11 U.S.C. § 525

Current through P.L. 116-21 (6/12/2019)
Section 525 - Protection against discriminatory treatment
(a) Except as provided in the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930, the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, and section 1 of the Act entitled "An Act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1944, and for other purposes," approved July 12, 1943, a governmental unit may not deny, revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a license, permit, charter, franchise, or other similar grant to, condition such a grant to, discriminate with respect to such a grant against, deny employment to, terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against, a person that is or has been a debtor under this title or a bankrupt or a debtor under the Bankruptcy Act, or another person with whom such bankrupt or debtor has been associated, solely because such bankrupt or debtor is or has been a debtor under this title or a bankrupt or debtor under the Bankruptcy Act, has been insolvent before the commencement of the case under this title, or during the case but before the debtor is granted or denied a discharge, or has not paid a debt that is dischargeable in the case under this title or that was discharged under the Bankruptcy Act.
(b) No private employer may terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against, an individual who is or has been a debtor under this title, a debtor or bankrupt under the Bankruptcy Act, or an individual associated with such debtor or bankrupt, solely because such debtor or bankrupt-
(1) is or has been a debtor under this title or a debtor or bankrupt under the Bankruptcy Act;
(2) has been insolvent before the commencement of a case under this title or during the case but before the grant or denial of a discharge; or
(3) has not paid a debt that is dischargeable in a case under this title or that was discharged under the Bankruptcy Act.
(c)
(1) A governmental unit that operates a student grant or loan program and a person engaged in a business that includes the making of loans guaranteed or insured under a student loan program may not deny a student grant, loan, loan guarantee, or loan insurance to a person that is or has been a debtor under this title or a bankrupt or debtor under the Bankruptcy Act, or another person with whom the debtor or bankrupt has been associated, because the debtor or bankrupt is or has been a debtor under this title or a bankrupt or debtor under the Bankruptcy Act, has been insolvent before the commencement of a case under this title or during the pendency of the case but before the debtor is granted or denied a discharge, or has not paid a debt that is dischargeable in the case under this title or that was discharged under the Bankruptcy Act.
(2) In this section, "student loan program" means any program operated under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 or a similar program operated under State or local law.

11 U.S.C. § 525

Pub. L. 95-598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2593; Pub. L. 98-353, title III, §309, July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 354; Pub. L. 103-394, title III, §313, title V, §501(d)(15), Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4140, 4145; Pub. L. 109-8, title XII, §1211, Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 194.

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES

SENATE REPORT NO. 95-989 This section is additional debtor protection. It codifies the result of Perez v. Campbell, 402 U.S. 637 (1971), which held that a State would frustrate the Congressional policy of a fresh start for a debtor if it were permitted to refuse to renew a drivers license because a tort judgment resulting from an automobile accident had been unpaid as a result of a discharge in bankruptcy.Notwithstanding any other laws, section 525 prohibits a governmental unit from denying, revoking, suspending, or refusing to renew a license, permit, charter, franchise, or other similar grant to, from conditioning such a grant to, from discrimination with respect to such a grant against, deny employment to, terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against, a person that is or has been a debtor or that is or has been associated with a debtor. The prohibition extends only to discrimination or other action based solely on the basis of the bankruptcy, on the basis of insolvency before or during bankruptcy prior to a determination of discharge, or on the basis of nonpayment of a debt discharged in the bankruptcy case (the Perez situation). It does not prohibit consideration of other factors, such as future financial responsibility or ability, and does not prohibit imposition of requirements such as net capital rules, if applied nondiscriminatorily. In addition, the section is not exhaustive. The enumeration of various forms of discrimination against former bankrupts is not intended to permit other forms of discrimination. The courts have been developing the Perez rule. This section permits further development to prohibit actions by governmental or quasi-governmental organizations that perform licensing functions, such as a State bar association or a medical society, or by other organizations that can seriously affect the debtors' livelihood or fresh start, such as exclusion from a union on the basis of discharge of a debt to the union's credit union.The effect of the section, and of further interpretations of the Perez rule, is to strengthen the anti-reaffirmation policy found in section 524(b). Discrimination based solely on nonpayment could encourage reaffirmations, contrary to the expressed policy.The section is not so broad as a comparable section proposed by the Bankruptcy Commission, S. 236, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. §4-508 (1975), which would have extended the prohibition to any discrimination, even by private parties. Nevertheless, it is not limiting either, as noted. The courts will continue to mark the contours of the anti-discrimination provision in pursuit of sound bankruptcy policy.

REFERENCES IN TEXT The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930, referred to in subsec. (a), is act June 10, 1930, ch. 436, 46 Stat. 531, which is classified generally to chapter 20A (§499a et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 499a(a) of Title 7 and Tables.The Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, referred to in subsec. (a), is act Aug. 15, 1921, ch. 64, 42 Stat. 159, which is classified generally to chapter 9 (§181 et seq.) of Title 7. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 181 of Title 7 and Tables.Section 1 of the Act entitled "An Act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1944, and for other purposes," approved July 12, 1943, referred to in subsec. (a), is classified to section 204 of Title 7. The Bankruptcy Act, referred to in text, is act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, 30 Stat. 544, as amended, which was classified generally to former Title 11.The Higher Education Act of 1965, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), is Pub. L. 89-329, Nov. 8, 1965, 79 Stat. 1219. Title IV of the Act is classified generally to subchapter IV (§1070 et seq.) of chapter 28 of Title 20, Education. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1001 of Title 20 and Tables.

AMENDMENTS 2005-Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 109-8, §1211(1), inserted "student" before "grant, loan,".Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 109-8, §1211(2), substituted "any program operated under" for "the program operated under part B, D, or E of".1994-Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103-394, §501(d)(15), struck out "( 7 U.S.C. 499a-499s )" after "Act, 1930", "( 7 U.S.C. 181-229 )" after "Act, 1921", and "(57 Stat. 422; 7 U.S.C. 204 )" after "July 12, 1943". Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103-394, §313, added subsec. (c).1984- Pub. L. 98-353designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted "the" before "Perishable", and added subsec. (b).

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2005 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 109-8 effective 180 days after Apr. 20, 2005, and not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before such effective date, except as otherwise provided, see section 1501 of Pub. L. 109-8 set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1994 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 103-394 effective Oct. 22, 1994, and not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before Oct. 22, 1994, see section 702 of Pub. L. 103-394 set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1984 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 98-353 effective with respect to cases filed 90 days after July 10, 1984, see section 552(a) of Pub. L. 98-353 set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

debt
The term "debt" means liability on a claim. (12A) The term "debt relief agency" means any person who provides any bankruptcy assistance to an assisted person in return for the payment of money or other valuable consideration, or who is a bankruptcy petition preparer under section 110, but does not include- (A) any person who is an officer, director, employee, or agent of a person who provides such assistance or of the bankruptcy petition preparer; (B) a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; (C) a creditor of such assisted person, to the extent that the creditor is assisting such assisted person to restructure any debt owed by such assisted person to the creditor; (D) a depository institution (as defined in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act) or any Federal credit union or State credit union (as those terms are defined in section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act), or any affiliate or subsidiary of such depository institution or credit union; or (E) an author, publisher, distributor, or seller of works subject to copyright protection under title 17, when acting in such capacity.
debtor
The term "debtor" means person or municipality concerning which a case under this title has been commenced. (13A) The term "debtor's principal residence"- (A) means a residential structure if used as the principal residence by the debtor, including incidental property, without regard to whether that structure is attached to real property; and (B) includes an individual condominium or cooperative unit, a mobile or manufactured home, or trailer if used as the principal residence by the debtor.
governmental unit
The term "governmental unit" means United States; State; Commonwealth; District; Territory; municipality; foreign state; department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States (but not a United States trustee while serving as a trustee in a case under this title), a State, a Commonwealth, a District, a Territory, a municipality, or a foreign state; or other foreign or domestic government. (27A) The term "health care business"- (A) means any public or private entity (without regard to whether that entity is organized for profit or not for profit) that is primarily engaged in offering to the general public facilities and services for- (i) the diagnosis or treatment of injury, deformity, or disease; and (ii) surgical, drug treatment, psychiatric, or obstetric care; and (B) includes- (i) any- (I) general or specialized hospital; (II) ancillary ambulatory, emergency, or surgical treatment facility; (III) hospice; (IV) home health agency; and (V) other health care institution that is similar to an entity referred to in subclause (I), (II), (III), or (IV); and (ii) any long-term care facility, including any- (I) skilled nursing facility; (II) intermediate care facility; (III) assisted living facility; (IV) home for the aged; (V) domiciliary care facility; and (VI) health care institution that is related to a facility referred to in subclause (I), (II), (III), (IV), or (V), if that institution is primarily engaged in offering room, board, laundry, or personal assistance with activities of daily living and incidentals to activities of daily living. (27B) The term "incidental property" means, with respect to a debtor's principal residence- (A) property commonly conveyed with a principal residence in the area where the real property is located; (B) all easements, rights, appurtenances, fixtures, rents, royalties, mineral rights, oil or gas rights or profits, water rights, escrow funds, or insurance proceeds; and (C) all replacements or additions.
insolvent
The term "insolvent" means- (A) with reference to an entity other than a partnership and a municipality, financial condition such that the sum of such entity's debts is greater than all of such entity's property, at a fair valuation, exclusive of- (i) property transferred, concealed, or removed with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud such entity's creditors; and (ii) property that may be exempted from property of the estate under section 522 of this title; (B) with reference to a partnership, financial condition such that the sum of such partnership's debts is greater than the aggregate of, at a fair valuation- (i) all of such partnership's property, exclusive of property of the kind specified in subparagraph (A)(i) of this paragraph; and (ii) the sum of the excess of the value of each general partner's nonpartnership property, exclusive of property of the kind specified in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, over such partner's nonpartnership debts; and (C) with reference to a municipality, financial condition such that the municipality is- (i) generally not paying its debts as they become due unless such debts are the subject of a bona fide dispute; or (ii) unable to pay its debts as they become due.