’s conduct and does not “erase” a legal debt, many creditors sell these debts in bulk to third party collectors. Sometimes these debts end up with zombie collectors who harass debtors for payment of “dead” debts. The original creditors claim clean hands because they take no part in violating the bankruptcy court’s discharge injunction. Additionally, there is no order to update credit reports to reflect the bankruptcy discharge.

But the times they are a changin’.

Recently, The New York Times reported that Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to update borrowers’ credit reports within the next three months to reflect the correct status of discharged debts. This comes in response to lawsuits filed against the megabanks accusing them of deliberately ignoring bankruptcy discharges in order to make more money when selling off pools of bad debts to third party debt buyers. The lawsuits accuse the banks of purposely holding individual credit reports hostage, refusing to update reports or fix mistakes unless money is paid for debts discharged in bankruptcy.

Typically, a credit report is updated by a creditor to correctly reflect that the debt is “discharged in bankruptcy” and that the balance is “zero.” This stops all negative reporting and allows the individual’s credit score to improve over time. Bank of America promised to go further, agreeing to remove any marks on consumers’ credit reports for all credit-card debts sold since May 2007.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy please call the experienced attorneys at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm to set up a free consultation. Call 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to fears@fnlawfirm.com.

 

 

One of the most common causes of bankruptcy includes the accumulation of payday loans. Payday loans are extremely easy to obtain, most borrowers are unable to pay the lenders back in full, which creates an unlimited debt trap.   One major issue which causes payday loans to become difficult to repay is the extremely high interest rate built into the loan. This never-ending process can put many people in an immeasurable amount of debt.

It is commonly known that all you need to obtain a payday loan is a checking account and a job or source of income. This creates an environment for borrowers to easily take out loans if they are in a difficult financial situation. Many times, debtors are able to obtain multiple payday loans in the same month as it is a highly unregulated industry.

The majority of borrowers are unable to pay their loan back by the due date and tend to take out more than they can afford to pay back. This allows lenders to increase the interest amount and charge the borrower more for not paying their loan back on time, in addition to the inclusion of late fees and penalties. However, if a borrower is unable to pay their loan back in full by the due date, then the lender will extend the loan with a large fee attached. The borrower continues to create a financial hole and a boundless debt trap.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is in the process of passing a proposal that would make it difficult for payday lenders to take advantage of borrowers through outrageous fees. The process will take a long time, but the outcome may be highly beneficial to consumers who are drawn to small-dollar loans.  

Individuals who have been through the bankruptcy process are often happy to talk about their experiences. Usually this is not a bad thing, but sometimes it can lead to misinformation and unrealistic expectations. How your friend’s debts were treated in her case may be very different from how similar debts are treated in your case. For instance, a bankruptcy court may find that a $5,000 credit card debt must be paid in full in one case, partially paid in another, and not paid at all in a third.

A debt that is included in a bankruptcy case can take several different paths and be altered in several different ways. What “legally” happens to the debt depends on the type of debt and the laws that apply to it; the intent of the debtor; and the order of the bankruptcy court. In certain situations it even matters how and when the debt was created! Let’s take a look at common types of debts in bankruptcy cases and how they are often treated.

Priority Debts

The Bankruptcy Code instructs the bankruptcy trustee to pay creditors in accordance with a priority hierarchy. For example, recent tax debts are paid ahead of credit cards; owed child support obligations are paid ahead of medical bills.  Priority debts have little impact in most Chapter 7 cases, where there is no money to pay creditors from the bankruptcy estate. However, priority debts play a large part in Chapter 7 cases when assets are distributed or in Chapter 13 repayment cases. In Chapter 13 cases, some priority debts must be repaid in full before the bankruptcy court will grant a discharge. Note that priority debts may be discharged at the end of a bankruptcy case unless they are also non-dischargeable debts.

Non-Dischargeable Debts

Non-dischargeable debts are either excluded from a bankruptcy discharge by law, by a court, or by agreement between the debtor and creditor. The Bankruptcy Code identifies several kinds of debts that are not discharged during a Chapter 7 case, a Chapter 13 case, or in either case. When a debt is excepted or excluded from the bankruptcy discharge, it survives the bankruptcy case either in whole or in part.

Secured Debts

Secured debts, like car payments and house loans, are secured by collateral. Treatment of a secured debt during a bankruptcy case is complex. A secured debt may be discharged in whole and the collateral surrendered (called “surrender”); discharged and the property retained (called a “lien stripping”); or discharged in part (called a “cram-down”). In a Chapter 7 case a debtor has the choice of “reaffirming” the debt with the creditor at the same or changed terms. A reaffirmed debt survives a bankruptcy discharge.

Unsecured Debts

Unsecured debts commonly include medical bills, credit cards, unsecured personal loans, debts to family members, and old tax debts. Unsecured debts in a Chapter 7 no-asset case are discharged, unless excepted as a non-dischargeable debt. Unsecured debts in a Chapter 13 case are either discharged at the end of the case, paid in full, or paid at a “pennies-on-the-dollar” rate with the remaining amount discharged.

Your debts and financial situation will dictate how your debts are treated in bankruptcy. Don’t rely on general rules found on the internet or advice about how your friend’s debts were treated in her bankruptcy, call an experienced attorney and have your own case fully and professionally evaluated.

You are not alone if you have managed to create a substantial amount of debt for yourself over the years. Many Americans have trouble managing their money and it can be very easy to find yourself drowning in debt from student loans, over spending or medical bills. However, there are several ways to reorganize your spending habits to prevent debt from growing or becoming uncontrollable. 

The number one plan for managing money is to create a budget. A budget allows you to set limits on your spending. You can set a specific amount for groceries, gas, clothing, entertainment and miscellaneous activities; and you can manage your monthly bills. By creating a budget, you can easily see where all of your money is going and how much you spend on each category. Many smart phones have budget apps or you can create a personalized budget that caters to your needs on an excel spreadsheet. Another way to prevent debt is to use cash. Using cash is an easy way to not overspend and will allow you to keep up with how much you spend. Also, avoid using a credit card. Swiping a credit card is effortless and has the possibility to make you feel as if you have an unlimited amount of money. The credit card bill will come in and you will regret the impulse shopping spree that you went on with your credit card. Always stay on top of your spending and do not spend more money than you make.

Preventing debt for you and your family is not difficult. If you are willing to stick to a budget, use cash and avoid using your credit cards; then you will be able to manage your money and focus on rebuilding your financial freedom. 

Bankruptcy is meant to provide debt relief to honest, but unfortunate individuals. For some, bad luck seems to hang around a while. For others, bad luck seems to have moved in permanently. Unfortunate individuals with continuing or reoccurring debts may find relief through the federal bankruptcy laws which can provide a third, or even fourth opportunity to start fresh.

Eligibility for Chapter 7 discharge

There are a few wrinkles in the law for repeat Chapter 7 filers. First, the federal law limits the availability of a Chapter 7 discharge if an individual has received a Chapter 7 discharge in a previous case. Specifically, Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code states that a court may not grant a Chapter 7 discharge if:

the debtor has been granted a [Chapter 7 discharge] in a case commenced within 8 years before the date of the filing of the petition.

This section confuses many debtors and some bankruptcy attorneys. The time period is measured between filing dates, not discharge dates. To illustrate, suppose a debtor files her first Chapter 7 case on January 3, 2010, and she receives a Chapter 7 discharge. She is eligible to file a second Chapter 7 case and receive a discharge on January 3, 2018.

It does not matter under what chapter the original case was filed. For instance, if a case was filed as a Chapter 13 on January 3, 2010, converted to Chapter 7, and discharged, the debtor is still eligible to receive a second discharge on January 3, 2018 (8 years after the filing date). This is because the original case commencement date did not change, even though the debtor converted to another bankruptcy chapter.

Eligibility to be a Chapter 7 debtor

The time limit contained in Section 727 is not a statute of limitations and does not disqualify the individual from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There is no general limit to the number of times or frequency an individual may file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That said, a debtor is ineligible to be a bankruptcy debtor for 180 days after the Chapter 7 case closes if it was dismissed:

  • by the court for willful failure of the debtor to abide by orders of the court, or to appear before the court in proper prosecution of the case; or
  • after the debtor requested and obtained the voluntary dismissal of the case following the filing of a request for relief from the automatic stay.

See 11 U.S.C. § 109(g).

Applicability of the Automatic Stay

The Bankruptcy Code also limits the reach of the automatic stay in a case filed after a Chapter 7 discharge. The automatic stay is effective for only 30 days if you had a bankruptcy case pending within 365 days of the case filing. See 11 U.S.C. §§ 362(c)(3) and (4). The bankruptcy court may extend the automatic stay if your case is filed “in good faith” and you are not abusing the bankruptcy system. Even if the automatic stay is terminated, most courts find that the property of the bankruptcy estate is still protected from creditors. That may include your house or your vehicles. It would not protect you from garnishments of post-bankruptcy wages in a Chapter 7 case.

If lady luck seems to have lost your address, you may need to schedule another consultation with your bankruptcy attorney. A second Chapter 7 case may provide the means for another chance at a fresh start. 

 

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 created new obligations for “debt relief agencies” engaging in bankruptcy related services. For a definition of a “debt relief agency,” see 11 U.S.C. §101(12A). The United States Supreme Court in Milavetz v. U.S., 130 S.Ct. 1324 (2010), held that “attorneys are debt relief agencies when they provide qualifying services to assisted persons.” As debt relief agencies, bankruptcy attorneys are instructed by the Bankruptcy Code to avoid certain conduct and are required to provide information and notices to clients (called “assisted persons”) found in Sections 526, 527, and 528.

 

Section 526 directs that a debt relief agency shall not (1) fail to perform any services promised to a client; (2) make any untrue or misleading statement, or counsel a client to make an untrue or misleading statement in connection with a bankruptcy case; (3) misrepresent any promised services or the benefits and risks of filing bankruptcy; or (4) advise a client or prospective client to incur more debt.

 

Section 527 mandates that the debt relief agency must give written notices to a client within three days of first offering to provide bankruptcy assistance, including:

1.      A written notice required by Section 342(b) which is filed with the clerk at the time of the bankruptcy filing (currently Official Form B201A, Notice to Consumer Debtor(s) under §342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code; and Official Form B201B, Certification of Notice to Consumer Debtor(s) Under § 342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code );

2.      A clear and conspicuous written notice advising the client of the necessity to be truthful in all statements and disclosures throughout the bankruptcy process; that assets and replacement value must be completely and accurately listed after reasonable inquiry; that Means Test information must be truthfully listed after reasonable inquiry; and that the client’s case may be subject to audit and sanctions. A copy of this notice must be retained by the debt relief agency for two years;

3.      A statutory form listed in Section 527 describing rights and debt relief agency duties; and

4.      A description of how to identify and schedule all the information the client is required to provide under Section 521, including a list of creditors, the schedule of assets and liabilities, the schedule of income and expenses, and the statement of financial affairs. Additionally, the debt relief agency is directed to instruct the client in writing how to determine replacement value and exempt property.

 

Section 528 requires that a contract between a debt relief agency and client must be in writing and “clearly and conspicuously” explain the scope of services that the agency will provide and the fees or charges for such services.

 

Violations. The penalties for violating these sections are harsh. “[A]ny contract for bankruptcy assistance between a debt relief agency and an assisted person that does not comply with [Sections 526-528] … shall be void” and may only be enforced by the assisted person. See 11 U.S.C. § 526(b). Additionally, Section 526(c)(2) states that a debt relief agency may be required to pay back all fees and charges received from the client, plus pay any actual damages and reasonable attorney fees and costs, under either of these circumstances:

  • if a material requirement of the Bankruptcy Code or the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure is intentionally or negligently disregarded; or
  • if the client’s case is dismissed or converted on account of intentionally or negligently failing to file a required document.

 If you are considering filing for bankruptcy please call the experienced attorneys at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm to set up a free consultation. Call 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to fears@fnlawfirm.com

For most bankruptcy debtors, dealing with an income tax debt in Chapter 13 comes down to whether the debt will be paid ahead of other creditors (and in full under the plan confirmation requirements of Section 1322(a)), or paid along with other unsecured creditors with the remaining tax debt discharged at the end of the case. In bankruptcy jargon, the debtor’s income tax debt is either a priority, non-dischargeable claim; or it is a non-priority, dischargeable claim.

However, there is a special circle of inferno reserved for a Chapter 13 debtor with a tax debt that is not classified as a priority claim, and therefore cannot be paid ahead of general unsecured creditors, but is also non-dischargeable. This special ring of hell bears the inscription “non-priority, non-dischargeable claim” at its gate (which is Latin for “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”).

A debtor with a non-priority, non-dischargeable income tax claim cannot use Chapter 13 to pay the tax debt in full during the plan without also repaying all other unsecured creditors 100%. It also means that any portion of the tax obligation not paid during the bankruptcy case will survive, and any tax lien on the debtor’s property will continue after bankruptcy. [Unpaid non-priority, non-dischargeable tax debts used to be discharged upon completion of a Chapter 13 payment plan, but the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 repealed this portion of the Chapter 13 “superdischarge.”]

Deciphering whether a tax debt is a priority, non-dischargeable claim; a non-priority, dischargeable claim; or a non-priority, non-dischargeable claim is best discovered using a Venn Diagram. But short of drawing pictures, let’s look at the Bankruptcy Code for what makes a tax debt non-dischargeable, and then the conditions that make the debt a priority debt. At the end we can see how a non-priority, non-dischargeable claim might occur.

Non-Dischargeable Tax
Section 523(a) of the Bankruptcy Code states that a discharge under Chapter 7, 11, 12, or 13 does not discharge a debtor from any individual income tax debt

  1. That is a secured tax debt (11 USC § 507(a)(3))
  2. That is a pre-petition tax debt that was
    1. last due, including extensions, within three years of the bankruptcy filing (11 USC § 507(a)(8)(A)(i); or
    2. assessed within 240 days of the bankruptcy filing (11 USC § 507(a)(8)(A)(ii))
  3. When a return was not filed (11 USC § 523(a)(1)(B)(1))
  4. When the return was filed within two years of the bankruptcy filing (11 USC § 523(a)(1)(B)(2))
  5. When a return is fraudulent or the debtor attempts to willfully “evade or defeat such tax.” (11 USC § 523(a)(1)(C))

Priority Tax
Special priority status is given to certain income tax debts, and distribution of assets in Chapter 7 or regular payments under Chapter 13 pay these tax debts before FDIC claims, DUI/DWI personal injury claims, and general unsecured claims. Section 507(a)(8) sets out the criteria for a priority income tax claim:

  1. The pre-petition tax debt is
    1. last due, including extensions, within three years of the bankruptcy filing (11 USC § 507(a)(8)(A)(i); or
    2. assessed within 240 days of the bankruptcy filing (11 USC § 507(a)(8)(A)(ii))

Non-priority, non-dischargeable tax debt
The most common way a Chapter 13 debtor can fall through the cracks of the Bankruptcy Code and get stuck with a non-priority, non-dischargeable tax debt is by filing a late tax return. In fact, some bankruptcy courts dispute that a late filed return is eligible for discharge because a “return” is defined by many state laws as being timely filed. This is an important distinction that is currently in litigation. See McCoy v. Miss. State Tax Comm., 666 F.3 924 (5th Cir., 2012)(a late-filed tax return is, by definition, not a return and hence the taxes can never be discharged); but see Gonzalez v. Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue, BAP No. MW 13-026 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. March 6, 2014)(Massachusetts state tax liabilities of the debtor were dischargeable even though his tax returns were filed late after applying Massachusetts law defining a “return”).

Most bankruptcy courts will not allow a Chapter 13 debtor to pay a non-priority, non-dischargeable tax debt ahead of other general unsecured creditors by establishing a “special class” for the debt. While 11 U.S.C. Section 1322(b)(1) permits a plan to designate a class of unsecured claims, it may not “discriminate unfairly.” Nondischargeability, by itself, does not justify special classification. See Copeland v. Fink (In re Copeland), 2014 BL 27501 (8th Cir., No. 12-4018, 1/31/14).

A non-priority, non-dischargeable tax debt places the debtor in a difficult position. Since the debt is not dischargeable, the debtor may elect to eliminate other burdensome unsecured debts through Chapter 7 and deal with the tax debt outside of bankruptcy. The debtor may also pay a portion of the tax debt during Chapter 13 at the same rate as other unsecured, non-priority creditors, while enjoying the protection of the automatic stay. Finally, the debtor may elect to file “Chapter 20,” that is, file a Chapter 7 to discharge unsecured debts, then file a Chapter 13 case immediately after. The debtor would then be able to pay 100% of the non-priority, non-dischargeable tax debt during Chapter 13 without also paying other general unsecured creditors (which were discharged in the prior Chapter 7 case).

For further questions or for a free consultation, contact the experienced attorneys at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm. Call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to fears@fnlawfirm.com.

When you file for bankruptcy you need to list all assets, while a pet may seem more like a liability then an asset, you still need to list them on your petition. Your pets typically don’t have a value beyond the sentimental value, but it is possible if it is a prize breed that it may hold more significant value. In Texas you can exempt a house hold pet using the Texas exemption Tex. Prop. Code secs. 42.001(a); 42.002(a)(11) or the federal exemption 11 U.S.C. sec. 522(d)(3). As long as your pet is exempt it is not subject to seizure by the Trustee. In the vast majority of cases a Trustee will not want to attempt to sell a pet to pay off creditors, therefore there is nothing to worry about.

In a chapter 13 case you will need to list your pet but you may also have a budget item for pet care. While most Trustee’s will not take issue with your pet care budget item, it is important to note that they will look at the reasonableness. If you have a large pet care cost the Trustee can object to the confirmation of your plan. This is especially true if your other budget items for food and household items are also high. The court will not make you give up your pet but they may find that it is not reasonable to budget a large amount of money to keep a pet if your creditors are not being properly paid.

Also, note that if you have a budget item for pet care but failed to list any pets then the Trustee may make you amend your schedule to list your pets. This is because the bankruptcy petition is signed under perjury and it does request that you list EVERYTHING that you own.

Additionally if you have livestock, horses or other animals these animals will typically carry a value more than sentimental value. They will need to be listed with a value provided. Again, Texas is good at allowing you to exempt live stock; specifically you can exempt: “2 horses, mules or donkeys plus a saddle, a blanket and bridle for each, 12 head of cattle, 60 head of other livestock, 120 fowl, forage on hand for each animal.”

If you have animals or pets and are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact the experienced attorneys at Fears | Nachawati for a free consultation. Call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to fears@fnlawfirm.com

In 2005, Congress changed the bankruptcy laws to include a new “means test” for consumer debtors. The purpose of the means test is to ensure that debtors are not “abusing” the bankruptcy system by unfairly discharging debts they can afford to repay. The means test is a gatekeeper for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and disqualifies certain high income debtors from Chapter 7 who can afford a repayment plan in Chapter 13. Congress also created a business exception to the means test. If the individual debts are “primarily” business debts, the debtor can avoid taking the means test, and can avoid being presumptively disqualified from filing a Chapter 7.

Most courts have stated that “primarily” means that more than half of the individual debts are business debts. Separating a consumer debt from a business debt has proven a more challenging question for bankruptcy courts. The starting point is Section 101(8) of the Bankruptcy Code, which defines a consumer debt as a “debt incurred by an individual primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose.” Many courts have distinguished a business debt as one that was incurred with a “profit motive,” that it was created for the purpose of trying to turn a profit. Non-consumer debts are generally business-related debts, such as:

  • Investment real estate
  • Business vehicle loan
  • Business utilities
  • Business credit
  • Business insurance

Some debtors have argued that a student loan debt is a business debt when it is incurred with a profit motive. These cases are examined on a case-by-case basis. The primary inquiry is whether the debt was incurred primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose, which necessitates a trial. When the lion’s share of student loans are used to pay living expenses, rather than funding a professional education, the student loan debt is often characterized as a consumer debt. See In re Stewart, 175 F.3d 796 (10th Cir. 1999).

Recently, a south Texas bankruptcy court found that $220,931.04 of a debtor’s $251,058.00 student debt for dental school was spent on tuition, books and fees. The court applied the “profit motive” test, and found that the majority of the debtor’s student loans were incurred with a business purpose (obtaining a professional degree), and not spent on the debtor’s household expenses. When added to the debtor’s other obligations, the court found that the debts were not primarily consumer debts and that the means test did not apply. See In re De Cunae, No. 12-37424 (Bky.S.D.Tex. Dec. 6, 2013).

Debtors with primarily non-consumer debts are not required to complete the means test, however the bankruptcy trustee may still argue that the debtor has the ability to pay creditors and should be forced into Chapter 13 by the bankruptcy court after looking at the “totality of the circumstances.” See 11 U.S.C. §707(b)(3)(B). The Bankruptcy Code imposes a good faith requirement on Chapter 7 debtors, and some courts have found that the lack of good faith may constitute “cause” for dismissal under §707(a). See 11 U.S.C. §707(b)(3)(A). In other words, if the debtor can reasonably adjust his budget to pay creditors—consumer or business creditors—the bankruptcy court may disqualify the debtor from Chapter 7.

There are many roads to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and an experienced bankruptcy attorney at Fears | Nachawati can help you identify the right path for you. If you need debt relief, discuss your situation with experienced and knowledgeable counsel. Call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to fears@fnlawfirm.com.

Section 109(e) of the Bankruptcy Code sets three basic eligibility requirements for a Chapter 13 debtor:

  1. The debtor must be an “individual.” For bankruptcy purposes, an individual is a subset of a person, and is distinct from a partnership or a corporation. See 11 U.S.C. §101(41). Only real live human beings (“individuals”) are allowed to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  2. The debtor must not exceed the Chapter 13 debt limits. The last time these limits were adjusted was on April 1, 2013, and they are currently limited to: unsecured debts less than $383,175, and secured debts less than $1,149,525.
  3. The debtor must have a regular income.

Section 101(30) of the Bankruptcy Code defines “regular income” as “income sufficiently stable and regular . . . to make payments under a plan.” Courts have recognized that Congress intended a liberal interpretation of “regular income.” The test for regular income is not the type or source of income, but rather its regularity and stability. Debtors who do not have sufficient income to pay ordinary living expenses have been found to lack the regular income to be eligible to file a Chapter 13. Some examples held to qualify as regular income include:

  • Social Security income
  • Income from employment
  • Business income
  • Spousal support income
  • Child support income
  • Contributions from family members

Under the original Bankruptcy Act, Chapter 13 plans were restricted to wage earners, and sometimes a Chapter 13 case is still referred to as a “wage earner” bankruptcy. This limitation denied Chapter 13 relief to some individuals with regular income, such as small business owners or social welfare recipients, because their incomes did not come from wages, salary, or commissions. Congress modified the Bankruptcy Code so that individuals with “regular income” could qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief. Congress made it clear that “[e]ven individuals whose primary income is from investments, pensions, social security or welfare may use chapter 13 if their income is sufficiently stable and regular.” H.Rep. No. 95-595, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. 119, reprinted in 1978 U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News 5963, 6080.

If you have a regular income and need debt relief, you may qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give you an opportunity to pay whatever you can afford to creditors over three to five years, under the protection of the bankruptcy court. At the end of the case, many debts that remain are discharged forever. Speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney at Fears | Nachawati for more information on how Chapter 13 and the federal bankruptcy laws can help you. Call our office at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to fears@fnlawfirm.com to set up your free consultation.