Michigan Bankruptcy Blog

Showing 2 posts from January 2011.

U.S. Supreme Court: Chapter 13 Debtor Who Does Not Make Loan or Lease Payments Cannot Deduct Vehicle Ownership Expenses

Ransom v FIA Card Services, NA, Supreme Court of the United States, Jan. 11, 2011 (Case No. 09-907).

In the first opinion authored by Justice Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court of the United States held that a Chapter 13 debtor who owns a vehicle outright and thus does not make loan or lease payments cannot include vehicle ownership costs in his or her monthly expenses for purpose of the means test.

Under BAPCPA, debtors in Chapter 13 cases must follow a formula to calculate their disposable income - that is, the amount that the debtor must use to pay creditors under a court-approved Chapter 13 plan. To determine disposable income, the debtor deducts certain "reasonably necessary" expenses from his or her monthly income. Those reasonably necessary expenses, which are outlined in the IRS's "National and Local Standards," include allowances for vehicle ownership and operating costs. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 13, U.S. Supreme Court

New Opinion Creates Split in Western District as to Whether Debtors Can Exempt Undisclosed Tax Refund That is Spent Post-petition.

In re O'Brien, Bankr. W.D. Mich., Jan. 4, 2011 (Case No. 09-00426, Hon. James D. Gregg).

As previously discussed on this blog, debtors should include a good-faith estimate of an anticipated tax refund in their bankruptcy schedules. In prior cases, the Hon. Jeffrey R. Hughes and the Hon. Scott W. Dales suggested that debtors may not be able to amend their schedules to exempt tax refunds that have already been spent at the time of the amendment. But in a recent opinion, the Hon. James D. Gregg disagreed with those cases and held that, depending on the circumstances, debtors may be able to exempt a tax refund that was not originally disclosed, even if the tax refund has been spent. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 7, Western District of Michigan