CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

What Debts Can I Get Rid Of?

Part of the bankruptcy process is identifying the debtor’s debts and determining which of those debts can be discharged (eliminated) through bankruptcy. At the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., our attorneys advise and counsel clients about the different types of debt, evaluate their financial situation to determine what types of debt they have accumulated, and identify the most appropriate debt relief option based upon the facts of their case and their objectives.

Types of Debt: Secured vs. Unsecured Debt

Secured debt is any type of debt that is secured by some type of collateral, such as a car loan that is secured by the vehicle or a mortgage that is secured by the home. Most secured debts are dischargeable, unless they were obtained by fraud or misrepresentation. However, it is necessary to maintain payments for the secured property if you intend to keep the property after filing for bankruptcy. If you are willing to surrender the secured property – the vehicle, television, home appliance, or other collateral — you may not be required to repay the amount that was borrowed to purchase such property.

Most other debts are considered unsecured debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides for the discharge of most types of unsecured debt. Once unsecured debt is discharged in bankruptcy, you are no longer obligated to repay the debt and the creditor can no longer attempt to collect such debt from you.

What Debts Can I Get Rid Of?

Unsecured debts that usually can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may include:

  • Credit card bills
  • Medical bills
  • Debts that have resulted from an auto accident claim (however, judgment entered against you related to drunk driving accidents cannot be discharged)
  • Unsecured personal loans/signature loans
  • Unsecured credit lines
  • Payday advances/payday loans
  • Debts related to repossession of vehicles
  • Debts owed to landlords or prior landlords
  • Certain legal fees
  • Past due utilities, such as outstanding cell phone bills (however, if you intend to continue service with the company, you may be required to pay additional security deposits)
  • Bank overdraft fees to banks which you no longer have an account with
  • Certain income taxes

What Debts Will I Still Have to Pay?

Nondischargeable debts are debts that cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy. Even after the final discharge, you will still be responsible for repaying any nondischargeable debts. Examples of debt which may not be dischargeable include:

  • Debt incurred as result of fraud or misrepresentation to creditor
  • Debts not listed/scheduled in the bankruptcy petition
  • Child support or alimony (however, obligations to former spouse for the distribution of property may be dischargeable in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy)
  • Fines or penalties owed to governmental unit (such as parking ticket fines)
  • Certain income taxes depending on if, or when, the return was filed
  • Most student loans (unless it can be demonstrated that the obligation to repay the debt would impose an undue hardship, or unless the loan is not funded in whole or part by a government unit or nonprofit institution)
  • Restitution for criminal offenses
  • Condominium assessments or dues incurred after the filing of bankruptcy petition

While nondischargeable debts cannot be eliminated through the bankruptcy process, these debts can be consolidated into a debtor’s repayment plan under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Therefore, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a more advantageous bankruptcy option for people with a significant amount of nondischargeable debt.

Our Tampa bankruptcy lawyers provide clients with the individualized counsel necessary to make important decisions, such as whether bankruptcy is an appropriate option, under which Chapter they should file given their financial circumstances, whether they should keep or surrender their home or other assets, and other critical concerns of clients. We also educate clients of important steps they can take to re-establish their credit after filing for bankruptcy.

Contact a Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyer

To learn more about the types of debt that can be eliminated through bankruptcy, contact our Tampa, Florida, law firm. Call us at 813-254-5696 to schedule a free initial consultation. Attorney Robert M. Geller is a certified specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification *.

Visit our bankruptcy information center to learn more.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

* Accredited by The Florida Bar to certify lawyers in the specialty area(s) of consumer bankruptcy law.

Video Testimonials

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

5 Common Budgeting Mistakes Newlyweds Make and How to Avoid Them

Budgeting mistakes are common, especially when you’re young. Not all newlyweds are young adults, but many first-time marriages do involve...
Read More

When Should Married Couples File for Bankruptcy Together?

There's no easy answer to the question of timing when it comes to bankruptcy. In some cases, it may make...
Read More

Can Your Spouses Debt Force You Into Bankruptcy?

If you're married and your spouse has a lot of debt, you may be wondering if that debt can force...
Read More

Do You Need a Bankruptcy Attorney If You’re Divorcing with Financial Problems?

Divorce and bankruptcies are more common than many people realize. Financial problems make a stressful transition even more difficult. If...
Read More

Can You File Bankruptcy without Your Spouse?

Filing for bankruptcy is a decision that should not be taken lightly. It can affect your financial life and the...
Read More

How Seniors Can Avoid Bankruptcy

Seniors are at a high risk of bankruptcy, but there are ways to avoid it. What do you need to...
Read More

What Happens If I Own Too Many Assets to File for Chapter 7?

Does hiding assets in bankruptcy protect them from your creditors? If you own too many assets to qualify for Chapter...
Read More

How to Find the Best Lawyer for Filing for Bankruptcy after Retirement

Many retirees decide to file for bankruptcy as a way to get a fresh start. But finding the right lawyer...
Read More

Does Declaring Bankruptcy Affect My Retirement Savings?

When you're struggling with debt, the thought of bankruptcy might cross your mind. But what would that mean for your...
Read More

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for Me?

Reverse mortgages in Florida are loans that allow homeowners 62 and older to borrow against the equity in their homes....
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

NACBA Logo avvo1 avvo2 avvo3 LEA BBB Logo

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions