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Non-Dischargeable Debts

The following table contains a summary of the debts that are non-dischargeable in Chapter 7, 11 & 13 cases, and the differences in the discharge granted under the different chapters.

Type of Debt

Is the debt dischargeable in bankruptcy?

Yes or No

Ch. 7 or 11

Ch. 13

Child Support and Alimony Obligations [523(a)(5) / 1328(a)(2)]

No

No

Civil Fines & Penalties [523(a)(7)]

No

Yes

Criminal Fines & Restitution [523(a)(7) & (14) / 1328(a)(3)]

No

No

Divorce Decree Debts [523(a)(15)]

No

Yes

Drunk Drivers Causing Death or Injury [523(a)(9) / 1328(a)(2)]

No

No

Embezzlement, Theft or Breach of Fiduciary Duty [523(a)(4) / 1328(a)(2)]

No*

No *

Fraud and False Financial Statements [523(a)(2) / 1328(a)(2)]

No*

No *

Student Loans [523(a)(8) / 1328(a)(2)]

No

No

Tax Debts

● Less than 3 Years Old or Assessed Within 240 Days of BK Filing [507(a)(8)(A)(i) & (ii), 523(a)(1)(A)]

No

Yes **

● Required Return Was Never Filed [523(a)(1)(B)(i) / 1328(a)(2)]

No

No

● Tax Fraud and Willful Evasion [523(a)(1)(C) / 1328(a)(2)]

No

No

● Employment / Trust Fund Taxes [507(a)(8)(C), 523(a)(1)(A) / 1328(a)(2)]

No

No

Debts Incurred to Pay Non-Dischargeable Federal, State and Local Taxes [523(a)(14)]

No

Yes

Securities Law Violations or Securities Fraud in Judgment, Order or Settlement [523(a)(19)]

No

Yes

Unlisted Debts [523(a)(3 / 1328(a)(2)]

No

No

Denial of Discharge in Prior Case [523(a)(10)]

No

Yes

Willful & Malicious Injury – to

● Persons [523(a)(6), 523(c)(1) / 1328(a)(4) / FRBP 4007(c)]

No *

No *

● Property [523(a)(6), 523(c)(1) / FRBP 4007(c)]

No *

Yes

* These debts require the creditor to file a lawsuit in bankruptcy court to establish that the debt exists and that it is non-dischargeable. All other debts are automatically non-dischargeable.

**Tax debts less than 3 years old are dischargeable in Ch. 13. However, the issue is never reached because these type of debts are classified as "priority debts" under § 507(a)(8), which must be paid in full under the terms of any bankruptcy plan. § 1322(a)(2). As a practical matter, the discharge only applies to the interest and penalties that accrue on the tax debt under non-bankruptcy law during the time that the Ch. 13 case is pending.