Since Creditor was Bound by Terms of Confirmed Chapter 13 Plan, Court Denied its Post-Confirmation Motion for Administrative Expense Claim

Since Creditor was Bound by Terms of Confirmed Chapter 13 Plan, Court Denied its Post-Confirmation Motion for Administrative Expense Claim

This matter comes before the Court on motion of CAB, as serviced by Ford Motor Credit Company LLC (“CAB West” or “movant”). CAB West seeks either allowance of an administrative expense priority claim under 11 U.S.C. § 503(b) or dismissal of the case under 11 U.S.C. § 1307(c)(6). The Debtor filed an objection, as did the chapter 13 Trustee.

The Debtor leased a 2014 Ford Edge from CAB West. She filed her petition under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code; her plan was filed on June 4, 2015. She later filed a modified plan on December 1, 2015, which was confirmed on January 11, 2016. After confirmation of that plan, she filed yet another modified plan; this one was confirmed on May 4, 2017. At no point did CAB West voice an objection to any plan.

The unopposed, confirmed plan now in force treats the claims of the debtor’s creditors.  In relation to the movant, the plan states in part:

4. EXECUTORY CONTRACTS AND UNEXPIRED LEASES [§ 365]- The debtor assumes the following executory contracts or unexpired leases. Cure provisions, if any, are set forth in ¶ 7.

Creditor Description of Property
Ford Motor Credit Company LLC Lease of 2014 Ford Edge (approximately 16,000 miles) – lease is completed and
vehicle surrendered to Ford

The plan reshaped the relationship of rights as between the Debtor and the CAB West, as well as her other creditors. Yet, the movant, CAB West, filed a motion seeking to sculpt its rights after the clay had already hardened-by way of plan confirmation.

The Court confirmed the modified post-confirmation plan on May 4, 2017, and the movant’s hearing on this motion occurred on May 18, 2017. In its motion, the movant wants $3,602.86 elevated, in relation to general unsecured creditors, to the status of an administrative expense claim under § 503(b)(1)(A) for “actual, necessary costs and expenses of preserving the estate[.]”  In the alternative, the movant sought dismissal of the debtor’s case under § 1307(c)(6), for a “material default by the debtor with respect to a term of a confirmed plan.” 11 U.S.C. § 1307(c)(6).

There remains only one issue to decide:  May the movant nevertheless achieve administrative expense claimant status under § 503(b)(1)(A), even though the confirmed chapter 13 plan does not provide for that treatment?

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