The difference between a bankruptcy discharge and a dismissal

Dismissed and discharged. These two terms are at the opposite ends of the scale of results in bankruptcy, yet they are often confused.

A debtor gets a discharge and is relieved of the legal liability for the dischargeable debts in the bankruptcy case.

A dismissal means the bankruptcy case was terminated short of the discharge. It could be dismissed at the request of the debtor or upon the motion of the trustee or the court. But it means that the case has been close without a discharge.

A case in which a discharge is entered will be closed by the court when all the legally necessary steps have been met, such as the trustee’s report.

Generally speaking, if you are filing a typical consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you want to get a discharge, and want to avoid a dismissal.


By Doug Beaton

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