When considering bankruptcy as a way to eliminate your debts, it's important to know that it doesn't get rid of all debt. Looking at what can't be discharged can help you make a wise, informed decision. Examples of things that can't be eliminated include the following:
- Some secured debt, which means debt that is tied to a specific asset. For example, you may not be able to eliminate a car loan. Of course, you could give the car to the lender to get rid of the debt, but you can't declare bankruptcy to eliminate the payments and keep the car.
- Most debt that is linked to a divorce. This could include alimony payments, child support payments, and things of this nature.
- Other special debts. These include the majority of student loans for college, restitution that you've been ordered to pay by the court, fines you've been given for criminal activity, some taxes, and things of this nature.
- Debt owed by a cosigner. If you could not get a loan on your own, you may have asked someone to cosign it, which means they have to pay if you don't. Getting rid of this debt for yourself typically does not remove if from the cosigner.
- Debts that you accumulate after you've filed for bankruptcy. You're not supposed to just use bankruptcy as a way to rack up debt and never pay it off. It can also be problematic to run up a lot of debt right before filing.
If you're going to file, be sure you know how the entire legal process works in Wisconsin and which debts can be discharged.
Source: BadgerLaw.net, "Answers to Common Bankruptcy Questions," accessed April 08, 2016