11 USC §523(a)(2)(A) bars discharge of specified debts arising from “false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud, other than a statement respecting the debtor’s . . . financial condition,” which §523(a)(2)(B) requires to be “in writing.”  This decision holds that a debtor’s false oral representation about a single asset of his is a statement respecting his financial condition and so cannot be used to avoid discharge unless it is in writing.  Here, the debtor orally told his lawyer that he would pay his legal fees from an expected tax refund if the lawyer would continue representing him until the end of the case—but he had already used the tax refund for other purposes.  The debtor nevertheless was entitled to discharge of his debt to the lawyer.

United States Supreme Court (Sotomayor, J.); June 4, 2018; 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3384