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Miami residents who are looking to use bankruptcy as a means to achieve manageable payments on their debt may be interested in what the Supreme Court has to say on the subject. Depending on the type of decision made by the bankruptcy court, there may not be a chance for an appeal.

In 2010, a Massachusetts man filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy allows the debtor to propose a payment plan, which must be approved by the creditors and the court. In this man’s case, his proposal of separate payment plans for secured and unsecured debts was not accepted by either. Though it was amended multiple times, the court would not allow is plan to go through. The man appealed their decision, but a higher judicial body agreed with the lower bankruptcy court.

The man sought to appeal this decision further, and his case reached the Supreme Court, who have now ruled unanimously against him. Their decision clarifies that a bankruptcy court’s refusal to ratify a Chapter 13 payment plan is not an appealable decision. The Court reasoned that each individual disapproval of payment proposals with the leave to amend was not final but rather a series of individual issues. Because of this, only a final dismissal or allowance of the bankruptcy plan gives rise to the right to appeal the decision.

For those seeking a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to deal with the financial challenges of debt, this decision may have an impact on their ability to appeal a decision. An attorney with experience in bankruptcy may be able to explain the process and determine what a fair payment plan would look like. The attorney may then be able to represent their client in front of the bankruptcy court.