The ultimate goal of any individual in New York who is filing for bankruptcy is to have his or her debts discharged. In general, a bankruptcy discharge means that the individual no longer is responsible to pay back his or her debts that were discharged through the bankruptcy process. A bankruptcy discharge is permanent, meaning that the individual’s creditors cannot continue trying to collect on the debt. There are exceptions, however for certain types of valid liens.

When will the bankruptcy discharge occur? It depends on the type of bankruptcy the debtor filed for. If an individual filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the discharge will occur when the time in which an individual or entity to file an objection to the bankruptcy discharge and the time in which a motion to dismiss could be filed for reasons related to abuse pass. In general, this means that it might take approximately four months or so for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to be dismissed.

If the debtor filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the date of discharge may be different. In a Chapter 13 the bankruptcy discharge in general will occur as soon as possible after individual’s Chapter 13 payment plan is finished. The payment plan may take three to five years. In general, it may take approximately four years for an individual’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy to be dismissed.

This post aims only to provide general information about a bankruptcy discharge, and cannot guarantee any specific result when it comes to an individual filing for bankruptcy. However, once an individual’s debts are discharged through the bankruptcy process, the individual can restart his or her financial life with a clean slate — a second chance to regain secure financial footing in the future. This may make personal bankruptcy an attractive option to some.