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Court explicitly held that the rule of Lewis does not apply in the Middle District of

Florida. See Id. at 411.

Paxon’s contention that prepetition repossession of a vehicle in which a Chapter

13 debtor has no equity vitiates a potential violation of the automatic stay lacks merit.

Therefore, Debtors had a property interest in the vehicle such that foreclosure upon the

vehicle may constitute a violation of the automatic stay. The Court proceeds to tackle the

central issue of this dispute: whether or not Paxon willfully violated the automatic stay by

disposing property of the estate after the Debtors filed their second petition, which

triggered the automatic stay.

Debtors argue that Paxon willfully violated the automatic stay by performing an

act to collect on Paxon’s interest in the vehicle after a bankruptcy petition was filed. The

Court recognizes the question as one of duty and breach. In certain circumstances, a

creditor in possession of repossessed property is under a duty to prevent disposition of the

property or, in some cases, to affirmatively return property to the Debtor. Failure to do

so willfully, with knowledge of a debtor’s filing, constitutes a breach of this duty and

may give rise to damages.

The question of whether a duty exists hinges on the timing of the repossession and

on the timing of final disposition of the collateral. Courts generally divide these cases

into three fact patterns.

First, if a creditor lawfully repossesses collateral prepetition and sells the

collateral after having received notice of a debtor’s petition for bankruptcy subsequent to

the repossession but prior to final disposition, then the creditor willfully violated the

automatic stay and is liable to the debtor for damages. See NationsBank v. Bush (In re

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