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Michael J. Custer, left, and Francis J. Lawall, right, of Pepper Hamilton.

Although broad, the Bankruptcy Code’s discharge provisions for individual debtors are not without limits. For example, as many practitioners know, Section 523 provides exceptions for debts or obligations incurred by false or fraudulent means. Arising from this Section 523 exception has been a dispute among the circuit courts involving individual debtors who make a false, but unwritten statement regarding one particular asset. In a recent decision, the U.S. Supreme Court tackled this difficult question by holding that such “a statement respecting the debtor’s financial condition,” is only excepted from discharge if, among other things, it is in writing. In so doing, the broad discharge the Bankruptcy Code provides individual debtors has been clarified and strengthened in Lamar, Archer & Cofrin v. Appling, 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3384 (U.S. June 4).

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