There are numerous decisions that go into filing for bankruptcy and completing the process successfully. It seems odd that someone would enter bankruptcy and not have their debts discharged, but there are cases in which the cases are dismissed instead.
The bankruptcy court may order an involuntary dismissal of the debts if the debtor fails to complete the necessary requirements or fraud is suspected. In other cases, a debtor may choose to have their case dismissed through a voluntary dismissal. Voluntary dismissals are usually due to a decision of the filer not seek bankruptcy protection and attempt to resolve their debts on their own.
Chapter 13 and Voluntary Dismissals
When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the intent is to develop a repayment plan with creditors that allows for debts to be repaid in a manner that suits the budget of the debtor. Sometimes people are able to negotiate with their creditors without the need for bankruptcy, leading them to request a voluntary dismissal. Other reasons for requesting a voluntary dismissal is finding out a debt is not dischargeable through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, obtaining adequate employment or income to repay the debts outside of bankruptcy.
In general, voluntary dismissals are a good thing. However, having the bankruptcy status removed from a credit report is not always easy. It may take several months, lots of communication between the court and creditors, and multiple legal requests before the approval to have the bankruptcy status removed from a credit report is granted; even then there is no guarantee.