In re Petrone

Nos. 13–007, 08–12024–DF (B.A.P. 1st Cir. Sept. 11, 2013)
Affirming the United States Bankruptcy Court (“BC”), the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (“BAP”) for the First Circuit affirmed the BC’s order discharging the debtor and denying the debtor’s 27th and 28th motions to defer the entry of her discharge. The BAP noted that the threshold requirement in granting an order deferring entry of a discharge under Bankruptcy Rule 4004(c)(2) is that the debtor must be acting in good faith. The BC found that the debtor had not acted in good faith because she wanted her discharge delayed indefinitely to stay her mortgage lenders from foreclosing. Reviewing the record and the debtor’s brief, the BAP concluded that the BC had not abused its discretion avoiding further delay by denying the debtor’s motions and entering her discharge.
Procedural context:
The debtor appealed the BC’s order denying her 27th and 28th motions to delay entry of her discharge and the order entering her discharge.
The debtor filed her Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in July 2008. During the course of her case, the debtor made dozens of requests to delay the entry of a discharge order. She made initial requests to finalize reaffirmation agreements with creditors holding liens on her residence and automobile. Later requests were made so she could negotiate out-of-court loan modifications with her lenders. When the debtor filed her 27th motion to delay the entry of her discharge, the BC advised her that such repeated delays of the entry of her discharge after more than four years were not consistent with the framework of Chapter 7. The BC reluctantly granted her 27th motion to delay the entry of her discharge to December 30, 2012. The BC also stated that her discharge would be entered at that time. Before the extension date expired, the debtor filed a 27th motion to delay her discharge, which the BC denied in a bench ruling. The next day, the debtor filed a 28th motion. The BC denied this motion as well and then issued an order discharging the debtor.
Lamoutte, Haines, and Deasy, United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Judges.

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