§ 104.1     In General
Cite as:    Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 104.1, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).

In an effort to reduce § 1325(a)(3) to a concrete test, many courts have listed factors to consider in assessing a debtor’s good faith. The lists in the reported cases vary in length from as few as three factors to more than a dozen. No court has purported to offer a fully inclusive list—almost all of the reported decisions profess that good faith includes the listed factors. Unlisted factors continue to emerge. The most often cited lists of good-faith factors are the 12 factors found by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in United States v. Estus (In re Estus)1 or the 10 factors listed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Kitchens v. Georgia Railroad Bank & Trust Co. (In re Kitchens).2 Allowing for some overlap and compression, the good-faith factors from the reported decisions can be organized like this:

Frequency of filing bankruptcy


Accuracy of petition, schedules, statement and testimony


Burden of administration


Motivation and sincerity in filing Chapter 13


Prepetition conduct and misconduct


Debt nondischargeable in Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 case


Timing of petition to interrupt other events


Nature and extent of financial problems


Degree of effort


Duration of plan


Percentage repayment of debt


Income, expenses, lifestyle and luxuries



1  695 F.2d 311 (8th Cir. 1982).


2  702 F.2d 885 (11th Cir. 1983).