11 U.S. Code § 707 - Dismissal of a case or conversion to a case under chapter 11 or 13

prev | next
(a) The court may dismiss a case under this chapter only after notice and a hearing and only for cause, including—
(1) unreasonable delay by the debtor that is prejudicial to creditors;
(2) nonpayment of any fees or charges required under chapter 123 of title 28; and
(3) failure of the debtor in a voluntary case to file, within fifteen days or such additional time as the court may allow after the filing of the petition commencing such case, the information required by paragraph (1) of section 521 (a), but only on a motion by the United States trustee.
(b)
(1) After notice and a hearing, the court, on its own motion or on a motion by the United States trustee, trustee (or bankruptcy administrator, if any), or any party in interest, may dismiss a case filed by an individual debtor under this chapter whose debts are primarily consumer debts, or, with the debtor’s consent, convert such a case to a case under chapter 11 or 13 of this title, if it finds that the granting of relief would be an abuse of the provisions of this chapter. In making a determination whether to dismiss a case under this section, the court may not take into consideration whether a debtor has made, or continues to make, charitable contributions (that meet the definition of “charitable contribution” under section 548 (d)(3)) to any qualified religious or charitable entity or organization (as that term is defined in section 548 (d)(4)).
(2)
(A)
(i) In considering under paragraph (1) whether the granting of relief would be an abuse of the provisions of this chapter, the court shall presume abuse exists if the debtor’s current monthly income reduced by the amounts determined under clauses (ii), (iii), and (iv), and multiplied by 60 is not less than the lesser of—
(I) 25 percent of the debtor’s nonpriority unsecured claims in the case, or $6,000, whichever is greater; or
(II) $10,000.
(ii)
(I) The debtor’s monthly expenses shall be the debtor’s applicable monthly expense amounts specified under the National Standards and Local Standards, and the debtor’s actual monthly expenses for the categories specified as Other Necessary Expenses issued by the Internal Revenue Service for the area in which the debtor resides, as in effect on the date of the order for relief, for the debtor, the dependents of the debtor, and the spouse of the debtor in a joint case, if the spouse is not otherwise a dependent. Such expenses shall include reasonably necessary health insurance, disability insurance, and health savings account expenses for the debtor, the spouse of the debtor, or the dependents of the debtor. Notwithstanding any other provision of this clause, the monthly expenses of the debtor shall not include any payments for debts. In addition, the debtor’s monthly expenses shall include the debtor’s reasonably necessary expenses incurred to maintain the safety of the debtor and the family of the debtor from family violence as identified under section 302 of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, or other applicable Federal law. The expenses included in the debtor’s monthly expenses described in the preceding sentence shall be kept confidential by the court. In addition, if it is demonstrated that it is reasonable and necessary, the debtor’s monthly expenses may also include an additional allowance for food and clothing of up to 5 percent of the food and clothing categories as specified by the National Standards issued by the Internal Revenue Service.
(II) In addition, the debtor’s monthly expenses may include, if applicable, the continuation of actual expenses paid by the debtor that are reasonable and necessary for care and support of an elderly, chronically ill, or disabled household member or member of the debtor’s immediate family (including parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and grandchildren of the debtor, the dependents of the debtor, and the spouse of the debtor in a joint case who is not a dependent) and who is unable to pay for such reasonable and necessary expenses.
(III) In addition, for a debtor eligible for chapter 13, the debtor’s monthly expenses may include the actual administrative expenses of administering a chapter 13 plan for the district in which the debtor resides, up to an amount of 10 percent of the projected plan payments, as determined under schedules issued by the Executive Office for United States Trustees.
(IV) In addition, the debtor’s monthly expenses may include the actual expenses for each dependent child less than 18 years of age, not to exceed $1,500 per year per child, to attend a private or public elementary or secondary school if the debtor provides documentation of such expenses and a detailed explanation of why such expenses are reasonable and necessary, and why such expenses are not already accounted for in the National Standards, Local Standards, or Other Necessary Expenses referred to in subclause (I).
(V) In addition, the debtor’s monthly expenses may include an allowance for housing and utilities, in excess of the allowance specified by the Local Standards for housing and utilities issued by the Internal Revenue Service, based on the actual expenses for home energy costs if the debtor provides documentation of such actual expenses and demonstrates that such actual expenses are reasonable and necessary.
(iii) The debtor’s average monthly payments on account of secured debts shall be calculated as the sum of—
(I) the total of all amounts scheduled as contractually due to secured creditors in each month of the 60 months following the date of the filing of the petition; and
(II) any additional payments to secured creditors necessary for the debtor, in filing a plan under chapter 13 of this title, to maintain possession of the debtor’s primary residence, motor vehicle, or other property necessary for the support of the debtor and the debtor’s dependents, that serves as collateral for secured debts;
divided by 60.
(iv) The debtor’s expenses for payment of all priority claims (including priority child support and alimony claims) shall be calculated as the total amount of debts entitled to priority, divided by 60.
(B)
(i) In any proceeding brought under this subsection, the presumption of abuse may only be rebutted by demonstrating special circumstances, such as a serious medical condition or a call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces, to the extent such special circumstances that justify additional expenses or adjustments of current monthly income for which there is no reasonable alternative.
(ii) In order to establish special circumstances, the debtor shall be required to itemize each additional expense or adjustment of income and to provide—
(I) documentation for such expense or adjustment to income; and
(II) a detailed explanation of the special circumstances that make such expenses or adjustment to income necessary and reasonable.
(iii) The debtor shall attest under oath to the accuracy of any information provided to demonstrate that additional expenses or adjustments to income are required.
(iv) The presumption of abuse may only be rebutted if the additional expenses or adjustments to income referred to in clause (i) cause the product of the debtor’s current monthly income reduced by the amounts determined under clauses (ii), (iii), and (iv) of subparagraph (A) when multiplied by 60 to be less than the lesser of—
(I) 25 percent of the debtor’s nonpriority unsecured claims, or $6,000, whichever is greater; or
(II) $10,000.
(C) As part of the schedule of current income and expenditures required under section 521, the debtor shall include a statement of the debtor’s current monthly income, and the calculations that determine whether a presumption arises under subparagraph (A)(i), that show how each such amount is calculated.
(D) Subparagraphs (A) through (C) shall not apply, and the court may not dismiss or convert a case based on any form of means testing—
(i) if the debtor is a disabled veteran (as defined in section 3741 (1) of title 38), and the indebtedness occurred primarily during a period during which he or she was—
(I) on active duty (as defined in section 101 (d)(1) of title 10); or
(II) performing a homeland defense activity (as defined in section 901 (1) of title 32); or
(ii) with respect to the debtor, while the debtor is—
(I) on, and during the 540-day period beginning immediately after the debtor is released from, a period of active duty (as defined in section 101 (d)(1) of title 10) of not less than 90 days; or
(II) performing, and during the 540-day period beginning immediately after the debtor is no longer performing, a homeland defense activity (as defined in section 901 (1) of title 32) performed for a period of not less than 90 days;
if after September 11, 2001, the debtor while a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces or a member of the National Guard, was called to such active duty or performed such homeland defense activity.
(3) In considering under paragraph (1) whether the granting of relief would be an abuse of the provisions of this chapter in a case in which the presumption in paragraph (2)(A)(i) does not arise or is rebutted, the court shall consider—
(A) whether the debtor filed the petition in bad faith; or
(B) the totality of the circumstances (including whether the debtor seeks to reject a personal services contract and the financial need for such rejection as sought by the debtor) of the debtor’s financial situation demonstrates abuse.
(4)
(A) The court, on its own initiative or on the motion of a party in interest, in accordance with the procedures described in rule 9011 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, may order the attorney for the debtor to reimburse the trustee for all reasonable costs in prosecuting a motion filed under section 707 (b), including reasonable attorneys’ fees, if—
(i) a trustee files a motion for dismissal or conversion under this subsection; and
(ii) the court—
(I) grants such motion; and
(II) finds that the action of the attorney for the debtor in filing a case under this chapter violated rule 9011 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.
(B) If the court finds that the attorney for the debtor violated rule 9011 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the court, on its own initiative or on the motion of a party in interest, in accordance with such procedures, may order—
(i) the assessment of an appropriate civil penalty against the attorney for the debtor; and
(ii) the payment of such civil penalty to the trustee, the United States trustee (or the bankruptcy administrator, if any).
(C) The signature of an attorney on a petition, pleading, or written motion shall constitute a certification that the attorney has—
(i) performed a reasonable investigation into the circumstances that gave rise to the petition, pleading, or written motion; and
(ii) determined that the petition, pleading, or written motion—
(I) is well grounded in fact; and
(II) is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law and does not constitute an abuse under paragraph (1).
(D) The signature of an attorney on the petition shall constitute a certification that the attorney has no knowledge after an inquiry that the information in the schedules filed with such petition is incorrect.
(5)
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) and subject to paragraph (6), the court, on its own initiative or on the motion of a party in interest, in accordance with the procedures described in rule 9011 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, may award a debtor all reasonable costs (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) in contesting a motion filed by a party in interest (other than a trustee or United States trustee (or bankruptcy administrator, if any)) under this subsection if—
(i) the court does not grant the motion; and
(ii) the court finds that—
(I) the position of the party that filed the motion violated rule 9011 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure; or
(II) the attorney (if any) who filed the motion did not comply with the requirements of clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (4)(C), and the motion was made solely for the purpose of coercing a debtor into waiving a right guaranteed to the debtor under this title.
(B) A small business that has a claim of an aggregate amount less than $1,000 shall not be subject to subparagraph (A)(ii)(I).
(C) For purposes of this paragraph—
(i) the term “small business” means an unincorporated business, partnership, corporation, association, or organization that—
(I) has fewer than 25 full-time employees as determined on the date on which the motion is filed; and
(II) is engaged in commercial or business activity; and
(ii) the number of employees of a wholly owned subsidiary of a corporation includes the employees of—
(I) a parent corporation; and
(II) any other subsidiary corporation of the parent corporation.
(6) Only the judge or United States trustee (or bankruptcy administrator, if any) may file a motion under section 707 (b), if the current monthly income of the debtor, or in a joint case, the debtor and the debtor’s spouse, as of the date of the order for relief, when multiplied by 12, is equal to or less than—
(A) in the case of a debtor in a household of 1 person, the median family income of the applicable State for 1 earner;
(B) in the case of a debtor in a household of 2, 3, or 4 individuals, the highest median family income of the applicable State for a family of the same number or fewer individuals; or
(C) in the case of a debtor in a household exceeding 4 individuals, the highest median family income of the applicable State for a family of 4 or fewer individuals, plus $525 per month for each individual in excess of 4.
(7)
(A) No judge, United States trustee (or bankruptcy administrator, if any), trustee, or other party in interest may file a motion under paragraph (2) if the current monthly income of the debtor, including a veteran (as that term is defined in section 101 of title 38), and the debtor’s spouse combined, as of the date of the order for relief when multiplied by 12, is equal to or less than—
(i) in the case of a debtor in a household of 1 person, the median family income of the applicable State for 1 earner;
(ii) in the case of a debtor in a household of 2, 3, or 4 individuals, the highest median family income of the applicable State for a family of the same number or fewer individuals; or
(iii) in the case of a debtor in a household exceeding 4 individuals, the highest median family income of the applicable State for a family of 4 or fewer individuals, plus $525 per month for each individual in excess of 4.
(B) In a case that is not a joint case, current monthly income of the debtor’s spouse shall not be considered for purposes of subparagraph (A) if—
(i)
(I) the debtor and the debtor’s spouse are separated under applicable nonbankruptcy law; or
(II) the debtor and the debtor’s spouse are living separate and apart, other than for the purpose of evading subparagraph (A); and
(ii) the debtor files a statement under penalty of perjury—
(I) specifying that the debtor meets the requirement of subclause (I) or (II) of clause (i); and
(II) disclosing the aggregate, or best estimate of the aggregate, amount of any cash or money payments received from the debtor’s spouse attributed to the debtor’s current monthly income.
(c)
(1) In this subsection—
(A) the term “crime of violence” has the meaning given such term in section 16 of title 18; and
(B) the term “drug trafficking crime” has the meaning given such term in section 924 (c)(2) of title 18.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), after notice and a hearing, the court, on a motion by the victim of a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime, may when it is in the best interest of the victim dismiss a voluntary case filed under this chapter by a debtor who is an individual if such individual was convicted of such crime.
(3) The court may not dismiss a case under paragraph (2) if the debtor establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the filing of a case under this chapter is necessary to satisfy a claim for a domestic support obligation.

Source

(Pub. L. 95–598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2606; Pub. L. 98–353, title III, §§ 312, 475,July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 355, 381; Pub. L. 99–554, title II, § 219,Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3100; Pub. L. 105–183, § 4(b),June 19, 1998, 112 Stat. 518; Pub. L. 109–8, title I, § 102(a), (f),Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 27, 33; Pub. L. 110–438, § 2,Oct. 20, 2008, 122 Stat. 5000; Pub. L. 111–320, title II, § 202(a),Dec. 20, 2010, 124 Stat. 3509; Pub. L. 111–327, § 2(a)(25),Dec. 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 3560.)
Adjustment of Dollar Amounts

For adjustment of certain dollar amounts specified in this section, that is not reflected in text, see Adjustment of Dollar Amounts note below.
Historical and Revision Notes

legislative statements

Section 707 of the House amendment indicates that the court may dismiss a case only after notice and a hearing.
senate report no. 95–989

This section authorizes the court to dismiss a liquidation case only for cause, such as unreasonable delay by the debtor that is prejudicial to creditors or nonpayment of any fees and charges required under chapter 123 [§ 1911 et seq.] of title 28. These causes are not exhaustive, but merely illustrative. The section does not contemplate, however, that the ability of the debtor to repay his debts in whole or in part constitutes adequate cause for dismissal. To permit dismissal on that ground would be to enact a non-uniform mandatory chapter 13, in lieu of the remedy of bankruptcy.
References in Text

Section 302 of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(ii)(I), is classified to section 10402 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.
The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, referred to in subsec. (b)(4)(A), (B), (5)(A), are set out in the Appendix to this title.
Amendments

2010—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 111–327, § 2(a)(25)(A), substituted “521(a)” for “521”.
Subsec. (b)(2)(A)(ii)(I). Pub. L. 111–320substituted “section 302 of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act” for “section 309 of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act”.
Subsec. (b)(2)(A)(iii)(I). Pub. L. 111–327, § 2(a)(25)(B)(i), inserted “of the filing” after “date”.
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 111–327, § 2(a)(25)(B)(ii), substituted “paragraph (2)(A)(i)” for “subparagraph (A)(i) of such paragraph” in introductory provisions.
2008—Subsec. (b)(2)(D). Pub. L. 110–438substituted “testing—” for “testing,” in introductory provisions, inserted cl. (i) designation before “if the debtor”, redesignated former cls. (i) and (ii) as subcls. (I) and (II), respectively, of cl. (i) and added cl. (ii).
2005—Pub. L. 109–8, § 102(a)(1), substituted “Dismissal of a case or conversion to a case under chapter 11 or 13” for “Dismissal” in section catchline.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–8, § 102(a)(2), designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted “trustee (or bankruptcy administrator, if any), or” for “but not at the request or suggestion of” and “an abuse” for “a substantial abuse”, inserted “, or, with the debtor’s consent, convert such a case to a case under chapter 11 or 13 of this title,” after “consumer debts”, struck out “There shall be a presumption in favor of granting the relief requested by the debtor.” before “In making”, and added pars. (2) to (7).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–8, § 102(f), added subsec. (c).
1998—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 105–183inserted at end “In making a determination whether to dismiss a case under this section, the court may not take into consideration whether a debtor has made, or continues to make, charitable contributions (that meet the definition of ‘charitable contribution’ under section 548 (d)(3)) to any qualified religious or charitable entity or organization (as that term is defined in section 548 (d)(4)).”
1986—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 99–554, § 219(a), added par. (3).
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–554, § 219(b), substituted “motion or on a motion by the United States trustee, but” for “motion and”.
1984—Pub. L. 98–353designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and in pars. (1) and (2) substituted “or” for “and”, and added subsec. (b).
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Pub. L. 110–438, § 4,Oct. 20, 2008, 122 Stat. 5002, as amended by Pub. L. 112–64, § 2,Dec. 13, 2011, 125 Stat. 766, provided that:
“(a) Effective Date.—Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act [amending this section and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 101 of this title] and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 20, 2008].
“(b) Application of Amendments.—The amendments made by this Act [amending this section] shall apply only with respect to cases commenced under title 11 of the United States Code in the 7-year period beginning on the effective date of this Act.”
Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–8effective 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 ofPub. L. 109–8, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–183applicable to any case brought under an applicable provision of this title that is pending or commenced on or after June 19, 1998, see section 5 ofPub. L. 105–183, set out as a note under section 544 of this title.
Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Effective date and applicability of amendment by Pub. L. 99–554dependent upon the judicial district involved, see section 302(d), (e) ofPub. 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. 98–353effective with respect to cases filed 90 days after July 10, 1984, see section 552(a) ofPub. L. 98–353, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Schedules of Reasonable and Necessary Expenses

Pub. L. 109–8, title I, § 107,Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 42, provided that: “For purposes of section 707 (b) of title 11, United States Code, as amended by this Act, the Director of the Executive Office for United States Trustees shall, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Apr. 20, 2005], issue schedules of reasonable and necessary administrative expenses of administering a chapter 13 plan for each judicial district of the United States.”
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. 12, 2013, 78 F.R. 12089, effective Apr. 1, 2013, in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(i)(I), dollar amount “7,025” was adjusted to “7,475”; in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(i)(II), dollar amount “11,725” was adjusted to “12,475”; in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(ii)(IV), dollar amount “1,775” was adjusted to “1,875”; in subsec. (b)(2)(B)(iv)(I), dollar amount “7,025” was adjusted to “7,475”; in subsec. (b)(2)(B)(iv)(II), dollar amount “11,725” was adjusted to “12,475”; in subsec. (b)(5)(B), dollar amount “1,175” was adjusted to “1,250”; in subsec. (b)(6)(C), dollar amount “625” was adjusted to “675”; and, in subsec. (b)(7)(A)(iii), dollar amount “625” was adjusted to “675”. 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. 19, 2010, 75 F.R. 8747, effective Apr. 1, 2010, in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(i)(I), dollar amount “6,575” was adjusted to “7,025”; in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(i)(II), dollar amount “10,950” was adjusted to “11,725”; in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(ii)(IV), dollar amount “1,650” was adjusted to “1,775”; in subsec. (b)(2)(B)(iv)(I), dollar amount “6,575” was adjusted to “7,025”; in subsec. (b)(2)(B)(iv)(II), dollar amount “10,950” was adjusted to “11,725”; in subsec. (b)(5)(B), dollar amount “1,100” was adjusted to “1,175”; in subsec. (b)(6)(C), dollar amount “575” was adjusted to “625”; and, in subsec. (b)(7)(A)(iii), dollar amount “575” was adjusted to “625”.
By notice dated Feb. 7, 2007, 72 F.R. 7082, effective Apr. 1, 2007, in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(i)(I), dollar amount “6,000” was adjusted to “6,575”; in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(i)(II), dollar amount “10,000” was adjusted to “10,950”; in subsec. (b)(2)(A)(ii)(IV), dollar amount “1,500” was adjusted to “1,650”; in subsec. (b)(5)(B), dollar amount “1,000” was adjusted to “1,100”; in subsec. (b)(6)(C), dollar amount “525” was adjusted to “575”; and, in subsec. (b)(7)(A), dollar amount “525” was adjusted to “575”.
Rules Promulgated by Supreme Court

United States Supreme Court to prescribe general rules implementing the practice and procedure to be followed under subsec. (b) of this section, with section 2075 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, to apply with respect to such general rules, see section 320 ofPub. L. 98–353, set out as a note under section 2075 of Title 28.

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.