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cfortunato
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Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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Person A personally guaranteed a specific debt to Person B.

Customer Question

Person A personally guaranteed a specific debt to Person B. Person B then declares bankruptcy and has said obligation discharged. Is Person A still obligated to pay that debt?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 2 years ago.

cfortunato :

Hi JACustomer,

Customer :

Hello, did you see my question?

cfortunato :

Does Person A owe the money to Person B, or is the money owed to someone else?

cfortunato :

You said "a specific debt to Person B" - which sounds like the money is owed to B.

cfortunato :

But then you said B's obligation is discharged - which sounds like the money is not owed to B, but to someone else.

Customer :

More specifically, I guaranteed my girlfriend's debt to her divorce lawyers in order to facilitate a refinance of her house. Not that it matters, but no acrimony between us. She now is looking at filing but I am concerned that the debt will fall to me even it is discharged. In consulting with BK counsel, she was told that this specific debt would likely be discharged.

Customer :

Does that make sense?

cfortunato :

Thank you for your response.

cfortunato :

If A guaranteed this debt, only B's obligation to pay it will be discharged in a Bankruptcy - A will still be responsible for paying the debt.

Customer :

Thanks, not what I was hoping to hear.

cfortunato :

You're welcome - and I'm sorry I could not provide better news.

Customer :

So the debt still exists, it's only the obligation that is discharged?

cfortunato :

Yes - debt always exists until it is paid. Discharge relieves the debtor's legal obligation to pay the debt, but the debt still exists. In other words, the debtor can still pay the debt even though he does not have to.

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