11 U.S.C. § 727
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
LEGISLATIVE STATEMENTSSections 727(a) (8) and (9) of the House amendment represent a compromise between provisions contained in section 727(a)(8) of the House bill and Senate amendment. Section 727(a)(8) of the House amendment adopts section 727(a)(8) of the House bill. However, section 727(a)(9) of the House amendment contains a compromise based on section 727(a)(8) of the Senate amendment with respect to the circumstances under which a plan by way of composition under Chapter XIII of the Bankruptcy Act [chapter 13 of former title 11] should be a bar to discharge in a subsequent proceeding under title 11. The paragraph provides that a discharge under section 660 or 661 of the Bankruptcy Act [section 1060 or 1061 of former title 11] or section petition in a subsequent case, operates as a bar to discharge unless, first, payments under the plan totaled at least 100 percent of the allowed unsecured claims in the case; or second, payments under the plan totaled at least 70 percent of the allowed unsecured claims in the case and the plan was proposed by the debtor in good faith and was the debtor's best effort.It is expected that the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure will contain a provision permitting the debtor to request a determination of whether a plan is the debtor's "best effort" prior to confirmation of a plan in a case under chapter 13 of title 11. In determining whether a plan is the debtor's "best effort" the court will evaluate several factors. Different facts and circumstances in cases under chapter 13 operate to make any rule of thumb of limited usefulness. The court should balance the debtor's assets, including family income, health insurance, retirement benefits, and other wealth, a sum which is generally determinable, against the foreseeable necessary living expenses of the debtor and the debtor's dependents, which unfortunately is rarely quantifiable. In determining the expenses of the debtor and the debtor's dependents, the court should consider the stability of the debtor's employment, if any, the age of the debtor, the number of the debtor's dependents and their ages, the condition of equipment and tools necessary to the debtor's employment or to the operation of his business, and other foreseeable expenses that the debtor will be required to pay during the period of the plan, other than payments to be made to creditors under the plan.Section 727(a)(10) of the House amendment clarifies a provision contained in section 727(a)(9) of the House bill and Senate amendment indicating that a discharge may be barred if the court approves a waiver of discharge executed in writing by the debtor after the order for relief under chapter 7.Section 727(b) of the House amendment adopts a similar provision contained in the Senate amendment modifying the effect of discharge. The provision makes clear that the debtor is discharged from all debts that arose before the date of the order for relief under chapter 7 in addition to any debt which is determined under section 502 as if it were a prepetition claim. Thus, if a case is converted from chapter 11 or chapter 13 to a case under chapter 7, all debts prior to the time of conversion are discharged, in addition to debts determined after the date of conversion of a kind specified in section 502, that are to be determined as prepetition claims. This modification is particularly important with respect to an individual debtor who files a petition under chapter 11 or chapter 13 of title 11 if the case is converted to chapter 7. The logical result of the House amendment is to equate the result that obtains whether the case is converted from another chapter to chapter 7, or whether the other chapter proceeding is dismissed and a new case is commenced by filing a petition under chapter 7.of title 11 in a case commenced within 6 years before the date of the filing of the
SENATE REPORT NO. 95-989This section is the heart of the fresh start provisions of the bankruptcy law. Subsection (a) requires the court to grant a debtor a discharge unless one of nine conditions is met. The first condition is that the debtor is not an individual. This is a change from present law, under which corporations and partnerships may be discharged in liquidation cases, though they rarely are. The change in policy will avoid trafficking in corporate shells and in bankrupt partnerships. "Individual" includes a deceased individual, so that if the debtor dies during the bankruptcy case, he will nevertheless be released from his debts, and his estate will not be liable for them. Creditors will be entitled to only one satisfaction-from the bankruptcy estate and not from the probate estate.The next three grounds for denial of discharge center on the debtor's wrongdoing in or in connection with the bankruptcy case. They are derived from Bankruptcy Act §14c [section 32(c) of former title 11]. If the debtor, with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud his creditors or an officer of the estate, has transferred, removed, destroyed, mutilated, or concealed, or has permitted any such action with respect to, property of the debtor within the year preceding the case, or property of the estate after the commencement of the case, then the debtor is denied discharge. The debtor is also denied discharge if he has concealed, destroyed, mutilated, falsified, or failed to keep or preserve any books and records from which his financial condition might be ascertained, unless the act or failure to act was justified under all the circumstances of the case. The fourth ground for denial of discharge is the commission of a bankruptcy crime, although the standard of proof is preponderance of the evidence rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. These crimes include the making of a false oath or account, the use or presentation of a false claim, the giving or receiving of money for acting or forbearing to act, and the withholding from an officer of the estate entitled to possession of books and records relating to the debtor's financial affairs.The fifth ground for denial of discharge is the failure of the debtor to explain satisfactorily any loss of assets or deficiency of assets to meet the debtor's liabilities. The sixth ground concerns refusal to testify. It is a change from present law, under which the debtor may be denied discharge for legitimately exercising his right against self-incrimination. Under this provision, the debtor may be denied discharge if he refuses to obey any lawful order of the court, or if he refuses to testify after having been granted immunity or after improperly invoking the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination.The seventh ground for denial of discharge is the commission of an act specified in grounds two through six during the year before the debtor's case in connection with another bankruptcy case concerning an insider.The eighth ground for denial of discharge is derived from §14c(5) of the Bankruptcy Act [section 32(c)(5) of former title 11]. If the debtor has been granted a discharge in a case commenced within 6 years preceding the present bankruptcy case, he is denied discharge. This provision, which is no change from current law with respect to straight bankruptcy, is the 6-year bar to discharge. Discharge under chapter 11 will bar a discharge for 6 years. As under current law, confirmation of a composition wage earner plan under chapter 13 is a basis for invoking the 6-year bar.The ninth ground is approval by the court of a waiver of discharge.Subsection (b) specifies that the discharge granted under this section discharges the debtor from all debts that arose before the date of the order for relief. It is irrelevant whether or not a proof of claim was filed with respect to the debt, and whether or not the claim based on the debt was allowed.Subsection (c) permits the trustee, or a creditor, to object to discharge. It also permits the court, on request of a party in interest, to order the trustee to examine the acts and conduct of the debtor to determine whether a ground for denial of discharge exists.Subsection (d) requires the court to revoke a discharge already granted in certain circumstances. If the debtor obtained the discharge through fraud, if he acquired and concealed property of the estate, or if he refused to obey a court order or to testify, the discharge is to be revoked.Subsection (e) permits the trustee or a creditor to request revocation of a discharge within 1 year after the discharge is granted, on the grounds of fraud, and within one year of discharge or the date of the closing of the case, whichever is later, on other grounds.
REFERENCES IN TEXTThe Bankruptcy Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(7), is act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, 30 Stat. 544, which was classified generally to former Title 11.Sections 14, 371, and 476 of the Bankruptcy Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(8), are section 14 of act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, 30 Stat. 550, section 371 of act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, as added June 22, 1938, ch. 575, §1, 52 Stat. 912, and section 476 of act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, as added June 22, 1938, ch. 575, §1, 52 Stat. 924, which were classified to sections 32, 771, and 876 of former Title 11.Sections 660 and 661 of the Bankruptcy Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(9), are sections 660 and 661 of act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, as added June 22, 1938, ch. 575, §1, 52 Stat. 935, 936, which were classified to sections 1060 and 1061 of former Title 11.
AMENDMENTS2005-Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 109-8, §312(1), substituted "8 years" for "six years".Subsec. (a)(11). Pub. L. 109-8, §106(b), added par. (11).Subsec. (a)(12). Pub. L. 109-8, §330(a), added par. (12).Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 109-8, §603(d), added par. (4).1986-Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 99-554, §257(s), inserted reference to sectionof this title.Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99-554, §220, amended subsec. (c) generally, substituting "The trustee, a creditor, or the United States trustee may object" for "The trustee or a creditor may object" in par. (1).Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99-554, §220, amended subsec. (d) generally, substituting ", a creditor, or the United States trustee," for "or a creditor," in provisions preceding par. (1) and "acquisition of or entitlement to such property" for "acquisition of, or entitlement to, such property" in par. (2).Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99-554, §220, amended subsec. (e) generally, substituting "The trustee, a creditor, or the United States trustee may" for "The trustee or a creditor may" in provisions preceding par. (1), "section within" for "section, within" and "discharge is granted" for "discharge was granted" in par. (1), "section before" for "section, before" in provisions of par. (2) preceding subpar. (A), and "discharge; and" for "discharge; or" in par. (2)(A).1984-Subsec. (a)(6)(C). Pub. L. 98-353, §480(a)(1), substituted "properly" for "property".Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 98-353, §480(a)(2), inserted ", under this title or under the Bankruptcy Act," after "another case".Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 98-353, §480(a)(3), substituted "371," for "371".Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 98-353, §480(b), substituted "to the granting of a discharge" for "to discharge".Subsec. (e)(2)(A). Pub. L. 98-353, §480(c), substituted "or" for "and".
STATUTORY NOTES AND RELATED SUBSIDIARIES
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2005 AMENDMENTAmendment by section 603(d) of Pub. L. 109-8 effective 18 months after Apr. 20, 2005, see section 603(e) of Pub. L. 109-8 set out as a note under sectionof this title.Amendments by sections 106(b), 312(1), and 330(a) of Pub. L. 109-8 effective 180 days after Apr. 20, 2005, with amendments by sections 106(b) and 312(1) of Pub. L. 109-8 not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before such effective date, except as otherwise provided, and amendment by section 330(a) of Pub. L. 109-8 applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title on or after Apr. 20, 2005, see section 1501 of Pub. L. 109-8 set out as a note under section of this title.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1986 AMENDMENTAmendment by section 257 of Pub. L. 99-554 effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1986, but not applicable to cases commenced under this title before that date, see section 302(a), (c)(1) of Pub. L. 99-554 set out as a note under sectionof Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.Effective date and applicability of amendment by section 220 of Pub. L. 99-554 dependent upon the judicial district involved, see section 302(d), (e) of Pub. L. 99-554.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1984 AMENDMENTAmendment 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 sectionof this title.
- The term "claim" means-(A) right to payment, whether or not such right is reduced to judgment, liquidated, unliquidated, fixed, contingent, matured, unmatured, disputed, undisputed, legal, equitable, secured, or unsecured; or(B) right to an equitable remedy for breach of performance if such breach gives rise to a right to payment, whether or not such right to an equitable remedy is reduced to judgment, fixed, contingent, matured, unmatured, disputed, undisputed, secured, or unsecured.
- 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.
- 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.
- The term "insider" includes-(A) if the debtor is an individual-(i) relative of the debtor or of a general partner of the debtor;(ii) partnership in which the debtor is a general partner;(iii) general partner of the debtor; or(iv) corporation of which the debtor is a director, officer, or person in control;(B) if the debtor is a corporation-(i) director of the debtor;(ii) officer of the debtor;(iii) person in control of the debtor;(iv) partnership in which the debtor is a general partner;(v) general partner of the debtor; or(vi) relative of a general partner, director, officer, or person in control of the debtor;(C) if the debtor is a partnership-(i) general partner in the debtor;(ii) relative of a general partner in, general partner of, or person in control of the debtor;(iii) partnership in which the debtor is a general partner;(iv) general partner of the debtor; or(v) person in control of the debtor;(D) if the debtor is a municipality, elected official of the debtor or relative of an elected official of the debtor;(E) affiliate, or insider of an affiliate as if such affiliate were the debtor; and(F) managing agent of the debtor.
- The term "petition" means petition filed under section 301, 302, 303 and 3 1504 of this title, as the case may be, commencing a case under this title.(42A) The term "production payment" means a term overriding royalty satisfiable in cash or in kind-(A) contingent on the production of a liquid or gaseous hydrocarbon from particular real property; and(B) from a specified volume, or a specified value, from the liquid or gaseous hydrocarbon produced from such property, and determined without regard to production costs.