FL Dep't of Revenue v. Gonzalez, No. 15-14804 (11th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
After confirmation of debtor's Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, he received notice that his work-related travel reimbursement would be withheld at the request of the DOR for the payment of a domestic support obligation (DSO). Because the DOR attempted to intercept a payment to debtor after confirmation of his plan, the bankruptcy court found the DOR in contempt for violating the bankruptcy court’s confirmation order and awarded attorney’s fees to debtor as a result. The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s order of contempt and award of attorney’s fees. This case involves the interplay between two sections of the Bankruptcy Code: 11 U.S.C. 362 and 1327. The court concluded that, while the text of section 326(b)(2)(C) appears to permit DSO collection efforts post-petition, the legislative history lacks any suggestion that Congress intended the exception to abrogate the binding effect of section 1327(a). Rather, a plain reading of section 1327(a) makes clear that the binding effect of a confirmed plan encompasses all issues that could have been litigated in debtor's case - including whether the DOR could intercept debtor's reimbursement payment. Accordingly, because debtor's plan fell silent on the issue of whether the DOR could intercept debtor's reimbursement payment, the DOR was prohibited from taking such action. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment.