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Maintaining the validity of discharged debt

Any of our readers who are familiar with previous posts here know many of the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy as a debt solution. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in particular, can result in the complete discharge of many debts owed by an Escondido resident. However, once that discharge of debt occurs, it is important that there is faith that throughout the process there were no indications that the filer's financial status had changed.

A change in circumstances could lead to a discharge of debt being revoked. For instance, if the bankruptcy trustee learns that the bankruptcy filer in any way committed fraud throughout the bankruptcy process, the trustee could alert the bankruptcy court to this fact and the discharge of debt could be revoked.

One such type of fraud is when a bankruptcy filer learns during the bankruptcy process that they will come into possession of an item or piece of property that would be considered to be part of the bankruptcy estate. If the filer attempts to quietly wait until the debts are discharged to take ownership, this could be construed as fraud.

The good news is that a petition to revoke the discharge of debt typically needs to be filed within one year of the discharge. If such a petition is filed -- no matter what the grounds for the request to revoke are -- the filer will get the chance to answer to the allegations, and then it will be up to the bankruptcy court to make a final decision.

Source: uscourts.gov, "Discharge in Bankruptcy," Accessed April 11, 2015

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