Debtor and Creditor Could Not Agree to Except Debt from Discharge by using a Joint Stipulation

Debtor and Creditor Could Not Agree to Except Debt from Discharge by using a Joint Stipulation

Debtor filed her voluntary Chapter 7 petition on May 25, 2017. In her bankruptcy schedules, the Debtor listed Hickory Point Bank & Trust (“Hickory Point Bank”) as the holder of a claim secured by a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox. The deadline for filing a complaint to determine the dischargeability of a debt was originally set for August 25, 2017. On that day, Hickory Point Bank filed a motion to extend the time for filing a complaint to determine the dischargeability of a debt. The motion was granted and Hickory Point Bank was given until September 15, 2017, to file a complaint. Hickory Point Bank has not, however, filed a complaint to except the debt owed to it by the Debtor from the Debtor’s discharge.

On September 12, 2017, Hickory Point Bank filed the Joint Stipulation, signed only by the attorneys for Hickory Point Bank and the Debtor, which stated that the parties had entered into an agreement to except the debt related to the Chevrolet Equinox from the Debtor’s discharge. A draft agreed order was included with the Joint Stipulation. The same day, the Court entered an order giving the parties time to submit authority for the proposition that a judgment order of nondischargeability may be entered without the filing of an adversary proceeding or that they could agree to except a debt from discharge without complying with the statutory requirements of 11 U.S.C. §524(c) related to reaffirmation agreements.

Hickory Point Bank timely filed a brief in support of the Joint Stipulation. The Debtor did not file anything in support of the Joint Stipulation.

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