What does it mean to bankrupt or discharge a debt?

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Many people refer to getting rid of their debts in bankruptcy as “bankrupting” the debt. They often ask “can I bankrupt this debt?” They also ask can I “go bankruptcy?” That is incorrect terminology. The legal term for this is “discharge”. What happens in bankruptcy (assuming you are successful) is that your legal obligation to pay on your debt will be discharged. Debts are never technically eliminated. They still exist after a bankruptcy, but you no longer have the legal obligation to pay on the ones that are discharged (or, bankrupted if you prefer).


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