Bankruptcy is a way for folks drowning in debt to get a FRESH START. The debtor – the person drowning in debt – files a petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The Petition includes a bunch of schedules and other forms describing all the debtor’s property and debts and outlining what will happen with the various debts and property. The trustee and the court review the documents; when everything is in order, and after the necessary waiting periods have run, the court grants an “Order of Discharge,” which wipes out the dischargeable debt, and the Debtor has a Fresh Start.
Bankruptcy eliminates (discharges) most unsecured debts, but not all. Bankruptcy does not eliminate most debts for taxes, child and spousal support, student loans, debt resulting from malicious or willful injury, fraud, or drunk driving, criminal fines or restitution, and some recent credit purchases. There are exceptions to every one of these classes, however, so you should review these debts carefully with your attorney to ensure all possible debts are discharged.