In In re Brown, Case No. 02-66158, 2006 Bankr. LEXIS 1355 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. July 7, 2007) (Massey), the lessor of the debtors’ leased vehicle filed a motion for administrative expense for damages due the debtors’ alleged breach of the lease. Debtors’ joint plan was confirmed on August 31, 2002, the lease expired May 28, 2005 but the lessor did not pick up the vehicle until July 5, 2005. At the time, it had 34,703 miles above the mileage allowed by the lease, and the lessor alleged mileage fees and damages of $7,505.
The court denied the motion. First, the Chapter 13 plan did not assume the lease, it only provided that the debtors would continue making payments. For the lease to have been assumed, it would have to be expressly stated in the confirmed plan. Further, only the husband was a party to the lease and if it had been assumed, both debtors would have been liable and nothing in the plan shows that the spouse would have received any benefit for assuming the liability. Finally, the claim did not meet the requirements of §503(a) as there was no evidence that the use of the car, or the excess mileage, preserved or in any way benefitted the estate (as opposed to the debtors).