Not sure why, but when I think of the word “discharged” I think you have been discharged from duty in the military sense. Obviously, that is not what discharge means in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy sense. When we say you have been “discharged” in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy sense, we are referring to what happens with respect your personal liability on your debts. A discharge is granted under Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code.
One of the dictionary definitions of “discharged” is “to relieve of a charge or load”. When the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy process is complete and you have been “discharged”, you have been relieved of your personal liability on your debt. That is, a creditor cannot hold you liable of the amount they claim you owe them.
Until you have been “discharged”, your personal liability on the debt remains intact. Upon filing of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the automatic stay provisions of Section 362 prevent a creditor from enforcing your personal liability on the debt. This period is sort of a time out that is put in place for a variety of reasons. One, it’s to prevent creditors from making a run on your assets and two, it’s to give debtor a chance to sort out his/her financial affairs without the pressure of being under constant attack.
Getting “discharged” of your personal liability is a wonderful gift. It is a “fresh start” that so many thousands of American need and obtain each year.
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