In re Huff (04-40055)
Chapter 13 debtor filed Motion to Substitute Collateral following the post-confirmation, total destruction of his 1998 Grand Prix automobile. The destroyed automobile was jointly titled in the names of Debtor and his wife. Debtor’s wife, not the Debtor, was named as “insured” on the insurance policy covering the automobile. AmeriCredit Financial, holder of the priority security interest in the destroyed automobile, was named as “loss payee” in the insurance policy covering the automobile. Debtor, via his motion, requested that he be permitted to use the proceeds from the insurance policy to purchase a replacement vehicle and to have that vehicle substituted for the destroyed collateral of AmeriCredit. AmeriCredit objected, arguing that as “loss payee,” it was entitled to the insurance proceeds. The Court denied Debtor’s motion and held that AmeriCredit was entitled to the insurance proceeds to the extent of the balance owed by Debtor on AmeriCredit’s confirmed Chapter 13 claim. The insurance proceeds, in fact, did not exceed the balance owed on AmeriCredit’s confirmed Chapter 13 claim. The Court’s holding follows the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Ford Motor Credit Co. v. Stevens (In re Stevens), 130 F.3d 1027 (11th Cir. 1997). This Court cautioned in its opinion that its holding is limited to the facts of this case and that the outcome could differ in cases where the collateral at issue has not revested in the debtor (either because of pre-confirmation destruction or because of a provision in the Chapter 13 Plan) by the time the collateral is destroyed.