A Chapter 12 hardship discharge may only be granted if the unsecured creditors have received at least as much as they would have received through a Chapter 7 liquidation and if modification of the plan is not feasible.
Whenever there is an actual dispute, other than an adversary proceeding, before the bankruptcy court, the litigation to resolve that dispute is a contested matter. For example, the filing of an objection to a proof of claim, to a claim of exemption, or to a disclosure statement creates a dispute that is a contested matter. Even when an objection is not formally required, there may be a dispute. If a party in interest opposes the amount of compensation sought by a professional, there is a dispute that is a contested matter.
The Bankruptcy Code governs a trustee’s or debtor in possession’s employment of attorneys, accountants, appraisers, auctioneers, and other professional persons to represent or assist in carrying out duties under the Bankruptcy Code. Generally, the trustee or debtor in possession had broad latitude in the selection of professional persons to be employed. The Bankruptcy Code authorizes the employment of professional persons only to the extent that such persons do not hold or represent an interest adverse to the estate.
Dischargeable debts are those debts that can be discharged through bankruptcy proceedings. Certain debts cannot be discharged through a bankruptcy proceeding. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, nondischargeable debts cannot be discharged at all, and in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, these debts remain even after the repayment plan is completed.
The treatment of tax debts in bankruptcy proceedings is an attempt to reconcile two conflicting policies. The first policy concerns the government’s interest in collecting taxes. The second policy concerns the fresh start that bankruptcy is to give honest debtors. Under the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor’s ability to discharge any tax debt is based upon the classification of that particular tax debt.