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Bankruptcy Creditor – Claim for Lawn Mower

Chapter 13 Claim on Mower
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Bankruptcy Creditor’s Proof of Claim that a Lawn Mower is considered a motor vehicle/tractor did not hold up.    Proof of Claims are tricky, at times, in bankruptcy. 

Bankruptcy Asset is a John Deere Riding Mower  https://www.deere.com/en/mowers/lawn-tractors/:

  • Debtors borrowed money from a creditor to purchase a 41” John Deere Riding Lawn Mower.
  • The Debtors file for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and wanted to file a Motion to Avoid the Lien on the John Deere Mower.
  • The lien on the mower impairs their exemptions.
  • It is personal property not a recreational vehicle, motor vehicle or tractor.
  • The Bankruptcy Creditor presents that the John Deere Riding Lawn Mower was a motorized vehicle which attachments could be placed on the mower and thus is a motor vehicle/tractor which cannot be exempted.
  • Creditor also stated that it was not a personal item that could be used only for cutting grass.
  • The bankruptcy asset had another use to haul or power implements.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Court Ruling on Bankruptcy Creditor’s Position.

  • Court notes that the John Deere in question has one main function – to cut grass.  Any other function would be a secondary, less efficient use of the machine.
  • As such, it was a lawn mower, not a lawn tractor.
  • The Court rules that the John Deere is primarily used to cut grass not for short trips/transportation by the Debtors.
  • Court disagree with Bankruptcy Creditor’s position.
  • Asset could not be considered a motor vehicle/tractor.
  • Debtor was able to keep mower and avoid lien because it was a mower and not a vehicle or tractor.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Creditor’s claim on this asset was denied.

Bankruptcy can be complicated and technical,.  Bankruptcy Creditor’s Proof of Claims   https://njbankruptcylawfirms.com/chapter-13-bankruptcy-filing-late/ must be evaluated carefully.   They have a major impact on a Debtor’s case.

Seek the advice or  representation by a Certified Bankruptcy Attorney when filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.