Western District of Texas Bankruptcy Judge Tony Davis has written a very helpful opinion on valuing a truck in a chapter 13 case. The ten page opinion is packed with extensive footnotes as well as practical guidelines. In the end, the valuation issue depended on burden of proof and the relatively weak evidence offered by the debtor prevailed. In re Solis, No. 15-11181 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. 4/15/16). The opinion can be found here
The Issue Joseph Solis wanted to keep his 2008 Ford Explorer XLT as part of his chapter 13 plan. Ally had filed a proof of claim for $12,771.32 with a claimed value of $9,925.00. While the claim contained all of the proper contractual and lien documents, it did not include evidence of value. The Debtor objected to the claim asserting that the truck was only worth $6,371.25. The Debtor's objection included a printout from the NADA guide. Because the vehicle was purchased more than 910 days before bankruptcy, the Debtor could cram down the secured claim. In this small chapter 13 case, the $3,200 difference in value was enough to make the plan fail. The EvidenceAt the hearing, the Debtor introduced a printout from Edmonds.com as well as photos of the truck.