In re Bonner (02-54219)

The creditor repossessed a vehicle three days before the debtor filed for Chapter 13 relief. The creditor refused to turn over the vehicle, contending that the vehicle was not property of the bankruptcy estate. The creditor relied upon Bell-Tel Federal Credit Union v. Kalter (In re Kalter), 292 F.3d 1350 (11th Cir. 2002) (under Florida law, ownership in vehicle terminated upon repossession). The Court concluded that repossession, by itself, is not sufficient to terminate ownership under Georgia law. The Court ordered the creditor to turn over the vehicle contingent upon the debtor providing adequate protection.

Monday, December 2, 2002