11 U.S. Code § 727 - Discharge

(a) The court shall grant the debtor a discharge, unless—
(1) the debtor is not an individual;
(2) the debtor, with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor or an officer of the estate charged with custody of property under this title, has transferred, removed, destroyed, mutilated, or concealed, or has permitted to be transferred, removed, destroyed, mutilated, or concealed—
(A) property of the debtor, within one year before the date of the filing of the petition; or
(B) property of the estate, after the date of the filing of the petition;
(3) the debtor has concealed, destroyed, mutilated, falsified, or failed to keep or preserve any recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers, from which the debtor’s financial condition or business transactions might be ascertained, unless such act or failure to act was justified under all of the circumstances of the case;
(4) the debtor knowingly and fraudulently, in or in connection with the case—
(A) made a false oath or account;
(B) presented or used a false claim;
(C) gave, offered, received, or attempted to obtain money, property, or advantage, or a promise of money, property, or advantage, for acting or forbearing to act; or
(D) withheld from an officer of the estate entitled to possession under this title, any recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers, relating to the debtor’s property or financial affairs;
(5) the debtor has failed to explain satisfactorily, before determination of denial of discharge under this paragraph, any loss of assets or deficiency of assets to meet the debtor’s liabilities;
(6) the debtor has refused, in the case—
(A) to obey any lawful order of the court, other than an order to respond to a material question or to testify;
(B) on the ground of privilege against self-incrimination, to respond to a material question approved by the court or to testify, after the debtor has been granted immunity with respect to the matter concerning which such privilege was invoked; or
(C) on a ground other than the properly invoked privilege against self-incrimination, to respond to a material question approved by the court or to testify;
(7) the debtor has committed any act specified in paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this subsection, on or within one year before the date of the filing of the petition, or during the case, in connection with another case, under this title or under the Bankruptcy Act, concerning an insider;
(8) the debtor has been granted a discharge under this section, under section 1141 of this title, or under section 14, 371, or 476 of the Bankruptcy Act, in a case commenced within 8 years before the date of the filing of the petition;
(9) the debtor has been granted a discharge under section 1228 or 1328 of this title, or under section 660 or 661 of the Bankruptcy Act, in a case commenced within six years before the date of the filing of the petition, unless payments under the plan in such case totaled at least—
(A) 100 percent of the allowed unsecured claims in such case; or
(B)
(i) 70 percent of such claims; and
(ii) the plan was proposed by the debtor in good faith, and was the debtor’s best effort;
(10) the court approves a written waiver of discharge executed by the debtor after the order for relief under this chapter;
(11) after filing the petition, the debtor failed to complete an instructional course concerning personal financial management described in section 111, except that this paragraph shall not apply with respect to a debtor who is a person described in section 109 (h)(4) or who resides in a district for which the United States trustee (or the bankruptcy administrator, if any) determines that the approved instructional courses are not adequate to service the additional individuals who would otherwise be required to complete such instructional courses under this section (The United States trustee (or the bankruptcy administrator, if any) who makes a determination described in this paragraph shall review such determination not later than 1 year after the date of such determination, and not less frequently than annually thereafter.); or
(12) the court after notice and a hearing held not more than 10 days before the date of the entry of the order granting the discharge finds that there is reasonable cause to believe that—
(A) section 522 (q)(1) may be applicable to the debtor; and
(B) there is pending any proceeding in which the debtor may be found guilty of a felony of the kind described in section 522 (q)(1)(A) or liable for a debt of the kind described in section 522 (q)(1)(B).
(b) Except as provided in section 523 of this title, a discharge under subsection (a) of this section discharges the debtor from all debts that arose before the date of the order for relief under this chapter, and any liability on a claim that is determined under section 502 of this title as if such claim had arisen before the commencement of the case, whether or not a proof of claim based on any such debt or liability is filed under section 501 of this title, and whether or not a claim based on any such debt or liability is allowed under section 502 of this title.
(c)
(1) The trustee, a creditor, or the United States trustee may object to the granting of a discharge under subsection (a) of this section.
(2) On request of a party in interest, the court may order the trustee to examine the acts and conduct of the debtor to determine whether a ground exists for denial of discharge.
(d) On request of the trustee, a creditor, or the United States trustee, and after notice and a hearing, the court shall revoke a discharge granted under subsection (a) of this section if—
(1) such discharge was obtained through the fraud of the debtor, and the requesting party did not know of such fraud until after the granting of such discharge;
(2) the debtor acquired property that is property of the estate, or became entitled to acquire property that would be property of the estate, and knowingly and fraudulently failed to report the acquisition of or entitlement to such property, or to deliver or surrender such property to the trustee;
(3) the debtor committed an act specified in subsection (a)(6) of this section; or
(4) the debtor has failed to explain satisfactorily—
(A) a material misstatement in an audit referred to in section 586 (f) of title 28; or
(B) a failure to make available for inspection all necessary accounts, papers, documents, financial records, files, and all other papers, things, or property belonging to the debtor that are requested for an audit referred to in section 586 (f) of title 28.
(e) The trustee, a creditor, or the United States trustee may request a revocation of a discharge—
(1) under subsection (d)(1) of this section within one year after such discharge is granted; or
(2) under subsection (d)(2) or (d)(3) of this section before the later of—
(A) one year after the granting of such discharge; and
(B) the date the case is closed.

Source

(Pub. L. 95–598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2609; Pub. L. 98–353, title III, § 480,July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 382; Pub. L. 99–554, title II, §§ 220, 257(s),Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3101, 3116; Pub. L. 109–8, title I, § 106(b), title III, §§ 312(1), 330 (a), title VI, § 603(d),Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 38, 86, 101, 123.)
Historical and Revision Notes

legislative statements

Sections 727(a) (8) and (9) of the House amendment represent a compromise between provisions contained in section 727(a)(8) of the House bill and Senate amendment. Section 727(a)(8) of the House amendment adopts section 727(a)(8) of the House bill. However, section 727(a)(9) of the House amendment contains a compromise based on section 727(a)(8) of the Senate amendment with respect to the circumstances under which a plan by way of composition under Chapter XIII of the Bankruptcy Act [chapter 13 of former title 11] should be a bar to discharge in a subsequent proceeding under title 11. The paragraph provides that a discharge under section 660 or 661 of the Bankruptcy Act [section 1060 or 1061 of former title 11] or section 1328 of title 11 in a case commenced within 6 years before the date of the filing of the petition in a subsequent case, operates as a bar to discharge unless, first, payments under the plan totaled at least 100 percent of the allowed unsecured claims in the case; or second, payments under the plan totaled at least 70 percent of the allowed unsecured claims in the case and the plan was proposed by the debtor in good faith and was the debtor’s best effort.
It is expected that the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure will contain a provision permitting the debtor to request a determination of whether a plan is the debtor’s “best effort” prior to confirmation of a plan in a case under chapter 13 of title 11. In determining whether a plan is the debtor’s “best effort” the court will evaluate several factors. Different facts and circumstances in cases under chapter 13 operate to make any rule of thumb of limited usefulness. The court should balance the debtor’s assets, including family income, health insurance, retirement benefits, and other wealth, a sum which is generally determinable, against the foreseeable necessary living expenses of the debtor and the debtor’s dependents, which unfortunately is rarely quantifiable. In determining the expenses of the debtor and the debtor’s dependents, the court should consider the stability of the debtor’s employment, if any, the age of the debtor, the number of the debtor’s dependents and their ages, the condition of equipment and tools necessary to the debtor’s employment or to the operation of his business, and other foreseeable expenses that the debtor will be required to pay during the period of the plan, other than payments to be made to creditors under the plan.
Section 727(a)(10) of the House amendment clarifies a provision contained in section 727(a)(9) of the House bill and Senate amendment indicating that a discharge may be barred if the court approves a waiver of discharge executed in writing by the debtor after the order for relief under chapter 7.
Section 727(b) of the House amendment adopts a similar provision contained in the Senate amendment modifying the effect of discharge. The provision makes clear that the debtor is discharged from all debts that arose before the date of the order for relief under chapter 7 in addition to any debt which is determined under section 502 as if it were a prepetition claim. Thus, if a case is converted from chapter 11 or chapter 13 to a case under chapter 7, all debts prior to the time of conversion are discharged, in addition to debts determined after the date of conversion of a kind specified in section 502, that are to be determined as prepetition claims. This modification is particularly important with respect to an individual debtor who files a petition under chapter 11 or chapter 13 of title 11 if the case is converted to chapter 7. The logical result of the House amendment is to equate the result that obtains whether the case is converted from another chapter to chapter 7, or whether the other chapter proceeding is dismissed and a new case is commenced by filing a petition under chapter 7.
senate report no. 95–989

This section is the heart of the fresh start provisions of the bankruptcy law. Subsection (a) requires the court to grant a debtor a discharge unless one of nine conditions is met. The first condition is that the debtor is not an individual. This is a change from present law, under which corporations and partnerships may be discharged in liquidation cases, though they rarely are. The change in policy will avoid trafficking in corporate shells and in bankrupt partnerships. “Individual” includes a deceased individual, so that if the debtor dies during the bankruptcy case, he will nevertheless be released from his debts, and his estate will not be liable for them. Creditors will be entitled to only one satisfaction—from the bankruptcy estate and not from the probate estate.
The next three grounds for denial of discharge center on the debtor’s wrongdoing in or in connection with the bankruptcy case. They are derived from Bankruptcy Act § 14c [section 32(c) of former title 11]. If the debtor, with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud his creditors or an officer of the estate, has transferred, removed, destroyed, mutilated, or concealed, or has permitted any such action with respect to, property of the debtor within the year preceding the case, or property of the estate after the commencement of the case, then the debtor is denied discharge. The debtor is also denied discharge if he has concealed, destroyed, mutilated, falsified, or failed to keep or preserve any books and records from which his financial condition might be ascertained, unless the act or failure to act was justified under all the circumstances of the case. The fourth ground for denial of discharge is the commission of a bankruptcy crime, although the standard of proof is preponderance of the evidence rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. These crimes include the making of a false oath or account, the use or presentation of a false claim, the giving or receiving of money for acting or forbearing to act, and the withholding from an officer of the estate entitled to possession of books and records relating to the debtor’s financial affairs.
The fifth ground for denial of discharge is the failure of the debtor to explain satisfactorily any loss of assets or deficiency of assets to meet the debtor’s liabilities. The sixth ground concerns refusal to testify. It is a change from present law, under which the debtor may be denied discharge for legitimately exercising his right against self-incrimination. Under this provision, the debtor may be denied discharge if he refuses to obey any lawful order of the court, or if he refuses to testify after having been granted immunity or after improperly invoking the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination.
The seventh ground for denial of discharge is the commission of an act specified in grounds two through six during the year before the debtor’s case in connection with another bankruptcy case concerning an insider.
The eighth ground for denial of discharge is derived from § 14c(5) of the Bankruptcy Act [section 32(c)(5) of former title 11]. If the debtor has been granted a discharge in a case commenced within 6 years preceding the present bankruptcy case, he is denied discharge. This provision, which is no change from current law with respect to straight bankruptcy, is the 6-year bar to discharge. Discharge under chapter 11 will bar a discharge for 6 years. As under current law, confirmation of a composition wage earner plan under chapter 13 is a basis for invoking the 6-year bar.
The ninth ground is approval by the court of a waiver of discharge.
Subsection (b) specifies that the discharge granted under this section discharges the debtor from all debts that arose before the date of the order for relief. It is irrelevant whether or not a proof of claim was filed with respect to the debt, and whether or not the claim based on the debt was allowed.
Subsection (c) permits the trustee, or a creditor, to object to discharge. It also permits the court, on request of a party in interest, to order the trustee to examine the acts and conduct of the debtor to determine whether a ground for denial of discharge exists.
Subsection (d) requires the court to revoke a discharge already granted in certain circumstances. If the debtor obtained the discharge through fraud, if he acquired and concealed property of the estate, or if he refused to obey a court order or to testify, the discharge is to be revoked.
Subsection (e) permits the trustee or a creditor to request revocation of a discharge within 1 year after the discharge is granted, on the grounds of fraud, and within one year of discharge or the date of the closing of the case, whichever is later, on other grounds.
References in Text

The Bankruptcy Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(7), is act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, 30 Stat. 544, as amended, which was classified generally to former Title 11.
Sections 14, 371, and 476 of the Bankruptcy Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(8), are section 14 of act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, 30 Stat. 550, section 371 of act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, as added June 22, 1938, ch. 575, § 1,52 Stat. 912, and section 476 of act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, as added June 22, 1938, ch. 575, § 1,52 Stat. 924, which were classified to sections 32, 771, and 876 of former Title 11.
Sections 660 and 661 of the Bankruptcy Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(9), are sections 660 and 661 of act July 1, 1898, ch. 541, as added June 22, 1938, ch. 575, § 1,52 Stat. 935, 936, which were classified to sections 1060 and 1061 of former Title 11.
Amendments

2005—Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 109–8, § 312(1), substituted “8 years” for “six years”.
Subsec. (a)(11). Pub. L. 109–8, § 106(b), added par. (11).
Subsec. (a)(12). Pub. L. 109–8, § 330(a), added par. (12).
Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 109–8, § 603(d), added par. (4).
1986—Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 99–554, § 257(s), inserted reference to section 1228 of this title.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–554, § 220, amended subsec. (c) generally, substituting “The trustee, a creditor, or the United States trustee may object” for “The trustee or a creditor may object” in par. (1).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–554, § 220, amended subsec. (d) generally, substituting “, a creditor, or the United States trustee,” for “or a creditor,” in provisions preceding par. (1) and “acquisition of or entitlement to such property” for “acquisition of, or entitlement to, such property” in par. (2).
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–554, § 220, amended subsec. (e) generally, substituting “The trustee, a creditor, or the United States trustee may” for “The trustee or a creditor may” in provisions preceding par. (1), “section within” for “section, within” and “discharge is granted” for “discharge was granted” in par. (1), “section before” for “section, before” in provisions of par. (2) preceding subpar. (A), and “discharge; and” for “discharge; or” in par. (2)(A).
1984—Subsec. (a)(6)(C). Pub. L. 98–353, § 480(a)(1), substituted “properly” for “property”.
Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 98–353, § 480(a)(2), inserted “, under this title or under the Bankruptcy Act,” after “another case”.
Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 98–353, § 480(a)(3), substituted “371,” for “371”.
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 98–353, § 480(b), substituted “to the granting of a discharge” for “to discharge”.
Subsec. (e)(2)(A). Pub. L. 98–353, § 480(c), substituted “or” for “and”.
Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Amendment by section 603(d) ofPub. L. 109–8effective 18 months after Apr. 20, 2005, see section 603(e) ofPub. L. 109–8, set out as a note under section 521 of this title.
Amendments by sections 106(b), 312(1), and 330(a) ofPub. L. 109–8effective 180 days after Apr. 20, 2005, with amendments by sections 106(b) and 312(1) ofPub. L. 109–8not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before such effective date, except as otherwise provided, and amendment by section 330(a) ofPub. L. 109–8applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title on or after Apr. 20, 2005, see section 1501 ofPub. L. 109–8, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by section 257 ofPub. L. 99–554effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1986, but not applicable to cases commenced under this title before that date, see section 302(a), (c)(1) ofPub. L. 99–554, set out as a note under section 581 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Effective date and applicability of amendment by section 220 ofPub. L. 99–554dependent upon the judicial district involved, see section 302(d), (e) ofPub. L. 99–554.
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.

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


28 CFR - Judicial Administration

28 CFR Part 58 - REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE BANKRUPTCY REFORM ACTS OF 1978 AND 1994

 

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