In re Richall, 470 B.R. 245, 249–50 (Bankr. D.N.H. 2012) (Deasy)

Disposable income test in § 1325(b) is satisfied by debtors with CMI greater than applicable median family income when plan pays unsecured creditors in full in less than five years using less than all projected disposable income. Schedules I and J showed monthly net income of $886.42. Form B22C showed monthly disposable income of $1,756.21. Plan proposed to pay unsecured claims in full with monthly payments of $855 over 60 months. “After the enactment of BAPCPA, the Bankruptcy Code differentiated the minimum and maximum term for a chapter 13 plan, based on the amount of a debtor’s disposable income. . . . In the case of above median debtors, § 1322(d)(1) now proscribes that ‘the plan may not provide for payment over a period that is longer than 5 years.’ . . . In effect, BAPCPA eliminated any minimum term of a plan for above median debtors. All above median debtors are now subject to a uniform term of five years for a chapter 13 plan with only one exception: the term of the plan, or the commitment period, may be less than five years if creditors are paid in full. 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b)(1)(A) and (b)(4). However, BAPCPA did not change the minimum or maximum plan term for below median debtors not paying creditors in full. It remains a minimum of three years, absent cause for a longer term, which cannot exceed five years, unless creditors can be paid in full in a shorter period of time. 11 U.S.C. §§ 1322(d)(2) and 1325(b)(1)(B) . . . . Consequently, after BAPCPA, courts may deny confirmation of a chapter 13 plan proposed by a below median debtor, which stretches beyond a three year period and pays creditors in full but does not commit all disposable income, because a court could find that no cause exists to extend the plan longer than three years when a debtor can pay[ ]off creditors within the commitment period. See 11 U.S.C. § 1322(d)(2)(C). After BAPCPA, the same is not true for above median debtors. . . . Section 1325(b)(1) requires compliance with subsection (A) or (B), but not both. . . . [A]bove median debtors now have an election to either pay all of their disposable income for five years, or until creditors are paid in full, § 1325(b)(1)(B), or to pay less than their disposable income over five years, if such lower payments will pay unsecured creditors in full. 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b)(1)(A). The Debtors’ Plan provides for payment of all unsecured claims in full during a five year term through payments of approximately one-half of their disposable income. Thus, the Debtors’ Plan complies with § 1325(b)(1)(A). While the Debtors could pay off their unsecured creditors in a shorter period of time if they contributed all of their monthly disposable income to plan payments, they are not required to do so under the plain unambiguous language of the Bankruptcy Code. . . . [T]his result is contrary to the intent of Congress in enacting BAPCPA. . . . [I]t is the responsibility of Congress, not the courts, to correct the statute.”

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