There are several important questions about the dischargeability of equitable distribution in Chapter 7. Firstly, is it dischargeable? This issue must be resolved before a discharge can be obtained under the Bankruptcy Code. If the answer is yes, then the dischargeability of equitable distribution is unaffected. If it is not, then it cannot be discharged under the Bankruptcy Code. However, in this article, we will examine this issue in greater depth.
In the instant case, the Debtor and his ex-spouse, Mrs. Verner, each filed an adversary proceeding seeking to establish that the debtor’s equitable distribution right had been discharged by the January 17, 2003 entry of Chapter 7. In addition, the Debtor’s counsel successfully obtained a decision in Schorr, holding that the right to equitable distribution was pre-petition and discharged by the discharge in Chapter 7.
Similarly, under the 2005 Bankruptcy Code amendments, an equitable distribution right is unaffected by a Chapter 7 discharge. Even after a bankruptcy discharge, this equitable distribution right remains viable. However, if you do not wish to pursue it in a Chapter 13 plan, it will remain in your estate. Therefore, before filing a Chapter 7 petition, be sure to understand the rules regarding equitable distribution.
The Bankruptcy Court must be notified of the debtor’s unsecured creditors that have liens on their property. Generally, the Bankruptcy Court will give the creditors an additional 180 days to file their proofs of claims. However, if the debtor has secured assets, a lien on the property may prevent the debtor from dissipating these assets. For this reason, it is important to consult an attorney when filing a chapter 7 case.