March 22, 2017
Authored by: Jay Krystinik
On February 27, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit joined a minority approach followed by District of Columbia Circuit: failing to turn over property after demand is not a violation of the automatic stay imposed by 11 U.S.C. § 362. WD Equipment v. Cowen (In re Cowen), No. 15-1413, — F.3d —-, 2017 WL 745596 (10th Cir. Feb. 27, 2017), opinion here.
In Cowen, one secured creditor (WD Equipment) repossessed a vehicle in need of repairs for which the debtor (Cowen) could not pay. Id. at *1. Another secured creditor (Dring, the debtor’s father-in-law who is likely no longer welcome at Thanksgiving) repossessed a separate vehicle through the use of false pretenses, a can of mace, and five goons helpful colleagues:
“Mr. Dring lured Mr. Cowen under false pretenses to his place of business to repossess the Kenworth [truck]. Mr. Dring asked Mr. Cowen,