A chapter 13 bankruptcy debtor receives his "discharge" of debt in a chapter 13 case after a person completes making his payments under his chapter 13 plan. Chapter 13 plan are generally three to five years in length. Generally the types of debt that are dischargeable in a chapter 13 case are the same as those in a chapter 7 case, but there are certain debts that are dischargeable in a chapter 13 case that are not dischargeable in a chapter 7 case.
A chapter 13 debtor that is unable to complete his chapter 13 plan payment for reasons beyond his control may be eligible for a "hardship discharge." In order to obtain a hardship discharge, certain requirements must be met such as to the amount paid under the plan and the circumstances of the debtor's situation.