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What Is the Difference Between Discharge & Dismissal?


If you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, it is important to understand the different terms that will be used by your attorney and the court. Legal terms can be confusing, but two words that you should familiarize yourself with are “dismissal” and “discharge.”

When you file for bankruptcy protection, one of your primary goals is to discharge your debt. When the court grants your discharge order, it cancels your obligation to repay the discharged debt. As a result, your credit card bills, medical bills and other types of debt included in your bankruptcy filing may be eliminated.

The term “dismissal” is a term you do not want associated with your case. It means that something has gone wrong in your filing. If the court enters a dismissal order, it ends your bankruptcy case without your debt being discharged or eliminated. A case that has been dismissed means that it is like you never file for bankruptcy. You spent the money to obtain relief that you did not get, so you are still liable to pay all of your creditors. Additionally, when a case is dismissed, it also terminates the automatic stay. This means that collectors can pursue collection efforts against you again, including lawsuits, garnishments, foreclosure, and asset seizures.

Discharge and dismissal are two very different but very important legal terms to understand when you are filing for bankruptcy protection. To learn more about how bankruptcy can improve your financial information or to obtain the answers to your questions, call us to schedule an initial consultation.

If you are considering filing a bankruptcy and you need help determining which type of filing would be best for you, contact Fitzgerald & Campbell to schedule an appointment. We do not offer just one debt relief option, we don’t push you in one direction. If bankruptcy right for you, we will tell you. If it’s not, we will tell you that. If bankruptcy is your get-out-of-debt plan, it needs to be done right. It needs to be in the hands of experienced lawyers who have been there before. Contact us today!

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