Start My Answer

Dischargeable - Definition

George Simons | August 16, 2022

Summary: When your debt is discharged, it means you are no longer responsible for it. Here is SoloSuit's guide on dischargeable debt and how it is connected to bankrupcty.

In debt collection terminology, the term 'dischargeable' refers to the type of debt you are no longer responsible for, usually after filing for bankruptcy. Debt collection laws do not permit creditors to collect a dischargeable debt. In addition, they cannot contact you to collect such debt while the bankruptcy petition is still pending in court.

There are different types of dischargeable debts under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Most of these debts are unsecured.

Unsecured debts are the kind of debts that don't require collateral. Common examples of unsecured debts include credit cards, utility bills, medical bills, etc.

Dischargeable debts in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy focuses more on discharging most or all of your unsecured debts, or debt that are not backed by assets (credit cards, medical bills, utility bills, etc.).. This is usually the most common type of bankruptcy. On the other hand, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy evaluates your financial situation and leans towards creating a repayment plan to help you manage secured debt, such as mortgage and car payments, while discharging your unsecured debts.

Not all debts are dischargeable. Some will stay with you even after filing for bankruptcy. Here are quick examples of debts that can't be easily discharged.

Student loan debts are not dischargeable

If you're unable to repay your student loan, it may not be easy to get rid of this debt even after filing for bankruptcy. According to a recent study, the total student debt in the United States stands at $1.75 trillion. Does that ring a bell? Getting rid of student loans through bankruptcy could mean that the government will lose over $1.75 trillion. This explains why student loans tend to stick with you even when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Although you may not be able to get rid of student loan debts entirely, you can reduce the repayment amount by filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This option allows you to reduce the repayment plan on your student loan for the length of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, usually between 36 to 60 months.

Debt incurred through fraudulent activities are not dischargeable

If you commit fraud to obtain money or property, filing for bankruptcy may not save you from repaying what you owe. In fact, some creditors might file an objection to your bankruptcy case, forcing you to pay what you owe.

Fraud is often interpreted in different ways. For example, if you intentionally use a credit card to purchase goods or services with no intention of paying off the debt, this could pass as fraudulent activity.

Misinterpretation is also another reason your bankruptcy case may be denied. For instance, suppose you lied about your income to obtain a loan. If so, this could be a case of misinterpretation and deception. Such offenses attract hefty punishments, including fines and jail time.

Debt incurred through excessive spending is not dischargeable

The main reason for filing for bankruptcy is that you're no longer financially able to pay your debts. However, some consumers file for bankruptcy for questionable reasons, and this is something creditors are always concerned about.

For example, when you file for bankruptcy a week after spending thousands of dollars on gold chains and other luxury items, creditors could interpret such activity as questionable. They'll assume that you're trying to trick the system by depleting your credit cards before filing for bankruptcy, knowing that creditors can't come after a dischargeable debt.

To prevent such scenarios, you may not be able to discharge debt incurred within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy if you spent the amount on luxury items or services worth $800 or more. The same applies if you took a cash advance of $1100 or more 70 days before filing for bankruptcy. However, it's important to note that this rule only applies to bankruptcy cases filed between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2025.

When should you file for bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy is scary. But sometimes, it could be the only way out of a tight financial situation. Before filing for bankruptcy, it's always advisable to consider all options available, such as debt consolidation, fundraising, etc. Filing for bankruptcy may be the only option if you have huge medical bills, marital problems, heavy credit card debt, or anything along those lines.

But before filing for bankruptcy, it's important to decide which type of bankruptcy suits your specific situation.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the preferred option if you don't wish to keep any of your assets. This is because this type of bankruptcy collects all your assets and resells them to pay off your debts.

If you have personal assets, such as a business, home, or car you wish to keep, you may need to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Also known as reorganization bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you a grace period to pay off your debt. This option works best if you have a stable and consistent source of income. All remaining debts will be discharged at the end of the grace period.

When you file for bankruptcy, it usually stays in your records for up to 10 years. Creditors cannot contact you once your bankruptcy case has been approved. In addition, they may not contact you even while your case is pending.

Things to consider before filing for bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is a major, life-changing decision you shouldn't make alone. Before you decide to go down this path, make sure you've exhausted all your financial options. You never know the choices you have until you consult widely. Talk to a financial expert about your current financial situation.

Besides, some creditors are always willing to negotiate with consumers to prevent them from filing for bankruptcy. This is because they know that once you've filed for bankruptcy, they may not be able to recover anything from you.

SoloSuit can help you respond to a debt collection lawsuit

If you've been sued for a debt you owe, the first step to winning in court is to file a written Answer. You can save yourself the time, money and stress of finding an attorney. Instead, represent yourself with SoloSuit's help and beat those debt collectors at their own game!

You have up to 35 days to respond to a debt collection lawsuit, depending on which state you live in. If you don't respond in time, you will lose by default. When a default judgment is entered into a debt collection case, the debt collector will have rights to garnish your wages, seize your property, and even freeze your bank account.

For this reason, you should respond to the lawsuit as quickly as possible.

Check out this video to learn more about how to file an Answer to a debt collection lawsuit:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James


Get Started


We have answers.
Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.


Ask a Question


>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.



Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.


Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court