Pennsylvania residents considering or undergoing a bankruptcy might wonder how a discharged debt might affect their lives. There might be concerns about how a discharged debt might affect the debtor's employment or if a debtor can or must pay back a discharged debt.
As far as employment is concerned, employers in both private companies and public entities are prohibited from discriminating against employees or potential employees who have undergone bankruptcy procedures and have unpaid, discharged debt. This means that this type of information cannot be used against an individual in relation to employment or when a license, franchise or similar type of agreement is being renewed.
Debtors might also find themselves in situations where a creditor attempts to collect a discharged debt. Legally, a creditor is not allowed take actions to collect a discharged debt, therefore a debtor who ends up in this situation can petition the court to open the bankruptcy case again to deal with the collection action. Courts will often reopen the case to ensure that the creditor does not violate the discharge since a discharge is a permanent injunction prohibiting a creditor from taking any type of action, including filing a lawsuit, to attempt to collect on the debt.
A debtor might also want to pay back a debt after it has been discharged. Though a discharged debt does not have to be paid, there might be circumstances when a debtor chooses to pay back the debt. These circumstances can include paying back a debt that was owed to a relative or to someone who is important to the debtor. When taking action regarding debts after a bankruptcy discharge it may be beneficial to discuss the matters with a lawyer who may be able to explain a person's rights and represent their interests during proceedings.