Bankruptcy can help an overburdened debtor wipe the slate clean and start over. Except for some debts, that is, which may be difficult or impossible to discharge via bankruptcy.

Personal bankruptcies have declined by nearly half from a recession-inflated peak of 1.5 million in 2010 to 770,000 in 2016, according to a count by the American Bankruptcy Institute. But while an improving economy has helped reduce the incidence of bankruptcy, one thing that hasn’t changed is the difficulty of discharging some common kinds of debts.

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