Court Treats Creditor’s Objection to Chapter 13 Plan, Filed within 60 days of 341 Meeting, as a Timely Filed Complaint Objecting to Discharge

Court Treats Creditor’s Objection to Chapter 13 Plan, Filed within 60 days of 341 Meeting, as a Timely Filed Complaint Objecting to Discharge

A creditor, N.V.E., Inc., has filed a Motion seeking to amend its earlier Objection to Debtor’s Chapter 13 Plan to be a complaint objecting to dischargeability. While not specifically articulated in the Motion, the apparent reason for this request is that the deadline to file a complaint objecting to dischargeability has lapsed, but the earlier plan objection was filed before that lapse.

A hearing was set on NVE’s Motion and multiple briefs have been filed from both Movant and Debtor vigorously arguing their respective positions. There appears to be no material facts in dispute. NVE argues that it has been pursuing the Debtor for ten years in a federal lawsuit for a sum in excess of $31 million based on fraud and other causes of action. Early in this case, relief from the automatic stay was granted so the Movant could liquidate that claim.

Rule 4007(c) requires a complaint objecting to dischargeability be filed no later than 60 days after the meeting of creditors. In this case, the meeting was scheduled for August 29, 2016, and the applicable deadline was set for October 28, 2016. This Motion to amend the earlier plan objection was filed February 17, 2017. The plan objection was filed September 30, 2016, before the complaint deadline.

The salient question is whether an objection to plan, filed within the complaint deadline, can substitute for the timely filing of a complaint under the rules?

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