Texas Wesleyan Law Review

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Section 1307(b) of the United States Bankruptcy Code (the "Code") commands courts to dismiss chapter 13 cases upon request of the debtor. This provision currently conflicts with Code § 1307(c), which gives the court the discretion to convert a debtor's chapter 13 case to a chapter 7 bankruptcy case for specifically enumerated debtor misdeeds. Specifically, must the court dismiss a chapter 13 case upon the debtor's request even when there is a pending motion to convert the same? Bankruptcy courts are noticeably split on this question, with a slight majority holding that the court must dismiss even if a motion to convert is pending. The minority approach to this issue, holding that the court does not have to grant a debtor's motion to dismiss when there is a pending motion to convert, arouses the need to investigate how courts should resolve this issue. The plain meaning doctrine and its application to the wording of Code § 1307(b) and (c), Congress's stated intent that chapter 13 be completely voluntary, and the existence of other remedies to cure the debtor's abuse of the bankruptcy process point to a sensible resolution to the problem. When courts are faced with a debtor's motion to dismiss pursuant to Code § 1307(b), they must grant the motion even if there is a pending motion to convert under Code § 1307(c).



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