BAP reversing ruling that Ch. 7 Trustee was entitled to statutory fees by calculating “monies disbursed” by including amount credit bid by secured creditor. BAP delved into dictionary definitions of moneys and related terms to interpret calculate of fees under Section 326. BAP held that a credit bid is not a medium of exchange.
Although the Ninth Circuit has not opined on the matter, the BAP held its conclusion was consistent with the only two circuit decisions considering the issue. Interpretation also supported by other uses of the term “money” in Code. BAP held it was not absurd to reduce trustee fee by omitting credit bid, particularly when credit bid provide no quantifiable return to the estate. BAP distinguished two Ninth Circuit decisions under Act as inapplicable.
BAP also rejected Trustee’s distinction that the property was actually sold to third parties, since third parties were created and designated by the secured creditors. BAP also held that Bankruptcy Court has no discretion to award an amount exceeding the cap in Section 326(a). Although there was no dispute that Trustee performed admirably and his compensation as allowed under Section 326 was reasonable under Section 330, Bankruptcy Court could not consider equitable matters in increasing the compensation.