A non-dischargable debt is one in which Congress has determined that the debtor must pay and may not be forgiven, or "discharged", during the bankruptcy process. Bankruptcy filed under chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13 each prohibit certain types of debt from being discharged. Depending on the chapter in which bankruptcy is filed, the types of debts that are dischargable vs. non-dischargable vary. For example, chapter 13 allows a more broad set of dischargable debts than chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The most common types of debt that cannot be discharged are child support; spousal alimony; debt to the government including student loans, tax bills, and penalties; some housing or condo fees; debts owed to someone because of a injury caused by drunk driving or cruel actions; some retirement plan debts; and debts incurred due to divorce.
Creditors may oppose the discharge of some debts during the bankruptcy process, and he must prove that the person or process has been violated to get a supportive ruling for disallowing the discharge. The opposition filing must meet the court's deadlines.
A discharge may be revoked if the trustee or creditor proves that the debtor obtained the discharge under fraudulent circumstances. The court would review the claim and circumstances to determine if there is a justified reason for the revocation of the discharge.
Bankruptcy is a way to start fresh from overwhelming debt, but it is not a method to get rid of all debts.