chapter 13- A group of bankruptcy laws that regulate "wage earner plans."
chapter 7- A group of bankruptcy laws that regulate "ordinary" bankruptcy.
cosign- To guarantee the repayment of someone else's debt. Although the debtor's obligation is dischargeable in bankruptcy, the cosigner's obligation is not discharged unless the cosigner declares bankruptcy.
discharge hearing- A court hearing held several months after the bankruptcy filing, at which the bankruptcy judge grants the formal forgiveness of debts.
dischargeable debt- A debt that a debtor will no longer be required to pay, because of a bankruptcy filing.
dischargeable in bankruptcy- Debts that a debtor will not be required to pay at the conclusion of a bankruptcy proceeding are "dischargeable." Spousal and child support obligations are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
meeting of creditors- A meeting held approximately one month after the bankruptcy filing, where the trustee asks the debtor questions about his or her property and debts.
non-dischargeable debt- Any obligation that cannot be wiped out in bankruptcy.
non-exempt property- Property that a debtor loses in bankruptcy. A debtor who files a Chapter 13 plan must pay creditors at least as much as the value of the nonexempt property.
trustee - The person in charge of a bankruptcy. In an ordinary Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee's duty is to gather and sell the debtor's non-exempt property and divide the sales proceeds among creditors. In a Chapter 13 wage earner's plan, the trustee's duty is to make the payments to creditors as specified in the plan.
wage earner plan - A "Chapter 13" filing with the bankruptcy court that allows the debtor to keep all of his property while attempting to repay debts in full or in part over a three-year period.
wildcard exemption - A federal bankruptcy exemption that allows a debtor to retain up to $8,075 of otherwise nonexempt property if the homestead exemption is not fully claimed.
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