Georgia Bankruptcy Court Reviews Case Split on Bases to Amend Plan Under 1329 (Subtitle: When the Original Plan was Confirmed with Inclusion of SSI Benefits, Can the Debtor Later Amend the Plan to Remove That Contribution?)

Georgia Bankruptcy Court Reviews Case Split on Bases to Amend Plan Under 1329 (Subtitle: When the Original Plan was Confirmed with Inclusion of SSI Benefits, Can the Debtor Later Amend the Plan to Remove That Contribution?)

In this case the debtor had a confirmed plan in which he had pledged some of his fiancé’s SSI income to make his plan payments feasible. The debtor then moved to amend the plan to reduce his plan payment by withdrawing this contribution. This was based on a recent decision by the bankruptcy court concluding SSI is not included in current monthly income, and that it is not per se bad faith to exclude SSI from plan payments. In re Green, 2018 WL 1581635, at *2 (Bankr. S.D. Ga. Mar. 27, 2018).

The court examined the interplay between § 1327 (effect of confirmation) with § 1329 (modification of the plan after confirmation). Under § 1327 a confirmed chapter 13 plan is binding on the debtor and creditors and all parties are barred under the doctrine of res judicata from asserting matters that could have been raised in the confirmation proceeding.   Section 1329 allows a debtor to modify a plan after confirmation. The issue is what preconditions must be evident to allow modification of a confirmed plan.

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