What can you not include in bankruptcy?
It depends on local legislation
A basic, rough primer: In the US, BK is always done under FEDERAL Laws, in a Federal Bankruptcy Court. Basically State makes little difference. (Yes the BK Courts operating in certain areas have certain special exemptions and such, minor in the overall, generally intended to make things adhere to the local laws and customs better). Federal Bankruptcy Courts handle cases in their jurisdiction, which is determined without any real regard to State lines or such. There are many, many Districts, made according to what the Feds feel are their needs. In a personal bankruptcy, YOU go bankrupt. Not a debt, not a loan...not a car...not a house or a this or that. ALL of your assets, of all types, MUST be disclosed and reported in BK, and ALL of your liabilities/debts must be too. No exceptions, no picking and choosing. They are all, always involved in some way. BK may stall off a foreclosure for a short while, but it is entirely different than one, and will NOT prevent the ultimate loss for long. Which is to say, in simple terms, you either pay for your house AND all the liens against it, or you lose it...there is no magic or legal action that will have a different outcome. After filing and disclosing everything, the court will then order each of them in priorities according to the laws. Some things may be exempt from use or discharge (like your personal furniture and retirement accounts are exempt and child support and most court imposed fines or penalties cannot be discharged) - and the rest may be used. With one to pay the other. AGAIN - THEY ARE ALL INCLUDED AND LISTED - how or if the BK will effect them is decided by the Court & Laws. (All possible creditors are contacted and asked to say what they are owed....you may be required to even take advertisments out to make sure everyone is notified). Not including everything is lieing to the Court and probably won't have the effect you want anyway. And think about it...it's on your credit report, ot its on a credit application you made (and that creditor wants to know what happend to it...unless you lied on the application = criminal fraud). Any deal you've done for several years is open to scruitiny and review. The court can reverse them, take them out of the BK, or even have them prosecuted as trying to defraud your creditors. (So, no you can't sell your boat to your brother and then declare BK). PAYDAY loans, while under the actual law may be denied discharge (as they renew every 30 days and are therefore too close to filing and are considered made in anticipation of BK), because of how abusive and unfair they are, if taken out a bit before filing, most judges will indeed allow them to be discharged - regardless of the many good arguments the lender has. Virtually all legal penalties and fines can not be discharged as that is against the "public good'...BK is not intended to allow you to avoid paying for your misdeads and avoid the consequences of prior actions of that type. No, it won't lessen your jail term either. Debts secured by an asset (say a car or house mortgage) have first call or right to the money received from that asset. If it isn't enough to pay the debt, the remainder of that debt becomes a general or unsecured claim against the BK., and has a chance to payment on that level too (albeit a lower priority than those who have yet to receive anything). The end/remaining amount that can't be satisfied is generally discharged by the court...meaning you no longer owe it. You get a fresh basically debt free start....many of those you owe don't get paid what they had expected and relied on, if anything. There are many other considerations too. BK will severly hurt your ability to get credit for a very long time for example. It is on your credit report for at least 10 years...and employers refer to that too, as do landlords and more. Many do not trust people with bankruptcies in their past, especially in the last few years. Many more things. That you have done so is actually available to all, as a matter of public court records, for much longer than the 10 years it is on your credit report. Not disclosing all items is frequently tried and easily discovered, in which case - as you are swearing under oath to the court you included all info - your case is dismissed, and regularly, fraud charges are pursued. (Courts don't take to being lied to well). The courts, Judges, laws, bankers, all those zillions of attornies, etc, have been through this thousands of times for many, many years. The processes are fairly well worked through and prepared for tricks and games. It is unlikely you would discover one that hasn't been tried a zillion times before! The Cos that claim they can change your record, or make magic happen (either before or after BK), are scams, and getting caught doing something unsavory (intentional or not), other than screwing up your bankruptcy filing, is frequently considered and persued criminally. (Think your financial troubles are bad, try adding in criminal ones). The legal process and system is demanding even for those experienced with it. Many of your creditors will have an attorney to assure they get as much as possible, even groups of lawyers, who specialize only in bankruptcy. Simply you should/better/need to have one too