United States District Court, District of Columbia
IN RE LORI A. SAXON, Debtor.
S. CHUTKAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is pro se debtor Lori A. Saxon's
Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs. ECF
Nos. 5, 6. For the reasons set forth below, the court will
deny Saxon's application.
sought Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in November 2017, but
did not pay the court filing fee or comply with the statutory
requirement that she obtain credit counseling within 180 days
prior to filing the petition. See In re Saxon,
17-bk-611 (Bankr. D.D.C.), ECF Nos. 5, 6; 11 U.S.C. §
109(h)(1). Instead, she successfully sought leave to pay her
filing fee in installments, but remitted only one of the
three payments to which she had agreed. In re Saxon,
17-bk-611, ECF Nos. 4-5, 13, 17.
also sought an extension of time in which to seek credit
counseling. Id., ECF No. 6. In her motion for the
extension, Saxon explained that she had not met the deadline
because when she called the credit counseling entities,
“she was put on hold and was not quite sure which
credit counseling would be permitted in the [D]istrict of
that Saxon had failed to meet the requirements for obtaining
exemption from the 180-day credit counseling obligation, the
bankruptcy court Judge denied her request. In re
Saxon, 17-bk-611, ECF No. 14. The applicable bankruptcy
statute provides that the credit counseling deadline:
not apply with respect to a debtor who submits to the court a
(i) describes exigent circumstances that merit a waiver of
the [180 day credit counseling] requirements . . .;
(ii) states that the debtor requested credit counseling
services from an approved nonprofit budget and credit
counseling agency, but was unable to obtain the services
referred to in paragraph (1) during the 7-day period
beginning on the date on which the debtor made that request;
(iii) is satisfactory to the court.
11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(3)(A). The judge held that
Saxon's explanation did not constitute “exigent
circumstances” sufficient to merit waiver of the
180-day requirement, nor was her explanation
“satisfactory to the court.” In re
Saxon, 17-bk-611, ECF No. 14. Consequently, the court
dismissed Saxon's bankruptcy case. Id.
November 2, 2017, the bankruptcy court sent Saxon an order
explaining that her obligation to pay the remaining portion
of the filing fee had not been discharged by dismissal of the
case and she was required to pay the fee, but she could
arrange to do so in installments. Id., ECF No. 17.
The record does not indicate that Saxon made any additional
payments or agreed to another installment plan.
filed a motion seeking relief from the dismissal order,
explaining that her home had been scheduled for auction at
11:30 a.m. and she filed for bankruptcy that day hoping to
halt the foreclosure. Id., ECF No. 25. The
bankruptcy court denied Saxon's motion because she had
not explained, inter alia, why she could not have
obtained credit counseling before the foreclosure, nor had
she explained the circumstances surrounding the foreclosure.
Id., ECF No. 28.
filed a Notice of Appeal without paying the fee to appeal or
the fees she still owed the bankruptcy court, and without
filing an application in the bankruptcy court for leave to
appeal in forma pauperis (“IFP”).
Id., ECF Nos. 34, 36. The Bankruptcy Court treated
the Notice of Appeal as an application to proceed ...