Problems may result from the conflict of interests between domestic relations courts and bankruptcy courts when a couple files for bankruptcy during a divorce. The conflict arises because of the differing policies between the courts. Bankruptcy courts have a policy of providing a fresh start and distributing the debtors' assets equally among all of their creditors. Family courts have a policy of equitably dividing the property between the spouses.
Although a chapter 13 debtor generally receives a discharge only after completing all payments required by the court-approved repayment plan, there are some limited circumstances under which the debtor may request the court to grant a "hardship discharge." After confirmation of a plan, there are limited circumstances under which the debtor may request the court to grant a hardship discharge even though the debtor has failed to complete plan payments.
Debtors may be able to discharge some or all of their older income tax obligations in bankruptcy. Dischargeability of these taxes turns on the question whether or not they are "priority" claims. Tax obligations that are non-priority are dischargeable.
The treatment of tax debts in bankruptcy proceedings is an attempt to reconcile two conflicting policies. The first policy concerns the government's interest in collecting taxes. The second policy concerns the fresh start that bankruptcy is to give honest debtors. Under the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor's ability to discharge any tax debt is based upon the classification of that particular tax debt.
The Bankruptcy Code governs the use, sale, or lease of property in bankruptcy. The trustee may use, sell, or lease the property of the estate other than in the ordinary course of business only after notice and a hearing. If the business of the debtor is authorized to be operated under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13, the trustee or debtor-in-possession may, without notice or hearing, use, sell, or lease property of the estate in the ordinary course of business.