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Refusal to grant discharge when filing for bankruptcy, Part I

There are many reasons why a Texan might choose to consider filing for bankruptcy. Financial challenges and the need for debt relief can hit anyone at any time for a variety of reasons. It is important to remember that the law does not automatically grant a bankruptcy discharge. Understanding this reality can help people seeking to eliminate debt by avoiding mistakes that are made leading to the court issuing a denial on a granting of the discharge.

The court will grant a discharge unless the debtor is not an individual. If the debtor transfers, removes, destroys, mutilates, conceals or allows any of this to be done in an attempt to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor or an officer of the estate to conceal property of the debtor within one year prior to filing or property of the estate after the petition has been filed, the discharge will be denied. There will not be a discharge if the debtor conceals, destroys, mutilates, destroys, falsifies or fails to preserve recorded information that can be used to acquire the debtor's financial situation unless the circumstances of the case justified this being done.

There will be no discharge if the debtor -- made a false oath or account, gave a presentation or utilized a false claim, provided, offered, was the recipient of or tried to acquire money, property, advantage or made a promise for any of the above for an act or restraint of an act or withheld information from an officer of the estate who is entitled to the information that is contained in books, documents, papers or records that have details of the property held by the debtor or the financial affairs of the debtor.

Regardless of the foundation of the decision to move forward with a bankruptcy, it is imperative to follow the law when moving forward with it. The laws can be somewhat confusing and complex. In some instances, a person who is filing for bankruptcy was not fully aware of what could and could not be done under the law to ensure the discharge is completed.

In others, the person made a mistake. In any event, when trying to get a fresh start, having legal help is paramount. Part II will discuss the remaining legal tenets that can negate a discharge during a bankruptcy proceeding.

Source: gpo.gov, "Title 11 -- Bankruptcy -- 727. Discharge, 1-5," accessed on Jan. 25, 2016

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