In the ordinary case, a chapter 13 discharge (which eliminates personal liability on debts) is granted shortly after the completion of plan payments. A hardship discharge under 1328(b) exists as an alternative way to discharge debts in a chapter 13 case when the unexpected or unfortunate has occurred. Several requirements must be met for a hardship discharge:
A hardship discharge is a particular type chapter 13 discharge, granted under 1328(b). Unlike the standard discharge, a hardship discharge does not require completion of the chapter 13 plan. A hardship discharge can not be used if plan modification is practicable, if the debtor is accountable for the circumstances that caused failure of the plan, of if the plan has not paid to unsecured creditors at least what they would have received in a chapter 7.