Non-Dischargeable Debts

In a bankruptcy, people who are drowning in debt look for a way out by having some of those debts discharged. A debt discharge means the debt is off the books. It goes away, and creditors can no longer attempt to collect. Wage garnishment, harassing calls and lawsuits must stop.

However, that option is not available for some debts. Debts to the government, including many of those due to back taxes, back spousal and child support, student loan debts and certain debts you may have incurred after filing for bankruptcy cannot be discharged. It's very important to understand what can and cannot be accomplished through bankruptcy.

Non-Dischargeable Debts in a Cincinnati Bankruptcy

As an experienced Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyer, Eric Steiden can help you identify debts that you may not be able to discharge, consider your options and develop a plan that includes your best options. Eric Steiden has represented Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky residents with all kinds of debts and assisted them in filing for bankruptcy protection.

The team at Steiden Law Offices can help you determine what the likely end result of a bankruptcy filing will be and choose a path forward that best meets your needs. Call us today at to set up a free consultation to discuss your debts.

We are proud to assist people throughout the Cincinnati area in North Kentucky and South Ohio, including in Boone, Hamilton, and Kenton Counties. We have offices in Cincinnati, Florence, and Covington.


Information Center for Nondischargeable Debts


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Priority Debts in a Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debts are placed in a certain order. After liquidation or the selling of nonexempt property, your debts are paid off in this order. After the proceeds from liquidation run out, most remaining debts are discharged.

However, priority debts rank the highest, meaning they are paid off first. Priority debts cannot be discharged. If your nonexempt assets do not cover these priority debts, you will still be stuck with them after bankruptcy.

If you owe taxes, you may not be able to discharge them, especially if they are payroll taxes or penalties or if the tax debt is recent but older than 240 days before when you filed. 

If you owe child support or spousal support, often called "alimony," you will not be able to discharge those debts. Additionally, criminal fines and court-ordered restitution are priority debts.


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Student Loans are Not Dischargeable

Student loans often make up the bulk of a person's debts, with some student racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. However, federal law prohibits them from being discharged. They are considered unsecured debt, the lowest priority. But unlike other unsecured debts, most of which get discharged, you will be stuck with these debts.

There is a way to discharged them under certain narrow circumstances if the debts constitute an "undue hardship." An undue hardship means that the debtor cannot maintain even a minimal standards of living, that the condition is likely to persist and he or she has made good faith efforts to pay off the loan.

The standards here are difficult to meet, and few do. However, your bankruptcy lawyer could help you determine whether you may have student loans discharged.


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Attorney Assessing What Debts May be Non-Dischargeable in an Ohio Bankruptcy

You may not be able to discharge all of your debts. However, you may have other options. Your Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyer can help you assess what those options may be. Eric Steiden has helped many people with complicated bankruptcy situations in South Ohio and North Kentucky. He will carefully review your situation to see what you might be able to do. Call Steiden Law Offices today at to set up a consultation.

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