Mains v. Foley, Nos. 1:11-CV-456, 1:11-CV-740, 2012 WL 612006, at *3 – *6 (W.D. Mich. Feb. 24, 2012) (Jonker)

Good faith under § 1325(a)(3) includes consideration of Social Security income notwithstanding exclusion of Social Security from the projected disposable income test. “The subjective good faith test of section 1325(a) is distinct from and independent of the objective requirement of section 1325(b) . . . . Congress actually reinforced the point in the 2005 BAPCPA amendments by expressly excluding Social Security benefits from the objective ‘disposable income’ analysis of section 1325(b), but leaving undisturbed the open-ended and unqualified subjective determination of good faith under section 1325(a). . . . [I]t is entirely possible for a debtor to satisfy the objective test of section 1325(b) while at the same time leaving ample factual basis upon which to find a subjective lack of good faith. . . . [N]othing in section 407 of the Social Security Act gives a debtor immunity from demonstrating good faith as a pre-condition to confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan . . . . The intrinsic flexibility of the standard is its strength, both in general, and in the particular assessment of whether, when and how Social Security benefits must fit into the good faith determination. A per se rule in either direction defeats the purposes of the good faith test.”

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