Dischargeability Challenges

Bankruptcy Litigation Sub-AreasThe bankruptcy litigators at Mark Anchor Albert and Associates are your optimal choice as counsel to effectively prosecute and defend dischargeability challenges in bankruptcy court.

Many different types of debts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Under Section 523(a), the following debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy:

  1. debts for certain taxes and customs duties;
  2. debts arising from false pretenses or misrepresentations;
  3. debts knowingly and intentionally not listed by the debtor on its required schedules;
  4. debts for fraud or defalcation by fiduciaries;
  5. debts for spousal or child support;
  6. debts arising from certain willful and malicious torts;
  7. debts relating to certain types of fines, penalties, and forfeitures;
  8. debts for government-guaranteed student loans;
  9. debts for death or personal injury caused by an intoxicated debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft;
  10. debts that were the subject or should have been the subject of a prior bankruptcy proceeding;
  11. debts arising from fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity committed with respect to any depository institution or insured credit union;
  12. debts for malicious or reckless failure to fulfill maintain the capital of an insured depository institution;
  13. debts for payment of restitution under title 18, United States Code;
  14. debts incurred to pay a tax to the United States that would be nondischargeable pursuant to paragraph (1), to pay a tax to any other governmental unit that would be nondischargeable under paragraph (1), or to pay fines or penalties imposed under Federal election law;
  15. debts to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor that are not of the kind described in paragraph (5) in the course of a divorce proceeding;
  16. debts for certain fees or assessments relating to a cooperative corporation, condominium or homeowners association;
  17. debts for certain fees imposed on prisoners for legal filings;
  18. debts owed to certain pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus, and other retirement/pension plans; and
  19. debts arising from securities fraud.

The standard of proof for exceptions to discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a) is “the ordinary preponderance of the evidence standard.” Grogan v. Garner (1991) 498 U.S. 279, 291; Rembert v. AT & T Universal Card Services, Inc. (In re Rembert) (6th Cir. 1998) 141 F.3d 277, 281. “In order to except a debt from discharge, a creditor must prove each of [the] elements [of nondischargeability] by a preponderance of the evidence.” In re Rembert, 141 F.3d at 281 (citations omitted). “Further, exceptions to discharge are to be strictly construed against the creditor[,]” and instead “are to be strictly construed in favor of the debtor.” United States v. Hindenlang (In re Hindenlang) (6th Cir. 1999) 164 F.3d 1029, 1034 (citation omitted).