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In re Wright

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
492 F.3d 829 (2007)


Craig Wright and LaChone Giles-Wright (the Wrights) (defendants) filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. One of the Wrights’ debts was a purchase-money vehicle loan for which the balance owed was greater than the value of the vehicle. Under the terms of the contract with the lender (the lender) (plaintiff), upon default, the lender was entitled to repossess and sell the vehicle with the Wrights obligated to make up any resulting deficiency. Because of the date on which the vehicle was purchased, it fell within the scope of the hanging paragraph applicable to 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(5). Section 1325(a)(5) was relevant to the Wrights because they sought confirmation of a repayment plan under which they would surrender the vehicle to the lender in accordance with § 1325(a)(5)(C). Under the Wrights’ proposed plan, their surrender of the vehicle would be deemed to satisfy their entire obligation to the lender, with no payment being made toward the difference between the vehicle’s value and the loan balance. The bankruptcy court denied confirmation, concluding that the Wrights were required to pay some portion of the deficiency. The Wrights appealed.

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