Hamilton, as Chapt. 13 Trustee v. Lanning – Supreme Court Opines on Definition of Projected Disposable Income in a Chapter 13 Case

In an 8-1 opinion in Hamilton v. Lanning, issued on June 7, 2010, the Supreme Court had a second opportunity to construe the meaning of the 2005 BAPCPA amendments.
At issue in Hamilton was the definition of “projected disposable income,” a key term in Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code because a Chapter 13 debtor must, if a creditor objects to his repayment plan, commit all of his “projected disposable income” to be received during the duration of his plan to plan payments.
The Supreme Court affirmed the Tenth Circuit’s holding that a court should apply a forward-looking test rather than a mechanical test in determining a debtor’s projected disposable income, holding that “when a bankruptcy court calculates a debtor’s projected disposable income, the court may account for changes in the debtor’s income or expenses that are known or virtually certain at the time of confirmation.”

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