In the past two articles, we have provided an overview of Tennessee bankruptcy discharge and discussed property exemptions. Today’s post will address a two-part question: does a debtor have the right to discharge debt; and to what extent, if any, can a creditor object to the discharging of debt. To find out, keep reading.

In Chapter 7 bankruptcies, Tennesseans do not have an absolute right to discharge debts. To the contrary, many people can object. These include not only creditors, but also trustees and the court.

For a creditor to object, they must file an objection with the bankruptcy court within a certain time limit. The deadline is set out in the bankruptcy notice that creditors receive when a debtor files for a bankruptcy petition. Lodging the objection begins a lawsuit, which in bankruptcy parlance is called an “adversary proceeding.”

A court can also object. It does so by denying a person’s request for debt discharge. To do so, the court must present a reason found within Section 727(a) of the Bankruptcy Code. This section covers many grounds from administrative to substantive. For example, a court can deny a discharge because of failure to provide documents or information, attempts at concealing or delay, violation of court orders and many more.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies are different. In these types of bankruptcies, a debtor is generally entitled to discharge once he or she completes the process, including making all payments required his or her payment plan. But, as with Chapter 7, there are exceptions, such as failing to complete a required financial management course.

Tennesseans interested in learning more about bankruptcy may benefit from discussing their situation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Source: USCourts.gov, “Discharge in Bankruptcy – Bankruptcy Basics,” accessed Jan. 24, 2016