Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

Welcome to the Bankruptcy Forum. Bankruptcy (BK) Forum is known as and will be referred to as BKF hereinafter. In order to ensure a long term success of our vibrant community, we have established certain rules and guidelines to which everyone must adhere to. Please take your time to carefully read our rules, before you start to participate in the community.

Things you agree to do: (BKF) users agree to use the search function before starting a new thread. This prevents duplicate discussions and allows for better organized topics.

All BKF users agree to read the sticky posts which may be available at the top of a forum page. These Sticky posts often contain valuable information. They may also outline more rules and guidelines specific for that particular forum, stickies are put in place by that forums moderator(s) or admin(s).

Things you agree not to do:

All BKF users agree not to call people names or write a post simply to make a personal attack, or get a negative reaction; this behavior is not allowed on our forum. The use of derogatory language aimed at anyone will be severely dealt with. There is no need to agree with each other, or to even like each other. However, by signing onto you agree to treat each member and guest with the respect they deserve. No threats or personal attacks will be allowed.

All BKF users agree not to discuss, engage, or encourage any behavior or activity which violates the law. Discussion of drugs, violence, murder, theft, vandalism, fraud or any other issue which could be used to help individuals break the law is strictly forbidden.

All BKF users agree not to "bump" old threads, unless there is a specific benefit to the community by doing so. But in most cases, please don't post in very old threads, instead start new threads.

All BKF users agree not to attempt/use another members account. It is against BKF rules to use any account other than your own. Impersonating another member will result in an immediate ban. It is also against the rules to open more than one account in your own name without permission from a moderator or administrator. If you have been banned for any reason, it is against the rules to open another account. If you were banned temporarily and you are caught using another account you will be banned permanently. Choosing a moniker which is similar in either sound or spelling as a moderator or administrator is strictly forbidden.

All BKF users agree not to private message any moderator, admin, or other member with questions related to their personal circumstances (Questions about the forum or issues with the forum are ok). This forum only works when members share their experience and insights with everyone.

Things you agree not to post:
All BKF users agree not to post any derogatory/racist/or sexist remarks. This includes attachments, links and all information contained within posts, signatures, and avatars, failure to comply with this rule will result in a permanent ban.

All BKF users agree not to post any copyrighted or trademarked information without the express written permission of the owner(s) / proper citation of source.

All BKF users agree not to post any real names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, social security numbers, or any other personal details (their own or other people's).

All BKF users agree not to post links, pictures, attachments, videos, or the like of pornographic content, objectionable material or extreme violence, whether cartoon or real.

All BKF users agree not to use BKF for advertising purposes without a written contract between yourself/company/agent and the administration of BKF. Blatant advertising will result in a ban.

All BKF users agree not to spam the forums. Spam includes but is not limited to posting erroneous, non-relevant-useless, off-topic, or meaningless posts. Spam may also include posts which contain no text, or large areas of blank space between lines. Simply posting emoticons without text is considered spam. BKF is the largest bankruptcy message board and all the content is intended to help other users. Please help us improve the quality of our forum by making sure that your posts are well-worded, spell checked, grammatically correct and syntaxed.

Regarding actions of moderators and administrators:

The forum is no place to air out your opinion or be judgmental of our staff and its capabilities.

All BKF users agree not to abuse or mistreat moderators or administrators. It is against BKF rules to post any information regarding bans or any other action taken by a member of the moderating or administrative team. If you wish to discuss bans or warnings please do so via PM. To place a complaint against a moderator, send a PM to a super moderator. All Moderators are equal, any decision made by a moderator must be adhered to. If a moderator tells you something you do not like, do not go to another moderator looking for a different answer. If you are caught doing this you will be banned. The moderators work as a team and respect the decisions made by their peers and will help enforce them unless an administrator tells them differently.
If you have an issue with how the forum is run, then notify one of our administrator and we will look into the situation. We have in the past and still do appreciate any input that you offer this forum. But critical input and/or judgmental postings towards the staff will result in you getting banned.

Should you find a thread offensive or out of line, then notify a Mod in a PM so they can evaluate the situation and do the action deemed necessary.

All moderators do have active "other" lives outside of the forum and help moderate this forum in their spare time throughout the days and weeks.

If you have a problem with a member or Mod follow the proper channels of reporting it.

BKF reserves the right to delete any posts which contain anti-BKF comments or discussion. Any bashing of moderators or administrators, or any of their discussion or actions will also be deleted, and the responsible posting party(s) will be banned. Any public anti-BKF advertising, communication, or posts on another forum will result in permanent bans as well.

All warnings and bans are decided by individual moderators and administrators. Warnings are preferable to bans however, for serious offenses and repeat abusers bans will go into effect. The length of the bans can vary from several hours to permanent.

All messages posted or sent including through PM are the property of

All BKF users agree not to advertiser on the forum (Niether by posting, private messaging or using your signature). If you are a company/attorney/legal adviser wishing to advertise on the site or sell a product, you must contact the head administrator and inquire about our advertising packages.

All bankruptcy related opinions expressed on are those of their authors and not necessarily of BKF, its staff or representatives.

You agree not to copy any material/post/content from BKF without written permission from our head administrator .

By posting on this forum you agree to these terms and conditions, including any punishment deemed appropriate by moderators or administrators in the event of an offense.

Administrators/Moderators can change these rules at any time without prior notice.
See more
See less

Can a judge convert a completed chapter 13 to chapter 7

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Can a judge convert a completed chapter 13 to chapter 7

    I am pro se. I completed my Chapter 13 payments, trustee issued the final account and default hearing held on discharge with no opposition. Pre-Petition I was hurt, did not know I had a possible Personal Injury Claim. The claim surfaced about 18months after plan completion, but before discharge was entered. Judge issued an order to show cause under 105(a) and converted my case to chapter 7 over my opposition. I am appealing. Does anyone have any feedback or know of case law? Nothing is ever simple.

  • #2
    Must admit, I have never had this situation in any of the cases the Firm has handled. Typically any post petition personal injury claim that my clients have are either disclosed or, depending upon the $$ involved, the client elects to dismiss the 13.

    Let me think about what options you might have. If I have any suggestions, will post them.

    In the mean time:

    1. Did you try to pursue the cause of action?
    2. If the answer to 1 above is "no", has the statute of limitations run?
    3. If the answer to 1 above is “yes”, what was the outcome?

    Since this was an asset of the bk estate (after acquired property is an asset in a 13), you needed to tell the court about it. If you pursued the claim you do have a problem.



    • #3
      Thanx for the fast reply. Here is the entire shortened history. Injured in an unusual situation while my truck was being repoed. Sheriff came said I interfered with a valid repo (altho I was current as of the day before). It happened in my own yard. I applied and received NYS No Fault. Filed Chapter 13 3 months later. I fully disclosed the No Fault and everyone knew plan payments were from the no fault. I had no idea that my injury was as extensive as it was, had no idea or ever considered it as a potential claim or asset and did not understand the Schedule B terms Contigent etc. so nothing regarding a personal injury action was listed on initial schedules. Plan was confirmed and under 1329 later modified and the modification returned all estate assets to the debtor. The personal injury lawyer was on the fense if there was anything there, he had the case to see where my medical issues went and if he could find witnesses. About 18 months following plan completion the Personal Injury lawyer filed a claim in state court. This was in Aug 2010. During that time I was dealing with my own illness, one parent in Hospice and the other having major bladder cancer surgery. I did not even think to look and see if I was required to report this right away. In late October 2010 or Early November the Personal Injury Lawyer informs me the Defendant is moving for dismissal on Estoppel grounds for my failure to list as an asset in my BK and that I should inform the Trustee and Court as my case was still open. I explained my Bk was over and the Court was only holding my discharge at my request, for release at any time, to protect me from a secured creditor I was actively involved with in an adversary proceeding. I proceeded to write the Trustee a letter and informed her of the situation and my thoughts regarding any possible recovery. There was no response, which I took as her agreement. After 30 days I decided to file an Amended Schedule B and I stated almost verbatim what I told the Trustee. I DID NOT FILE A SCHEDULE C. 33 days later and the court issued an OTC for failing to properly disclose a pre-petition asset and why the case should not be dismissed with prejudice based upon 105(a). The personal injury lawyer did an affirmation to the court. He said despite filing the claim in state court, he still was not convinced there was a claim and he only did it too see what discovery brought out. Which supports my understanding. Well the judge hit the roof over the other attorney filing a so called baseless suit and converted me to chapter 7 and said I could not use pro se as a defense. the fact that I had filed multiple bankruptcies and the very particular lanuage used. The court stated I prejudiced the creditors and attempted to restrict the courts jurisdiction over the potential asset. He was hearing nothing. I really thought I was doing the right thing. I am appealing. Even the Chapter 7 Trustee is not pursuing an appeal he could win if he were to seek it on a state level. 105(a) is broad, but man it seems the worst that should have happened was disallowance of the amendment. No exemption means no bad faith. I left it for the Trustee and Creditors to fight over.

      I am suing in an adversary proceeding to hold my mortgage company to the binding effect of my confirmed plan.

      I appreciate any feedback. Hope I answered and clairified.



      • #4
        I am not sure where all this goes and I do not have any “words of wisdom”.

        The asset (cause of action) was a pre petition asset and, as you now know, needed to be disclosed on Schedule B. The fact that your modified plan was confirmed thus vesting property back to you is not relevant. Assets not disclosed are never returned to the debtor. Further, it is more likely than not that regardless of vesting, your Trustee would have required language in the Order Confirming that left the cause of action in the bk estate. Therefore, any proceeds from the litigation would have belonged to your creditors (unless there was an available exemption). Even your state court attny may have a problem since he never filed an Application to be appointed as Special Counsel. If the attny was paid for his services he could be forced to disgorge the $$. I have no doubt that the Judge was ticked off at him for this very reason.

        You might have “gotten away with it” (and I don’t mean that in a bad way, just couldn’t think of any other way to put it) except the defendant’s attny was smart enough to check Schedule B and discover your failure to disclose.

        It sounds like you have a lot of history with the bk court (multiple filings) and that is playing a part in the Judge’s dislike for what happened. The question is whether or not converting to a 7 is a bad thing. What were you trying to accomplish in the 13?

        Your post is a bit confusing. I thought you were still making Plan payments but you were post confirmation. You now indicate that you had completed payments and are waiting for your discharge. . . a discharge that you requested be delayed for some reason. You mentioned that you are involved in an adversary against your lender. Is this something that can be handled outside of bk. . . in state court? Or is it something unique to bk like stripping off a 2nd which you can’t do in a 7?

        The bottom line is that the Court has the right to convert a case to a Chapter 7 if it finds that such conversion is in the best interest of the creditors or to carry out the provisions of the Code (105 issue). There is case law that states that such conversion can happen even if the debtor seeks a dismissal of a 13. Sounds like that is what happened. You may be appealing that decision but the standard used in “winning” the appeal is that you must show that the Judge’s actions were an “abuse of discretion” which, since a bk court has discretion in these matters, is unlikely to be met.

        Again, I wish I could be of more help but I simply have no suggestions. . . at least not at this time.



        • #5
          I was just studying cases such as this, in my need to find information on the affect of discharge in a "no asset" case on unscheduled debt. In all of the cases like yours, the fact came down to it was an omitted claim that should have been on Schedule B.

          As Des says, the Court (on it's own accord or on motion by the Trustee or party in interest) can certainly convert a case to Chapter 7. This is only done where there appears to be issues in the paperwork and where the unsecured creditors could benefit. Your only defense to the conversion may be that the statute of limitations has run out and there is no benefit to the unsecured creditors. However, if they find that you purposefully omitted the claim, that's an area of the law you don't want to be found guilty of.

          It also reads as though you knew that there might be a claim, sometime before you completed your plan and motioned for a discharge. It was at the point that you even thought about consulting a personal injury attorney, that you should have amended the schedules to reflect this. While it was certainly not intentional on your part to hide it, you did in fact, hide it... to the "likely" detriment of the Estate and your unsecured creditors.

          By the way, your State court case for Estoppel is right out of the books! It was listed in so many cases that I recently read, that it wasn't even funny anymore. I'm sure you learned a lot about estoppel and why that is a great defense for the defendant.

          I believe you find yourself where some attorneys who "play" with the court and find themselves subject to Rule 11 (FRBP 9011) violations. The judge could even sanction you, but that's usually reserved for attorneys.

          There is no advice from me on this one. This is where a pro se debtor dabbled in Chapter 13 while trying to pursue a State Court action without notifying the Bankruptcy Court or the Trustee. If I were the BK Judge, I would have hit the roof as well. Your attorney and you tried to circumvent the Bankruptcy Court... even though you were just "testing" the waters on the personal injury case. My judge would probably have sanctioned you both.
          Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
          Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
          Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

          I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


          Unconfigured Ad Widget