IN RE CHRISTIE JOY, Chapter 13, Debtor.

Case No. 97-14843.United States Bankruptcy Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division.
September 29, 1998

GEORGE BOSWELL, Bankruptcy Judge

At issue in this case is whether a debt which was allowed as a post-petition debt in a prior bankruptcy can be classified as an unsecured, pre-petition debt in a later case filing. Merchants and Planters Bank asserts that it may not. The Court conducted a hearing on the Bank’s’s Objection to Confirmation on August 6, 1998. F.R.Bankr.P. 9014. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 157(b), this is a core proceeding. After reviewing the testimony from the hearing and the record as a whole, the Court makes the following findings of facts and conclusions of law.

The facts relevant to the determination in this case are few and undisputed. On September 7, 1995, the debtor, Christie Joy, (“Joy”), filed a joint chapter 13 bankruptcy petition with her then-husband, Otha Joy, case number 95-12091. On November 25, 1996, Joy executed a promissory note in favor of Merchants
Planters Bank, (“Bank”), in the amount of $11,213.18. Joy did not inform the Bank of her pending bankruptcy at the time of execution of the note. The terms of payment under the note required the debtor to make 11 monthly installments of $200.00, with a final payment of $9013.18 due in November 1997. Aside from incurring the debt post-petition without informing the creditor of the pending bankruptcy, no other evidence was offered

Page 2

by the Bank regarding bad faith or fraud on the debtor’s part.

On motion of the debtor, the Court issued an order adding the Bank as a post-petition creditor on October 20, 1997. This order mandated that the debtor continue making the $200 monthly payments. Subsequently, on December 23, 1997, Joy’s joint case was voluntarily dismissed.

Joy filed the instant chapter 13 case on December 16, 1997. In the chapter 13 plan filed with the petition, Joy classified the Bank as a general unsecured creditor. The Bank filed an Objection to Confirmation based on this classification on February 12, 1998. The Bank asserts that its post-petition status in Joy’s previous case should carry over into Joy’s current case.

A post-petition claim is defined in § 1305 of the Bankruptcy Code as “a consumer debt, that arises after the date of the order for relief under this chapter.” 11 U.S.C. § 1305. In the case at bar, the instant bankruptcy petition was filed and the order for relief was issued on December 16, 1997. The Bank’s claim arose on November 25, 1996. It is clear that the Bank’s claim did not arise after the date of the order for relief.

Despite this time-limiting definition, the Court conducted a thorough search of bankruptcy caselaw in order to determine if the Bank’s debt may be classified as a post-petition one. The Court found no cases which would authorize or condone this treatment. Although the Court recognizes that the Bank’s move from a Post-petition creditor to a general unsecured creditor may not seem fair and equitable, the Court has no choice but to overrule the Bank’s objection. Without proof of some wrong-doing on the debtor’s part in incurring the debt, the Code is clear

Page 3

as to what may or may not be classified as a post-petition debt. The Bank simply does not fall within that definition in this case. An order will be entered in accordance herewith.

It is therefore ORDERED Merchants and Planters Bank’s Objection to Confirmation is OVERRULED.

Page 1