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In re Blackshear

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 20, 2015

BRENDA J. BLACKSHEAR, Debtor, DAVID WM. RUSKIN, Appellant,
v.
BRENDA J. BLACKSHEAR, Appellee

Bankruptcy No. 14-43656.

For David Wm Ruskin, Chapter 13 Trustee, Appellant: Thomas D. DeCarlo, LEAD ATTORNEY, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee-Detroit, Southfield, MI.

For Brenda J. Blackshear, Appellee: Christopher M. Carey, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Carey Law Group, Dearborn, MI; Dario D. Ianni, LEAD ATTORNEY, Carey Law Group, P.C., Dearborn, MI.

For Ford Motor Credit Corporation, Interested Party: Michael P. Hogan, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kilpatrick Assoc., Auburn Hills, MI.

PATRICK J. DUGGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE. Honorable Marci B. McIvor.

OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING THE BANKRUPTCY COURT'S ORDER CONFIRMING DEBTOR'S SECOND AMENDED CHAPTER 13 PLAN

PATRICK J. DUGGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

I. INTRODUCTION

Appellant David Wm. Ruskin, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee, appeals the order of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan confirming the second amended Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan of Brenda J. Blackshear, the Appellee and debtor in this case. The trustee claims that the plan should not have been confirmed because Blackshear failed to satisfy three particular conditions of confirmation codified at 11 U.S.C. § 1325, the Bankruptcy Code provision governing confirmation of Chapter 13 plans.

The matter is fully briefed. Upon review of the record and briefs on appeal, the Court concludes that oral argument would not aid the decisional process. See E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2). For the reasons that follow, the Court will affirm the Bankruptcy Court's order confirming Blackshear's second amended plan.

II. BACKGROUND

Blackshear filed her Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition on March 7, 2014. The petition was filed on behalf of herself only; her husband did not join the petition. Blackshear and her husband live together and are not separated.

Together with her Chapter 13 petition, Blackshear filed a " Schedule I," a form used to calculate monthly income, a " Schedule J," a form used to calculate monthly expenses, and a Form B22C, Chapter 13 Statement of Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income. The Schedule I and Schedule J were later amended.

On her amended Schedule I, Blackshear indicated that her net monthly income is $4,406. Blackshear also indicated that her husband's net monthly income is " 0.00," even though the amended Schedule I also reflects that her husband was then employed as a bus driver with the City of Detroit. Although the husband's income is not reflected on the amended Schedule I, Blackshear wrote on Form B22C that her husband's average gross monthly income during the six-month period preceding the filing of Blackshear's bankruptcy petition is $1,995 and furnished to the trustee pay stubs for the husband's position as a bus driver. In addition, Blackshear indicated on the amended Schedule I that her husband " contributes approximately $600 per month to the household expenses." [1]

On her amended Schedule J, Blackshear indicated that her monthly expenses are $2,780, resulting in a monthly surplus after expenses of $1,626 (i.e., $4,406 minus $2,780). Blackshear's second amended Chapter 13 plan, which was confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court over the trustee's objection after a hearing on September ...


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