Ransom v. Fia Card Services

562 U.S. 61 (2011)


P filed for Chapter 13. P itemized over $82,500 in unsecured debt, including a claim held by D.  P listed a 2004 Toyota Camry, valued at $14,000, which he owns free of any debt. P reported income of $4,248.56 per month and listed monthly expenses totaling $4,038.01. P claimed a car-ownership deduction of $471 for the Camry, the full amount specified in the IRS's “Ownership Costs” table. P listed a separate deduction of $338 for car-operating costs. P had disposable income of $210.55 per month. P proposed a 5-year plan that would result in repayment of approximately 25% of his unsecured debt. D argued that P should not have claimed the car-ownership allowance because he does not make loan or lease payments on his car. The court held that P could deduct a vehicle-ownership expense only “if he is currently making loan or lease payments on that vehicle.” P appealed to the BAP, which affirmed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. The plain language of the statute “does not allow a debtor to deduct an 'ownership cost' . . . that the debtor does not have.” The Supreme Court granted certiorari.