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What debts can someone discharge in Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2023 | bankruptcy |

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be one of the hardest things you ever do. If you’ve been struggling with unmanageable debt for some time, however, it might be just the right decision to help you move forward.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one of the more appealing options if you’re considering taking this financial step. Under this chapter, qualified people can set up a repayment plan to manage their debts. These repayment plans typically last three to five years, depending on income. Importantly, after declaring Chapter 13, creditors must stop their collection efforts, which can instantly eliminate a substantial amount of stress and allow you to concentrate on repayment.

Priority debts

As is suggested in the name, these debts take priority over other debts. These can include such payments as tax obligations, child support and if you own your own business, any back wages you owe to your employees.

Unsecured debts

These are the most common types of debt people have outside of their mortgage and vehicle loans. They’re called “unsecured debts” because there’s no form of collateral behind them. Examples of these include credit card balances, personal and payday loans and medical bills.

Secured debts

Mortgages and cars fall under the “secured debts” umbrella because they are tangible items that can be repossessed if you get too far behind in payments. These are obviously a top concern for most people, as having a house or car taken away can be life-altering, putting them at an even bigger disadvantage in terms of repairing their financial situation.


There are a few situations that will disqualify you from Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. For example, the total debt cannot exceed $2,750,000. Also, if you’ve declared any form of bankruptcy in the previous 180 days and then failed to appear in court, or failed to adhere to bankruptcy court orders, you are ineligible.

This is merely a brief overview. There are other details and prerequisites for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy you need to know and understand before proceeding. Consult an attorney if you’d like more information.