A significant portion of Nashville residents may presume that bankruptcy laws are misused. This likely comes from stories of celebrities or other people who are perceived to be "well to do" filing for bankruptcy yet continuing to enjoy seemingly lavish lifestyles. The truth, however, is that several regulations are in place to keep people who might be trying to use a personal bankruptcy for uses other than what it has been intended from doing so.
Chapter 7 filings are by far the most popular form of personal bankruptcy (with the American Bankruptcy Institute showing 472,190 of such cases being filed in 2017 alone). The main reason this particular type of bankruptcy is popular is because it allows certain types of debts to be discharged, freeing a debtor from having to settle them. This may be attractive for those who simply do not have the resources to meet all of their liabilities. Yet a discharge does not necessarily mean that a debt is gone forever.
The court can indeed revoke a discharge even after a bankruptcy case is closed. In such a case, the debtor would once again be obligated to pay the debt. According to the website for the United States Courts, circumstances that would warrant the court revoking a discharge include:
- The debtor obtained the discharge fraudulently
- The debtor failed to disclose that he or she acquired property that should have been included in the bankruptcy estate
- The debtor failed to adequately explain misstatements or provide evidence asked for during an audit of the bankruptcy case
The commission of any debtor improprieties outlined in Section 727(a)(6) of the federal Bankruptcy Code could also result in a revocation. Typically, a party wanting a discharge to be revoked must file the request to do so within one year of the case's discharge date.