The answer differs depending on the nature of the debt and under which chapter the bankruptcy case was filed.
I. The Key Exception To Discharge
The key provision of the Bankruptcy Code that we use to answer the question is 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(3), which states (with emphasis added):
A dischargeunder section 727, 1141, 1228 (a), 1228 (b), or 1328 (b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt— . . . neither listed nor scheduled under section 521 (a)(1) of this title, with the name, if known to the debtor, of the creditor to whom such debt is owed, in time to permit—
(A) if such debt is not of a kind specified in paragraph (2), (4), or (6) of this subsection, timely filing of a proof of claim, unless such creditor had notice or actual knowledge of the case in time for such timely filing; or
(B) if such debt is of a kind specified in paragraph (2), (4), or (6) of this subsection, timely filing of a proof of claim and timely request for a determination of dischargeability of such debt under one of such paragraphs, unless such creditor had notice or actual knowledge of the case in time for such timely filing and request;
If you’re not used to reading statutory language you may naturally ask: What does all of this mean? One thing is clear: this statutory provision concerns debts that were “neither listed nor scheduled” in the bankruptcy papers “in time to permit . . .” But to permit what? There are two things that the creditor would have been able to do in a timely fashion if the debt had been properly scheduled, but cannot because of the oversight.
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