Can I Still Owe Money After I Have Been Discharged From Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy discharge doesn’t always wipe the slate clean. Certain debts persist even after you’ve been officially declared bankrupt. Let’s explore these intricacies and determine if you can still owe money after being discharged from bankruptcy.

Secured Debts

Secured debts are tied to an asset, like your house or car. If you plan to retain the asset, you would need to continue making payments, despite the bankruptcy discharge.

Government Student Loans

If you’ve been out of school for less than seven years, government student loans are not discharged with bankruptcy. You are still required to make payments.

Child and Spousal Support Payments

Child and spousal support payments are a legal obligation that survives bankruptcy. These payments must continue to be made irrespective of the bankruptcy status.

Fines and Court Penalties

Any fines or penalties imposed by the court are not absolved by bankruptcy. You are still liable for these payments even after discharge.

Debts Resulting From Crime

Debts that are the consequence of a crime committed by the debtor are not discharged during bankruptcy and must be repaid.

Dealing With Persistent Creditors

Post-bankruptcy, some creditors may still demand repayment. It’s crucial to check with your trustee about whether these payments are necessary.

Trustee’s Role

Your bankruptcy trustee is a crucial resource in understanding what debts survive bankruptcy and dealing with persistent creditors.

Post-Discharge Scenario

After discharge, you typically don’t owe your creditors money anymore. However, certain debts, as discussed, persist and require payment.

Understanding Your Responsibilities

Comprehending what you owe post-bankruptcy is essential to avoid legal complications and maintain financial health.


So, to answer the question, “Can I still owe money after I have been discharged from bankruptcy?” – Yes, you can. While bankruptcy can provide a fresh start, it doesn’t negate all financial obligations. Understanding what debts survive bankruptcy can help put you on the path to financial recovery.

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