Bankr. E.D.N.C.: In re Price – True Lease or Disguised PMSI; Rule 60(b) Reconsideration

Summary:

On March 23, 2017, the bankruptcy lifted the automatic stay for Peak Leasing with regard to one of four trailers Mr. Price had obtain from Peak and took under advisement whether the remaining claims were “true leases” or disguised PMSIs. To determine such the bankruptcy court applied the UCC “Bright-Line” Test, which provides as follows:

A transaction in the form of a lease creates a security interest if the consideration that the lessee is to pay the lessor for the right to possession and use of the goods is an obligation for the term of the lease and is not subject to termination by the lessee, and:

(1) The original term of the lease is equal to or greater than the remaining economic life of the goods;

(2) The lessee is bound to renew the lease for the remaining economic life of the goods or is bound to become the owner of the goods;

(3) The lessee has an option to renew the lease for the remaining economic life of the goods for no additional consideration or for nominal additional consideration upon compliance with the lease agreement; or

(4) The lessee has an option to become the owner of the goods for no additional consideration or for nominal additional consideration upon compliance with the lease agreement.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 25-1-203(b) (2006).

Finding that Mr. Price had no express rights to terminate the contracts the first part of the test was satisfied and then the $1.00 final purchase price met the fourth criteria. Accordingly, the claims were held to be disguised PMSIs.

As such, the bankruptcy court held that under Rule 60(b)(5) it was appropriate to reconsider its previous order regarding payments due under the “lease”.

For a copy of the opinion, please see:

In re Price – True Lease or Disguised PMSI; Rule 60(b) Reconsideration

 

About

1. Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Washington University, 1993. 2. Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University, 1996. Admissions to Practice of Law: North Carolina Bar, 1996. Federal District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina. Specialty Certification: North Carolina State Bar: Certified as a Specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy. Areas of Practice: Practice limited to consumer and business debtor bankruptcy law, 1998 to present. Memberships: National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers (NCATL). North Carolina Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section. Lectures prepared and presented: North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers seminar on bankruptcy; Topic: Counseling the Consumer Debtor Prior to Court - C.Y.A. Forms to Help 'Gird They Loins'; 2001. Middle District Bankruptcy Seminar; Topic: Preparing Chapter 13 Plans; 2002. NACBA National Convention; Topic: Efficient Office Practices; 2003. NACBA National Convention; Topic: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Debates; 2004. Middle District Bankruptcy Seminar; Topic: Chapter 7 & 13 Hot Issues; 2004. Positions held: NACBA National Convention; Convention Chair; 2008. NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator: Topic: Basic Bankruptcy Issues; 2008. NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator; Topic: Chapter 13-Disposable Income and Other Issues; 2007. NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator; Topic: Representing Members of the Military and Their Families; 2007. NACBA, Member of National Board of Directors, 2006 to present. NCATL, Chair of the Bankruptcy Section, 2003 to 2007. NACBA, Chair of the North Carolina Section, 2003 to 2007. NC Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section, Bankruptcy Council Member, 2004 to present.

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