As a Glen Ellyn bankruptcy attorney, I realize that some debts are not dischargeable. Debts such as student loans, recent taxes, parking tickets, child support, alimony, and debts incurred through some sort of fraud. Those debts are not eliminated when you receive your discharge order. It is only the debts that can be eliminated such as medical bills, personal loans, credit cards, utilities and debts for just about any other type of service; those are easily eliminated in a Chapter 7.
I recommend that you keep your discharge order in a real safe place and make photocopies of it. On occasion, you might come in contact with a creditor who is trying to collect on a debt that was eliminated in your bankruptcy claim. Although it technically is a violation of the discharge order, it is usually an innocent violation. Creditors sell the right to collect two different collection agencies and different creditors on a daily basis. Your name or your debt might have fallen into the hands of someone who is not yet aware of your bankruptcy. By making a copy of your discharge order, you can simply photocopy it and send it to that creditor and believe me, they will stop. A creditor does not want to be collecting or attempting to collect on a debt that has been discharged in bankruptcy as it is a clear violation of the Illinois bankruptcy discharge injunction.
You also want to keep a copy of your discharge order to dispute items that may appear on your credit report after your case is discharge. I recommend that you pull your credit report at least once a year. You can go to www.annualcreditreport.com to receive a copy of all three of your credit bureaus for free once a year. You could also pull one every four months, that way you could stay completely current throughout the year. By examining at least one of your credit reports every four months for free.
If you see information on that credit report that is not true or information that should have been eliminated in the individual bankruptcy and it’s not indicated as such, then send a copy of your discharge order to that creditor and to the credit bureau disputing the validity of that debt. The credit bureau will then contact the creditor to determine whether or not that debt is due and owing. If the creditor does not respond to the credit bureau within 30 days stating the validity of the debt, then it will be eliminated. So keeping a copy of your discharge is very important to stop future creditors from trying to collect on all debts and it’s also important to dispute information on your credit bureau that might be inaccurate. You also want to keep it just in case for reference if you ever want to know when you actually filed and what your case number is. Some applications will ask if you ever filed for bankruptcy and they will ask for information about it. If you lose the paperwork, it is likely that your Chicago bankruptcy lawyer will be able to provide you with an additional copy.