The United States Bankruptcy Code generally seeks to provide debtors with a “fresh start” and “a new opportunity in life with a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of pre-existing debt.” See Alibatya v. New York Univ. (In re Alibatya), 178 B.R. 335, 337 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. 1995). However, Congress has set forth a laundry list of debts which may not be discharged through the bankruptcy process on the grounds that the “creditors’ interest in recovering full payment of debts in these categories outweigh[] the debtors’ interest in a complete fresh start.” See id. These exceptions however should be “narrowly construed against the creditor and in favor of the debtor” because the Bankruptcy Code favors dischargeability. See id. (citing, inter alia, Boyle v. Abilene Lumber, Inc. (In re Boyle), 819 F.2d 583, 588 (5 th Cir. 1987)).

The laundry list of debts which cannot be discharged includes debts arising from the following circumstances, among others: (1) a tax or customs duty; (2) money, property, services, or an extension, renewal, or financing of credit to the extent obtained by false pretenses, false representations, or actual fraud; (3) for fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity, embezzlement, or larceny; (4) a domestic support obligation; (5) for willful and malicious injury to another entity or its property; (6) to the extent such debt is for a fine, penalty, or forfeiture payable to and for the benefit of a governmental unit, and is not compensation for actual pecuniary loss, other than a tax penalty; and (7) for death or personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated. See 11 U.S.C.S. § 523.

Bankruptcy can be a complicated matter dealing with heavy financial and legal obligations that have strict deadlines. Therefore, The Werner Law Group has an experienced CPA as our senior bankruptcy paralegal who works alongside Leslie during our bankruptcy cases. For your bankruptcy needs, trust the combined 78 years of experience from attorney Leslie A. Werner and CPA James (Jim) Hoffman.