Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal


This Article provides a framework for determining whether to grant an 'early' discharge to an individual chapter 11 debtor. An early discharge permits such a debtor to receive a discharge before making all payments under the confirmed plan. The Article analyzes the circumstances that warrant issuing such an early discharge, and what information ought to be included in the disclosure statement, plan, and notice of confirmation hearing. The Article concludes that an individual chapter 11 debtor may obtain a early discharge: (1) upon confirmation of a reorganization plan where the debtor has paid unsecured creditors before confirmation, or where necessary to keep important customers or to obtain financing to pay unsecured creditors, or (2) after plan confirmation but before plan payments are finished if the unsecured creditors have received the required distribution and the debtor no longer has sufficient income to meet living expenses and to make the required payments.