O&S Trucking, Inc. v. Mercedes Benz Financial Services, USA (In re O&S Trucking, Inc.)

No. 15-2048 (8th Cir. Jan. 22, 2016).
Bankruptcy Appellate Panel correctly dismissed as moot debtor’s appeal from order confirming chapter 11 plan, where debtor had not objected to its plan prior to confirmation. Affirmed.
Procedural context:
Debtor sought reconsideration and later appealed from the secured claim determination, both of which were ultimately denied (the appeal dismissed for lack of jurisdiction). Meanwhile, Debtor proposed a new plan incorporating the secured claim amounts from the court’s prior ruling, but noting that the claim remained “subject to adjustment” based on the outcome of the then-pending appeal. Following confirmation of the Plan, Debtor appealed, reiterating its argument that the secured claims were calculated improperly. The Eighth Circuit dismissed for lack of standing, and Debtor appealed.
Chapter 11 Debtor operated a fleet of commercial trucks. In the chapter 11 case, a secured lender sought and obtained a determination of the amount of its secured claim and related adequate protection payments. Although it initially appealed those rulings, Debtor ultimately incorporated the rulings into a revised plan of reorganization that set forth both the treatment of the secured lender’s claims and the amount of those claims, “subject to adjustment” on appeal. The debtor did not object to its own plan, and the plan was confirmed as proposed. The Eighth Circuit first observed that the bankruptcy court’s prior interlocutory rulings determining the secured claim amount merged into the confirmation order, such that the debtor’ s standing hinged entirely on the ability to appeal the confirmation order. Affirming the BAP’s dismissal for lack of jurisdiction, the Eighth Circuit held that the debtor’s failure to object to its own plan constituted acceptance of that plan such that the debtor was not a “person aggrieved” for standing purposes. The Eighth Circuit distinguished this case from In re Zahn, in which a chapter 13 debtor, by objecting to the income and plan length calculations compelled by a prior order (which she had appealed), preserved her standing to appeal confirmation of the chapter 13 plan.
Colloton, Gruender, and Shepherd.

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