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Discharge in Chapter 7

Learn about the circumstances in which the bankruptcy court may deny the debtor a discharge in chapter 7 or, in more limited cases, revoke the discharge entirely.


I. Prepetition v. Postpetition Debt

In chapter 7, a discharge eradicates the debtor's personal liability for all dischargeable prepetition debts. Chapter 7 draws a bright distinction between prepetition and postpetition debt. The chapter 7 discharge doesn't affect postpetition debt at all, including postpetition debt incurred to refinance prepetition debt.

Suppose a physician declared chapter 7 bankruptcy owing student-loan debt to a bank. A short time later, before discharge, the physician...