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To liberate or free; to terminate or extinguish. A discharge is the act or instrument by which a contract or agreement is ended. A mortgage is discharged if it has been carried out to the full extent originally contemplated or terminated prior to total execution.

Discharge also means to release, as from legal confinement in prison or the military service, or from some legal obligation such as jury duty, or the payment of debts by a person who is bankrupt. The document that indicates that an individual has been legally released from the military service is called a discharge.

The performance of a duty discharges it. An attorney may speak of discharging a legal obligation.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


v. 1) to perform one's duties. 2) to dismiss someone from a job. 3) to pay one's debts or obligations. 4) in bankruptcy, to issue an order of the court that all debts (with certain statutory exceptions) are forgiven and need not be paid.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


1 in any obligation, the termination of that obligation without liability on either party. In the Scots law of contract, discharge maybe by performance or novation, compensation, confusion, acceptance payment or delegation.
2 in the law of NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS a bill of exchange is discharged when all rights of action thereon are extinguished. It then ceases to be negotiable, and if it subsequently comes into the hands of a holder in due course he acquires no right of action on the instrument. A bill is discharged by payment in due course.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

DISCHARGE, practice. The act by which a person in confinement, under some legal process, or held on an accusation of some crime or misdemeanor, is set at liberty; the writing containing the order for his being so set at liberty, is also called a discharge.
     2. The discharge of a defendant, in prison under a ca. sa., when made by the plaintiff, has the operation of satisfying the debt, the plaintiff having no other remedy. 4 T. R. 526. But when the discharge is in consequence of the insolvent laws, or the defendant dies in prison, the debt is not satisfied. In the first place the plaintiff has a remedy against the property of the defendant, acquired after his discharge, and, in the last case, against the executors or administrators of the debtor. Bac. Ab. Execution, D; Bingh. on Execution, 266.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
29, 2016, https://getoutofdebt.org/100708/private-student-loan-may-able-eliminated-bankruptcy (lamenting "the vast number of people who continue to believe that student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, yet many are.
11 or by nonresidential property owner's associations remain dischargeable notwithstanding [section]523(a)(16).
BAPCPA was a pay supplement concerning PSLs initiated before it was established, as the borrowers were assessed for creditworthiness (Popescu Ljungholm, 2016a, b) and received their loans when they apparently comprised a supplementary expense being dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Conway then appealed the bankruptcy court's decision that some, but not all, of her student loans were dischargeable to the BAP, seeking to have the remaining student loan debts discharged.
This article proposes a way that may assist in the needed effort to allow federal student loans to be dischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings.
at 271 (arguing that student loans should be changed from non-dischargeable to dischargeable status, and that Chapter 7 should still be available for those needing a fresh start, creating a more debtor-friendly Code while forcing banks to curtail any predatory pricing strategies).
"Lenders might be more at ease knowing private student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy because they know they'll get the money back.
Information on dischargeable GW is important in catchments where a substantial proportion of annual stream flow is via GW base-flow discharge, particularly for the estimation of GW-associated contaminant export to surface water bodies (Johannes 1980; Moore 1999; Beaujouan et al.
The debtor receives a discharge of all dischargeable debts, usually within four months.
Around 60 (some 240 still at the camp) are thought to be "dischargeable," ie they have been cleared by the US judicial system but cannot return to their home country where they face the threat of imprisonment without a trial or even execution.