Home / How Does Ch 13 Hardship Discharge Work?

How Does Ch 13 Hardship Discharge Work?

  • Chapter 13 hardship discharge helps if you can't finish your repayment plan due to uncontrollable issues.
  • Qualify by proving your financial hardship, ensuring creditors get at least Chapter 7 payments, and showing no plan changes are possible.
  • Call The Credit Pros to review your credit report and find out if a hardship discharge fits your situation.
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Chapter 13 hardship discharge can give you early debt relief if unexpected problems stop you from finishing your repayment plan. You must prove you can't pay due to things out of your control, show creditors are getting at least what they'd get in Chapter 7, and show you can't change your plan.

You might qualify if you get very sick, lose your job, or face unavoidable new debts. The discharge usually only covers unsecured, nonpriority debts. It doesn't include alimony, child support, or most taxes. You'll still owe secured debts, so you could lose your home or car.

This is tricky stuff, so call The Credit Pros now. We'll look at your full 3-bureau credit report and tell you if a hardship discharge is right for you. Don't risk your stuff or your credit - let's talk about your options today.

What Is A Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge

A Chapter 13 hardship discharge allows you to end your bankruptcy case early and clear certain debts if unexpected problems prevent you from completing your repayment plan. To qualify, you must prove three key factors:

1. You can't make payments due to circumstances beyond your control
2. Your creditors have received at least as much as they would in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
3. It's not possible to modify your current plan

You might be eligible for a hardship discharge if you experience:

• A severe illness or injury
• Disability
• Job loss
• Unavoidable new debts like medical expenses

It's important to understand that this discharge typically only applies to unsecured nonpriority debts. You should know that it won't eliminate obligations like:

• Alimony
• Child support
• Most taxes

Obtaining a hardship discharge isn't easy. You'll need to take specific steps:

• File a motion with the court
• Demonstrate that you meet all the required criteria

We advise you to explore other options first, such as modifying your current plan or converting to Chapter 7. You should be aware that the limited scope of a hardship discharge means some debts will remain. For your unique situation, it's crucial that you consult a bankruptcy attorney. They can guide you through this complex process and help you determine the best path forward.

At the end of the day, while a Chapter 13 hardship discharge can provide relief in certain situations, you'll want to carefully weigh your options and seek professional advice to make the best decision for your financial future.

How Does A Hardship Discharge Differ From Regular Chapter 13 Completion

A hardship discharge in Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to get early debt relief, unlike regular completion which requires you to fulfill all plan payments over 3-5 years. You can qualify for a hardship discharge if you can't make payments due to circumstances beyond your control, have paid unsecured creditors at least what they'd get in Chapter 7, and plan modification isn't possible.

Here are the key differences you should know:

• Timing: You get a hardship discharge before plan completion, while regular discharge happens after full repayment
• Debt elimination: With hardship, you might not wipe out all debts in the original plan
• Remaining obligations: You'll likely still owe priority debts (child support, some taxes, student loans) with hardship
• Secured debts: Your liens remain, putting you at risk of foreclosure or repossession
• Creditor objections: You may face objections for specific debts via adversary proceeding

We advise you to weigh the benefits of early discharge against potentially keeping more debt. It's crucial that you consult a bankruptcy attorney to navigate the complex requirements and determine if you're eligible. This option provides you with a lifeline if you face major financial challenges mid-Chapter 13, but offers less comprehensive relief than finishing the full plan.

Lastly, remember that while a hardship discharge can be a helpful tool if you're struggling, it's important that you carefully consider your unique situation. We understand this can be a stressful decision, so don't hesitate to seek professional advice to make the best choice for your financial future.

What Are The Eligibility Requirements For A Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge

To qualify for a Chapter 13 hardship discharge, you need to meet three key requirements:

1. You can't complete your repayment plan due to circumstances beyond your control. This could be a job loss, serious illness, or disability that you expect to be long-term or permanent.

2. Your unsecured creditors have received at least as much as they would have in a Chapter 7 liquidation. This depends on the value of your nonexempt property and how many payments you've already made.

3. Modifying your repayment plan isn't feasible given your new financial situation. The court will consider if you can adjust your plan based on your current disposable income.

You must show that you've made a good faith effort to comply with your original plan before the hardship arose. It's important to understand that a hardship discharge only applies to certain unsecured debts. You'll typically still be responsible for secured debts, priority debts, and non-dischargeable debts.

We advise you to consult a bankruptcy attorney to assess your eligibility and explore alternatives. You might want to consider plan modification or conversion to Chapter 7 if you don't meet these strict requirements. Remember, the court will carefully evaluate your situation to ensure you truly can't complete the plan due to unforeseen circumstances.

• You need to demonstrate that your financial hardship is genuine and unexpected.
• You should gather all relevant documentation to support your case.
• You must be prepared to explain why modifying your current plan isn't a viable option.

Finally, we want you to know that while these requirements may seem daunting, you're not alone in this process. With the right guidance and preparation, you can navigate this challenging situation and work towards a fresh financial start.

When Can I Request A Hardship Discharge In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

You can request a hardship discharge in Chapter 13 bankruptcy when unexpected circumstances prevent you from completing your repayment plan. To qualify, you must meet three key criteria:

1. You face circumstances beyond your control that make plan completion impossible
2. Your creditors have received at least as much as they would in Chapter 7
3. Plan modification isn't feasible for you

Common qualifying events that might affect you include:

• Job loss
• Serious illness
• Death of a spouse

You can ask for a hardship discharge once unforeseen hardship arises, typically after you've made payments for some time. Keep in mind that only certain unsecured, non-priority debts are eligible. Your secured debts, priority obligations like child support, and nondischargeable debts such as student loans don't qualify.

Before you pursue this option, we suggest you explore alternatives like:

• Payment deferrals
• Plan modifications
• Converting to Chapter 7 if you're eligible

The bankruptcy court will carefully review your case. We recommend you consult a bankruptcy attorney to assess your options and navigate the complex process. While a hardship discharge offers you faster debt relief, it may have drawbacks compared to finishing your original plan.

Big picture, a hardship discharge is your safety net if you face genuine, unforeseeable obstacles during Chapter 13. You should only consider it when you've exhausted all other options and can't complete your repayment plan due to circumstances beyond your control.

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Let Professionals help you develop the best possible strategy to improve your credit score after bankruptcy.

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What Circumstances Qualify As Hardships For Early Discharge

You qualify for early discharge in Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you face unforeseen hardships beyond your control that make plan payments impossible. Here are the key circumstances that may qualify:

• You develop a serious illness or injury
• You become permanently disabled
• You lose your job unexpectedly
• You incur major unexpected expenses

For the court to grant a hardship discharge, you must show that:

1. You can't complete the repayment plan due to circumstances you didn't cause.
2. Your creditors have already received at least what they would in a Chapter 7 liquidation.
3. Modifying your existing plan isn't feasible.

It's crucial that you understand the hardship must be substantial and long-term, not just temporary. Courts have discretion in granting these discharges based on your specific situation. We recommend you take the following steps:

• Document your hardship thoroughly
• Prove you've made good faith efforts to pay
• Show why modifying the plan won't work
• Demonstrate why converting to Chapter 7 isn't possible

Remember, secured debts and certain priority debts like child support aren't eligible for hardship discharge. We suggest you consult a bankruptcy attorney to evaluate if you meet the strict criteria or if other options like plan modification may be more suitable for your circumstances.

Overall, while qualifying for a hardship discharge can be challenging, you have options if you're facing genuine, long-term financial difficulties. By thoroughly documenting your situation and working with a professional, you can explore the best path forward for your specific circumstances.

How Do I Apply For A Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge

To apply for a Chapter 13 hardship discharge, you need to take several important steps:

First, you must file a motion with the bankruptcy court. In this motion, you need to demonstrate that:

• Your failure to complete payments is due to circumstances beyond your control
• Your unsecured creditors have received at least as much as they would have in a Chapter 7 liquidation
• Modifying your repayment plan isn't feasible

Next, you should provide evidence of qualifying circumstances. These might include:

• A severe illness that impacts your ability to work
• A serious injury that affects your income
• The death of a spouse who contributed to household expenses

It's crucial that you understand the limitations of a hardship discharge. Typically, it only eliminates unsecured, non-priority debts. Secured debts, priority debts, and certain nondischargeable debts usually remain.

We strongly recommend that you consult with a bankruptcy attorney. They can help you:

• Assess your specific situation
• Prepare a compelling motion
• Gather supporting evidence
• Navigate potential objections from creditors

Your lawyer can maximize your chances of approval by presenting a strong case to the court. They'll ensure you've met all the necessary criteria and help you navigate the complex legal process.

As a final point, remember that while a Chapter 13 hardship discharge can provide early debt relief, it's a limited option. You should carefully consider your situation and seek professional advice to determine if it's the right choice for you.

Which Debts Can Be Eliminated Through A Hardship Discharge

When facing unexpected financial difficulties during your Chapter 13 repayment plan, you can potentially eliminate certain debts through a hardship discharge. This process allows you to wipe out unsecured, non-priority debts such as credit card balances, medical bills, and personal loans. However, you should be aware that secured debts, priority debts, and nondischargeable debts remain unaffected.

To qualify for a hardship discharge, you must meet three key criteria:

• You can't complete plan payments due to circumstances beyond your control
• Your creditors have received at least as much as they would in Chapter 7
• Modifying your plan isn't feasible

Some debts that you might be able to discharge include:

• Utility bills
• Credit card debt
• Personal loans
• Medical expenses

It's important to note that if you pursue a hardship discharge, you'll lose the benefits of Chapter 13, such as catching up on mortgage arrears. The court will carefully review your case to ensure you meet all requirements before granting the discharge.

We recommend that you explore other options first, such as plan modification. If that's not possible for you, we advise you to consult a bankruptcy attorney. They can help you evaluate if you're eligible for a hardship discharge and understand its full implications for your financial situation.

To put it simply, while a hardship discharge can help you eliminate some debts, it's crucial that you carefully consider all your options and seek professional advice before proceeding.

What Debts Are Not Dischargeable In A Chapter 13 Hardship Case

In a Chapter 13 hardship case, you'll still be responsible for certain non-dischargeable debts. Here's what you need to know:

You'll remain obligated to pay:

• Child support and alimony payments
• Recent income taxes (due within 3 years before filing)
• Government fines and restitution
• Debts from drunk driving incidents causing injury or death
• Most student loans
• Debts obtained through fraud
• Luxury purchases made shortly before filing
• Willful or malicious injury judgments

Some debts require creditor objection to stay non-dischargeable. These include:

• Credit card purchases over $650 within 90 days of filing
• Fraudulently obtained debts
• Debts from willful property damage

You should also be aware that priority debts and secured loans often survive bankruptcy. We understand this can feel overwhelming, but remember that a hardship discharge still provides relief from many unsecured debts.

In short, while some debts remain, you can still benefit from a Chapter 13 hardship discharge. We recommend you speak with a bankruptcy attorney to explore your options and determine if this path makes sense for your situation.

Professionals can help you with your Credit Score after Bankruptcy.

Let Professionals help you develop the best possible strategy to improve your credit score after bankruptcy.

Call (888) 411-1844

How Does A Hardship Discharge Compare To Converting To Chapter 7

A hardship discharge in Chapter 13 bankruptcy differs significantly from converting to Chapter 7. You'll find several key distinctions:

• When you seek a hardship discharge, you're ending your Chapter 13 plan early due to unforeseen circumstances. You can convert to Chapter 7 at any time during your Chapter 13 plan.

• With a hardship discharge, you get to keep your non-exempt assets. If you convert to Chapter 7, you might have to liquidate some of your property.

• To qualify for a hardship discharge, you need to prove uncontrollable changes in your situation. For Chapter 7 conversion, you must pass the means test.

• A hardship discharge eliminates your remaining unsecured debts. Chapter 7 wipes out most unsecured debts quickly.

• By getting a hardship discharge, you maintain the advantages of Chapter 13. Chapter 7 offers faster debt relief but less asset protection.

We recommend you evaluate your specific situation carefully:

• Consider a hardship discharge if you're near the end of your plan or have significant assets you want to protect.

• Explore Chapter 7 if you're early in your plan and have minimal non-exempt property.

• It's crucial that you consult a bankruptcy attorney. They can help you assess your eligibility and determine the best option for your financial goals.

To wrap things up, remember that your choice between a hardship discharge and Chapter 7 conversion depends on your unique circumstances. We encourage you to weigh the pros and cons carefully and seek professional advice to make the best decision for your financial future.

Can Creditors Object To A Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge

Yes, creditors can object to a Chapter 13 hardship discharge. You have a 60-day window after the first creditors' meeting where they can file objections. Creditors might challenge specific debts through an adversary proceeding, especially if they involve fraud, larceny, embezzlement, or breach of trust.

Some debts can't be discharged even if creditors don't object. These include:
• Child support and alimony
• Certain taxes
• Criminal fines
• Student loans

You should know that secured debts and liens typically remain enforceable. To qualify for a hardship discharge, you must prove:
• You can't complete plan payments due to circumstances beyond your control
• Creditors received at least as much as in a Chapter 7 liquidation
• Plan modification isn't feasible

A hardship discharge may eliminate some of your unsecured debts, but it has limitations compared to completing the full repayment plan. We strongly advise you to consult a bankruptcy attorney. They'll help you navigate complex rules, respond to creditor objections, and determine if you're eligible for this relief. If creditors file lawsuits against specific debts, your attorney can help strengthen your case.

In essence, while creditors can object to your Chapter 13 hardship discharge, you have options. With the right legal guidance, you can navigate this process and potentially find relief from some of your debts.

What Happens To Secured Debts In A Hardship Discharge

In a hardship discharge during Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your secured debts remain intact. You're still responsible for mortgages and car loans, and lenders can repossess collateral if you stop making payments. Unfortunately, you lose the opportunity to catch up on missed payments through the Chapter 13 plan. Once your case closes, secured creditors can pursue collection actions, including foreclosure or repossession.

To qualify for a hardship discharge, you need to:

• Show you've paid unsecured creditors at least as much as they'd get in Chapter 7
• Prove you can't complete the plan due to circumstances beyond your control
• Demonstrate that modifying the plan isn't feasible

The consequences of a hardship discharge are significant for you:

• You're still on the hook for secured debts
• Lenders can take action to recover collateral
• You lose bankruptcy protections for these debts

We strongly recommend that you carefully weigh your options. You should consider whether plan modification or converting to Chapter 7 might be more beneficial for your situation. It's crucial that you consult a bankruptcy attorney to understand the consequences and explore alternatives before pursuing a hardship discharge. They can help you make the best decision for your financial future.

To wrap things up, remember that a hardship discharge doesn't eliminate your secured debts. You'll need to meet specific criteria to qualify, and you'll face significant consequences. We urge you to seek professional advice to navigate this complex situation and find the best path forward for your financial well-being.

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