For most people, the goal of filing for bankruptcy is to have their debts discharged. In some cases, Kentucky residents and others will need to liquidate or otherwise surrender assets in exchange for having debt balances wiped away. However, it is possible for a person to give up his or her assets and still be denied a bankruptcy discharge. For instance, a discharge might be denied if an individual made false statements either orally or in writing during the proceeding.
The same may be true if a person hid assets or destroyed financial records before or during a bankruptcy case. Individuals who violate court orders or fail to disclose prior bankruptcy cases may also be at risk of not having their debts discharged. The process of denying the discharge begins when a creditor or a trustee files a complaint against the debtor.
This is typically referred to as an adversary complaint, and an individual has 30 days to either answer the complaint or ask that it be dismissed. If a case is not dismissed, a trial is held, and the party that initiated the proceeding will need to show that it is more likely than not that a debtor lied. If the judge rules against the debtor, there is a chance that this person could be charged with federal crimes.
Those who are interested in having debt balances reduced or eliminated may be able to do so by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 case, a debtor may be able to reorganize outstanding balances and repay them over a period of three or five years. An attorney may help a person get through the process without jeopardizing his or her opportunity to obtain a discharge when the repayment period ends.