When does the discharge
The timing of the discharge varies, depending on the chapter under which the case is
filed. In a chapter 7 (liquidation) case, for example, the court usually grants the discharge promptly on
expiration of the time fixed for filing a complaint objecting to discharge and the time fixed for filing a motion
to dismiss the case for substantial abuse (60 days following the first date set for the creditors' meeting).
Typically, this occurs about four months after the date the debtor files the petition with the clerk of the
In individual chapter 11 cases, and in cases under chapter 12 (adjustment of debts of a
family farmer or fisherman) and 13 (adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income), the court generally
grants the discharge as soon as practicable after the debtor completes all payments under the plan.
Since a chapter 12 or chapter 13 plan may provide for payments to be made over three to
five years, the discharge typically occurs about four years after the date of filing. The court may deny an
individual debtor's discharge in a chapter 7 or 13 case if the debtor fails to complete "an instructional course
concerning financial management."
The Bankruptcy Code provides limited exceptions to the "financial management" requirement
if the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator determines there are inadequate educational programs available, or
if the debtor is disabled or incapacitated or on active military duty in a combat zone.
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