Pliler v. Browning, No. 13-1445 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Debtors filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. At issue was whether above-median-income debtors with negative disposable income were obligated to maintain Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans that last for five years when their unsecured creditors have not been paid in full. The court held that a plain reading of the Bankruptcy Code, and Section 1325 in particular, mandates that an above-median-income debtor maintain a bankruptcy plan for five years unless all unsecured creditor claims are paid in full and irrespective of projected disposable income. Debtors, as above-median-income debtors, were obligated to maintain a five-year plan. The bankruptcy court therefore did not err in deeming the early termination language in debtors' proposed plan void as a matter of law and in extending the duration of debtors' proposed plan. The court affirmed the bankruptcy court's order but remanded in order for debtors to have an opportunity to present evidence regarding the feasibility of their monthly payments.