A Chapter 7 filing should have no effect on such collections.
Although filing bankruptcy stops, or stays, all efforts to collect debts, the Bankruptcy Code excludes actions to collect child support or spousal maintenance from the stay unless the creditor attempts to collect from the property of the estate. In a Chapter 7 proceeding, property of the estate includes all possessions, money and interests the debtor owns at the time he or she files. Money earned after the bankruptcy is filed, however, is not property of the estate. Since most child and spousal support is paid out of the debtor’s current income, the bankruptcy should have little impact.
A debtor under Chapter 13 must pay all domestic support obligations that fall due after the petition is filed. Failure to do so could result in dismissal of the case.
Neither a Chapter 7 nor a Chapter 13 discharge affects future child or spousal support obligations. In other words, even at the conclusion of the bankruptcy proceeding, these ongoing obligations remain.
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