In re Elmer Eugene Rose

347 B.R. 284 (2006)

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In re Elmer Eugene Rose

United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio
347 B.R. 284 (2006)

Facts

In February 2003, Elmer Eugene Rose (debtor) filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. At that time, First Bank of Ohio, Tiffin (the bank) (creditor) held a lien on Rose’s car. During bankruptcy proceedings, Rose and the bank came to an agreement as to the car’s value, and Rose’s confirmed Chapter 13 plan included the bank’s secured claim. Subsequently, Rose stopped making monthly payments to the bankruptcy trustee for the bank’s secured claim. Accordingly, the bank moved for relief from the automatic stay to foreclose on its lien. Thereafter, the bank and Rose agreed that Rose could keep possession of the car if Rose promised to continue making payments pursuant to the Chapter 13 plan. Rose defaulted by failing to make the payments. Therefore, the bankruptcy court granted the bank relief from the automatic stay to repossess the car. However, when the bank went to repossess the car, it found the car stripped of all its valuable parts. The car’s tires were missing, the motor was blown, and the interior had been removed. The bank estimated that the costs to repossess, transport, store, and sell the car at auction would have exceeded the car’s salvage value. Thus, the bank decided not to repossess the car. Instead, the bank filed a deficiency claim seeking payment of the unpaid amount of its secured claim. Rose argued that the bank’s deficiency claim must fail because the bank had not repossessed and liquidated the collateral by holding a commercially reasonable sale pursuant to Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) § 9-601.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Preston, J.)

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