Category Archives: Chapter 13

Early Chapter 13 Plan Payoff Allowed

A recent  decision  also found that a chapter 13 debtor in a 5-year payment plan could payoff the balance of the plan early to end the bankruptcy and obtain the discharge. Miami bankruptcy Judge Mark in In re Nelson Gonzalez,  Case No. 11-16677 (November 17, 2014)(DE 155). The rule as interpreted for a Florida Chapter 13 is that an over-median income debtor must file a chapter 13 plan with a term of 5 years. (under median can be a three year period ). This is based on a technical interpretation of the statute as to “an applicable committment period”.   The 11th Circuit has previously ruled that the 5 year plan is necessary for confirmation for an over median income debtor.  However, what if after confirmation the debtor wants to modify a chapter 13 plan to pay if off early?  Judge permitted the modified plan for an early payoff and…
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Child Support Income and Bankruptcy

Child support income in bankruptcy can raise some tricky issues.  I recently posted a blog on social security and bankruptcy, and there are some related issues.  A recent case may help debtors in chapter 13 not to have to use their child support income. Child support income is included in the chapter 7 means test (unlike social security).  The child support income, together perhaps with other income, might show that the debtor is not eligible for chapter 7 (there is a presumption of abuse).  However, in chapter 13, child support income is deducted from the total income.  This could actually show that the chapter 13 means test would show that no payments are required in the chapter 13 though the chapter 7 means test would require a chapter 13. Bankruptcy attorneys must evaluate not only the means test income, but what I call the “real budget” as reflected on Schedule…
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Fort Lauderdale Bare Legal Title Decision on Real Estate

I successfully represented the debtor in a Fort Lauderdale chapter 13 involving the debtor’s claim that real estate was owned by the debtor merely as bare legal title.     In re Pengos, Case No. 14-13586 DE 64. (Southern District of Florida) Judge Raymond B. Ray held that based on the facts of this case, the debtor who was on the title to real estate only held an interest as bare legal title (so the debtor did not have to include the value of the property in her chapter 13 plan payments).  We submitted clear and convincing evidence that the debtor never had any interest or contributed any funds towards the property.  The debtor merely bought the property in her name to obtain a mortgage while her mother, who was moving to this property, sold  her home and used her funds to payoff the mortgage obtained by the debtor on the…
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