[USC02] 11 USC CHAPTER 5, SUBCHAPTER II: DEBTOR'S DUTIES AND BENEFITS
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11 USC CHAPTER 5, SUBCHAPTER II: DEBTOR'S DUTIES AND BENEFITS
From Title 11—BANKRUPTCYCHAPTER 5—CREDITORS, THE DEBTOR, AND THE ESTATE

SUBCHAPTER II—DEBTOR'S DUTIES AND BENEFITS

§521. Debtor's duties

(a) The debtor shall—

(1) file—

(A) a list of creditors; and

(B) unless the court orders otherwise—

(i) a schedule of assets and liabilities;

(ii) a schedule of current income and current expenditures;

(iii) a statement of the debtor's financial affairs and, if section 342(b) applies, a certificate—

(I) of an attorney whose name is indicated on the petition as the attorney for the debtor, or a bankruptcy petition preparer signing the petition under section 110(b)(1), indicating that such attorney or the bankruptcy petition preparer delivered to the debtor the notice required by section 342(b); or

(II) if no attorney is so indicated, and no bankruptcy petition preparer signed the petition, of the debtor that such notice was received and read by the debtor;


(iv) copies of all payment advices or other evidence of payment received within 60 days before the date of the filing of the petition, by the debtor from any employer of the debtor;

(v) a statement of the amount of monthly net income, itemized to show how the amount is calculated; and

(vi) a statement disclosing any reasonably anticipated increase in income or expenditures over the 12-month period following the date of the filing of the petition;


(2) if an individual debtor's schedule of assets and liabilities includes debts which are secured by property of the estate—

(A) within thirty days after the date of the filing of a petition under chapter 7 of this title or on or before the date of the meeting of creditors, whichever is earlier, or within such additional time as the court, for cause, within such period fixes, file with the clerk a statement of his intention with respect to the retention or surrender of such property and, if applicable, specifying that such property is claimed as exempt, that the debtor intends to redeem such property, or that the debtor intends to reaffirm debts secured by such property; and

(B) within 30 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors under section 341(a), or within such additional time as the court, for cause, within such 30-day period fixes, perform his intention with respect to such property, as specified by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;


except that nothing in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph shall alter the debtor's or the trustee's rights with regard to such property under this title, except as provided in section 362(h);

(3) if a trustee is serving in the case or an auditor is serving under section 586(f) of title 28, cooperate with the trustee as necessary to enable the trustee to perform the trustee's duties under this title;

(4) if a trustee is serving in the case or an auditor is serving under section 586(f) of title 28, surrender to the trustee all property of the estate and any recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers, relating to property of the estate, whether or not immunity is granted under section 344 of this title;

(5) appear at the hearing required under section 524(d) of this title;

(6) in a case under chapter 7 of this title in which the debtor is an individual, not retain possession of personal property as to which a creditor has an allowed claim for the purchase price secured in whole or in part by an interest in such personal property unless the debtor, not later than 45 days after the first meeting of creditors under section 341(a), either—

(A) enters into an agreement with the creditor pursuant to section 524(c) with respect to the claim secured by such property; or

(B) redeems such property from the security interest pursuant to section 722; and


(7) unless a trustee is serving in the case, continue to perform the obligations required of the administrator (as defined in section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) of an employee benefit plan if at the time of the commencement of the case the debtor (or any entity designated by the debtor) served as such administrator.


If the debtor fails to so act within the 45-day period referred to in paragraph (6), the stay under section 362(a) is terminated with respect to the personal property of the estate or of the debtor which is affected, such property shall no longer be property of the estate, and the creditor may take whatever action as to such property as is permitted by applicable nonbankruptcy law, unless the court determines on the motion of the trustee filed before the expiration of such 45-day period, and after notice and a hearing, that such property is of consequential value or benefit to the estate, orders appropriate adequate protection of the creditor's interest, and orders the debtor to deliver any collateral in the debtor's possession to the trustee.

(b) In addition to the requirements under subsection (a), a debtor who is an individual shall file with the court—

(1) a certificate from the approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency that provided the debtor services under section 109(h) describing the services provided to the debtor; and

(2) a copy of the debt repayment plan, if any, developed under section 109(h) through the approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency referred to in paragraph (1).


(c) In addition to meeting the requirements under subsection (a), a debtor shall file with the court a record of any interest that a debtor has in an education individual retirement account (as defined in section 530(b)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986), an interest in an account in a qualified ABLE program (as defined in section 529A(b) of such Code,1 or under a qualified State tuition program (as defined in section 529(b)(1) of such Code).

(d) If the debtor fails timely to take the action specified in subsection (a)(6) of this section, or in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 362(h), with respect to property which a lessor or bailor owns and has leased, rented, or bailed to the debtor or as to which a creditor holds a security interest not otherwise voidable under section 522(f), 544, 545, 547, 548, or 549, nothing in this title shall prevent or limit the operation of a provision in the underlying lease or agreement that has the effect of placing the debtor in default under such lease or agreement by reason of the occurrence, pendency, or existence of a proceeding under this title or the insolvency of the debtor. Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to justify limiting such a provision in any other circumstance.

(e)(1) If the debtor in a case under chapter 7 or 13 is an individual and if a creditor files with the court at any time a request to receive a copy of the petition, schedules, and statement of financial affairs filed by the debtor, then the court shall make such petition, such schedules, and such statement available to such creditor.

(2)(A) The debtor shall provide—

(i) not later than 7 days before the date first set for the first meeting of creditors, to the trustee a copy of the Federal income tax return required under applicable law (or at the election of the debtor, a transcript of such return) for the most recent tax year ending immediately before the commencement of the case and for which a Federal income tax return was filed; and

(ii) at the same time the debtor complies with clause (i), a copy of such return (or if elected under clause (i), such transcript) to any creditor that timely requests such copy.


(B) If the debtor fails to comply with clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A), the court shall dismiss the case unless the debtor demonstrates that the failure to so comply is due to circumstances beyond the control of the debtor.

(C) If a creditor requests a copy of such tax return or such transcript and if the debtor fails to provide a copy of such tax return or such transcript to such creditor at the time the debtor provides such tax return or such transcript to the trustee, then the court shall dismiss the case unless the debtor demonstrates that the failure to provide a copy of such tax return or such transcript is due to circumstances beyond the control of the debtor.

(3) If a creditor in a case under chapter 13 files with the court at any time a request to receive a copy of the plan filed by the debtor, then the court shall make available to such creditor a copy of the plan—

(A) at a reasonable cost; and

(B) not later than 7 days after such request is filed.


(f) At the request of the court, the United States trustee, or any party in interest in a case under chapter 7, 11, or 13, a debtor who is an individual shall file with the court—

(1) at the same time filed with the taxing authority, a copy of each Federal income tax return required under applicable law (or at the election of the debtor, a transcript of such tax return) with respect to each tax year of the debtor ending while the case is pending under such chapter;

(2) at the same time filed with the taxing authority, each Federal income tax return required under applicable law (or at the election of the debtor, a transcript of such tax return) that had not been filed with such authority as of the date of the commencement of the case and that was subsequently filed for any tax year of the debtor ending in the 3-year period ending on the date of the commencement of the case;

(3) a copy of each amendment to any Federal income tax return or transcript filed with the court under paragraph (1) or (2); and

(4) in a case under chapter 13

(A) on the date that is either 90 days after the end of such tax year or 1 year after the date of the commencement of the case, whichever is later, if a plan is not confirmed before such later date; and

(B) annually after the plan is confirmed and until the case is closed, not later than the date that is 45 days before the anniversary of the confirmation of the plan;


a statement, under penalty of perjury, of the income and expenditures of the debtor during the tax year of the debtor most recently concluded before such statement is filed under this paragraph, and of the monthly income of the debtor, that shows how income, expenditures, and monthly income are calculated.


(g)(1) A statement referred to in subsection (f)(4) shall disclose—

(A) the amount and sources of the income of the debtor;

(B) the identity of any person responsible with the debtor for the support of any dependent of the debtor; and

(C) the identity of any person who contributed, and the amount contributed, to the household in which the debtor resides.


(2) The tax returns, amendments, and statement of income and expenditures described in subsections (e)(2)(A) and (f) shall be available to the United States trustee (or the bankruptcy administrator, if any), the trustee, and any party in interest for inspection and copying, subject to the requirements of section 315(c) of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.

(h) If requested by the United States trustee or by the trustee, the debtor shall provide—

(1) a document that establishes the identity of the debtor, including a driver's license, passport, or other document that contains a photograph of the debtor; or

(2) such other personal identifying information relating to the debtor that establishes the identity of the debtor.


(i)(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (4) and notwithstanding section 707(a), if an individual debtor in a voluntary case under chapter 7 or 13 fails to file all of the information required under subsection (a)(1) within 45 days after the date of the filing of the petition, the case shall be automatically dismissed effective on the 46th day after the date of the filing of the petition.

(2) Subject to paragraph (4) and with respect to a case described in paragraph (1), any party in interest may request the court to enter an order dismissing the case. If requested, the court shall enter an order of dismissal not later than 7 days after such request.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4) and upon request of the debtor made within 45 days after the date of the filing of the petition described in paragraph (1), the court may allow the debtor an additional period of not to exceed 45 days to file the information required under subsection (a)(1) if the court finds justification for extending the period for the filing.

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, on the motion of the trustee filed before the expiration of the applicable period of time specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3), and after notice and a hearing, the court may decline to dismiss the case if the court finds that the debtor attempted in good faith to file all the information required by subsection (a)(1)(B)(iv) and that the best interests of creditors would be served by administration of the case.

(j)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, if the debtor fails to file a tax return that becomes due after the commencement of the case or to properly obtain an extension of the due date for filing such return, the taxing authority may request that the court enter an order converting or dismissing the case.

(2) If the debtor does not file the required return or obtain the extension referred to in paragraph (1) within 90 days after a request is filed by the taxing authority under that paragraph, the court shall convert or dismiss the case, whichever is in the best interests of creditors and the estate.

(Pub. L. 95–598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2586; Pub. L. 98–353, title III, §§305, 452, July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 352, 375; Pub. L. 99–554, title II, §283(h), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3117; Pub. L. 109–8, title I, §106(d), title II, §225(b), title III, §§304(1), 305(2), 315(b), 316, title IV, §446(a), title VI, §603(c), title VII, §720, Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 38, 66, 78, 80, 89, 92, 118, 123, 133; Pub. L. 111–16, §2(5), (6), May 7, 2009, 123 Stat. 1607; Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(16), Dec. 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 3559; Pub. L. 113–295, div. B, title I, §104(c), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 4064.)

Historical and Revision Notes

legislative statements

Section 521 of the House amendment modifies a comparable provision contained in the House bill and Senate amendment. The Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure should provide where the list of creditors is to be filed. In addition, the debtor is required to attend the hearing on discharge under section 524(d).

senate report no. 95–989

This section lists three duties of the debtor in a bankruptcy case. The Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure will specify the means of carrying out these duties. The first duty is to file with the court a list of creditors and, unless the court orders otherwise, a schedule of assets and liabilities and a statement of his financial affairs. Second, the debtor is required to cooperate with the trustee as necessary to enable the trustee to perform the trustee's duties. Finally, the debtor must surrender to the trustee all property of the estate, and any recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers, relating to property of the estate. This phrase "recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers," has been used here and throughout the bill as a more general term, and includes such other forms of recorded information as  data  in  computer  storage  or  in  other  machine readable forms.

The list in this section is not exhaustive of the debtor's duties. Others are listed elsewhere in proposed title 11, such as in section 343, which requires the debtor to submit to examination, or in the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, as continued by §404(a) of S. 2266, such as the duty to attend any hearing on discharge, Rule 402(2).

References in Text

Section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, referred to in subsec. (a)(7), is classified to section 1002 of Title 29, Labor.

Sections 530(b)(1), 529A(b), and 529(b)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (c), are classified to sections 530(b)(1), 529A(b), and 529(b)(1), respectively, of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Section 315(c) of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, referred to in subsec. (g)(2), is section 315(c) of Pub. L. 109–8, which is set out as a note under this section.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 113–295 inserted ", an interest in an account in a qualified ABLE program (as defined in section 529A(b) of such Code," after "Internal Revenue Code of 1986)".

2010—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(16)(A)(iii), in subpar. (C) substituted "except that" for subpar. (C) designation.

Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(16)(A)(i), struck out "the debtor shall" after "period fixes," and inserted "and" after semicolon at end.

Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(16)(A)(ii), struck out "the debtor shall" after "period fixes," and "and" after semicolon at end.

Subsec. (a)(3), (4). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(16)(B), inserted "is" after "auditor".

2009—Subsec. (e)(3)(B). Pub. L. 111–16, §2(5), substituted "7 days" for "5 days".

Subsec. (i)(2). Pub. L. 111–16, §2(6), substituted "7 days" for "5 days".

2005Pub. L. 109–8, §106(d)(1), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a).

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–8, §304(1), added concluding provisions.

Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 109–8, §315(b)(1), amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: "file a list of creditors, and unless the court orders otherwise, a schedule of assets and liabilities, a schedule of current income and current expenditures, and a statement of the debtor's financial affairs;".

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 109–8, §305(2)(A), struck out "consumer" before "debts" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 109–8, §305(2)(B), substituted "30 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors under section 341(a)" for "forty-five days after the filing of a notice of intent under this section" and "30-day" for "forty-five day".

Subsec. (a)(2)(C). Pub. L. 109–8, §305(2)(C), inserted ", except as provided in section 362(h)" before semicolon.

Subsec. (a)(3), (4). Pub. L. 109–8, §603(c), inserted "or an auditor serving under section 586(f) of title 28" after "serving in the case".

Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 109–8, §304(1), added par. (6).

Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 109–8, §446(a), added par. (7).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–8, §106(d)(2), added subsec. (b).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–8, §225(b), added subsec. (c).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–8, §305(2)(D), added subsec. (d).

Subsecs. (e) to (h). Pub. L. 109–8, §315(b)(2), added subsecs. (e) to (h).

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 109–8, §316, added subsec. (i).

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 109–8, §720, added subsec. (j).

1986—Par. (4). Pub. L. 99–554 inserted ", whether or not immunity is granted under section 344 of this title" after second reference to "estate".

1984—Par. (1). Pub. L. 98–353, §305(2), inserted "a schedule of current income and current expenditures," after "liabilities,".

Pars. (2) to (5). Pub. L. 98–353, §305(1), (3), added par. (2), redesignated former pars. (2) to (4) as (3) to (5), respectively.

Pub. L. 98–353, §452, which directed the insertion of ", whether or not immunity is granted under section 344 of this title" after second reference to "estate" in par. (3) as redesignated above, could not be executed because such reference appeared in par. (4) rather than in par. (3).

Effective Date of 2014 Amendment

Pub. L. 113–295, div. B, title I, §104(d), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 4064, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and sections 541 and 707 of this title] shall apply with respect to cases commenced under title 11, United States Code, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 19, 2014]."

Effective Date of 2009 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–16 effective Dec. 1, 2009, see section 7 of Pub. L. 111–16, set out as a note under section 109 of this title.

Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–8, title VI, §603(e), Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 123, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section, section 727 of this title and section 586 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 586 of Title 28] shall take effect 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act [Apr. 20, 2005]."

Amendment by sections 106(d), 225(b), 304(1), 305(2), 315(b), 316, 446(a), and 720 of 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 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–554 effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1986, see section 302(a) of Pub. L. 99–554, set out as a note under section 581 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

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.

Confidentiality of Tax Information

Pub. L. 109–8, title III, §315(c), Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 91, provided that:

"(1) Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Apr. 20, 2005], the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall establish procedures for safeguarding the confidentiality of any tax information required to be provided under this section.

"(2) The procedures under paragraph (1) shall include restrictions on creditor access to tax information that is required to be provided under this section.

"(3) Not later than 540 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall prepare and submit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report that—

"(A) assesses the effectiveness of the procedures established under paragraph (1); and

"(B) if appropriate, includes proposed legislation to—

"(i) further protect the confidentiality of tax information; and

"(ii) provide penalties for the improper use by any person of the tax information required to be provided under this section."

Providing Requested Tax Documents to the Court

Pub. L. 109–8, title XII, §1228, Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 200, provided that:

"(a) Chapter 7 Cases.—The court shall not grant a discharge in the case of an individual who is a debtor in a case under chapter 7 of title 11, United States Code, unless requested tax documents have been provided to the court.

"(b) Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 Cases.—The court shall not confirm a plan of reorganization in the case of an individual under chapter 11 or 13 of title 11, United States Code, unless requested tax documents have been filed with the court.

"(c) Document Retention.—The court shall destroy documents submitted in support of a bankruptcy claim not sooner than 3 years after the date of the conclusion of a case filed by an individual under chapter 7, 11, or 13 of title 11, United States Code. In the event of a pending audit or enforcement action, the court may extend the time for destruction of such requested tax documents."

1 So in original. A closing parenthesis probably should precede the comma.

§522. Exemptions

(a) In this section—

(1) "dependent" includes spouse, whether or not actually dependent; and

(2) "value" means fair market value as of the date of the filing of the petition or, with respect to property that becomes property of the estate after such date, as of the date such property becomes property of the estate.


(b)(1) Notwithstanding section 541 of this title, an individual debtor may exempt from property of the estate the property listed in either paragraph (2) or, in the alternative, paragraph (3) of this subsection. In joint cases filed under section 302 of this title and individual cases filed under section 301 or 303 of this title by or against debtors who are husband and wife, and whose estates are ordered to be jointly administered under Rule 1015(b) of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, one debtor may not elect to exempt property listed in paragraph (2) and the other debtor elect to exempt property listed in paragraph (3) of this subsection. If the parties cannot agree on the alternative to be elected, they shall be deemed to elect paragraph (2), where such election is permitted under the law of the jurisdiction where the case is filed.

(2) Property listed in this paragraph is property that is specified under subsection (d), unless the State law that is applicable to the debtor under paragraph (3)(A) specifically does not so authorize.

(3) Property listed in this paragraph is—

(A) subject to subsections (o) and (p), any property that is exempt under Federal law, other than subsection (d) of this section, or State or local law that is applicable on the date of the filing of the petition to the place in which the debtor's domicile has been located for the 730 days immediately preceding the date of the filing of the petition or if the debtor's domicile has not been located in a single State for such 730-day period, the place in which the debtor's domicile was located for 180 days immediately preceding the 730-day period or for a longer portion of such 180-day period than in any other place;

(B) any interest in property in which the debtor had, immediately before the commencement of the case, an interest as a tenant by the entirety or joint tenant to the extent that such interest as a tenant by the entirety or joint tenant is exempt from process under applicable nonbankruptcy law; and

(C) retirement funds to the extent that those funds are in a fund or account that is exempt from taxation under section 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457, or 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.


If the effect of the domiciliary requirement under subparagraph (A) is to render the debtor ineligible for any exemption, the debtor may elect to exempt property that is specified under subsection (d).

(4) For purposes of paragraph (3)(C) and subsection (d)(12), the following shall apply:

(A) If the retirement funds are in a retirement fund that has received a favorable determination under section 7805 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and that determination is in effect as of the date of the filing of the petition in a case under this title, those funds shall be presumed to be exempt from the estate.

(B) If the retirement funds are in a retirement fund that has not received a favorable determination under such section 7805, those funds are exempt from the estate if the debtor demonstrates that—

(i) no prior determination to the contrary has been made by a court or the Internal Revenue Service; and

(ii)(I) the retirement fund is in substantial compliance with the applicable requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

(II) the retirement fund fails to be in substantial compliance with the applicable requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the debtor is not materially responsible for that failure.


(C) A direct transfer of retirement funds from 1 fund or account that is exempt from taxation under section 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457, or 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, under section 401(a)(31) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or otherwise, shall not cease to qualify for exemption under paragraph (3)(C) or subsection (d)(12) by reason of such direct transfer.

(D)(i) Any distribution that qualifies as an eligible rollover distribution within the meaning of section 402(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or that is described in clause (ii) shall not cease to qualify for exemption under paragraph (3)(C) or subsection (d)(12) by reason of such distribution.

(ii) A distribution described in this clause is an amount that—

(I) has been distributed from a fund or account that is exempt from taxation under section 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457, or 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and

(II) to the extent allowed by law, is deposited in such a fund or account not later than 60 days after the distribution of such amount.


(c) Unless the case is dismissed, property exempted under this section is not liable during or after the case for any debt of the debtor that arose, or that is determined under section 502 of this title as if such debt had arisen, before the commencement of the case, except—

(1) a debt of a kind specified in paragraph (1) or (5) of section 523(a) (in which case, notwithstanding any provision of applicable nonbankruptcy law to the contrary, such property shall be liable for a debt of a kind specified in such paragraph);

(2) a debt secured by a lien that is—

(A)(i) not avoided under subsection (f) or (g) of this section or under section 544, 545, 547, 548, 549, or 724(a) of this title; and

(ii) not void under section 506(d) of this title; or

(B) a tax lien, notice of which is properly filed;


(3) a debt of a kind specified in section 523(a)(4) or 523(a)(6) of this title owed by an institution-affiliated party of an insured depository institution to a Federal depository institutions regulatory agency acting in its capacity as conservator, receiver, or liquidating agent for such institution; or

(4) a debt in connection with fraud in the obtaining or providing of any scholarship, grant, loan, tuition, discount, award, or other financial assistance for purposes of financing an education at an institution of higher education (as that term is defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)).


(d) The following property may be exempted under subsection (b)(2) of this section:

(1) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $15,000 1 in value, in real property or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, in a cooperative that owns property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, or in a burial plot for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

(2) The debtor's interest, not to exceed $2,400 1 in value, in one motor vehicle.

(3) The debtor's interest, not to exceed $400 1 in value in any particular item or $8,000 1 in aggregate value, in household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops, or musical instruments, that are held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

(4) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $1,000 1 in value, in jewelry held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

(5) The debtor's aggregate interest in any property, not to exceed in value $800 1 plus up to $7,500 1 of any unused amount of the exemption provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(6) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $1,500 1 in value, in any implements, professional books, or tools, of the trade of the debtor or the trade of a dependent of the debtor.

(7) Any unmatured life insurance contract owned by the debtor, other than a credit life insurance contract.

(8) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed in value $8,000 1 less any amount of property of the estate transferred in the manner specified in section 542(d) of this title, in any accrued dividend or interest under, or loan value of, any unmatured life insurance contract owned by the debtor under which the insured is the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent.

(9) Professionally prescribed health aids for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

(10) The debtor's right to receive—

(A) a social security benefit, unemployment compensation, or a local public assistance benefit;

(B) a veterans' benefit;

(C) a disability, illness, or unemployment benefit;

(D) alimony, support, or separate maintenance, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;

(E) a payment under a stock bonus, pension, profitsharing, annuity, or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age, or length of service, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor, unless—

(i) such plan or contract was established by or under the auspices of an insider that employed the debtor at the time the debtor's rights under such plan or contract arose;

(ii) such payment is on account of age or length of service; and

(iii) such plan or contract does not qualify under section 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), or 408 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.


(11) The debtor's right to receive, or property that is traceable to—

(A) an award under a crime victim's reparation law;

(B) a payment on account of the wrongful death of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;

(C) a payment under a life insurance contract that insured the life of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent on the date of such individual's death, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;

(D) a payment, not to exceed $15,000,1 on account of personal bodily injury, not including pain and suffering or compensation for actual pecuniary loss, of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent; or

(E) a payment in compensation of loss of future earnings of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is or was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor.


(12) Retirement funds to the extent that those funds are in a fund or account that is exempt from taxation under section 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457, or 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.


(e) A waiver of an exemption executed in favor of a creditor that holds an unsecured claim against the debtor is unenforceable in a case under this title with respect to such claim against property that the debtor may exempt under subsection (b) of this section. A waiver by the debtor of a power under subsection (f) or (h) of this section to avoid a transfer, under subsection (g) or (i) of this section to exempt property, or under subsection (i) of this section to recover property or to preserve a transfer, is unenforceable in a case under this title.

(f)(1) Notwithstanding any waiver of exemptions but subject to paragraph (3), the debtor may avoid the fixing of a lien on an interest of the debtor in property to the extent that such lien impairs an exemption to which the debtor would have been entitled under subsection (b) of this section, if such lien is—

(A) a judicial lien, other than a judicial lien that secures a debt of a kind that is specified in section 523(a)(5); or

(B) a nonpossessory, nonpurchase-money security interest in any—

(i) household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops, musical instruments, or jewelry that are held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor;

(ii) implements, professional books, or tools, of the trade of the debtor or the trade of a dependent of the debtor; or

(iii) professionally prescribed health aids for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.


(2)(A) For the purposes of this subsection, a lien shall be considered to impair an exemption to the extent that the sum of—

(i) the lien;

(ii) all other liens on the property; and

(iii) the amount of the exemption that the debtor could claim if there were no liens on the property;


exceeds the value that the debtor's interest in the property would have in the absence of any liens.

(B) In the case of a property subject to more than 1 lien, a lien that has been avoided shall not be considered in making the calculation under subparagraph (A) with respect to other liens.

(C) This paragraph shall not apply with respect to a judgment arising out of a mortgage foreclosure.

(3) In a case in which State law that is applicable to the debtor—

(A) permits a person to voluntarily waive a right to claim exemptions under subsection (d) or prohibits a debtor from claiming exemptions under subsection (d); and

(B) either permits the debtor to claim exemptions under State law without limitation in amount, except to the extent that the debtor has permitted the fixing of a consensual lien on any property or prohibits avoidance of a consensual lien on property otherwise eligible to be claimed as exempt property;


the debtor may not avoid the fixing of a lien on an interest of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor in property if the lien is a nonpossessory, nonpurchase-money security interest in implements, professional books, or tools of the trade of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor or farm animals or crops of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor to the extent the value of such implements, professional books, tools of the trade, animals, and crops exceeds $5,000.1

(4)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), for purposes of paragraph (1)(B), the term "household goods" means—

(i) clothing;

(ii) furniture;

(iii) appliances;

(iv) 1 radio;

(v) 1 television;

(vi) 1 VCR;

(vii) linens;

(viii) china;

(ix) crockery;

(x) kitchenware;

(xi) educational materials and educational equipment primarily for the use of minor dependent children of the debtor;

(xii) medical equipment and supplies;

(xiii) furniture exclusively for the use of minor children, or elderly or disabled dependents of the debtor;

(xiv) personal effects (including the toys and hobby equipment of minor dependent children and wedding rings) of the debtor and the dependents of the debtor; and

(xv) 1 personal computer and related equipment.


(B) The term "household goods" does not include—

(i) works of art (unless by or of the debtor, or any relative of the debtor);

(ii) electronic entertainment equipment with a fair market value of more than $500 1 in the aggregate (except 1 television, 1 radio, and 1 VCR);

(iii) items acquired as antiques with a fair market value of more than $500 1 in the aggregate;

(iv) jewelry with a fair market value of more than $500 1 in the aggregate (except wedding rings); and

(v) a computer (except as otherwise provided for in this section), motor vehicle (including a tractor or lawn tractor), boat, or a motorized recreational device, conveyance, vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft.


(g) Notwithstanding sections 550 and 551 of this title, the debtor may exempt under subsection (b) of this section property that the trustee recovers under section 510(c)(2), 542, 543, 550, 551, or 553 of this title, to the extent that the debtor could have exempted such property under subsection (b) of this section if such property had not been transferred, if—

(1)(A) such transfer was not a voluntary transfer of such property by the debtor; and

(B) the debtor did not conceal such property; or

(2) the debtor could have avoided such transfer under subsection (f)(1)(B) of this section.


(h) The debtor may avoid a transfer of property of the debtor or recover a setoff to the extent that the debtor could have exempted such property under subsection (g)(1) of this section if the trustee had avoided such transfer, if—

(1) such transfer is avoidable by the trustee under section 544, 545, 547, 548, 549, or 724(a) of this title or recoverable by the trustee under section 553 of this title; and

(2) the trustee does not attempt to avoid such transfer.


(i)(1) If the debtor avoids a transfer or recovers a setoff under subsection (f) or (h) of this section, the debtor may recover in the manner prescribed by, and subject to the limitations of, section 550 of this title, the same as if the trustee had avoided such transfer, and may exempt any property so recovered under subsection (b) of this section.

(2) Notwithstanding section 551 of this title, a transfer avoided under section 544, 545, 547, 548, 549, or 724(a) of this title, under subsection (f) or (h) of this section, or property recovered under section 553 of this title, may be preserved for the benefit of the debtor to the extent that the debtor may exempt such property under subsection (g) of this section or paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(j) Notwithstanding subsections (g) and (i) of this section, the debtor may exempt a particular kind of property under subsections (g) and (i) of this section only to the extent that the debtor has exempted less property in value of such kind than that to which the debtor is entitled under subsection (b) of this section.

(k) Property that the debtor exempts under this section is not liable for payment of any administrative expense except—

(1) the aliquot share of the costs and expenses of avoiding a transfer of property that the debtor exempts under subsection (g) of this section, or of recovery of such property, that is attributable to the value of the portion of such property exempted in relation to the value of the property recovered; and

(2) any costs and expenses of avoiding a transfer under subsection (f) or (h) of this section, or of recovery of property under subsection (i)(1) of this section, that the debtor has not paid.


(l) The debtor shall file a list of property that the debtor claims as exempt under subsection (b) of this section. If the debtor does not file such a list, a dependent of the debtor may file such a list, or may claim property as exempt from property of the estate on behalf of the debtor. Unless a party in interest objects, the property claimed as exempt on such list is exempt.

(m) Subject to the limitation in subsection (b), this section shall apply separately with respect to each debtor in a joint case.

(n) For assets in individual retirement accounts described in section 408 or 408A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, other than a simplified employee pension under section 408(k) of such Code or a simple retirement account under section 408(p) of such Code, the aggregate value of such assets exempted under this section, without regard to amounts attributable to rollover contributions under section 402(c), 402(e)(6), 403(a)(4), 403(a)(5), and 403(b)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and earnings thereon, shall not exceed $1,000,000 1 in a case filed by a debtor who is an individual, except that such amount may be increased if the interests of justice so require.

(o) For purposes of subsection (b)(3)(A), and notwithstanding subsection (a), the value of an interest in—

(1) real or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence;

(2) a cooperative that owns property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence;

(3) a burial plot for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; or

(4) real or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor claims as a homestead;


shall be reduced to the extent that such value is attributable to any portion of any property that the debtor disposed of in the 10-year period ending on the date of the filing of the petition with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor and that the debtor could not exempt, or that portion that the debtor could not exempt, under subsection (b), if on such date the debtor had held the property so disposed of.

(p)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection and sections 544 and 548, as a result of electing under subsection (b)(3)(A) to exempt property under State or local law, a debtor may not exempt any amount of interest that was acquired by the debtor during the 1215-day period preceding the date of the filing of the petition that exceeds in the aggregate $125,000 1 in value in—

(A) real or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence;

(B) a cooperative that owns property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence;

(C) a burial plot for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; or

(D) real or personal property that the debtor or dependent of the debtor claims as a homestead.


(2)(A) The limitation under paragraph (1) shall not apply to an exemption claimed under subsection (b)(3)(A) by a family farmer for the principal residence of such farmer.

(B) For purposes of paragraph (1), any amount of such interest does not include any interest transferred from a debtor's previous principal residence (which was acquired prior to the beginning of such 1215-day period) into the debtor's current principal residence, if the debtor's previous and current residences are located in the same State.

(q)(1) As a result of electing under subsection (b)(3)(A) to exempt property under State or local law, a debtor may not exempt any amount of an interest in property described in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) of subsection (p)(1) which exceeds in the aggregate $125,000 1 if—

(A) the court determines, after notice and a hearing, that the debtor has been convicted of a felony (as defined in section 3156 of title 18), which under the circumstances, demonstrates that the filing of the case was an abuse of the provisions of this title; or

(B) the debtor owes a debt arising from—

(i) any violation of the Federal securities laws (as defined in section 3(a)(47) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), any State securities laws, or any regulation or order issued under Federal securities laws or State securities laws;

(ii) fraud, deceit, or manipulation in a fiduciary capacity or in connection with the purchase or sale of any security registered under section 12 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or under section 6 of the Securities Act of 1933;

(iii) any civil remedy under section 1964 of title 18; or

(iv) any criminal act, intentional tort, or willful or reckless misconduct that caused serious physical injury or death to another individual in the preceding 5 years.


(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the extent the amount of an interest in property described in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) of subsection (p)(1) is reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor.

(Pub. L. 95–598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2586; Pub. L. 98–353, title III, §§306, 453, July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 353, 375; Pub. L. 99–554, title II, §283(i), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3117; Pub. L. 101–647, title XXV, §2522(b), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4866; Pub. L. 103–394, title I, §108(d), title III, §§303, 304(d), 310, title V, §501(d)(12), Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4112, 4132, 4133, 4137, 4145; Pub. L. 106–420, §4, Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1868; Pub. L. 109–8, title II, §§216, 224(a), (e)(1), title III, §§307, 308, 313(a), 322(a), Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 55, 62, 65, 81, 87, 96; Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(17), Dec. 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 3559.)

Historical and Revision Notes

legislative statements

Section 522 of the House amendment represents a compromise on the issue of exemptions between the position taken in the House bill, and that taken in the Senate amendment. Dollar amounts specified in section 522(d) of the House bill have been reduced from amounts as contained in H.R. 8200 as passed by the House. The States may, by passing a law, determine whether the Federal exemptions will apply as an alternative to State exemptions in bankruptcy cases.

Section 522(c)(1) tracks the House bill and provides that dischargeable tax claims may not be collected out of exempt property.

Section 522(f)(2) is derived from the Senate amendment restricting the debtor to avoidance of nonpossessory, nonpurchase money security interests.

Exemptions: Section 522(c)(1) of the House amendment adopts a provision contained in the House bill that dischargeable taxes cannot be collected from exempt assets. This changes present law, which allows collection of dischargeable taxes from exempt property, a rule followed in the Senate amendment. Nondischargeable taxes, however, will continue to the [be] collectable out of exempt property. It is anticipated that in the next session Congress will review the exemptions from levy currently contained in the Internal Revenue Code [title 26] with a view to increasing the exemptions to more realistic levels.

senate report no. 95–989

Subsection (a) of this section defines two terms: "dependent" includes the debtor's spouse, whether or not actually dependent; and "value" means fair market value as of the date of the filing of the petition.

Subsection (b) tracks current law. It permits a debtor the exemptions to which he is entitled under other Federal law and the law of the State of his domicile. Some of the items that may be exempted under Federal laws other than title 11 include:

Foreign Service Retirement and Disability payments, 22 U.S.C. 11041

Social security payments, 42 U.S.C. 407;

Injury or death compensation payments from war risk hazards, 42 U.S.C. 1717;

Wages of fishermen, seamen, and apprentices, 46 U.S.C. 6012

Civil service retirement benefits, 5 U.S.C. 729, 22653

Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act death and disability benefits, 33 U.S.C. 916;

Railroad Retirement Act annuities and pensions, 45 U.S.C. 228(L)4

Veterans benefits, 45 U.S.C. 352(E)5

Special pensions paid to winners of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 38 U.S.C. 31016 and

Federal homestead lands on debts contracted before issuance of the patent, 43 U.S.C. 175.

He may also exempt an interest in property in which the debtor had an interest as a tenant by the entirety or joint tenant to the extent that interest would have been exempt from process under applicable nonbankruptcy law.

Under proposed section 541, all property of the debtor becomes property of the estate, but the debtor is permitted to exempt certain property from property of the estate under this section. Property may be exempted even if it is subject to a lien, but only the unencumbered portion of the property is to be counted in computing the "value" of the property for the purposes of exemption.

As under current law, the debtor will be permitted to convert nonexempt property into exempt property before filing a bankruptcy petition. The practice is not fraudulent as to creditors, and permits the debtor to make full use of the exemptions to which he is entitled under the law.

Subsection (c) insulates exempt property from prepetition claims other than tax claims (whether or not dischargeable), and other than alimony, maintenance, or support claims that are excepted from discharge. The bankruptcy discharge does not prevent enforcement of valid liens. The rule of Long v. Bullard, 117 U.S. 617 (1886), is accepted with respect to the enforcement of valid liens on nonexempt property as well as on exempt property. Cf. Louisville Joint Stock Land Bank v. Radford, 295 U.S. 555, 583 (1935).

Subsection (c)(3) permits the collection of dischargeable taxes from exempt assets. Only assets exempted from levy under Section 6334 of the Internal Revenue Code [title 26] or under applicable state or local tax law cannot be applied to satisfy these tax claims. This rule applies to prepetition tax claims against the debtor regardless of whether the claims do or do not receive priority and whether they are dischargeable or nondischargeable. Thus, even if a tax is dischargeable vis-a-vis the debtor's after-acquired assets, it may nevertheless be collectible from exempt property held by the estate. (Taxes incurred by the debtor's estate which are collectible as first priority administrative expenses are not collectible from the debtor's estate which are collectible as first priority administrative expenses are not collectible from the debtor's exempt assets.)

Subsection (d) protects the debtor's exemptions, either Federal or State, by making unenforceable in a bankruptcy case a waiver of exemptions or a waiver of the debtor's avoiding powers under the following subsections.

Subsection (e) protects the debtor's exemptions, his discharge, and thus his fresh start by permitting him to avoid certain liens on exempt property. The debtor may avoid a judicial lien on any property to the extent that the property could have been exempted in the absence of the lien, and may similarly avoid a nonpurchase-money security interest in certain household and personal goods. The avoiding power is independent of any waiver of exemptions.

Subsection (f) gives the debtor the ability to exempt property that the trustee recovers under one of the trustee's avoiding powers if the property was involuntarily transferred away from the debtor (such as by the fixing of a judicial lien) and if the debtor did not conceal the property. The debtor is also permitted to exempt property that the trustee recovers as the result of the avoiding of the fixing of certain security interests to the extent that the debtor could otherwise have exempted the property.

Subsection (g) provides that if the trustee does not exercise an avoiding power to recover a transfer of property that would be exempt, the debtor may exercise it and exempt the property, if the transfer was involuntary and the debtor did not conceal the property. If the debtor wishes to preserve his right to pursue any action under this provision, then he must intervene in any action brought by the trustee based on the same cause of action. It is not intended that the debtor be given an additional opportunity to avoid a transfer or that the transferee should have to defend the same action twice. Rather, the section is primarily designed to give the debtor the rights the trustee could have, but has not, pursued. The debtor is given no greater rights under this provision than the trustee, and thus, the debtor's avoiding powers under proposed sections 544, 545, 547, and 548, are subject to proposed 546, as are the trustee's powers.

These subsections are cumulative. The debtor is not required to choose which he will use to gain an exemption. Instead, he may use more than one in any particular instance, just as the trustee's avoiding powers are cumulative.

Subsection (h) permits recovery by the debtor of property transferred by an avoided transfer from either the initial or subsequent transferees. It also permits preserving a transfer for the benefit of the debtor. In either event, the debtor may exempt the property recovered or preserved.

Subsection (i) makes clear that the debtor may exempt property under the avoiding subsections (f) and (h) only to the extent he has exempted less property than allowed under subsection (b).

Subsection (j) makes clear that the liability of the debtor's exempt property is limited to the debtor's aliquot share of the costs and expenses recovery of property that the trustee recovers and the debtor later exempts, and any costs and expenses of avoiding a transfer by the debtor that the debtor has not already paid.

Subsection (k) requires the debtor to file a list of property that he claims as exempt from property of the estate. Absent an objection to the list, the property is exempted. A dependent of the debtor may file it and thus be protected if the debtor fails to file the list.

Subsection (l) provides the rule for a joint case.

house report no. 95–595

Subsection (a) of this section defines two terms: "dependent" includes the debtor's spouse, whether or not actually dependent; and "value" means fair market value as of the date of the filing of the petition.

Subsection (b), the operative subsection of this section, is a significant departure from present law. It permits an individual debtor in a bankruptcy case a choice between exemption systems. The debtor may choose the Federal exemptions prescribed in subsection (d), or he may choose the exemptions to which he is entitled under other Federal law and the law of the State of his domicile. If the debtor chooses the latter, some of the items that may be exempted under other Federal laws include:

—Foreign Service Retirement and Disability payments, 22 U.S.C. 11047

—Social security payments, 42 U.S.C. 407;

—Injury or death compensation payments from war risk hazards, 42 U.S.C. 1717;

—Wages of fishermen, seamen, and apprentices, 46 U.S.C. 6018

—Civil service retirement benefits, 5 U.S.C. 729, 22659

—Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act death and disability benefits, 33 U.S.C. 916;

—Railroad Retirement Act annuities and pensions, 45 U.S.C. 228(l)10

—Veterans benefits, 45 U.S.C. 352(E)11

—Special pensions paid to winners of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 38 U.S.C. 310112 and

—Federal homestead lands on debts contracted before issuance of the patent, 43 U.S.C. 175.

He may also exempt an interest in property in which the debtor had an interest as a tenant by the entirety or joint tenant to the extent that interest would have been exempt from process under applicable nonbankruptcy law. The Rules will provide for the situation where the debtor's choice of exemption, Federal or State, was improvident and should be changed, for example, where the court has ruled against the debtor with respect to a major exemption.

Under proposed 11 U.S.C. 541, all property of the debtor becomes property of the estate, but the debtor is permitted to exempt certain property from property of the estate under this section. Property may be exempted even if it is subject to a lien, but only the unencumbered portion of the property is to be counted in computing the "value" of the property for the purposes of exemption. Thus, for example, a residence worth $30,000 with a mortgage of $25,000 will be exemptable [sic] to the extent of $5,000. This follows current law. The remaining value of the property will be dealt with in the bankruptcy case as is any interest in property that is subject to a lien.

As under current law, the debtor will be permitted to convert nonexempt property into exempt property before filing a bankruptcy petition. See Hearings, pt. 3, at 1355–58. The practice is not fraudulent as to creditors and permits the debtor to make full use of the exemptions to which he is entitled under the law.

Subsection (c) insulates exempt property from prepetition claims, except tax and alimony, maintenance, or support claims that are excepted from discharge. The bankruptcy discharge will not prevent enforcement of valid liens. The rule of Long v. Bullard, 117 U.S. 617 (1886) [6 S.Ct. 917, 29 L.Ed. 1004], is accepted with respect to the enforcement of valid liens on nonexempt property as well as on exempt property. Cf. Louisville Joint Stock Land Bank v. Radford, 295 U.S. 555, 583 (1935) [55 S.Ct. 854].

Subsection (d) specifies the Federal exemptions to which the debtor is entitled. They are derived in large part from the Uniform Exemptions Act, promulgated by the Commissioners of Uniform State Laws in August, 1976. Eleven categories of property are exempted. First is a homestead to the extent of $10,000, which may be claimed in real or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence. Second, the debtor may exempt a motor vehicle to the extent of $1500. Third, the debtor may exempt household goods, furnishings, clothing, and similar household items, held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor. "Animals" includes all animals, such as pets, livestock, poultry, and fish, if they are held primarily for personal, family or household use. The limitation for third category items is $300 on any particular item. The debtor may also exempt up to $750 of personal jewelry.

Paragraph (5) permits the exemption of $500, plus any unused amount of the homestead exemption, in any property, in order not to discriminate against the nonhomeowner. Paragraph (6) grants the debtor up to $1000 in implements, professional books, or tools, of the trade of the debtor or a dependent. Paragraph (7) exempts a life insurance contract, other than a credit life insurance contract, owned by the debtor. This paragraph refers to the life insurance contract itself. It does not encompass any other rights under the contract, such as the right to borrow out the loan value. Because of this provision, the trustee may not surrender a life insurance contract, which remains property of the debtor if he chooses the Federal exemptions. Paragraph (8) permits the debtor to exempt up to $5000 in loan value in a life insurance policy owned by the debtor under which the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent is the insured. The exemption provided by this paragraph and paragraph (7) will also include the debtor's rights in a group insurance certificate under which the insured is an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent (assuming the debtor has rights in the policy that could be exempted) or the debtor. A trustee is authorized to collect the entire loan value on every life insurance policy owned by the debtor as property of the estate. First, however, the debtor will choose which policy or policies under which the loan value will be exempted. The $5000 figure is reduced by the amount of any automatic premium loan authorized after the date of the filing of the petition under section 542(d). Paragraph (9) exempts professionally prescribed health aids.

Paragraph (10) exempts certain benefits that are akin to future earnings of the debtor. These include social security, unemployment compensation, or public assistance benefits, veteran's benefits, disability, illness, or unemployment benefits, alimony, support, or separate maintenance (but only to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependents of the debtor), and benefits under a certain stock bonus, pension, profitsharing, annuity or similar plan based on illness, disability, death, age or length of service. Paragraph (11) allows the debtor to exempt certain compensation for losses. These include crime victim's reparation benefits, wrongful death benefits (with a reasonably necessary for support limitation), life insurance proceeds (same limitation), compensation for bodily injury, not including pain and suffering ($10,000 limitation), and loss of future earnings payments (support limitation). This provision in subparagraph (D)(11) is designed to cover payments in compensation of actual bodily injury, such as the loss of a limb, and is not intended to include the attendant costs that accompany such a loss, such as medical payments, pain and suffering, or loss of earnings. Those items are handled separately by the bill.

Subsection (e) protects the debtor's exemptions, either Federal or State, by making unenforceable in a bankruptcy case a waiver of exemptions or a waiver of the debtor's avoiding powers under the following subsections.

Subsection (f) protects the debtor's exemptions, his discharge, and thus his fresh start by permitting him to avoid certain liens on exempt property. The debtor may avoid a judicial lien on any property to the extent that the property could have been exempted in the absence of the lien, and may similarly avoid a nonpurchase-money security interest in certain household and personal goods. The avoiding power is independent of any waiver of exemptions.

Subsection (g) gives the debtor the ability to exempt property that the trustee recovers under one of the trustee's avoiding powers if the property was involuntarily transferred away from the debtor (such as by the fixing of a judicial lien) and if the debtor did not conceal the property. The debtor is also permitted to exempt property that the trustee recovers as the result of the avoiding of the fixing of certain security interests to the extent that the debtor could otherwise have exempted the property.

If the trustee does not pursue an avoiding power to recover a transfer of property that would be exempt, the debtor may pursue it and exempt the property, if the transfer was involuntary and the debtor did not conceal the property. If the debtor wishes to preserve his right to pursue an action under this provision, then he must intervene in any action brought by the trustee based on the same cause of action. It is not intended that the debtor be given an additional opportunity to avoid a transfer or that the transferee have to defend the same action twice. Rather, the section is primarily designed to give the debtor the rights the trustee could have pursued if the trustee chooses not to pursue them. The debtor is given no greater rights under this provision than the trustee, and thus the debtor's avoiding powers under proposed 11 U.S.C. 544, 545, 547, and 548, are subject to proposed 11 U.S.C. 546, as are the trustee's powers.

These subsections are cumulative. The debtor is not required to choose which he will use to gain an exemption. Instead, he may use more than one in any particular instance, just as the trustee's avoiding powers are cumulative.

Subsection (i) permits recovery by the debtor of property transferred in an avoided transfer from either the initial or subsequent transferees. It also permits preserving a transfer for the benefit of the debtor. Under either case the debtor may exempt the property recovered or preserved.

Subsection (k) makes clear that the debtor's aliquot share of the costs and expenses [for] recovery of property that the trustee recovers and the debtor later exempts, and any costs and expenses of avoiding a transfer by the debtor that the debtor has not already paid.

Subsection (l) requires the debtor to file a list of property that he claims as exempt from property of the estate. Absent an objection to the list, the property is exempted. A dependent of the debtor may file it and thus be protected if the debtor fails to file the list.

Subsection (m) requires the clerk of the bankruptcy court to give notice of any exemptions claimed under subsection (l), in order that parties in interest may have an opportunity to object to the claim.

Subsection (n) provides the rule for a joint case: each debtor is entitled to the Federal exemptions provided under this section or to the State exemptions, whichever the debtor chooses.

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), are set out in the Appendix to this title.

The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsecs. (b)(3)(C), (4), (d)(10)(E)(iii), (12), and (n), is classified generally to Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Sections 3(a)(47), 12, and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, referred to in subsec. (q)(1)(B)(i), (ii), are classified to sections 78c(a)(47), 78l, and 78o(d), respectively, of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1933, referred to in subsec. (q)(1)(B)(ii), is classified to section 77f of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(17)(A), substituted "petition to the place" for "petition at the place" and "located in a single State" for "located at a single State".

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(17)(B), substituted "such paragraph" for "section 523(a)(5)".

2005—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–8, §224(a)(1)(B)–(F), designated introductory provisions of subsec. (b) as par. (1), substituted "paragraph (3)" for "paragraph (2)" in two places and "paragraph (2)" for "paragraph (1)" wherever appearing, struck out "Such property is—" after "case is filed.", and struck out former par. (1) which read: "property that is specified under subsection (d) of this section, unless the State law that is applicable to the debtor under paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection specifically does not so authorize; or, in the alternative,".

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 109–8, §224(a)(1)(B), added par. (2). Former par. (2) redesignated (3).

Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 109–8, §224(a)(1)(A)(i)–(iii), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 109–8, §307(2), inserted "If the effect of the domiciliary requirement under subparagraph (A) is to render the debtor ineligible for any exemption, the debtor may elect to exempt property that is specified under subsection (d)." at end.

Pub. L. 109–8, §224(a)(1)(A)(iv), redesignated par. (2) as (3) and inserted introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 109–8, §308(1), inserted "subject to subsections (o) and (p)," before "any property".

Pub. L. 109–8, §307(1), substituted "730 days" for "180 days" and "or if the debtor's domicile has not been located at a single State for such 730-day period, the place in which the debtor's domicile was located for 180 days immediately preceding the 730-day period or for a longer portion of such 180-day period than in any other place" for ", or for a longer portion of such 180-day period than in any other place".

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 109–8, §224(a)(1)(G), added par. (4).

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 109–8, §216(1), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: "a debt of a kind specified in section 523(a)(1) or 523(a)(5) of this title;".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–8, §224(a)(2)(A), substituted "subsection (b)(2)" for "subsection (b)(1)" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (d)(12). Pub. L. 109–8, §224(a)(2)(B), added par. (12).

Subsec. (f)(1)(A). Pub. L. 109–8, §216(2), substituted "a debt of a kind that is specified in section 523(a)(5); or" for "a debt—

"(i) to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor, for alimony to, maintenance for, or support of such spouse or child, in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other order of a court of record, determination made in accordance with State or territorial law by a governmental unit, or property settlement agreement; and

"(ii) to the extent that such debt—

"(I) is not assigned to another entity, voluntarily, by operation of law, or otherwise; and

"(II) includes a liability designated as alimony, maintenance, or support, unless such liability is actually in the nature of alimony, maintenance or support.; or".

Subsec. (f)(4). Pub. L. 109–8, §313(a), added par. (4).

Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 109–8, §216(3), substituted "subsection (f)(1)(B)" for "subsection (f)(2)".

Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 109–8, §224(e)(1), added subsec. (n).

Subsec. (o). Pub. L. 109–8, §308(2), added subsec. (o).

Subsecs. (p), (q). Pub. L. 109–8, §322(a), added subsecs. (p) and (q).

2000—Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 106–420 added par. (4).

1994—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–394, §501(d)(12)(A), substituted "Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure" for "Bankruptcy Rules".

Subsec. (d)(1) to (6). Pub. L. 103–394, §108(d)(1)–(6), substituted "$15,000" for "$7,500" in par. (1), "$2,400" for "$1,200" in par. (2), "$400" and "$8,000" for "$200" and "$4,000", respectively, in par. (3), "$1,000" for "$500" in par. (4), "$800" and "$7,500" for "$400" and "$3,750", respectively, in par. (5), and "$1,500" for "$750" in par. (6).

Subsec. (d)(8). Pub. L. 103–394, §108(d)(7), substituted "$8,000" for "$4,000".

Subsec. (d)(10)(E)(iii). Pub. L. 103–394, §501(d)(12)(B), substituted "or 408" for "408, or 409" and "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" for "Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), 408, or 409)".

Subsec. (d)(11)(D). Pub. L. 103–394, §108(d)(8), substituted "$15,000" for "$7,500".

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 103–394, §§303(3), 310(1), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and inserted "but subject to paragraph (3)" after "waiver of exemptions" in introductory provisions. Former par. (1) redesignated subpar. (A) of par. (1).

Subsec. (f)(1)(A). Pub. L. 103–394, §§303(2), 304(d), redesignated par. (1) as subpar. (A) of par. (1) and inserted ", other than a judicial lien that secures a debt—

"(i) to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor, for alimony to, maintenance for, or support of such spouse or child, in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other order of a court of record, determination made in accordance with State or territorial law by a governmental unit, or property settlement agreement; and

"(ii) to the extent that such debt—

"(I) is not assigned to another entity, voluntarily, by operation of law, or otherwise; and

"(II) includes a liability designated as alimony, maintenance, or support, unless such liability is actually in the nature of alimony, maintenance or support."

Subsec. (f)(1)(B). Pub. L. 103–394, §303(1), redesignated par. (2) as subpar. (B) of par. (1) and subpars. (A) to (C) of par. (2) as cls. (i) to (iii), respectively, of subpar. (B) of par. (1).

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 103–394, §303(4), added par. (2). Former par. (2) redesignated subpar. (B) of par. (1).

Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 103–394, §310(2), added par. (3).

1990—Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 101–647 added par. (3).

1986—Subsec. (h)(1). Pub. L. 99–554, §283(i)(1), substituted "553 of this title" for "553 of this tittle".

Subsec. (i)(2). Pub. L. 99–554, §283(i)(2), substituted "this" for "his" after "subsection (g) of".

1984—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 98–353, §453(a), inserted "or, with respect to property that becomes property of an estate after such date, as of the date such property becomes property of the estate".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–353, §306(a), inserted provision that in joint cases filed under section 302 of this title and individual cases filed under section 301 or 303 of this title by or against debtors who are husband and wife, and whose estates are ordered to be jointly administered under Rule 1015(b) of the Bankruptcy Rules, one debtor may not elect to exempt property listed in paragraph (1) and the other debtor elect to exempt property listed in paragraph (2) of this subsection, but that if the parties cannot agree on the alternative to be elected, they shall be deemed to elect paragraph (1), where such election is permitted under the law of the jurisdiction where the case is filed.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–353, §453(b), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: "Unless the case is dismissed, property exempted under this section is not liable during or after the case for any debt of the debtor that arose, or that is determined under section 502 of this title as if such claim had arisen before the commencement of the case, except—

"(1) a debt of a kind specified in section 523(a)(1) or section 523(a)(5) of this title; or

"(2) a lien that is—

"(A) not avoided under section 544, 545, 547, 548, 549, or 724(a) of this title;

"(B) not voided under section 506(d) of this title; or

"(C)(i) a tax lien, notice of which is properly filed; and

"(ii) avoided under section 545(2) of this title."

Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 98–353, §306(b), inserted "or $4,000 in aggregate value".

Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 98–353, §306(c), amended par. (5) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (5) read as follows: "The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed in value $400 plus any unused amount of the exemption provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection, in any property."

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–353, §453(c), substituted "an exemption" for "exemptions".

Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 98–353, §306(d), substituted "Subject to the limitation in subsection (b), this section shall apply separately with respect to each debtor in a joint case" for "This section shall apply separately with respect to each debtor in a joint case".

Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–8 effective 180 days after Apr. 20, 2005, with amendments by sections 216, 224(a), (e)(1), 307, and 313(a) of Pub. L. 109–8 not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before such effective date, except as otherwise provided, and amendments by sections 308 and 322(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 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 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–554 effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1986, see section 302(a) of Pub. L. 99–554, set out as a note under section 581 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

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.

Adjustment of Dollar Amounts

The dollar amounts specified in this section were adjusted by notices of the Judicial Conference of the United States pursuant to section 104 of this title as follows:

By notice dated Feb. 5, 2019, 84 F.R. 3488, effective Apr. 1, 2019, in subsec. (d)(1), dollar amount "23,675" was adjusted to "25,150"; in subsec. (d)(2), dollar amount "3,775" was adjusted to "4,000"; in subsec. (d)(3), dollar amounts "600" and "12,625" were adjusted to "625" and "13,400", respectively; in subsec. (d)(4), dollar amount "1,600" was adjusted to "1,700"; in subsec. (d)(5), dollar amounts "1,250" and "11,850" were adjusted to "1,325" and "12,575", respectively; in subsec. (d)(6), dollar amount "2,375" was adjusted to "2,525"; in subsec. (d)(8), dollar amount "12,625" was adjusted to "13,400"; in subsec. (d)(11)(D), dollar amount "23,675" was adjusted to "25,150"; in subsec. (f)(3), dollar amount "6,425" was adjusted to "6,825"; in subsec. (f)(4), dollar amount "675" was adjusted to "725" each time it appeared; in subsec. (n), dollar amount "1,283,025" was adjusted to "1,362,800"; in subsec. (p), dollar amount "160,375" was adjusted to "170,350"; and, in subsec. (q), dollar amount "160,375" was adjusted to "170,350". See notice of the Judicial Conference of the United States set out as a note under section 104 of this title.

By notice dated Feb. 16, 2016, 81 F.R. 8748, effective Apr. 1, 2016, in subsec. (d)(1), dollar amount "22,975" was adjusted to "23,675"; in subsec. (d)(2), dollar amount "3,675" was adjusted to "3,775"; in subsec. (d)(3), dollar amounts "575" and "12,250" were adjusted to "600" and "12,625", respectively; in subsec. (d)(4), dollar amount "1,550" was adjusted to "1,600"; in subsec. (d)(5), dollar amounts "1,225" and "11,500" were adjusted to "1,250" and "11,850", respectively; in subsec. (d)(6), dollar amount "2,300" was adjusted to "2,375"; in subsec. (d)(8), dollar amount "12,250" was adjusted to "12,625"; in subsec. (d)(11)(D), dollar amount "22,975" was adjusted to "23,675"; in subsec. (f)(3), dollar amount "6,225" was adjusted to "6,425"; in subsec. (f)(4), dollar amount "650" was adjusted to "675" each time it appeared; in subsec. (n), dollar amount "1,245,475" was adjusted to "1,283,025"; in subsec. (p), dollar amount "155,675" was adjusted to "160,375"; and, in subsec. (q), dollar amount "155,675" was adjusted to "160,375".

By notice dated Feb. 12, 2013, 78 F.R. 12089, effective Apr. 1, 2013, in subsec. (d)(1), dollar amount "21,625" was adjusted to "22,975"; in subsec. (d)(2), dollar amount "3,450" was adjusted to "3,675"; in subsec. (d)(3), dollar amounts "550" and "11,525" were adjusted to "575" and "12,250", respectively; in subsec. (d)(4), dollar amount "1,450" was adjusted to "1,550"; in subsec. (d)(5), dollar amounts "1,150" and "10,825" were adjusted to "1,225" and "11,500", respectively; in subsec. (d)(6), dollar amount "2,175" was adjusted to "2,300"; in subsec. (d)(8), dollar amount "11,525" was adjusted to "12,250"; in subsec. (d)(11)(D), dollar amount "21,625" was adjusted to "22,975"; in subsec. (f)(3), dollar amount "5,850" was adjusted to "6,225"; in subsec. (f)(4), dollar amount "600" was adjusted to "650" each time it appeared; in subsec. (n), dollar amount "1,171,650" was adjusted to "1,245,475"; in subsec. (p), dollar amount "146,450" was adjusted to "155,675"; and, in subsec. (q), dollar amount "146,450" was adjusted to "155,675".

By notice dated Feb. 19, 2010, 75 F.R. 8747, effective Apr. 1, 2010, in subsec. (d)(1), dollar amount "20,200" was adjusted to "21,625"; in subsec. (d)(2), dollar amount "3,225" was adjusted to "3,450"; in subsec. (d)(3), dollar amounts "525" and "10,775" were adjusted to "550" and "11,525", respectively; in subsec. (d)(4), dollar amount "1,350" was adjusted to "1,450"; in subsec. (d)(5), dollar amounts "1,075" and "10,125" were adjusted to "1,150" and "10,825", respectively; in subsec. (d)(6), dollar amount "2,025" was adjusted to "2,175"; in subsec. (d)(8), dollar amount "10,775" was adjusted to "11,525"; in subsec. (d)(11)(D), dollar amount "20,200" was adjusted to "21,625"; in subsec. (f)(3)(B), dollar amount "5,475" was adjusted to "5,850"; in subsec. (f)(4)(B), dollar amount "550" was adjusted to "600" each time it appeared; in subsec. (n), dollar amount "1,095,000" was adjusted to "1,171,650"; in subsec. (p)(1), dollar amount "136,875" was adjusted to "146,450"; and, in subsec. (q)(1), dollar amount "136,875" was adjusted to "146,450".

By notice dated Feb. 7, 2007, 72 F.R. 7082, effective Apr. 1, 2007, in subsec. (d)(1), dollar amount "18,450" was adjusted to "20,200"; in subsec. (d)(2), dollar amount "2,950" was adjusted to "3,225"; in subsec. (d)(3), dollar amounts "475" and "9,850" were adjusted to "525" and "10,775", respectively; in subsec. (d)(4), dollar amount "1,225" was adjusted to "1,350"; in subsec. (d)(5), dollar amounts "975" and "9,250" were adjusted to "1,075" and "10,125", respectively; in subsec. (d)(6), dollar amount "1,850" was adjusted to "2,025"; in subsec. (d)(8), dollar amount "9,850" was adjusted to "10,775"; in subsec. (d)(11)(D), dollar amount "18,450" was adjusted to "20,200"; in subsec. (f)(3), dollar amount "5,000" was adjusted to "5,475"; in subsec. (f)(4), dollar amount "500" was adjusted to "550" each time it appeared; in subsec. (n), dollar amount "1,000,000" was adjusted to "1,095,000"; in subsec. (p), dollar amount "125,000" was adjusted to "136,875"; and, in subsec. (q), dollar amount "125,000" was adjusted to "136,875".

By notice dated Feb. 18, 2004, 69 F.R. 8482, effective Apr. 1, 2004, in subsec. (d)(1), dollar amount "17,425" was adjusted to "18,450"; in subsec. (d)(2), dollar amount "2,775" was adjusted to "2,950"; in subsec. (d)(3), dollar amounts "450" and "9,300" were adjusted to "475" and "9,850", respectively; in subsec. (d)(4), dollar amount "1,150" was adjusted to "1,225"; in subsec. (d)(5), dollar amounts "925" and "8,725" were adjusted to "975" and "9,250", respectively; in subsec. (d)(6), dollar amount "1,750" was adjusted to "1,850"; in subsec. (d)(8), dollar amount "9,300" was adjusted to "9,850"; and, in subsec. (d)(11)(D), dollar amount "17,425" was adjusted to "18,450".

By notice dated Feb. 13, 2001, 66 F.R. 10910, effective Apr. 1, 2001, in subsec. (d)(1), dollar amount "16,150" was adjusted to "17,425"; in subsec. (d)(2), dollar amount "2,575" was adjusted to "2,775"; in subsec. (d)(3), dollar amounts "425" and "8,625" were adjusted to "450" and "9,300", respectively; in subsec. (d)(4), dollar amount "1,075" was adjusted to "1,150"; in subsec. (d)(5), dollar amounts "850" and "8,075" were adjusted to "925" and "8,725", respectively; in subsec. (d)(6), dollar amount "1,625" was adjusted to "1,750"; in subsec. (d)(8), dollar amount "8,625" was adjusted to "9,300"; and, in subsec. (d)(11)(D), dollar amount "16,150" was adjusted to "17,425".

By notice dated Feb. 3, 1998, 63 F.R. 7179, effective Apr. 1, 1998, in subsec. (d)(1), dollar amount "15,000" was adjusted to "16,150"; in subsec. (d)(2), dollar amount "2,400" was adjusted to "2,575"; in subsec. (d)(3), dollar amounts "400" and "8,000" were adjusted to "425" and "8,625", respectively; in subsec. (d)(4), dollar amount "1,000" was adjusted to "1,075"; in subsec. (d)(5), dollar amounts "800" and "7,500" were adjusted to "850" and "8,075", respectively; in subsec. (d)(6), dollar amount "1,500" was adjusted to "1,625"; in subsec. (d)(8), dollar amount "8,000" was adjusted to "8,625"; and, in subsec. (d)(11)(D), dollar amount "15,000" was adjusted to "16,150".

1 See Adjustment of Dollar Amounts notes below.

1 Replaced by 22 U.S.C. 4060(c).

2 Replaced by 46 U.S.C. 11108, 11109.

3 Replaced by 5 U.S.C. 8346.

4 Replaced by 45 U.S.C. 231m.

5 Railroad unemployment benefits are covered by 45 U.S.C. 352(e).

6 Veterans benefits generally are covered by 38 U.S.C. 3101 [now 5301].

7 Replaced by 22 U.S.C. 4060(c).

8 Replaced by 46 U.S.C. 11108, 11109.

9 Replaced by 5 U.S.C. 8346.

10 Replaced by 45 U.S.C. 231m.

11 Railroad unemployment benefits are covered by 45 U.S.C. 352(e).

12 Veterans benefits generally are covered by 38 U.S.C. 3101 [now 5301].

§523. Exceptions to discharge

(a) A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1192 1 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt—

(1) for a tax or a customs duty—

(A) of the kind and for the periods specified in section 507(a)(3) or 507(a)(8) of this title, whether or not a claim for such tax was filed or allowed;

(B) with respect to which a return, or equivalent report or notice, if required—

(i) was not filed or given; or

(ii) was filed or given after the date on which such return, report, or notice was last due, under applicable law or under any extension, and after two years before the date of the filing of the petition; or


(C) with respect to which the debtor made a fraudulent return or willfully attempted in any manner to evade or defeat such tax;


(2) for money, property, services, or an extension, renewal, or refinancing of credit, to the extent obtained by—

(A) false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud, other than a statement respecting the debtor's or an insider's financial condition;

(B) use of a statement in writing—

(i) that is materially false;

(ii) respecting the debtor's or an insider's financial condition;

(iii) on which the creditor to whom the debtor is liable for such money, property, services, or credit reasonably relied; and

(iv) that the debtor caused to be made or published with intent to deceive; or


(C)(i) for purposes of subparagraph (A)—

(I) consumer debts owed to a single creditor and aggregating more than $500 2 for luxury goods or services incurred by an individual debtor on or within 90 days before the order for relief under this title are presumed to be nondischargeable; and

(II) cash advances aggregating more than $750 2 that are extensions of consumer credit under an open end credit plan obtained by an individual debtor on or within 70 days before the order for relief under this title, are presumed to be nondischargeable; and


(ii) for purposes of this subparagraph—

(I) the terms "consumer", "credit", and "open end credit plan" have the same meanings as in section 103 of the Truth in Lending Act; and

(II) the term "luxury goods or services" does not include goods or services reasonably necessary for the support or maintenance of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor;


(3) neither listed nor scheduled under section 521(a)(1) of this title, with the name, if known to the debtor, of the creditor to whom such debt is owed, in time to permit—

(A) if such debt is not of a kind specified in paragraph (2), (4), or (6) of this subsection, timely filing of a proof of claim, unless such creditor had notice or actual knowledge of the case in time for such timely filing; or

(B) if such debt is of a kind specified in paragraph (2), (4), or (6) of this subsection, timely filing of a proof of claim and timely request for a determination of dischargeability of such debt under one of such paragraphs, unless such creditor had notice or actual knowledge of the case in time for such timely filing and request;


(4) for fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity, embezzlement, or larceny;

(5) for a domestic support obligation;

(6) for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity;

(7) to the extent such debt is for a fine, penalty, or forfeiture payable to and for the benefit of a governmental unit, and is not compensation for actual pecuniary loss, other than a tax penalty—

(A) relating to a tax of a kind not specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

(B) imposed with respect to a transaction or event that occurred before three years before the date of the filing of the petition;


(8) unless excepting such debt from discharge under this paragraph would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor's dependents, for—

(A)(i) an educational benefit overpayment or loan made, insured, or guaranteed by a governmental unit, or made under any program funded in whole or in part by a governmental unit or nonprofit institution; or

(ii) an obligation to repay funds received as an educational benefit, scholarship, or stipend; or

(B) any other educational loan that is a qualified education loan, as defined in section 221(d)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, incurred by a debtor who is an individual;


(9) for death or personal injury caused by the debtor's operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft if such operation was unlawful because the debtor was intoxicated from using alcohol, a drug, or another substance;

(10) that was or could have been listed or scheduled by the debtor in a prior case concerning the debtor under this title or under the Bankruptcy Act in which the debtor waived discharge, or was denied a discharge under section 727(a)(2), (3), (4), (5), (6), or (7) of this title, or under section 14c(1), (2), (3), (4), (6), or (7) of such Act;

(11) provided in any final judgment, unreviewable order, or consent order or decree entered in any court of the United States or of any State, issued by a Federal depository institutions regulatory agency, or contained in any settlement agreement entered into by the debtor, arising from any act of fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity committed with respect to any depository institution or insured credit union;

(12) for malicious or reckless failure to fulfill any commitment by the debtor to a Federal depository institutions regulatory agency to maintain the capital of an insured depository institution, except that this paragraph shall not extend any such commitment which would otherwise be terminated due to any act of such agency;

(13) for any payment of an order of restitution issued under title 18, United States Code;

(14) incurred to pay a tax to the United States that would be nondischargeable pursuant to paragraph (1);

(14A) incurred to pay a tax to a governmental unit, other than the United States, that would be nondischargeable under paragraph (1);

(14B) incurred to pay fines or penalties imposed under Federal election law;

(15) to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor and not of the kind described in paragraph (5) that is incurred by the debtor in the course of a divorce or separation or in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other order of a court of record, or a determination made in accordance with State or territorial law by a governmental unit;

(16) for a fee or assessment that becomes due and payable after the order for relief to a membership association with respect to the debtor's interest in a unit that has condominium ownership, in a share of a cooperative corporation, or a lot in a homeowners association, for as long as the debtor or the trustee has a legal, equitable, or possessory ownership interest in such unit, such corporation, or such lot, but nothing in this paragraph shall except from discharge the debt of a debtor for a membership association fee or assessment for a period arising before entry of the order for relief in a pending or subsequent bankruptcy case;

(17) for a fee imposed on a prisoner by any court for the filing of a case, motion, complaint, or appeal, or for other costs and expenses assessed with respect to such filing, regardless of an assertion of poverty by the debtor under subsection (b) or (f)(2) of section 1915 of title 28 (or a similar non-Federal law), or the debtor's status as a prisoner, as defined in section 1915(h) of title 28 (or a similar non-Federal law);

(18) owed to a pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus, or other plan established under section 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457, or 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, under—

(A) a loan permitted under section 408(b)(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or subject to section 72(p) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

(B) a loan from a thrift savings plan permitted under subchapter III of chapter 84 of title 5, that satisfies the requirements of section 8433(g) of such title;


but nothing in this paragraph may be construed to provide that any loan made under a governmental plan under section 414(d), or a contract or account under section 403(b), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 constitutes a claim or a debt under this title; or

(19) that—

(A) is for—

(i) the violation of any of the Federal securities laws (as that term is defined in section 3(a)(47) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), any of the State securities laws, or any regulation or order issued under such Federal or State securities laws; or

(ii) common law fraud, deceit, or manipulation in connection with the purchase or sale of any security; and


(B) results, before, on, or after the date on which the petition was filed, from—

(i) any judgment, order, consent order, or decree entered in any Federal or State judicial or administrative proceeding;

(ii) any settlement agreement entered into by the debtor; or

(iii) any court or administrative order for any damages, fine, penalty, citation, restitutionary payment, disgorgement payment, attorney fee, cost, or other payment owed by the debtor.


For purposes of this subsection, the term "return" means a return that satisfies the requirements of applicable nonbankruptcy law (including applicable filing requirements). Such term includes a return prepared pursuant to section 6020(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or similar State or local law, or a written stipulation to a judgment or a final order entered by a nonbankruptcy tribunal, but does not include a return made pursuant to section 6020(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or a similar State or local law.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a debt that was excepted from discharge under subsection (a)(1), (a)(3), or (a)(8) of this section, under section 17a(1), 17a(3), or 17a(5) of the Bankruptcy Act, under section 439A 3 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, or under section 733(g) 3 of the Public Health Service Act in a prior case concerning the debtor under this title, or under the Bankruptcy Act, is dischargeable in a case under this title unless, by the terms of subsection (a) of this section, such debt is not dischargeable in the case under this title.

(c)(1) Except as provided in subsection (a)(3)(B) of this section, the debtor shall be discharged from a debt of a kind specified in paragraph (2), (4), or (6) of subsection (a) of this section, unless, on request of the creditor to whom such debt is owed, and after notice and a hearing, the court determines such debt to be excepted from discharge under paragraph (2), (4), or (6), as the case may be, of subsection (a) of this section.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply in the case of a Federal depository institutions regulatory agency seeking, in its capacity as conservator, receiver, or liquidating agent for an insured depository institution, to recover a debt described in subsection (a)(2), (a)(4), (a)(6), or (a)(11) owed to such institution by an institution-affiliated party unless the receiver, conservator, or liquidating agent was appointed in time to reasonably comply, or for a Federal depository institutions regulatory agency acting in its corporate capacity as a successor to such receiver, conservator, or liquidating agent to reasonably comply, with subsection (a)(3)(B) as a creditor of such institution-affiliated party with respect to such debt.

(d) If a creditor requests a determination of dischargeability of a consumer debt under subsection (a)(2) of this section, and such debt is discharged, the court shall grant judgment in favor of the debtor for the costs of, and a reasonable attorney's fee for, the proceeding if the court finds that the position of the creditor was not substantially justified, except that the court shall not award such costs and fees if special circumstances would make the award unjust.

(e) Any institution-affiliated party of an insured depository institution shall be considered to be acting in a fiduciary capacity with respect to the purposes of subsection (a)(4) or (11).

(Pub. L. 95–598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2590; Pub. L. 96–56, §3, Aug. 14, 1979, 93 Stat. 387; Pub. L. 97–35, title XXIII, §2334(b), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 863; Pub. L. 98–353, title III, §§307, 371, 454, July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 353, 364, 375; Pub. L. 99–554, title II, §§257(n), 281, 283(j), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3115–3117; Pub. L. 101–581, §2(a), Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2865; Pub. L. 101–647, title XXV, §2522(a), title XXXI, §3102(a), title XXXVI, §3621, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4865, 4916, 4964; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXII, §320934, Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2135; Pub. L. 103–394, title II, §221, title III, §§304(e), (h)(3), 306, 309, title V, §501(d)(13), Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4129, 4133-4135, 4137, 4145; Pub. L. 104–134, title I, §101[(a)] [title VIII, §804(b)], Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321, 1321-74; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 104–140, §1(a), May 2, 1996, 110 Stat. 1327; Pub. L. 104–193, title III, §374(a), Aug. 22, 1996, 110 Stat. 2255; Pub. L. 105–244, title IX, §971(a), Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1837; Pub. L. 107–204, title VIII, §803, July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 801; Pub. L. 109–8, title II, §§215, 220, 224(c), title III, §§301, 310, 314(a), title IV, §412, title VII, §714, title XII, §§1209, 1235, title XIV, §1404(a), title XV, §1502(a)(2), Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 54, 59, 64, 75, 84, 88, 107, 128, 194, 204, 215, 216; Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(18), Dec. 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 3559; Pub. L. 116–54, §4(a)(8), Aug. 23, 2019, 133 Stat. 1086.)

Historical and Revision Notes

legislative statements

Section 523(a)(1) represents a compromise between the position taken in the House bill and the Senate amendment. Section 523(a)(2) likewise represents a compromise between the position taken in the House bill and the Senate amendment with respect to the false financial statement exception to discharge. In order to clarify that a "renewal of credit" includes a "refinancing of credit", explicit reference to a refinancing of credit is made in the preamble to section 523(a)(2). A renewal of credit or refinancing of credit that was obtained by a false financial statement within the terms of section 523(a)(2) is nondischargeable. However, each of the provisions of section 523(a)(2) must be proved. Thus, under section 523(a)(2)(A) a creditor must prove that the debt was obtained by false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud, other than a statement respecting the debtor's or an insider's financial condition. Subparagraph (A) is intended to codify current case law e.g., Neal v. Clark, 95 U.S. 704 (1887) [24 L. Ed. 586], which interprets "fraud" to mean actual or positive fraud rather than fraud implied in law. Subparagraph (A) is mutually exclusive from subparagraph (B). Subparagraph (B) pertains to the so-called false financial statement. In order for the debt to be nondischargeable, the creditor must prove that the debt was obtained by the use of a statement in writing (i) that is materially false; (ii) respecting the debtor's or an insider's financial condition; (iii) on which the creditor to whom the debtor is liable for obtaining money, property, services, or credit reasonably relied; (iv) that the debtor caused to be made or published with intent to deceive. Section 523(a)(2)(B)(iv) is not intended to change from present law since the statement that the debtor causes to be made or published with the intent to deceive automatically includes a statement that the debtor actually makes or publishes with an intent to deceive. Section 523(a)(2)(B) is explained in the House report. Under section 523(a)(2)(B)(i) a discharge is barred only as to that portion of a loan with respect to which a false financial statement is materially false.

In many cases, a creditor is required by state law to refinance existing credit on which there has been no default. If the creditor does not forfeit remedies or otherwise rely to his detriment on a false financial statement with respect to existing credit, then an extension, renewal, or refinancing of such credit is nondischargeable only to the extent of the new money advanced; on the other hand, if an existing loan is in default or the creditor otherwise reasonably relies to his detriment on a false financial statement with regard to an existing loan, then the entire debt is nondischargeable under section 523(a)(2)(B). This codifies the reasoning expressed by the second circuit in In re Danns, 558 F.2d 114 (2d Cir. 1977).

Section 523(a)(3) of the House amendment is derived from the Senate amendment. The provision is intended to overrule Birkett v. Columbia Bank, 195 U.S. 345 (1904) [25 S.Ct. 38, 49 L.Ed. 231, 12 Am.Bankr.Rep. 691].

Section 523(a)(4) of the House amendment represents a compromise between the House bill and the Senate amendment.

Section 523(a)(5) is a compromise between the House bill and the Senate amendment. The provision excepts from discharge a debt owed to a spouse, former spouse or child of the debtor, in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree, or property settlement agreement, for alimony to, maintenance for, or support of such spouse or child but not to the extent that the debt is assigned to another entity. If the debtor has assumed an obligation of the debtor's spouse to a third party in connection with a separation agreement, property settlement agreement, or divorce proceeding, such debt is dischargeable to the extent that payment of the debt by the debtor is not actually in the nature of alimony, maintenance, or support of debtor's spouse, former spouse, or child.

Section 523(a)(6) adopts the position taken in the House bill and rejects the alternative suggested in the Senate amendment. The phrase "willful and malicious injury" covers a willful and malicious conversion.

Section 523(a)(7) of the House amendment adopts the position taken in the Senate amendment and rejects the position taken in the House bill. A penalty relating to a tax cannot be nondischargeable unless the tax itself is nondischargeable.

Section 523(a)(8) represents a compromise between the House bill and the Senate amendment regarding educational loans. This provision is broader than current law which is limited to federally insured loans. Only educational loans owing to a governmental unit or a nonprofit institution of higher education are made nondischargeable under this paragraph.

Section 523(b) is new. The section represents a modification of similar provisions contained in the House bill and the Senate amendment.

Section 523(c) of the House amendment adopts the position taken in the Senate amendment.

Section 523(d) represents a compromise between the position taken in the House bill and the Senate amendment on the issue of attorneys' fees in false financial statement complaints to determine dischargeability. The provision contained in the House bill permitting the court to award damages is eliminated. The court must grant the debtor judgment or a reasonable attorneys' fee unless the granting of judgment would be clearly inequitable.

Nondischargeable debts: The House amendment retains the basic categories of nondischargeable tax liabilities contained in both bills, but restricts the time limits on certain nondischargeable taxes. Under the amendment, nondischargeable taxes cover taxes entitled to priority under section 507(a)(6) of title 11 and, in the case of individual debtors under chapters 7, 11, or 13, tax liabilities with respect to which no required return had been filed or as to which a late return had been filed if the return became last due, including extensions, within 2 years before the date of the petition or became due after the petition or as to which the debtor made a fraudulent return, entry or invoice or fraudulently attempted to evade or defeat the tax.

In the case of individuals in liquidation under chapter 7 or in reorganization under chapter 11 of title 11, section 1141(d)(2) incorporates by reference the exceptions to discharge continued in section 523. Different rules concerning the discharge of taxes where a partnership or corporation reorganizes under chapter 11, apply under section 1141.

The House amendment also deletes the reduction rule contained in section 523(e) of the Senate amendment. Under that rule, the amount of an otherwise nondischargeable tax liability would be reduced by the amount which a governmental tax authority could have collected from the debtor's estate if it had filed a timely claim against the estate but which it did not collect because no such claim was filed. This provision is deleted in order not to effectively compel a tax authority to file claim against the estate in "no asset" cases, along with a dischargeability petition. In no-asset cases, therefore, if the tax authority is not potentially penalized by failing to file a claim, the debtor in such cases will have a better opportunity to choose the prepayment forum, bankruptcy court or the Tax Court, in which to litigate his personal liability for a nondischargeable tax.

The House amendment also adopts the Senate amendment provision limiting the nondischargeability of punitive tax penalties, that is, penalties other than those which represent collection of a principal amount of tax liability through the form of a "penalty." Under the House amendment, tax penalties which are basically punitive in nature are to be nondischargeable only if the penalty is computed by reference to a related tax liability which is nondischargeable or, if the amount of the penalty is not computed by reference to a tax liability, the transaction or event giving rise to the penalty occurred during the 3-year period ending on the date of the petition.

senate report no. 95–989

This section specifies which of the debtor's debts are not discharged in a bankruptcy case, and certain procedures for effectuating the section. The provision in Bankruptcy Act §17c [section 35(c) of former title 11] granting the bankruptcy courts jurisdiction to determine dischargeability is deleted as unnecessary, in view of the comprehensive grant of jurisdiction prescribed in proposed 28 U.S.C. 1334(b), which is adequate to cover the full jurisdiction that the bankruptcy courts have today over dischargeability and related issues under Bankruptcy Act §17c. The Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure will specify, as they do today, who may request determinations of dischargeability, subject, of course, to proposed 11 U.S.C. 523(c), and when such a request may be made. Proposed 11 U.S.C. 350, providing for reopening of cases, provides one possible procedure for a determination of dischargeability and related issues after a case is closed.

Subsection (a) lists nine kinds of debts excepted from discharge. Taxes that are excepted from discharge are set forth in paragraph (1). These include claims against the debtor which receive priority in the second, third and sixth categories (§507(a)(3)(B) and (c) and (6)). These categories include taxes for which the tax authority failed to file a claim against the estate or filed its claim late. Whether or not the taxing authority's claim is secured will also not affect the claim's nondischargeability if the tax liability in question is otherwise entitled to priority.

Also included in the nondischargeable debts are taxes for which the debtor had not filed a required return as of the petition date, or for which a return had been filed beyond its last permitted due date (§523(a)(1)(B)). For this purpose, the date of the tax year to which the return relates is immaterial. The late return rule applies, however, only to the late returns filed within three years before the petition was filed, and to late returns filed after the petition in title 11 was filed. For this purpose, the taxable year in question need not be one or more of the three years immediately preceding the filing of the petition.

Tax claims with respect to which the debtor filed a fraudulent return, entry or invoice, or fraudulently attempted to evade or defeat any tax (§523(a)(1)(C)) are included. The date of the taxable year with regard to which the fraud occurred is immaterial.

Also included are tax payments due under an agreement for deferred payment of taxes, which a debtor had entered into with the Internal Revenue Service (or State or local tax authority) before the filing of the petition and which relate to a prepetition tax liability (§523(a)(1)(D)) are also nondischargeable. This classification applies only to tax claims which would have received priority under section 507(a) if the taxpayer had filed a title 11 petition on the date on which the deferred payment agreement was entered into. This rule also applies only to installment payments which become due during and after the commencement of the title 11 case. Payments which had become due within one year before the filing of the petition receive sixth priority, and will be nondischargeable under the general rule of section 523(a)(1)(A).

The above categories of nondischargeability apply to customs duties as well as to taxes.

Paragraph (2) provides that as under Bankruptcy Act §17a(2) [section 35(a)(2) of former title 11], a debt for obtaining money, property, services, or a refinancing extension or renewal of credit by false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud, or by use of a statement in writing respecting the debtor's financial condition that is materially false, on which the creditor reasonably relied, and which the debtor made or published with intent to deceive, is excepted from discharge. This provision is modified only slightly from current section 17a(2). First, "actual fraud" is added as a ground for exception from discharge. Second, the creditor must not only have relied on a false statement in writing, but the reliance must have been reasonable. This codifies case law construing present section 17a(2). Third, the phrase "in any manner whatsoever" that appears in current law after "made or published" is deleted as unnecessary, the word "published" is used in the same sense that it is used in defamation cases.

Unscheduled debts are excepted from discharge under paragraph (3). The provision, derived from section 17a(3) [section 35(a)(3) of former title 11], follows current law, but clarifies some uncertainties generated by the case law construing 17a(3). The debt is excepted from discharge if it was not scheduled in time to permit timely action by the creditor to protect his rights, unless the creditor had notice or actual knowledge of the case.

Paragraph (4) excepts debts for fraud incurred by the debtor while acting in a fiduciary capacity or for defalcation, embezzlement, or misappropriation.

Paragraph (5) provides that debts for willful and malicious conversion or injury by the debtor to another entity or the property of another entity are nondischargeable. Under this paragraph "willful" means deliberate or intentional. To the extent that Tinker v. Colwell, 139 U.S. 473 (1902), held that a less strict standard is intended, and to the extent that other cases have relied on Tinker to apply a "reckless disregard" standard, they are overruled.

Paragraph (6) excepts from discharge debts to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor for alimony to, maintenance for, or support of the spouse or child. This language, in combination with the repeal of section 456(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 656(b)) by section 326 of the bill, will apply to make nondischargeable only alimony, maintenance, or support owed directly to a spouse or dependent. What constitutes alimony, maintenance, or support, will be determined under the bankruptcy law, not State law. Thus, cases such as In re Waller, 494 F.2d 447 (6th Cir. 1974), are overruled, and the result in cases such as Fife v. Fife, 1 Utah 2d 281, 265 P.2d 642 (1952) is followed. The proviso, however, makes nondischargeable any debts resulting from an agreement by the debtor to hold the debtor's spouse harmless on joint debts, to the extent that the agreement is in payment of alimony, maintenance, or support of the spouse, as determined under bankruptcy law considerations as to whether a particular agreement to pay money to a spouse is actually alimony or a property settlement.

Paragraph (7) makes nondischargeable certain liabilities for penalties including tax penalties if the underlying tax with respect to which the penalty was imposed is also nondischargeable (sec. 523(a)(7)). These latter liabilities cover those which, but are penal in nature, as distinct from so-called "pecuniary loss" penalties which, in the case of taxes, involve basically the collection of a tax under the label of a "penalty." This provision differs from the bill as introduced, which did not link the nondischarge of a tax penalty with the treatment of the underlying tax. The amended provision reflects the existing position of the Internal Revenue Service as to tax penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Code (Rev.Rul. 68–574, 1968–2 C.B. 595).

Paragraph (8) follows generally current law and excerpts from discharge student loans until such loans have been due and owing for five years. Such loans include direct student loans as well as insured and guaranteed loans. This provision is intended to be self-executing and the lender or institution is not required to file a complaint to determine the nondischargeability of any student loan.

Paragraph (9) excepts from discharge debts that the debtor owed before a previous bankruptcy case concerning the debtor in which the debtor was denied a discharge other than on the basis of the six-year bar.

Subsection (b) of this section permits discharge in a bankruptcy case of an unscheduled debt from a prior case. This provision is carried over from Bankruptcy Act §17b [section 35(b) of former title 11]. The result dictated by the subsection would probably not be different if the subsection were not included. It is included nevertheless for clarity.

Subsection (c) requires a creditor who is owed a debt that may be excepted from discharge under paragraph (2), (4), or (5), (false statements, defalcation or larceny misappropriation, or willful and malicious injury) to initiate proceedings in the bankruptcy court for an exception to discharge. If the creditor does not act, the debt is discharged. This provision does not change current law.

Subsection (d) is new. It provides protection to a consumer debtor that dealt honestly with a creditor who sought to have a debt excepted from discharge on the ground of falsity in the incurring of the debt. The debtor may be awarded costs and a reasonable attorney's fee for the proceeding to determine the dischargeability of a debt under subsection (a)(2), if the court finds that the proceeding was frivolous or not brought by its creditor in good faith.

The purpose of the provision is to discourage creditors from initiating proceedings to obtaining a false financial statement exception to discharge in the hope of obtaining a settlement from an honest debtor anxious to save attorney's fees. Such practices impair the debtor's fresh start and are contrary to the spirit of the bankruptcy laws.

house report no. 95–595

Subsection (a) lists eight kinds of debts excepted from discharge. Taxes that are entitled to priority are excepted from discharge under paragraph (1). In addition, taxes with respect to which the debtor made a fraudulent return or willfully attempted to evade or defeat, or with respect to which a return (if required) was not filed or was not filed after the due date and after one year before the bankruptcy case are excepted from discharge. If the taxing authority's claim has been disallowed, then it would be barred by the more modern rules of collateral estoppel from reasserting that claim against the debtor after the case was closed. See Plumb, The Tax Recommendations of the Commission on the Bankruptcy Laws: Tax Procedures, 88 Harv.L.Rev. 1360, 1388 (1975).

As under Bankruptcy Act §17a(2) [section 35(a)(2) of former title 11], debt for obtaining money, property, services, or an extension or renewal of credit by false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud, or by use of a statement in writing respecting the debtor's financial condition that is materially false, on which the creditor reasonably relied, and that the debtor made or published with intent to deceive, is excepted from discharge. This provision is modified only slightly from current section 17a(2). First, "actual fraud" is added as a grounds for exception from discharge. Second, the creditor must not only have relied on a false statement in writing, the reliance must have been reasonable. This codifies case law construing this provision. Third, the phrase "in any manner whatsoever" that appears in current law after "made or published" is deleted as unnecessary. The word "published" is used in the same sense that it is used in slander actions.

Unscheduled debts are excepted from discharge under paragraph (3). The provision, derived from section 17a(3) [section 35(a)(3) of former title 11], follows current law, but clarifies some uncertainties generated by the case law construing 17a(3). The debt is excepted from discharge if it was not scheduled in time to permit timely action by the creditor to protect his rights, unless the creditor had notice or actual knowledge of the case.

Paragraph (4) excepts debts for embezzlement or larceny. The deletion of willful and malicious conversion from §17a(2) of the Bankruptcy Act [section 35(a)(2) of former title 11] is not intended to effect a substantive change. The intent is to include in the category of non-dischargeable debts a conversion under which the debtor willfully and maliciously intends to borrow property for a short period of time with no intent to inflict injury but on which injury is in fact inflicted.

Paragraph (5) excepts from discharge debts to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor for alimony to, maintenance for, or support of, the spouse or child. This language, in combination with the repeal of section 456(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 656(b)) by section 327 of the bill, will apply to make nondischargeable only alimony, maintenance, or support owed directly to a spouse or dependent. See Hearings, pt. 2, at 942. What constitutes alimony, maintenance, or support, will be determined under the bankruptcy laws, not State law. Thus, cases such as In re Waller, 494 F.2d 447 (6th Cir. 1974); Hearings, pt. 3, at 1308–10, are overruled, and the result in cases such as Fife v. Fife, 1 Utah 2d 281, 265 P.2d 642 (1952) is followed. This provision will, however, make nondischargeable any debts resulting from an agreement by the debtor to hold the debtor's spouse harmless on joint debts, to the extent that the agreement is in payment of alimony, maintenance, or support of the spouse, as determined under bankruptcy law considerations that are similar to considerations of whether a particular agreement to pay money to a spouse is actually alimony or a property settlement. See Hearings, pt. 3, at 1287–1290.

Paragraph (6) excepts debts for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another person or to the property of another person. Under this paragraph, "willful" means deliberate or intentional. To the extent that Tinker v. Colwell, 193 U.S. 473 (1902) [24 S.Ct. 505, 48 L.Ed. 754, 11 Am.Bankr.Rep. 568], held that a looser standard is intended, and to the extent that other cases have relied on Tinker to apply a "reckless disregard" standard, they are overruled.

Paragraph (7) excepts from discharge a debt for a fine, penalty, or forfeiture payable to and for the benefit of a governmental unit, that is not compensation for actual pecuniary loss.

Paragraph (8) [enacted as (9)] excepts from discharge debts that the debtor owed before a previous bankruptcy case concerning the debtor in which the debtor was denied a discharge other than on the basis of the six-year bar.

Subsection (d) is new. It provides protection to a consumer debtor that dealt honestly with a creditor who sought to have a debt excepted from discharge on grounds of falsity in the incurring of the debt. The debtor is entitled to costs of and a reasonable attorney's fee for the proceeding to determine the dischargeability of a debt under subsection (a)(2), if the creditor initiated the proceeding and the debt was determined to be dischargeable. The court is permitted to award any actual pecuniary loss that the debtor may have suffered as a result of the proceeding (such as loss of a day's pay). The purpose of the provision is to discourage creditors from initiating false financial statement exception to discharge actions in the hopes of obtaining a settlement from an honest debtor anxious to save attorney's fees. Such practices impair the debtor's fresh start.

References in Text

The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (a), is classified generally to Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Section 103 of the Truth in Lending Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(ii)(I), is classified to section 1602 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

The Bankruptcy Act, referred to in subsecs. (a)(10) and (b), is act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, 30 Stat. 544, as amended, which was classified generally to former Title 11. Sections 14c and 17a of the Bankruptcy Act were classified to sections 32(c) and 35(a) of former Title 11.

Section 408(b)(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, referred to in subsec. (a)(18)(A), is classified to section 1108(b)(1) of Title 29, Labor.

Section 3(a)(47) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, referred to in subsec. (a)(19)(A)(i), is classified to section 78c(a)(47) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Section 439A of the Higher Education Act of 1965, referred to in subsec. (b), was classified to section 1087–3 of Title 20, Education, and was repealed by Pub. L. 95–598, title III, §317, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2678.

Section 733(g) of the Public Health Service Act, referred to in subsec. (b), was repealed by Pub. L. 95–598, title III, §327, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2679. A subsec. (g), containing similar provisions, was added to section 733 by Pub. L. 97–35, title XXVII, §2730, Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 919. Section 733 was subsequently omitted in the general revision of subchapter V of chapter 6A of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, by Pub. L. 102–408, title I, §102, Oct. 13, 1992, 106 Stat. 1994. See section 292f(g) of Title 42.

Amendments

2019—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 116–54 inserted "1192" after "1141," in introductory provisions.

2010—Subsec. (a)(2)(C)(ii)(II). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(18)(A), substituted semicolon for period at end.

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(18)(B), substituted "521(a)(1)" for "521(1)" in introductory provisions.

2005Pub. L. 109–8, §1209(1), transferred par. (15) and inserted it after subsec. (a)(14A). See 1994 Amendments note below.

Pub. L. 109–8, §215(3), in par. (15), inserted "to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor and" before "not of the kind" and "or" after "court of record," and substituted a semicolon for "unless—

"(A) the debtor does not have the ability to pay such debt from income or property of the debtor not reasonably necessary to be expended for the maintenance or support of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor and, if the debtor is engaged in a business, for the payment of expenditures necessary for the continuation, preservation, and operation of such business; or

"(B) discharging such debt would result in a benefit to the debtor that outweighs the detrimental consequences to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor;".

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–8, §714(2), inserted at end "For purposes of this subsection, the term 'return' means a return that satisfies the requirements of applicable nonbankruptcy law (including applicable filing requirements). Such term includes a return prepared pursuant to section 6020(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or similar State or local law, or a written stipulation to a judgment or a final order entered by a nonbankruptcy tribunal, but does not include a return made pursuant to section 6020(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or a similar State or local law."

Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 109–8, §1502(a)(2), substituted "507(a)(3)" for "507(a)(2)".

Subsec. (a)(1)(B). Pub. L. 109–8, §714(1)(A), inserted "or equivalent report or notice," after "a return," in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(1)(B)(i). Pub. L. 109–8, §714(1)(B), inserted "or given" after "filed".

Subsec. (a)(1)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 109–8, §714(1)(C), inserted "or given" after "filed" and ", report, or notice" after "return".

Subsec. (a)(2)(C). Pub. L. 109–8, §310, amended subpar. (C) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (C) read as follows: "for purposes of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, consumer debts owed to a single creditor and aggregating more than $1,000 for 'luxury goods or services' incurred by an individual debtor on or within 60 days before the order for relief under this title, or cash advances aggregating more than $1,000 that are extensions of consumer credit under an open end credit plan obtained by an individual debtor on or within 60 days before the order for relief under this title, are presumed to be nondischargeable; 'luxury goods or services' do not include goods or services reasonably acquired for the support or maintenance of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; an extension of consumer credit under an open end credit plan is to be defined for purposes of this subparagraph as it is defined in the Consumer Credit Protection Act;".

Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 109–8, §215(1)(A), added par. (5) and struck out former par. (5) which read as follows: "to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor, for alimony to, maintenance for, or support of such spouse or child, in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other order of a court of record, determination made in accordance with State or territorial law by a governmental unit, or property settlement agreement, but not to the extent that—

"(A) such debt is assigned to another entity, voluntarily, by operation of law, or otherwise (other than debts assigned pursuant to section 408(a)(3) of the Social Security Act, or any such debt which has been assigned to the Federal Government or to a State or any political subdivision of such State); or

"(B) such debt includes a liability designated as alimony, maintenance, or support, unless such liability is actually in the nature of alimony, maintenance, or support;"

Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 109–8, §220, added par. (8) and struck out former par. (8) which read as follows: "for an educational benefit overpayment or loan made, insured or guaranteed by a governmental unit, or made under any program funded in whole or in part by a governmental unit or nonprofit institution, or for an obligation to repay funds received as an educational benefit, scholarship or stipend, unless excepting such debt from discharge under this paragraph will impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor's dependents;".

Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 109–8, §1209(2), substituted "motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft" for "motor vehicle".

Subsec. (a)(14A). Pub. L. 109–8, §314(a), added par. (14A).

Subsec. (a)(14B). Pub. L. 109–8, §1235, added par. (14B).

Subsec. (a)(16). Pub. L. 109–8, §412, struck out "dwelling" after "debtor's interest in a" and "housing" after "share of a cooperative" and substituted "ownership," for "ownership or" and "or a lot in a homeowners association, for as long as the debtor or the trustee has a legal, equitable, or possessory ownership interest in such unit, such corporation, or such lot," for "but only if such fee or assessment is payable for a period during which—

"(A) the debtor physically occupied a dwelling unit in the condominium or cooperative project; or

"(B) the debtor rented the dwelling unit to a tenant and received payments from the tenant for such period,".

Subsec. (a)(17). Pub. L. 109–8, §301, substituted "on a prisoner by any court" for "by a court" and "subsection (b) or (f)(2) of section 1915" for "section 1915(b) or (f)" and inserted "(or a similar non-Federal law)" after "title 28" in two places.

Subsec. (a)(18). Pub. L. 109–8, §224(c), added par. (18).

Pub. L. 109–8, §215(1)(B), struck out par. (18) which read as follows: "owed under State law to a State or municipality that is—

"(A) in the nature of support, and

"(B) enforceable under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); or".

Subsec. (a)(19)(B). Pub. L. 109–8, §1404(a), inserted ", before, on, or after the date on which the petition was filed," after "results" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 109–8, §215(2), substituted "or (6)" for "(6), or (15)" in two places.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–8, §1209(3), substituted "an insured" for "a insured".

2002—Subsec. (a)(19). Pub. L. 107–204 added par. (19).

1998—Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 105–244 substituted "stipend, unless" for "stipend, unless—" and struck out "(B)" before "excepting such debt" and subpar. (A) which read as follows: "such loan, benefit, scholarship, or stipend overpayment first became due more than 7 years (exclusive of any applicable suspension of the repayment period) before the date of the filing of the petition; or".

1996—Subsec. (a)(5)(A). Pub. L. 104–193, §374(a)(4), substituted "section 408(a)(3)" for "section 402(a)(26)".

Subsec. (a)(17). Pub. L. 104–134 added par. (17).

Subsec. (a)(18). Pub. L. 104–193, §374(a)(1)–(3), added par. (18).

1994—Par. (15). Pub. L. 103–394, §304(e)[(1)], amended this section by adding par. (15) at the end. See 2005 Amendment note above.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–394, §501(d)(13)(A)(i), substituted "1141," for "1141,," in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 103–394, §304(h)(3), substituted "507(a)(8)" for "507(a)(7)".

Subsec. (a)(2)(C). Pub. L. 103–394, §§306, 501(d)(13)(A)(ii), substituted "$1,000 for" for "$500 for", "60" for "forty" after "incurred by an individual debtor on or within", and "60" for "twenty" after "obtained by an individual debtor on or within", and struck out "(15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)" after "Protection Act".

Subsec. (a)(11). Pub. L. 103–322, §320934(1), struck out "or" after semicolon at end.

Subsec. (a)(12). Pub. L. 103–322, §320934(2), which directed the substitution of "; or" for a period at end of par. (12), could not be executed because a period did not appear at end.

Subsec. (a)(13). Pub. L. 103–394, §221(1), substituted semicolon for period at end.

Pub. L. 103–322, §320934(3), added par. (13).

Subsec. (a)(14). Pub. L. 103–394, §221(2), added par. (14).

Subsec. (a)(16). Pub. L. 103–394, §309, added par. (16).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–394, §501(d)(13)(B), struck out "(20 U.S.C. 1087–3)" after "Act of 1965" and "(42 U.S.C. 294f)" after "Service Act".

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 103–394, §304(e)(2), substituted "(6), or (15)" for "or (6)" in two places.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 103–394, §501(d)(13)(C), substituted "insured depository institution" for "depository institution or insured credit union".

1990—Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 101–647, §3621, substituted "for an educational benefit overpayment or loan made, insured or guaranteed by a governmental unit, or made under any program funded in whole or in part by a governmental unit or nonprofit institution, or for an obligation to repay funds received as an educational benefit, scholarship or stipend, unless" for "for an educational loan made, insured, or guaranteed by a governmental unit, or made under any program funded in whole or in part by a governmental unit or a nonprofit institution, unless" in introductory provisions and amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: "such loan first became due before five years (exclusive of any applicable suspension of the repayment period) before the date of the filing of the petition; or".

Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 101–581 and Pub. L. 101–647, §3102(a), identically amended par. (9) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (9) read as follows: "to any entity, to the extent that such debt arises from a judgment or consent decree entered in a court of record against the debtor wherein liability was incurred by such debtor as a result of the debtor's operation of a motor vehicle while legally intoxicated under the laws or regulations of any jurisdiction within the United States or its territories wherein such motor vehicle was operated and within which such liability was incurred; or".

Subsec. (a)(11), (12). Pub. L. 101–647, §2522(a)(1), added pars. (11) and (12).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–647, §2522(a)(3), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–647, §2522(a)(2), added subsec. (e).

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–554, §257(n), inserted reference to sections 1228(a) and 1228(b) of this title.

Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 99–554, §283(j)(1)(A), substituted "507(a)(7)" for "507(a)(6)".

Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 99–554, §281, struck out the comma after "decree" and inserted ", determination made in accordance with State or territorial law by a governmental unit," after "record".

Subsec. (a)(9), (10). Pub. L. 99–554, §283(j)(1)(B), redesignated par. (9) relating to debts incurred by persons driving while intoxicated, added by Pub. L. 98–353, as (10).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–554, §283(j)(2), substituted "Service" for "Services".

1984—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 98–353, §454(a)(1), in provisions preceding subpar. (A), struck out "obtaining" after "for", and substituted "refinancing of credit, to the extent obtained" for "refinance of credit,".

Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 98–353, §307(a)(1), struck out "or" at end.

Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 98–353, §307(a)(2), inserted "or" at end.

Subsec. (a)(2)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 98–353, §454(a)(1)(A), struck out "obtaining" before "such".

Subsec. (a)(2)(C). Pub. L. 98–353, §307(a)(3), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 98–353, §454(b)(1), inserted "or other order of a court of record" after "divorce decree," in provisions preceding subpar. (A).

Subsec. (a)(5)(A). Pub. L. 98–353, §454(b)(2), inserted ", or any such debt which has been assigned to the Federal Government or to a State or any political subdivision of such State".

Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 98–353, §§371(1), 454(a)(2), struck out "of higher education" after "a nonprofit institution of" and struck out "or" at end.

Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 98–353, §371(2), added the par. (9) relating to debts incurred by persons driving while intoxicated.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–353, §454(c), inserted "of a kind" after "debt".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–353, §307(b), substituted "the court shall grant judgment in favor of the debtor for the costs of, and a reasonable attorney's fee for, the proceeding if the court finds that the position of the creditor was not substantially justified, except that the court shall not award such costs and fees if special circumstances would make the award unjust" for "the court shall grant judgment against such creditor and in favor of the debtor for the costs of, and a reasonable attorney's fee for, the proceeding to determine dischargeability, unless such granting of judgment would be clearly inequitable".

1981—Subsec. (a)(5)(A). Pub. L. 97–35 substituted "law, or otherwise (other than debts assigned pursuant to section 402(a)(26) of the Social Security Act);" for "law, or otherwise;".

1979—Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 96–56 substituted "for an educational loan made, insured, or guaranteed by a governmental unit, or made under any program funded in whole or in part by a governmental unit or a nonprofit institution of higher education" for "to a governmental unit, or a nonprofit institution of higher education, for an educational loan" in the provisions preceding subpar. (A) and inserted "(exclusive of any applicable suspension of the repayment period)" after "before five years" in subpar. (A).

Effective Date of 2019 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 116–54 effective 180 days after Aug. 23, 2019, see section 5 of Pub. L. 116–54, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–8, title XIV, §1404(b), Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 215, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] is effective beginning July 30, 2002."

Amendment by sections 215, 220, 224(c), 301, 310, 314(a), 412, 714, 1209, 1235, and 1502(a)(2) of 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 1998 Amendment

Pub. L. 105–244, title IX, §971(b), Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1837, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply only with respect to cases commenced under title 11, United States Code, after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 7, 1998]."

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Pub. L. 104–193, title III, §374(c), Aug. 22, 1996, 110 Stat. 2256, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 656 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare] shall apply only with respect to cases commenced under title 11 of the United States Code after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 22, 1996]."

For provisions relating to effective date of title III of Pub. L. 104–193, see section 395(a)–(c) of Pub. L. 104–193, set out as a note under section 654 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

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 1990 Amendment

Pub. L. 101–647, title XXXI, §3104, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4916, provided that:

"(a) Effective Date.—This title and the amendments made by this title [amending this section and section 1328 of this title and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 101 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1990].

"(b) Application of Amendments.—The amendments made by this title [amending this section and section 1328 of this title] shall not apply with respect to cases commenced under title 11 of the United States Code before the date of the enactment of this Act."

Amendment by section 3621 of Pub. L. 101–647 effective 180 days after Nov. 29, 1990, see section 3631 of Pub. L. 101–647, set out as an Effective Date note under section 3001 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Pub. L. 101–581, §4, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2865, provided that:

"(a) Effective Date.—This Act and the amendments made by this Act [amending this section and section 1328 of this title and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 101 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 15, 1990].

"(b) Application of Amendments.—The amendments made by this Act [amending this section and section 1328 of this title] shall not apply with respect to cases commenced under title 11 of the United States Code before the date of the enactment of this Act."

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment 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 section 581 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Amendment by sections 281 and 283 of Pub. L. 99–554 effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1986, see section 302(a) of Pub. L. 99–554.

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.

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–35 effective Aug. 13, 1981, see section 2334(c) of Pub. L. 97–35, set out as a note under section 656 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

Adjustment of Dollar Amounts

The dollar amounts specified in this section were adjusted by notices of the Judicial Conference of the United States pursuant to section 104 of this title as follows:

By notice dated Feb. 5, 2019, 84 F.R. 3488, effective Apr. 1, 2019, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(I), dollar amount "675" was adjusted to "725" and, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(II), dollar amount "950" was adjusted to "1,000". See notice of the Judicial Conference of the United States set out as a note under section 104 of this title.

By notice dated Feb. 16, 2016, 81 F.R. 8748, effective Apr. 1, 2016, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(I), dollar amount "650" was adjusted to "675" and, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(II), dollar amount "925" was adjusted to "950".

By notice dated Feb. 12, 2013, 78 F.R. 12089, effective Apr. 1, 2013, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(I), dollar amount "600" was adjusted to "650" and, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(II), dollar amount "875" was adjusted to "925".

By notice dated Feb. 19, 2010, 75 F.R. 8747, effective Apr. 1, 2010, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(I), dollar amount "550" was adjusted to "600" and, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(II), dollar amount "825" was adjusted to "875".

By notice dated Feb. 7, 2007, 72 F.R. 7082, effective Apr. 1, 2007, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(I), dollar amount "500" was adjusted to "550" and, in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i)(II), dollar amount "750" was adjusted to "825".

[Pub. L. 109–8 amended subsec. (a)(2)(C) generally. See 2005 Amendment note above.]

By notice dated Feb. 18, 2004, 69 F.R. 8482, effective Apr. 1, 2004, in subsec. (a)(2)(C), dollar amount "1,150" was adjusted to "1,225" each time it appeared.

By notice dated Feb. 13, 2001, 66 F.R. 10910, effective Apr. 1, 2001, in subsec. (a)(2)(C), dollar amount "1,075" was adjusted to "1,150" each time it appeared.

By notice dated Feb. 3, 1998, 63 F.R. 7179, effective Apr. 1, 1998, in subsec. (a)(2)(C), dollar amount "1,000" was adjusted to "1,075" each time it appeared.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.

2 See Adjustment of Dollar Amounts notes below.

3 See References in Text note below.

§524. Effect of discharge

(a) A discharge in a case under this title—

(1) voids any judgment at any time obtained, to the extent that such judgment is a determination of the personal liability of the debtor with respect to any debt discharged under section 727, 944, 1141, 1192, 1228, or 1328 of this title, whether or not discharge of such debt is waived;

(2) operates as an injunction against the commencement or continuation of an action, the employment of process, or an act, to collect, recover or offset any such debt as a personal liability of the debtor, whether or not discharge of such debt is waived; and

(3) operates as an injunction against the commencement or continuation of an action, the employment of process, or an act, to collect or recover from, or offset against, property of the debtor of the kind specified in section 541(a)(2) of this title that is acquired after the commencement of the case, on account of any allowable community claim, except a community claim that is excepted from discharge under section 523, 1192, 1228(a)(1), or 1328(a)(1), or that would be so excepted, determined in accordance with the provisions of sections 523(c) and 523(d) of this title, in a case concerning the debtor's spouse commenced on the date of the filing of the petition in the case concerning the debtor, whether or not discharge of the debt based on such community claim is waived.


(b) Subsection (a)(3) of this section does not apply if—

(1)(A) the debtor's spouse is a debtor in a case under this title, or a bankrupt or a debtor in a case under the Bankruptcy Act, commenced within six years of the date of the filing of the petition in the case concerning the debtor; and

(B) the court does not grant the debtor's spouse a discharge in such case concerning the debtor's spouse; or

(2)(A) the court would not grant the debtor's spouse a discharge in a case under chapter 7 of this title concerning such spouse commenced on the date of the filing of the petition in the case concerning the debtor; and

(B) a determination that the court would not so grant such discharge is made by the bankruptcy court within the time and in the manner provided for a determination under section 727 of this title of whether a debtor is granted a discharge.


(c) An agreement between a holder of a claim and the debtor, the consideration for which, in whole or in part, is based on a debt that is dischargeable in a case under this title is enforceable only to any extent enforceable under applicable nonbankruptcy law, whether or not discharge of such debt is waived, only if—

(1) such agreement was made before the granting of the discharge under section 727, 1141, 1192, 1228, or 1328 of this title;

(2) the debtor received the disclosures described in subsection (k) at or before the time at which the debtor signed the agreement;

(3) such agreement has been filed with the court and, if applicable, accompanied by a declaration or an affidavit of the attorney that represented the debtor during the course of negotiating an agreement under this subsection, which states that—

(A) such agreement represents a fully informed and voluntary agreement by the debtor;

(B) such agreement does not impose an undue hardship on the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; and

(C) the attorney fully advised the debtor of the legal effect and consequences of—

(i) an agreement of the kind specified in this subsection; and

(ii) any default under such an agreement;


(4) the debtor has not rescinded such agreement at any time prior to discharge or within sixty days after such agreement is filed with the court, whichever occurs later, by giving notice of rescission to the holder of such claim;

(5) the provisions of subsection (d) of this section have been complied with; and

(6)(A) in a case concerning an individual who was not represented by an attorney during the course of negotiating an agreement under this subsection, the court approves such agreement as—

(i) not imposing an undue hardship on the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; and

(ii) in the best interest of the debtor.


(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to the extent that such debt is a consumer debt secured by real property.


(d) In a case concerning an individual, when the court has determined whether to grant or not to grant a discharge under section 727, 1141, 1192, 1228, or 1328 of this title, the court may hold a hearing at which the debtor shall appear in person. At any such hearing, the court shall inform the debtor that a discharge has been granted or the reason why a discharge has not been granted. If a discharge has been granted and if the debtor desires to make an agreement of the kind specified in subsection (c) of this section and was not represented by an attorney during the course of negotiating such agreement, then the court shall hold a hearing at which the debtor shall appear in person and at such hearing the court shall—

(1) inform the debtor—

(A) that such an agreement is not required under this title, under nonbankruptcy law, or under any agreement not made in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section; and

(B) of the legal effect and consequences of—

(i) an agreement of the kind specified in subsection (c) of this section; and

(ii) a default under such an agreement; and


(2) determine whether the agreement that the debtor desires to make complies with the requirements of subsection (c)(6) of this section, if the consideration for such agreement is based in whole or in part on a consumer debt that is not secured by real property of the debtor.


(e) Except as provided in subsection (a)(3) of this section, discharge of a debt of the debtor does not affect the liability of any other entity on, or the property of any other entity for, such debt.

(f) Nothing contained in subsection (c) or (d) of this section prevents a debtor from voluntarily repaying any debt.

(g)(1)(A) After notice and hearing, a court that enters an order confirming a plan of reorganization under chapter 11 may issue, in connection with such order, an injunction in accordance with this subsection to supplement the injunctive effect of a discharge under this section.

(B) An injunction may be issued under subparagraph (A) to enjoin entities from taking legal action for the purpose of directly or indirectly collecting, recovering, or receiving payment or recovery with respect to any claim or demand that, under a plan of reorganization, is to be paid in whole or in part by a trust described in paragraph (2)(B)(i), except such legal actions as are expressly allowed by the injunction, the confirmation order, or the plan of reorganization.

(2)(A) Subject to subsection (h), if the requirements of subparagraph (B) are met at the time an injunction described in paragraph (1) is entered, then after entry of such injunction, any proceeding that involves the validity, application, construction, or modification of such injunction, or of this subsection with respect to such injunction, may be commenced only in the district court in which such injunction was entered, and such court shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any such proceeding without regard to the amount in controversy.

(B) The requirements of this subparagraph are that—

(i) the injunction is to be implemented in connection with a trust that, pursuant to the plan of reorganization—

(I) is to assume the liabilities of a debtor which at the time of entry of the order for relief has been named as a defendant in personal injury, wrongful death, or property-damage actions seeking recovery for damages allegedly caused by the presence of, or exposure to, asbestos or asbestos-containing products;

(II) is to be funded in whole or in part by the securities of 1 or more debtors involved in such plan and by the obligation of such debtor or debtors to make future payments, including dividends;

(III) is to own, or by the exercise of rights granted under such plan would be entitled to own if specified contingencies occur, a majority of the voting shares of—

(aa) each such debtor;

(bb) the parent corporation of each such debtor; or

(cc) a subsidiary of each such debtor that is also a debtor; and


(IV) is to use its assets or income to pay claims and demands; and


(ii) subject to subsection (h), the court determines that—

(I) the debtor is likely to be subject to substantial future demands for payment arising out of the same or similar conduct or events that gave rise to the claims that are addressed by the injunction;

(II) the actual amounts, numbers, and timing of such future demands cannot be determined;

(III) pursuit of such demands outside the procedures prescribed by such plan is likely to threaten the plan's purpose to deal equitably with claims and future demands;

(IV) as part of the process of seeking confirmation of such plan—

(aa) the terms of the injunction proposed to be issued under paragraph (1)(A), including any provisions barring actions against third parties pursuant to paragraph (4)(A), are set out in such plan and in any disclosure statement supporting the plan; and

(bb) a separate class or classes of the claimants whose claims are to be addressed by a trust described in clause (i) is established and votes, by at least 75 percent of those voting, in favor of the plan; and


(V) subject to subsection (h), pursuant to court orders or otherwise, the trust will operate through mechanisms such as structured, periodic, or supplemental payments, pro rata distributions, matrices, or periodic review of estimates of the numbers and values of present claims and future demands, or other comparable mechanisms, that provide reasonable assurance that the trust will value, and be in a financial position to pay, present claims and future demands that involve similar claims in substantially the same manner.


(3)(A) If the requirements of paragraph (2)(B) are met and the order confirming the plan of reorganization was issued or affirmed by the district court that has jurisdiction over the reorganization case, then after the time for appeal of the order that issues or affirms the plan—

(i) the injunction shall be valid and enforceable and may not be revoked or modified by any court except through appeal in accordance with paragraph (6);

(ii) no entity that pursuant to such plan or thereafter becomes a direct or indirect transferee of, or successor to any assets of, a debtor or trust that is the subject of the injunction shall be liable with respect to any claim or demand made against such entity by reason of its becoming such a transferee or successor; and

(iii) no entity that pursuant to such plan or thereafter makes a loan to such a debtor or trust or to such a successor or transferee shall, by reason of making the loan, be liable with respect to any claim or demand made against such entity, nor shall any pledge of assets made in connection with such a loan be upset or impaired for that reason;


(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not be construed to—

(i) imply that an entity described in subparagraph (A)(ii) or (iii) would, if this paragraph were not applicable, necessarily be liable to any entity by reason of any of the acts described in subparagraph (A);

(ii) relieve any such entity of the duty to comply with, or of liability under, any Federal or State law regarding the making of a fraudulent conveyance in a transaction described in subparagraph (A)(ii) or (iii); or

(iii) relieve a debtor of the debtor's obligation to comply with the terms of the plan of reorganization, or affect the power of the court to exercise its authority under sections 1141 and 1142 to compel the debtor to do so.


(4)(A)(i) Subject to subparagraph (B), an injunction described in paragraph (1) shall be valid and enforceable against all entities that it addresses.

(ii) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 524(e), such an injunction may bar any action directed against a third party who is identifiable from the terms of such injunction (by name or as part of an identifiable group) and is alleged to be directly or indirectly liable for the conduct of, claims against, or demands on the debtor to the extent such alleged liability of such third party arises by reason of—

(I) the third party's ownership of a financial interest in the debtor, a past or present affiliate of the debtor, or a predecessor in interest of the debtor;

(II) the third party's involvement in the management of the debtor or a predecessor in interest of the debtor, or service as an officer, director or employee of the debtor or a related party;

(III) the third party's provision of insurance to the debtor or a related party; or

(IV) the third party's involvement in a transaction changing the corporate structure, or in a loan or other financial transaction affecting the financial condition, of the debtor or a related party, including but not limited to—

(aa) involvement in providing financing (debt or equity), or advice to an entity involved in such a transaction; or

(bb) acquiring or selling a financial interest in an entity as part of such a transaction.


(iii) As used in this subparagraph, the term "related party" means—

(I) a past or present affiliate of the debtor;

(II) a predecessor in interest of the debtor; or

(III) any entity that owned a financial interest in—

(aa) the debtor;

(bb) a past or present affiliate of the debtor; or

(cc) a predecessor in interest of the debtor.


(B) Subject to subsection (h), if, under a plan of reorganization, a kind of demand described in such plan is to be paid in whole or in part by a trust described in paragraph (2)(B)(i) in connection with which an injunction described in paragraph (1) is to be implemented, then such injunction shall be valid and enforceable with respect to a demand of such kind made, after such plan is confirmed, against the debtor or debtors involved, or against a third party described in subparagraph (A)(ii), if—

(i) as part of the proceedings leading to issuance of such injunction, the court appoints a legal representative for the purpose of protecting the rights of persons that might subsequently assert demands of such kind, and

(ii) the court determines, before entering the order confirming such plan, that identifying such debtor or debtors, or such third party (by name or as part of an identifiable group), in such injunction with respect to such demands for purposes of this subparagraph is fair and equitable with respect to the persons that might subsequently assert such demands, in light of the benefits provided, or to be provided, to such trust on behalf of such debtor or debtors or such third party.


(5) In this subsection, the term "demand" means a demand for payment, present or future, that—

(A) was not a claim during the proceedings leading to the confirmation of a plan of reorganization;

(B) arises out of the same or similar conduct or events that gave rise to the claims addressed by the injunction issued under paragraph (1); and

(C) pursuant to the plan, is to be paid by a trust described in paragraph (2)(B)(i).


(6) Paragraph (3)(A)(i) does not bar an action taken by or at the direction of an appellate court on appeal of an injunction issued under paragraph (1) or of the order of confirmation that relates to the injunction.

(7) This subsection does not affect the operation of section 1144 or the power of the district court to refer a proceeding under section 157 of title 28 or any reference of a proceeding made prior to the date of the enactment of this subsection.

(h) Application to Existing Injunctions.—For purposes of subsection (g)—

(1) subject to paragraph (2), if an injunction of the kind described in subsection (g)(1)(B) was issued before the date of the enactment of this Act, as part of a plan of reorganization confirmed by an order entered before such date, then the injunction shall be considered to meet the requirements of subsection (g)(2)(B) for purposes of subsection (g)(2)(A), and to satisfy subsection (g)(4)(A)(ii), if—

(A) the court determined at the time the plan was confirmed that the plan was fair and equitable in accordance with the requirements of section 1129(b);

(B) as part of the proceedings leading to issuance of such injunction and confirmation of such plan, the court had appointed a legal representative for the purpose of protecting the rights of persons that might subsequently assert demands described in subsection (g)(4)(B) with respect to such plan; and

(C) such legal representative did not object to confirmation of such plan or issuance of such injunction; and


(2) for purposes of paragraph (1), if a trust described in subsection (g)(2)(B)(i) is subject to a court order on the date of the enactment of this Act staying such trust from settling or paying further claims—

(A) the requirements of subsection (g)(2)(B)(ii)(V) shall not apply with respect to such trust until such stay is lifted or dissolved; and

(B) if such trust meets such requirements on the date such stay is lifted or dissolved, such trust shall be considered to have met such requirements continuously from the date of the enactment of this Act.


(i) The willful failure of a creditor to credit payments received under a plan confirmed under this title, unless the order confirming the plan is revoked, the plan is in default, or the creditor has not received payments required to be made under the plan in the manner required by the plan (including crediting the amounts required under the plan), shall constitute a violation of an injunction under subsection (a)(2) if the act of the creditor to collect and failure to credit payments in the manner required by the plan caused material injury to the debtor.

(j) Subsection (a)(2) does not operate as an injunction against an act by a creditor that is the holder of a secured claim, if—

(1) such creditor retains a security interest in real property that is the principal residence of the debtor;

(2) such act is in the ordinary course of business between the creditor and the debtor; and

(3) such act is limited to seeking or obtaining periodic payments associated with a valid security interest in lieu of pursuit of in rem relief to enforce the lien.


(k)(1) The disclosures required under subsection (c)(2) shall consist of the disclosure statement described in paragraph (3), completed as required in that paragraph, together with the agreement specified in subsection (c), statement, declaration, motion and order described, respectively, in paragraphs (4) through (8), and shall be the only disclosures required in connection with entering into such agreement.

(2) Disclosures made under paragraph (1) shall be made clearly and conspicuously and in writing. The terms "Amount Reaffirmed" and "Annual Percentage Rate" shall be disclosed more conspicuously than other terms, data or information provided in connection with this disclosure, except that the phrases "Before agreeing to reaffirm a debt, review these important disclosures" and "Summary of Reaffirmation Agreement" may be equally conspicuous. Disclosures may be made in a different order and may use terminology different from that set forth in paragraphs (2) through (8), except that the terms "Amount Reaffirmed" and "Annual Percentage Rate" must be used where indicated.

(3) The disclosure statement required under this paragraph shall consist of the following:

(A) The statement: "Part A: Before agreeing to reaffirm a debt, review these important disclosures:";

(B) Under the heading "Summary of Reaffirmation Agreement", the statement: "This Summary is made pursuant to the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code";

(C) The "Amount Reaffirmed", using that term, which shall be—

(i) the total amount of debt that the debtor agrees to reaffirm by entering into an agreement of the kind specified in subsection (c), and

(ii) the total of any fees and costs accrued as of the date of the disclosure statement, related to such total amount.


(D) In conjunction with the disclosure of the "Amount Reaffirmed", the statements—

(i) "The amount of debt you have agreed to reaffirm"; and

(ii) "Your credit agreement may obligate you to pay additional amounts which may come due after the date of this disclosure. Consult your credit agreement.".


(E) The "Annual Percentage Rate", using that term, which shall be disclosed as—

(i) if, at the time the petition is filed, the debt is an extension of credit under an open end credit plan, as the terms "credit" and "open end credit plan" are defined in section 103 of the Truth in Lending Act, then—

(I) the annual percentage rate determined under paragraphs (5) and (6) of section 127(b) of the Truth in Lending Act, as applicable, as disclosed to the debtor in the most recent periodic statement prior to entering into an agreement of the kind specified in subsection (c) or, if no such periodic statement has been given to the debtor during the prior 6 months, the annual percentage rate as it would have been so disclosed at the time the disclosure statement is given to the debtor, or to the extent this annual percentage rate is not readily available or not applicable, then

(II) the simple interest rate applicable to the amount reaffirmed as of the date the disclosure statement is given to the debtor, or if different simple interest rates apply to different balances, the simple interest rate applicable to each such balance, identifying the amount of each such balance included in the amount reaffirmed, or

(III) if the entity making the disclosure elects, to disclose the annual percentage rate under subclause (I) and the simple interest rate under subclause (II); or


(ii) if, at the time the petition is filed, the debt is an extension of credit other than under an open end credit plan, as the terms "credit" and "open end credit plan" are defined in section 103 of the Truth in Lending Act, then—

(I) the annual percentage rate under section 128(a)(4) of the Truth in Lending Act, as disclosed to the debtor in the most recent disclosure statement given to the debtor prior to the entering into an agreement of the kind specified in subsection (c) with respect to the debt, or, if no such disclosure statement was given to the debtor, the annual percentage rate as it would have been so disclosed at the time the disclosure statement is given to the debtor, or to the extent this annual percentage rate is not readily available or not applicable, then

(II) the simple interest rate applicable to the amount reaffirmed as of the date the disclosure statement is given to the debtor, or if different simple interest rates apply to different balances, the simple interest rate applicable to each such balance, identifying the amount of such balance included in the amount reaffirmed, or

(III) if the entity making the disclosure elects, to disclose the annual percentage rate under (I) and the simple interest rate under (II).


(F) If the underlying debt transaction was disclosed as a variable rate transaction on the most recent disclosure given under the Truth in Lending Act, by stating "The interest rate on your loan may be a variable interest rate which changes from time to time, so that the annual percentage rate disclosed here may be higher or lower.".

(G) If the debt is secured by a security interest which has not been waived in whole or in part or determined to be void by a final order of the court at the time of the disclosure, by disclosing that a security interest or lien in goods or property is asserted over some or all of the debts the debtor is reaffirming and listing the items and their original purchase price that are subject to the asserted security interest, or if not a purchase-money security interest then listing by items or types and the original amount of the loan.

(H) At the election of the creditor, a statement of the repayment schedule using 1 or a combination of the following—

(i) by making the statement: "Your first payment in the amount of $______ is due on ______ but the future payment amount may be different. Consult your reaffirmation agreement or credit agreement, as applicable.", and stating the amount of the first payment and the due date of that payment in the places provided;

(ii) by making the statement: "Your payment schedule will be:", and describing the repayment schedule with the number, amount, and due dates or period of payments scheduled to repay the debts reaffirmed to the extent then known by the disclosing party; or

(iii) by describing the debtor's repayment obligations with reasonable specificity to the extent then known by the disclosing party.


(I) The following statement: "Note: When this disclosure refers to what a creditor 'may' do, it does not use the word 'may' to give the creditor specific permission. The word 'may' is used to tell you what might occur if the law permits the creditor to take the action. If you have questions about your reaffirming a debt or what the law requires, consult with the attorney who helped you negotiate this agreement reaffirming a debt. If you don't have an attorney helping you, the judge will explain the effect of your reaffirming a debt when the hearing on the reaffirmation agreement is held.".

(J)(i) The following additional statements:


"Reaffirming a debt is a serious financial decision. The law requires you to take certain steps to make sure the decision is in your best interest. If these steps are not completed, the reaffirmation agreement is not effective, even though you have signed it.

"1. Read the disclosures in this Part A carefully. Consider the decision to reaffirm carefully. Then, if you want to reaffirm, sign the reaffirmation agreement in Part B (or you may use a separate agreement you and your creditor agree on).

"2. Complete and sign Part D and be sure you can afford to make the payments you are agreeing to make and have received a copy of the disclosure statement and a completed and signed reaffirmation agreement.

"3. If you were represented by an attorney during the negotiation of your reaffirmation agreement, the attorney must have signed the certification in Part C.

"4. If you were not represented by an attorney during the negotiation of your reaffirmation agreement, you must have completed and signed Part E.

"5. The original of this disclosure must be filed with the court by you or your creditor. If a separate reaffirmation agreement (other than the one in Part B) has been signed, it must be attached.

"6. If you were represented by an attorney during the negotiation of your reaffirmation agreement, your reaffirmation agreement becomes effective upon filing with the court unless the reaffirmation is presumed to be an undue hardship as explained in Part D.

"7. If you were not represented by an attorney during the negotiation of your reaffirmation agreement, it will not be effective unless the court approves it. The court will notify you of the hearing on your reaffirmation agreement. You must attend this hearing in bankruptcy court where the judge will review your reaffirmation agreement. The bankruptcy court must approve your reaffirmation agreement as consistent with your best interests, except that no court approval is required if your reaffirmation agreement is for a consumer debt secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, security deed, or other lien on your real property, like your home.


"Your right to rescind (cancel) your reaffirmation agreement. You may rescind (cancel) your reaffirmation agreement at any time before the bankruptcy court enters a discharge order, or before the expiration of the 60-day period that begins on the date your reaffirmation agreement is filed with the court, whichever occurs later. To rescind (cancel) your reaffirmation agreement, you must notify the creditor that your reaffirmation agreement is rescinded (or canceled).

"What are your obligations if you reaffirm the debt? A reaffirmed debt remains your personal legal obligation. It is not discharged in your bankruptcy case. That means that if you default on your reaffirmed debt after your bankruptcy case is over, your creditor may be able to take your property or your wages. Otherwise, your obligations will be determined by the reaffirmation agreement which may have changed the terms of the original agreement. For example, if you are reaffirming an open end credit agreement, the creditor may be permitted by that agreement or applicable law to change the terms of that agreement in the future under certain conditions.

"Are you required to enter into a reaffirmation agreement by any law? No, you are not required to reaffirm a debt by any law. Only agree to reaffirm a debt if it is in your best interest. Be sure you can afford the payments you agree to make.

"What if your creditor has a security interest or lien? Your bankruptcy discharge does not eliminate any lien on your property. A 'lien' is often referred to as a security interest, deed of trust, mortgage or security deed. Even if you do not reaffirm and your personal liability on the debt is discharged, because of the lien your creditor may still have the right to take the property securing the lien if you do not pay the debt or default on it. If the lien is on an item of personal property that is exempt under your State's law or that the trustee has abandoned, you may be able to redeem the item rather than reaffirm the debt. To redeem, you must make a single payment to the creditor equal to the amount of the allowed secured claim, as agreed by the parties or determined by the court.".

(ii) In the case of a reaffirmation under subsection (m)(2), numbered paragraph 6 in the disclosures required by clause (i) of this subparagraph shall read as follows:

"6. If you were represented by an attorney during the negotiation of your reaffirmation agreement, your reaffirmation agreement becomes effective upon filing with the court.".


(4) The form of such agreement required under this paragraph shall consist of the following:

"Part B: Reaffirmation Agreement. I (we) agree to reaffirm the debts arising under the credit agreement described below.

"Brief description of credit agreement:

"Description of any changes to the credit agreement made as part of this reaffirmation agreement:

"Signature:              Date:

"Borrower:

"Co-borrower, if also reaffirming these debts:

"Accepted by creditor:

"Date of creditor acceptance:".

(5) The declaration shall consist of the following:

(A) The following certification:


"Part C: Certification by Debtor's Attorney (If Any).

"I hereby certify that (1) this agreement represents a fully informed and voluntary agreement by the debtor; (2) this agreement does not impose an undue hardship on the debtor or any dependent of the debtor; and (3) I have fully advised the debtor of the legal effect and consequences of this agreement and any default under this agreement.

"Signature of Debtor's Attorney:      Date:".

(B) If a presumption of undue hardship has been established with respect to such agreement, such certification shall state that, in the opinion of the attorney, the debtor is able to make the payment.

(C) In the case of a reaffirmation agreement under subsection (m)(2), subparagraph (B) is not applicable.


(6)(A) The statement in support of such agreement, which the debtor shall sign and date prior to filing with the court, shall consist of the following:

"Part D: Debtor's Statement in Support of Reaffirmation Agreement.

"1. I believe this reaffirmation agreement will not impose an undue hardship on my dependents or me. I can afford to make the payments on the reaffirmed debt because my monthly income (take home pay plus any other income received) is $______, and my actual current monthly expenses including monthly payments on post-bankruptcy debt and other reaffirmation agreements total $______, leaving $______ to make the required payments on this reaffirmed debt. I understand that if my income less my monthly expenses does not leave enough to make the payments, this reaffirmation agreement is presumed to be an undue hardship on me and must be reviewed by the court. However, this presumption may be overcome if I explain to the satisfaction of the court how I can afford to make the payments here: ______.

"2. I received a copy of the Reaffirmation Disclosure Statement in Part A and a completed and signed reaffirmation agreement.".

(B) Where the debtor is represented by an attorney and is reaffirming a debt owed to a creditor defined in section 19(b)(1)(A)(iv) of the Federal Reserve Act, the statement of support of the reaffirmation agreement, which the debtor shall sign and date prior to filing with the court, shall consist of the following:

"I believe this reaffirmation agreement is in my financial interest. I can afford to make the payments on the reaffirmed debt. I received a copy of the Reaffirmation Disclosure Statement in Part A and a completed and signed reaffirmation agreement.".

(7) The motion that may be used if approval of such agreement by the court is required in order for it to be effective, shall be signed and dated by the movant and shall consist of the following:

"Part E: Motion for Court Approval (To be completed only if the debtor is not represented by an attorney.). I (we), the debtor(s), affirm the following to be true and correct:

"I am not represented by an attorney in connection with this reaffirmation agreement.

"I believe this reaffirmation agreement is in my best interest based on the income and expenses I have disclosed in my Statement in Support of this reaffirmation agreement, and because (provide any additional relevant reasons the court should consider):

"Therefore, I ask the court for an order approving this reaffirmation agreement.".

(8) The court order, which may be used to approve such agreement, shall consist of the following:

"Court Order: The court grants the debtor's motion and approves the reaffirmation agreement described above.".

(l) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title the following shall apply:

(1) A creditor may accept payments from a debtor before and after the filing of an agreement of the kind specified in subsection (c) with the court.

(2) A creditor may accept payments from a debtor under such agreement that the creditor believes in good faith to be effective.

(3) The requirements of subsections (c)(2) and (k) shall be satisfied if disclosures required under those subsections are given in good faith.


(m)(1) Until 60 days after an agreement of the kind specified in subsection (c) is filed with the court (or such additional period as the court, after notice and a hearing and for cause, orders before the expiration of such period), it shall be presumed that such agreement is an undue hardship on the debtor if the debtor's monthly income less the debtor's monthly expenses as shown on the debtor's completed and signed statement in support of such agreement required under subsection (k)(6)(A) is less than the scheduled payments on the reaffirmed debt. This presumption shall be reviewed by the court. The presumption may be rebutted in writing by the debtor if the statement includes an explanation that identifies additional sources of funds to make the payments as agreed upon under the terms of such agreement. If the presumption is not rebutted to the satisfaction of the court, the court may disapprove such agreement. No agreement shall be disapproved without notice and a hearing to the debtor and creditor, and such hearing shall be concluded before the entry of the debtor's discharge.

(2) This subsection does not apply to reaffirmation agreements where the creditor is a credit union, as defined in section 19(b)(1)(A)(iv) of the Federal Reserve Act.

(Pub. L. 95–598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2592; Pub. L. 98–353, title III, §§308, 455, July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 354, 376; Pub. L. 99–554, title II, §§257(o), 282, 283(k), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3115–3117; Pub. L. 103–394, title I, §§103, 111(a), title V, §501(d)(14), Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4108, 4113, 4145; Pub. L. 109–8, title II, §§202, 203(a), title XII, §1210, Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 43, 194; Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(19), Dec. 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 3559; Pub. L. 116–54, §4(a)(9), Aug. 23, 2019, 133 Stat. 1086.)

Historical and Revision Notes

legislative statements

Section 524(a) of the House amendment represents a compromise between the House bill and the Senate amendment. Section 524(b) of the House amendment is new, and represents standards clarifying the operation of section 524(a)(3) with respect to community property.

Sections 524(c) and (d) represent a compromise between the House bill and Senate amendment on the issue of reaffirmation of a debt discharged in bankruptcy. Every reaffirmation to be enforceable must be approved by the court, and any debtor may rescind a reaffirmation for 30 days from the time the reaffirmation becomes enforceable. If the debtor is an individual the court must advise the debtor of various effects of reaffirmation at a hearing. In addition, to any extent the debt is a consumer debt that is not secured by real property of the debtor reaffirmation is permitted only if the court approves the reaffirmation agreement, before granting a discharge under section 727, 1141, or 1328, as not imposing a hardship on the debtor or a dependent of the debtor and in the best interest of the debtor; alternatively, the court may approve an agreement entered into in good faith that is in settlement of litigation of a complaint to determine dischargeability or that is entered into in connection with redemption under section 722. The hearing on discharge under section 524(d) will be held whether or not the debtor desires to reaffirm any debts.

senate report no. 95–989

Subsection (a) specifies that a discharge in a bankruptcy case voids any judgment to the extent that it is a determination of the personal liability of the debtor with respect to a prepetition debt, and operates as an injunction against the commencement or continuation of an action, the employment of process, or any act, including telephone calls, letters, and personal contacts, to collect, recover, or offset any discharged debt as a personal liability of the debtor, or from property of the debtor, whether or not the debtor has waived discharge of the debt involved. The injunction is to give complete effect to the discharge and to eliminate any doubt concerning the effect of the discharge as a total prohibition on debt collection efforts. This paragraph has been expanded over a comparable provision in Bankruptcy Act §14f [section 32(f) of former title 11] to cover any act to collect, such as dunning by telephone or letter, or indirectly through friends, relatives, or employers, harassment, threats of repossession, and the like. The change is consonant with the new policy forbidding binding reaffirmation agreements under proposed 11 U.S.C. 524(b), and is intended to insure that once a debt is discharged, the debtor will not be pressured in any way to repay it. In effect, the discharge extinguishes the debt, and creditors may not attempt to avoid that. The language "whether or not discharge of such debt is waived" is intended to prevent waiver of discharge of a particular debt from defeating the purposes of this section. It is directed at waiver of discharge of a particular debt, not waiver of discharge in toto as permitted under section 727(a)(9).

Subsection (a) also codifies the split discharge for debtors in community property states. If community property was in the estate and community claims were discharged, the discharge is effective against community creditors of the nondebtor spouse as well as of the debtor spouse.

Subsection (b) gives further effect to the discharge. It prohibits reaffirmation agreements after the commencement of the case with respect to any dischargeable debt. The prohibition extends to agreements the consideration for which in whole or in part is based on a dischargeable debt, and it applies whether or not discharge of the debt involved in the agreement has been waived. Thus, the prohibition on reaffirmation agreements extends to debts that are based on discharged debts. Thus, "second generation" debts, which included all or a part of a discharged debt could not be included in any new agreement for new money. This subsection will not have any effect on reaffirmations of debts discharged under the Bankruptcy Act [former title 11]. It will only apply to discharges granted if commenced under the new title 11 bankruptcy code.

Subsection (c) grants an exception to the anti-reaffirmation provision. It permits reaffirmation in connection with the settlement of a proceeding to determine the dischargeability of the debt being reaffirmed, or in connection with a redemption agreement permitted under section 722. In either case, the reaffirmation agreement must be entered into in good faith and must be approved by the court.

Subsection (d) provides the discharge of the debtor does not affect co-debtors or guarantors.

References in Text

The Bankruptcy Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, 30 Stat. 544, as amended, which was classified generally to former Title 11.

The date of the enactment of this subsection, referred to in subsec. (g)(7), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 103–394, which enacted subsec. (g) and was approved Oct. 22, 1994.

The date of the enactment of this Act, referred to in subsec. (h), probably means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 103–394, which enacted subsec. (h) and was approved Oct. 22, 1994.

The Truth in Lending Act, referred to in subsec. (k), is title I of Pub. L. 90–321, May 29, 1968, 82 Stat. 146, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§1601 et seq.) of chapter 41 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. Sections 103, 127(b), and 128(a)(4) of the Act are classified to sections 1602, 1637(b), and 1638(a)(4), respectively, of Title 15. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1601 of Title 15 and Tables.

Section 19(b)(1)(A)(iv) of the Federal Reserve Act, referred to in subsecs. (k)(6)(B) and (m)(2), is classified to section 461(b)(1)(A)(iv) of Title 12, Banks and Banking.

Amendments

2019—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 116–54, §4(a)(9)(A)(i), inserted "1192," after "1141,".

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 116–54, §4(a)(9)(A)(ii), inserted "1192," after "523,".

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 116–54, §4(a)(9)(B), inserted "1192," after "1141,".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 116–54, §4(a)(9)(C), inserted "1192," after "1141,".

2010—Subsec. (k)(3)(J)(i). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(19)(A), in last undesignated par., substituted "property securing the lien" for "security property" and "amount of the allowed secured claim" for "current value of the security property" and inserted "must" before "make a single payment".

Subsec. (k)(5)(B). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(19)(B), substituted "that," for "that".

2005—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 109–8, §1210, substituted "section 523, 1228(a)(1), or 1328(a)(1), or that" for "section 523, 1228(a)(1), or 1328(a)(1) of this title, or that".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 109–8, §203(a)(1), added par. (2) and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows:

"(2)(A) such agreement contains a clear and conspicuous statement which advises the debtor that the agreement may be rescinded at any time prior to discharge or within sixty days after such agreement is filed with the court, whichever occurs later, by giving notice of rescission to the holder of such claim; and

"(B) such agreement contains a clear and conspicuous statement which advises the debtor that such agreement is not required under this title, under nonbankruptcy law, or under any agreement not in accordance with the provisions of this subsection;".

Subsecs. (i), (j). Pub. L. 109–8, §202, added subsecs. (i) and (j).

Subsecs. (k) to (m). Pub. L. 109–8, §203(a)(2), added subsecs. (k) to (m).

1994—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 103–394, §501(d)(14)(A), substituted "1328(a)(1)" for "1328(c)(1)". See 1986 Amendment note below.

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 103–394, §103(a)(1), designated existing provisions as subpar. (A), inserted "and" at end, and added subpar. (B).

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 103–394, §103(a)(2), struck out "such agreement" after "which states that" in introductory provisions, struck out "and" at end of subpar. (A), inserted "such agreement" in subpars. (A) and (B), and added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 103–394, §501(d)(14)(B), substituted "rescission" for "recission".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103–394, §103(b), inserted "and was not represented by an attorney during the course of negotiating such agreement" after "this section" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (d)(1)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 103–394, §501(d)(14)(C), inserted "and" at end.

Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 103–394, §111(a), added subsecs. (g) and (h).

1986—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 99–554, §257(o)(1), inserted reference to section 1228 of this title.

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 99–554, §257(o)(2), which directed the substitution of ", 1228(a)(1), or 1328(a)(1)" for "or 1328(a)(1)" was executed by making the substitution for "or 1328(c)(1)" to reflect the probable intent of Congress. See 1994 Amendment note above.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 99–554, §257(o)(1), inserted reference to section 1228 of this title.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–554, §257(o)(1), inserted reference to section 1228 of this title.

Pub. L. 99–554, §282, substituted "shall" for "may" before "hold" in first sentence, inserted "any" after "At" in second sentence, and inserted "the court shall hold a hearing at which the debtor shall appear in person and" after "then" in third sentence.

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 99–554, §283(k), substituted "section" for "subsection" after "subsection (c)(6) of this".

1984—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 98–353, §§308(a), 455, struck out "or from property of the debtor," before "whether or not discharge", and substituted "an act" for "any act".

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 98–353, §455, substituted "an act" for "any act".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 98–353, §308(b)(1), (3), added par. (2). Former par. (2), which related to situations where the debtor had not rescinded the agreement within 30 days after the agreement became enforceable, was struck out.

Subsec. (c)(3), (4). Pub. L. 98–352, §308(b)(3), added pars. (3) and (4). Former pars. (3) and (4) redesignated (5) and (6), respectively.

Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 98–353, §308(b)(2), redesignated former par. (3) as (5).

Subsec. (c)(6). Pub. L. 98–353, §308(b)(2), (4), redesignated former par. (4) as (6) and generally amended par. (6), as so redesignated, thereby striking out provisions relating to court approval of such agreements as are entered into in good faith and are in settlement of litigation under section 523 of this title or provide for redemption under section 722 of this title.

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 98–353, §308(c), substituted "subsection (c)(6)" for "subsection (c)(4)".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 98–353, §308(d), added subsec. (f).

Effective Date of 2019 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 116–54 effective 180 days after Aug. 23, 2019, see section 5 of Pub. L. 116–54, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

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, except with respect to amendment by section 111(a) of Pub. L. 103–394, amendment by Pub. L. 103–394 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 1986 Amendment

Amendment 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 section 581 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Amendment by sections 282 and 283 of Pub. L. 99–554 effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1986, see section 302(a) of Pub. L. 99–554.

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.

Construction

Pub. L. 103–394, title I, §111(b), Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4117, provided that: "Nothing in subsection (a), or in the amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section], shall be construed to modify, impair, or supersede any other authority the court has to issue injunctions in connection with an order confirming a plan of reorganization."

§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.

(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).

1984Pub. L. 98–353 designated 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.

§526. Restrictions on debt relief agencies

(a) A debt relief agency shall not—

(1) fail to perform any service that such agency informed an assisted person or prospective assisted person it would provide in connection with a case or proceeding under this title;

(2) make any statement, or counsel or advise any assisted person or prospective assisted person to make a statement in a document filed in a case or proceeding under this title, that is untrue or misleading, or that upon the exercise of reasonable care, should have been known by such agency to be untrue or misleading;

(3) misrepresent to any assisted person or prospective assisted person, directly or indirectly, affirmatively or by material omission, with respect to—

(A) the services that such agency will provide to such person; or

(B) the benefits and risks that may result if such person becomes a debtor in a case under this title; or


(4) advise an assisted person or prospective assisted person to incur more debt in contemplation of such person filing a case under this title or to pay an attorney or bankruptcy petition preparer a fee or charge for services performed as part of preparing for or representing a debtor in a case under this title.


(b) Any waiver by any assisted person of any protection or right provided under this section shall not be enforceable against the debtor by any Federal or State court or any other person, but may be enforced against a debt relief agency.

(c)(1) Any contract for bankruptcy assistance between a debt relief agency and an assisted person that does not comply with the material requirements of this section, section 527, or section 528 shall be void and may not be enforced by any Federal or State court or by any other person, other than such assisted person.

(2) Any debt relief agency shall be liable to an assisted person in the amount of any fees or charges in connection with providing bankruptcy assistance to such person that such debt relief agency has received, for actual damages, and for reasonable attorneys' fees and costs if such agency is found, after notice and a hearing, to have—

(A) intentionally or negligently failed to comply with any provision of this section, section 527, or section 528 with respect to a case or proceeding under this title for such assisted person;

(B) provided bankruptcy assistance to an assisted person in a case or proceeding under this title that is dismissed or converted to a case under another chapter of this title because of such agency's intentional or negligent failure to file any required document including those specified in section 521; or

(C) intentionally or negligently disregarded the material requirements of this title or the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure applicable to such agency.


(3) In addition to such other remedies as are provided under State law, whenever the chief law enforcement officer of a State, or an official or agency designated by a State, has reason to believe that any person has violated or is violating this section, the State—

(A) may bring an action to enjoin such violation;

(B) may bring an action on behalf of its residents to recover the actual damages of assisted persons arising from such violation, including any liability under paragraph (2); and

(C) in the case of any successful action under subparagraph (A) or (B), shall be awarded the costs of the action and reasonable attorneys' fees as determined by the court.


(4) The district courts of the United States for districts located in the State shall have concurrent jurisdiction of any action under subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (3).

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law and in addition to any other remedy provided under Federal or State law, if the court, on its own motion or on the motion of the United States trustee or the debtor, finds that a person intentionally violated this section, or engaged in a clear and consistent pattern or practice of violating this section, the court may—

(A) enjoin the violation of such section; or

(B) impose an appropriate civil penalty against such person.


(d) No provision of this section, section 527, or section 528 shall—

(1) annul, alter, affect, or exempt any person subject to such sections from complying with any law of any State except to the extent that such law is inconsistent with those sections, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency; or

(2) be deemed to limit or curtail the authority or ability—

(A) of a State or subdivision or instrumentality thereof, to determine and enforce qualifications for the practice of law under the laws of that State; or

(B) of a Federal court to determine and enforce the qualifications for the practice of law before that court.

(Added Pub. L. 109–8, title II, §227(a), Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 67; amended Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(20), Dec. 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 3560.)

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(C), are set out in the Appendix to this title.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(20)(A), substituted "that is untrue or" for "that is untrue and".

Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(20)(B), inserted "a" after "preparer".

Effective Date

Section 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 an Effective Date of 2005 Amendment note under section 101 of this title.

§527. Disclosures

(a) A debt relief agency providing bankruptcy assistance to an assisted person shall provide—

(1) the written notice required under section 342(b)(1); and

(2) to the extent not covered in the written notice described in paragraph (1), and not later than 3 business days after the first date on which a debt relief agency first offers to provide any bankruptcy assistance services to an assisted person, a clear and conspicuous written notice advising assisted persons that—

(A) all information that the assisted person is required to provide with a petition and thereafter during a case under this title is required to be complete, accurate, and truthful;

(B) all assets and all liabilities are required to be completely and accurately disclosed in the documents filed to commence the case, and the replacement value of each asset as defined in section 506 must be stated in those documents where requested after reasonable inquiry to establish such value;

(C) current monthly income, the amounts specified in section 707(b)(2), and, in a case under chapter 13 of this title, disposable income (determined in accordance with section 707(b)(2)), are required to be stated after reasonable inquiry; and

(D) information that an assisted person provides during their case may be audited pursuant to this title, and that failure to provide such information may result in dismissal of the case under this title or other sanction, including a criminal sanction.


(b) A debt relief agency providing bankruptcy assistance to an assisted person shall provide each assisted person at the same time as the notices required under subsection (a)(1) the following statement, to the extent applicable, or one substantially similar. The statement shall be clear and conspicuous and shall be in a single document separate from other documents or notices provided to the assisted person:

"IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BANKRUPTCY ASSISTANCE SERVICES FROM AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER.

"If you decide to seek bankruptcy relief, you can represent yourself, you can hire an attorney to represent you, or you can get help in some localities from a bankruptcy petition preparer who is not an attorney. THE LAW REQUIRES AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER TO GIVE YOU A WRITTEN CONTRACT SPECIFYING WHAT THE ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER WILL DO FOR YOU AND HOW MUCH IT WILL COST. Ask to see the contract before you hire anyone.

"The following information helps you understand what must be done in a routine bankruptcy case to help you evaluate how much service you need. Although bankruptcy can be complex, many cases are routine.

"Before filing a bankruptcy case, either you or your attorney should analyze your eligibility for different forms of debt relief available under the Bankruptcy Code and which form of relief is most likely to be beneficial for you. Be sure you understand the relief you can obtain and its limitations. To file a bankruptcy case, documents called a Petition, Schedules, and Statement of Financial Affairs, and in some cases a Statement of Intention, need to be prepared correctly and filed with the bankruptcy court. You will have to pay a filing fee to the bankruptcy court. Once your case starts, you will have to attend the required first meeting of creditors where you may be questioned by a court official called a 'trustee' and by creditors.

"If you choose to file a chapter 7 case, you may be asked by a creditor to reaffirm a debt. You may want help deciding whether to do so. A creditor is not permitted to coerce you into reaffirming your debts.

"If you choose to file a chapter 13 case in which you repay your creditors what you can afford over 3 to 5 years, you may also want help with preparing your chapter 13 plan and with the confirmation hearing on your plan which will be before a bankruptcy judge.

"If you select another type of relief under the Bankruptcy Code other than chapter 7 or chapter 13, you will want to find out what should be done from someone familiar with that type of relief.

"Your bankruptcy case may also involve litigation. You are generally permitted to represent yourself in litigation in bankruptcy court, but only attorneys, not bankruptcy petition preparers, can give you legal advice.".

(c) Except to the extent the debt relief agency provides the required information itself after reasonably diligent inquiry of the assisted person or others so as to obtain such information reasonably accurately for inclusion on the petition, schedules or statement of financial affairs, a debt relief agency providing bankruptcy assistance to an assisted person, to the extent permitted by nonbankruptcy law, shall provide each assisted person at the time required for the notice required under subsection (a)(1) reasonably sufficient information (which shall be provided in a clear and conspicuous writing) to the assisted person on how to provide all the information the assisted person is required to provide under this title pursuant to section 521, including—

(1) how to value assets at replacement value, determine current monthly income, the amounts specified in section 707(b)(2) and, in a chapter 13 case, how to determine disposable income in accordance with section 707(b)(2) and related calculations;

(2) how to complete the list of creditors, including how to determine what amount is owed and what address for the creditor should be shown; and

(3) how to determine what property is exempt and how to value exempt property at replacement value as defined in section 506.


(d) A debt relief agency shall maintain a copy of the notices required under subsection (a) of this section for 2 years after the date on which the notice is given the assisted person.

(Added Pub. L. 109–8, title II, §228(a), Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 69; amended Pub. L. 111–327, §2(a)(21), Dec. 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 3560.)

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 111–327 substituted "Schedules, and Statement of Financial Affairs, and in some cases a Statement of Intention," for "Schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs, as well as in some cases a Statement of Intention" in third sentence of fourth undesignated par.

Effective Date

Section 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 an Effective Date of 2005 Amendment note under section 101 of this title.

§528. Requirements for debt relief agencies

(a) A debt relief agency shall—

(1) not later than 5 business days after the first date on which such agency provides any bankruptcy assistance services to an assisted person, but prior to such assisted person's petition under this title being filed, execute a written contract with such assisted person that explains clearly and conspicuously—

(A) the services such agency will provide to such assisted person; and

(B) the fees or charges for such services, and the terms of payment;


(2) provide the assisted person with a copy of the fully executed and completed contract;

(3) clearly and conspicuously disclose in any advertisement of bankruptcy assistance services or of the benefits of bankruptcy directed to the general public (whether in general media, seminars or specific mailings, telephonic or electronic messages, or otherwise) that the services or benefits are with respect to bankruptcy relief under this title; and

(4) clearly and conspicuously use the following statement in such advertisement: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code." or a substantially similar statement.


(b)(1) An advertisement of bankruptcy assistance services or of the benefits of bankruptcy directed to the general public includes—

(A) descriptions of bankruptcy assistance in connection with a chapter 13 plan whether or not chapter 13 is specifically mentioned in such advertisement; and

(B) statements such as "federally supervised repayment plan" or "Federal debt restructuring help" or other similar statements that could lead a reasonable consumer to believe that debt counseling was being offered when in fact the services were directed to providing bankruptcy assistance with a chapter 13 plan or other form of bankruptcy relief under this title.


(2) An advertisement, directed to the general public, indicating that the debt relief agency provides assistance with respect to credit defaults, mortgage foreclosures, eviction proceedings, excessive debt, debt collection pressure, or inability to pay any consumer debt shall—

(A) disclose clearly and conspicuously in such advertisement that the assistance may involve bankruptcy relief under this title; and

(B) include the following statement: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code." or a substantially similar statement.

(Added Pub. L. 109–8, title II, §229(a), Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 71.)

Effective Date

Section 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 an Effective Date of 2005 Amendment note under section 101 of this title.