Select your state


nondischargeable debt

Not all debts are discharged in bankruptcy. The debts discharged vary under each chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. Section 523(a) of the Bankruptcy Code specifically excepts various categories of debts from the discharge granted to individual debtors.

Therefore, the debtor must still repay those debts after bankruptcy. Congress has determined that these types of debts are not dischargeable for public policy reasons (based either on the nature of the debt or the fact that the debts were incurred due to improper behavior of the debtor, such as the debtor's drunken driving).

There are 19 categories of debt excepted from discharge under chapters 7, 11, and 12. A more limited list of exceptions applies to cases under chapter 13.

Generally speaking, the exceptions to discharge apply automatically if the language prescribed by section 523(a) applies. The most common types of nondischargeable debts are:

• certain types of tax claims

• debts not set forth by the debtor on the lists and schedules the debtor must file with the court

• debts for spousal or child support or alimony

• debts for willful and malicious injuries to person or property

• debts to governmental units for fines and penalties

• debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments

• debts for personal injury caused by the debtor's operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated

• debts owed to certain tax-advantaged retirement plans

• debts for certain condominium or cooperative housing fees.

In Texas, as in all states, bankruptcy proceedings are governed by federal law, specifically the Bankruptcy Code. Not all debts can be discharged in a bankruptcy case. Under Section 523(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, there are 19 categories of debts that are not dischargeable in chapters 7, 11, and 12 bankruptcies, with a more limited list for chapter 13 cases. These exceptions to discharge typically include certain tax obligations, debts not listed by the debtor in bankruptcy filings, family support obligations such as alimony and child support, debts from willful and malicious injuries, fines and penalties owed to government entities, certain student loans or educational benefit overpayments, debts from personal injury caused by DUI, and certain fees related to housing such as condominium fees. These exceptions are based on public policy considerations, often related to the nature of the debt or the debtor's behavior. The nondischargeable nature of these debts applies automatically if they meet the criteria set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.

Legal articles related to this topic