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WHAT BILLS ARE DISCHARGED IN BANKRUPTCY?

Utility Bills

Utility bills are dischargeable in bankruptcy, but the utility may require you to pay a reasonable deposit within 20 days.

Student Loans

As a general rule, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. They can be discharged if, after the filing of an adversary proceeding, the bankruptcy court finds that it is a hardship on you and your family to require you to pay the student loan debt. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has made the bar very high for a student loan debtor to prove a hardship.

Past due income tax

Assuming no evasion or fraud, income taxes that came due three years before the filing date may be discharged in Chapter 7. Unless an extension of time was obtained, income taxes for individuals come due on April 15 following the tax year. Chapter 13 provides favorable repayment options for tax liability less than three years old.

Past due property tax

Yes and no. A property tax is dischargeable if it has been unpaid for one year after penalties began on the tax. The problem is that real property taxes in most states, if not all, constitute a lien on the land which subjects the land to be sold for unpaid taxes. Therefore, the discharge ability of property taxes is only an issue as to personal property taxes. Since most state laws put the burden of making sure that the property tax is paid on the taxpayer, it might be considered evasion if the taxes were never assessed. This would make the obligation non-dischargeable.