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Bankruptcy Reform | Will It Affect Eligibility?

The battle over bankruptcy reform seems to be an ongoing struggle between the would-be reformers and those who feel that debtors’ rights would be adversely affected by reform of the bankruptcy laws. Despite the differences in opinion, many lawmakers agree with creditors that loopholes in the law need to be closed.

Dischargeability of Taxes in Bankruptcy

Debtors may be able to discharge some or all of their older income tax obligations in bankruptcy. Dischargeability of these taxes turns on the question whether or not they are “priority” claims. Tax obligations that are non-priority are dischargeable.

Treatment of Property Settlement Claims

Certain property settlements are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7, 11 or 12 bankruptcy case, but remain dischargeable in Chapter 13 cases. Support, alimony or maintenance that is incurred by the debtor in the course of a divorce or separation or in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other order of a court are generally not dischargeable.

Discharge of Indebtedness

Discharge of indebtedness is the process by which a Chapter 7 debtor eliminates a debt during bankruptcy proceedings. A creditor or lender cannot collect a debt that has been discharged.

Chapter 12 Debtor and Trustee Powers

Chapter 12 provides that a standing trustee will be appointed in each case, but in the ordinary course, actual operation of the farm will remain with the debtor. Additionally, the debtor, as debtor in possession, has all rights, responsibilities, and powers, as would a debtor in possession under Chapter 11. Chapter 12 does not provide for the appointment of creditors’ committees.