A Chapter 12 hardship discharge may only be granted if the unsecured creditors have received at least as much as they would have received through a Chapter 7 liquidation and if modification of the plan is not feasible.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing may be converted into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. One common reason for converting from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 is a petitioner’s inability to stay current in the Chapter 13 repayment plan. A petitioner may not convert a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 if the petitioner has already received a Chapter 7 discharge within the previous 6 years.
A trustee in bankruptcy may avoid certain statutory liens, fraudulent transfers, as well as preferences. The Bankruptcy Code provides that certain transfers made by a debtor within close proximity of bankruptcy are preferential to the recipient and violate the Bankruptcy Code’s policy of equal treatment of creditors. The elements of a so-called “preference” or “preferential transfer” are easy for a trustee in bankruptcy to prove. The defenses available to the creditor are limited and the cost to litigate can be high.
Secured claims include liens, security interests, security agreements, and secured claims. An allowed claim secured by a lien on property in which the estate has an interest, or that is subject to setoff, is a secured claim to the extent of the value of the creditor’s interest in the estate’s interest in the property or the amount subject to setoff. A secured claim carries the right to adequate protection of collateral. Unavoided liens survive bankruptcy but circumstances may demand action by a secured creditor to protect the lien.
Bankruptcy Appellate Panels or “BAPs”