In a bankruptcy petition filed under Chapter 7, a debtor is seeking to obtain a discharge of outstanding debt. The discharge serves as a permanent injunction against otherwise potential collection action for debt incurred prior to the bankruptcy. In essence, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge allows a debtor to proceed forward without financial turmoil, thereby providing the debtor an opportunity for a fresh start.
Most debts are dischargeable, such as credit cards, bank loans, court judgments and medical bills. Debt categorized by the bankruptcy law as non-dischargeable includes certain types of tax debt, most student loans, government fines, restitution for outstanding child and spousal support, and debts incurred from criminal or fraudulent conduct.