Chapter 13 debtors who experienced a reduction in income immediately preceding the filing of their bankruptcy petition proposed to pay unsecured creditors less than the distribution required under the means test. The trustee opposed confirmation of the plan. The court determined that the term "projected disposable income" should not always be based solely on a historical perspective of income from Form B22C alone, but rather other evidence could be considered when a debtor experiences a significant change in circumstances reducing income at or around the time of the bankruptcy filing.
After the chapter 13 debtors defaulted under the terms of their prepetition lease and the automatic stay was lifted, the vehicle was repossessed by the creditor and sold. The creditor asserted an administrative claim for the amounts remaining due under the lease. The court granted the creditor’s motion, finding the obligation was beneficial to the estate.
Neary, UST v. Debtor (In re Stacie Happel) - Prior to filing her bankruptcy petition, debtor became involved in a business relationship in which her and her “partner” would execute fraudulent loan applications in order to buy residential properties in the Milwaukee area. Title was put in the debtor’s name only, and her “partner” handled everything else. Under the scheme, she received funds from him in order to artificially inflate her bank account and obtain approval of mortgage loans. Immediately after the loans were approved, the funds were removed and returned to her partner. Neither this partnership, the subsequent sale of these various properties, nor the proceeds thereof were disclosed on the debtor’s schedules. The UST objected to a discharge being granted to the debtor based upon §§ 727(a)(3) and 727(a)(4)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code. The court concluded that in failing to include key information in her schedules, the debtor demonstrated a reckless disregard for the truth, sufficient to bar a discharge. The court also found that a denial of debtor’s discharge was warranted based on her failure to keep or preserve business records. The court concluded that while debtor may not have been sophisticated in business dealings and was taken advantage of by her partner, she was not an innocent victim.
Creditor objected to confirmation of debtor's amended chapter 13 plan. Creditor contended that debtor improperly calculated both her housing and transportation expenses and failed to apply all of their disposable income to the plan. The debtor's actual monthly housing expense was $640, but she deducted the entire monthly housing allowance of $712 specified in the Local Standards. The debtor's actual monthly transportation expense totaled $95, but she deducted the $471 specified in the Local Standards monthly transportation allowance. The court found that the expenses in the Local Standards are fixed expenses and apply even if a debtor's actual expenses are lower than the Local Standard allowance. Accordingly, the court overruled creditor's objection to debtor's amended plan.
When the Court denies a serial debtor's motion to continue the stay pursuant to section 362(c)(3), the stay terminates as to the property of the estate, and not just as to the property of the debtor.
Below-median income chapter 13 debtor's plan, which proposed to limit contribution of one half of debtor's tax refunds to the first three years of the plan and use the funds to shorten the length of the plan, was not proposed in good faith.