First Circuit BAP on Time Between Chapter 13 Discharges

18 Oct First Circuit BAP on Time Between Chapter 13 Discharges

The United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit recently clarified how to calculate the two-year period set out in Section 1328(f) for eligibility for a Chapter 13 discharge. The statute states, in relevant part, that the court shall not grant a Chapter 13 discharge “if the debtor has received a discharge […] in a case filed under chapter 13 of this title during the 2-year period preceding the date of such order.”

The issue in the case, in re Gagne, BAP No. EB 08-021 (1st. Cir. B.A.P. 2008), was whether the phrase “during the 2-year period preceding the date of such order” modified the phrase “received a discharge” or the phrase “filed under chapter 13 of this title.” The Panel held “the plain language of the statute dictated calculating the applicable time periods from date of filing to date of filing,” and therefore reversed the order of the bankruptcy court which had denied the debtor his discharge.

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