§ 95.17     Other [Necessary] Expenses—Optional Telephones and Services
Cite as:    Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 95.17, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).
[1]

The thirteenth of 161 categories of Other [Necessary]2 Expenses specified by the IRS3 is “Optional Telephones and Telephone Services (Pager, Call waiting, caller identification or long distance).”4 A Chapter 13 debtor with current monthly income (CMI)5 greater than applicable median family income6 is allowed a deduction for actual monthly expenses in the category Optional Telephones and Telephone Services specified by the IRS as part of the calculation of disposable income under § 1325(b)(2) and (3).7

[2]

Prior to May 9, 2008, this category of Other [Necessary] Expenses was somewhat differently specified by the IRS as “Optional Telephones and Telephone Services (Cell Phone, Pager, Call Waiting, Caller Identification or Long Distance).”8 The “Cell Phone” reference in the parenthetical material was removed by the IRS in the version of the Internal Revenue Manual that was issued on May 9, 2008.9 The elimination of cell phones from the specification of this category may have been intended by the IRS to reflect that, on October 1, 2007, cell phone costs were added to the Local Standards Housing and Utilities expenses allowance.10

[3]

“Optional Telephones and Telephone Services” is a somewhat ambiguous category of expenses specified by the IRS. “Optional” suggests that there are other telephone expenses that do not fall in this category. “Telephones” could be narrowly interpreted in a historical context to encompass only land lines. “Telephone Services” change continuously as providers enlarge the scope of available services. The parenthetical reference to “Cell Phone” (prior to May 9, 2008) suggests that cell phones are different from, or at least only a subset of, telephones. Call waiting, caller identification and long distance are reasonably understood to be “telephone services,” but the issue remains whether the parenthetical examples are limitations or just examples. Many telephone providers now offer “optional” services such as Internet access, TV programing, audio and video streaming—movies, TV shows and the like. What were simple “telephone services” a decade ago (call waiting, for example) are now small parts of a large bundle of “services” available from a telephone provider. Is a contract for Blackberry services a contract for an optional telephone or something else? Does it matter that Internet service is bundled within the Blackberry telephone service contract?

[4]

As discussed further below, these questions become important because the Optional Telephones and Telephone Services category of Other [Necessary] Expenses overlaps a separate category of Other [Necessary] Expenses for Internet Provider/E-mail,11 and there is a separate expense allowance in § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I) for Local Standards Housing and Utilities that now includes telephone and cell phone expenses.12 The content of the Optional Telephones and Telephone Services category of Other [Necessary] Expenses seems to overlap and duplicate these other expense allowances unless this category is awkwardly interpreted.

[5]

Within § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I) itself, the category of Other [Necessary] Expenses for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services is limited to actual expenses for the debtor, the dependents of the debtor and the spouse of the debtor in a joint case, if the spouse is not otherwise a dependent.13 The “dependents of the debtor” limitation has received some attention in reported cases. In In re Petro,14 the bankruptcy court allowed Optional Telephones and Telephone Services expenses of $350 per month for cell phone services based on evidence that a family with four dependent children used cell phones to keep in touch with family members, manage transportation needs and the like. In In re Oltjen,15 the bankruptcy court rejected cell phone expenses when the debtor supplied a cell phone to a younger sister who was not a dependent. As stated by this court, “Although she may consider her younger sister to be like a daughter, this does not allow Debtor to pay for her sister’s cell phone expense.” 16 Similarly, cellular telephone service for a parent and for a nondependent child were disallowed in In re Haley.17

[6]

Courts inclined to consult the Internal Revenue Manual for insight with respect to the content of the Optional Telephones and Telephone Services category of Other [Necessary] Expenses18 will be disappointed. The Internal Revenue Manual says only that optional telephone service expenses must “meet[ ] the necessary expense test.”19 Detailed elsewhere,20 the “necessary expense test” is a barrier to expense allowance the IRS imposes on its agents in negotiation with a delinquent taxpayer. This test includes that expenses are not allowable unless “necessary to provide for a taxpayer’s and his or her family’s health and welfare and/or production of income.”21 This limitation on IRS agents appears nowhere in the Bankruptcy Code. As mentioned above, the only statutory limitations on Optional Telephones and Telephone Services are that such expenses must be “actual” and must be for the debtor, the dependents of the debtor or, in a joint case, for the spouse of the debtor.

[7]

Notwithstanding that the Bankruptcy Code does not contain a “necessary expense test” a substantial number of bankruptcy courts have reached into the Internal Revenue Manual and grafted similar conditions onto the allowance of expenses for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services.22 Typically, these courts condition the allowance of Optional Telephones and Telephone Services expenses by burdening the debtor to prove reasonableness and necessity or that the optional phones or services are involved in the production of income. These cases do not address the problem of statutory construction that no reasonableness, necessity or production of income limitation appears in the Bankruptcy Code.

[8]

Mentioned above, the category of Other [Necessary] Expenses for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services specified by the IRS overlaps and substantially duplicates several other expenses allowed Chapter 13 debtors with CMI greater than applicable median family income. There is an entirely separate category of Other [Necessary] Expenses specified by the IRS for “Internet Provider/E-mail”23 that will overlap Optional Telephones and Telephone Services whenever those optional services include Internet access, e-mail service or the like. There is a separate category of Other [Necessary] Expenses for “Unsecured Debts”24 that will overlap prepetition contracts for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services.

[9]

Perhaps more importantly, there is a separate statutory expense allowance for amounts specified under the Local Standards issued by the IRS.25 The Local Standards specified by the IRS include Housing and Utilities expense allowances based on the county in which the debtor resides and the size of the debtor’s family.26 Prior to amendment on October 1, 2007, the Local Standards Housing and Utilities expense allowance issued by the IRS included “telephone.”27 On October 1, 2007, new Local Standards Housing and Utilities expense allowances were issued by the IRS, and for the first time “cell phone” was included in this expense allowance.28

[10]

The IRS did not immediately modify the separate Other [Necessary] Expenses category for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services. That change occurred on May 9, 2008, when the IRS issued a new version of the Internal Revenue Manual that changed the parenthetical description of the Optional Telephones and Telephone Services category by omitting cell phone.29 At least until May 9, 2008, there was an overlap, if not duplication, of the expense allowance applicable to Chapter 13 debtors with CMI greater than median family income with respect to cell phone expenses. Prior to October 1, 2007,30 this overlap extended only to expenses for “telephone.” After the October 1, 2007, changes by the IRS and at least31 until May 9, 2008, cell phone expenses were also addressed in both the Optional Telephones and Telephone Services category of Other [Necessary] Expenses and the Local Standards Housing and Utilities allowance.

[11]

The Bankruptcy Code does not provide instructions to handle the overlapping and duplicative telephone and cell phone expense allowances. With respect to certain other expenses, the Bankruptcy Code specifically requires netting or otherwise accounting for duplicative expenses.32 The overlap between the Local Standards Housing and Utilities allowance and the Other [Necessary] Expense category for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services has been addressed by several courts. In In re Stimac,33 the bankruptcy court concluded that Other [Necessary] Expenses for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services included cell phone expenses and was deductible notwithstanding that “home” telephone service was also included in the Local Standards Housing and Utilities allowance. The bankruptcy court in In re Carlton,34 similarly held that Other [Necessary] Expenses for various telecommunication services are not netted against the telephone service expense amount included in the Local Standards for Housing and Utilities. In contrast, in In re Lara,35 the bankruptcy court deducted from the Other [Necessary] Expenses allowance for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services the amount of “basic phone service” included in the Local Standards for Housing and Utilities. The statutory source of this netting protocol was not revealed in Lara.

[12]

Official Form B22C contributes to the confusion with respect to the overlapping and duplicative expense allowances for telephones and telephone services. Line 37 of Official Form B22C contains the following instruction:

Other Necessary Expenses: telecommunication services. Enter the total average monthly amount that you actually pay for telecommunication services other than your basic home telephone and cell phone service—such as pagers, call waiting, caller id, special long distance, or internet service—to the extent necessary for your health and welfare or that of your dependents. Do not include any amount previously deducted.
[13]

Line 37 is an amalgam of thoughts, none of which are completely anchored in the Bankruptcy Code. “Optional Telephones and Telephone Services” has become “telecommunication services”—terms that are hardly synonymous. The exclusion of “basic home telephone and cell phone service” is curious. Put aside that “basic home telephone and cell phone service” is an undefinable term, the origin of this exclusion is obscure. If it is intended to net out the telephone and cell phone expenses that are separately deductible within the Local Standards for Housing and Utilities, it is not supported by any language in the Bankruptcy Code, and calculating the exclusion amount is impossible. There is no way to determine what portion of the Local Standards for Housing and Utilities is allocable to telephone and cell phone expenses (after October 1, 2007).

[14]

The reference to “pagers, call waiting, caller id” seems taken directly from the statement of this category by the IRS, but “special long distance” is different from “long distance” specified by the IRS—a difference of uncertain meaning. The reference to “internet service” at Line 37 combines the separate categories of Other [Necessary] Expenses specified by the IRS for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services and for Internet Provider/E-mail.36 Perhaps the forms drafters intend Chapter 13 debtors to overlook the duplicative categories of Other [Necessary] Expenses and simply include all Internet expenses at Line 37 without regard to whether they are from a telephone provider or from some other source.

[15]

The insertion of “necessary for your health and welfare or that of your dependents” at Line 37 imposes a condition from the Internal Revenue Manual that does not appear in the Bankruptcy Code. Oddly, there is no mention of production of income at Line 37 notwithstanding that production of income is a prominent alternative condition for allowance of an expense in the Internal Revenue Manual. The instructions at Line 37 are both overinclusive and underinclusive with respect to the allowance of expenses for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services when compared to the Internal Revenue Manual.

[16]

Several of the courts mentioned above have acknowledged problems in the management of telecommunication expenses on Official Form B22C. The bankruptcy court in Stimac addressed the overlap between Line 37 and the separate deduction for Local Standards Housing and Utilities at Line 25A:

[I]n addition to the “basic home telephone service” included on Line 25A, debtors can take a Line 37 deduction for cell phone bills and other telecommunications expenses necessary for the health and welfare of the debtor (or the debtor’s dependents) or for the production of income. . . . [B]ecause a cell phone used partially for work and partially for personal use is not “basic home telephone service,” that full amount is not included in the Local Standards and can be deducted on Line 37 if it meets the health and welfare or employment test.37
[17]

The bankruptcy court in Carlton rejected the trustee’s argument that the “basic home telephone” component of the Local Standards Housing and Utilities allowance should be netted against the Optional Telephones and Telephone Services category of Other [Necessary] Expenses:

Basic home telephone service is already included at the line 25A deduction for Local Standards . . . . Line 25A is a standard deduction which covers home maintenance and utility expenses. The Debtors are entitled to the deduction regardless of whether their actual expenses in those categories are higher or lower than the standard. They are then also entitled to a deduction at line 37 for other types of telecommunication service expenses not included in line 25A. The line 37 deduction is separate and distinct from the line 25A deduction and there is no basis to require an offset based on actual Schedule J expenses. . . . If Congress had wanted to create the relationship between line 25A and line 37 deductions that the Trustee suggests, it knew how to do it.38
[18]

The reported cases provide little guidance with respect to the amount of Optional Telephones and Telephone Services expenses allowable in the category of Other [Necessary] Expenses specified by the IRS. Based sometimes on a reasonableness or necessity evaluation, sometimes on the production of income and other times on the lack of evidence, courts have allowed Optional Telephones and Telephone Services expenses ranging from $75 to $350 per month.39 Other courts have rejected Optional Telephones and Telephone Services expenses of $23540 and $27641 per month based on nearly identical analysis if not similar facts.

[19]

It is possible that some Optional Telephones and Telephone Services expenses will be swept up by the “notwithstanding” sentence in § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I). Detailed elsewhere,42 the monthly expenses of a Chapter 13 debtor with CMI greater than applicable median family income in the categories of Other [Necessary] Expenses specified by the IRS “shall not include any payments for debts.”43 Many debtors will come into Chapter 13 with contract liability to a cell phone provider. A cell phone contract may have several years of future payments and penalty clauses for early cancellation. A Chapter 13 debtor’s obligations under a prepetition cell phone or similar contract would constitute a “debt” that arguably is excluded from allowance in the category of Other [Necessary] Expenses for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services by the “notwithstanding” sentence. In one sense, this exclusion reduces the duplication or overlap between the Local Standards Housing and Utilities allowance for cell phone services and the category of Other [Necessary] Expenses for Optional Telephones and Telephone Services. There is nothing at Line 37 of Official Form B22C to signal the possible exclusion of “debts” for cell phone services or the like.


 

1  Prior to May 9, 2008, the IRS specified 16 categories of Other [Necessary] Expenses in the Internal Revenue Manual. See I.R.M. 5.15.1.10 (May 1, 2004), available at 2007 WL 2646965. The May 9, 2008, version of the Internal Revenue Manual eliminated the “Health Care” category of Other [Necessary] Expenses, leaving only 15 categories. See I.R.M. 5.15.1.10 (May 9, 2008), discussed in §§ 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories and 477.8 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—Health Care ] § 95.11  Other [Necessary] Expenses—Health Care.

 

2  The word “Necessary” is in brackets because there is no such thing as a category of Other Necessary Expenses specified by the IRS as contemplated by 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I). There are categories of Other Expenses specified by the IRS, but the “Necessary” part of that phrase appears only in the Bankruptcy Code and is not specified by the IRS. See § 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories.

 

3  See § 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories.

 

4  I.R.M. 5.15.1.10 (May 9, 2008).

 

5  See 11 U.S.C. § 101(10A), discussed in § 468.1 [ Current Monthly Income: The Baseline ] § 92.3  Current Monthly Income: The Baseline.

 

6  See § 469.1 [ Comparison of CMI to Applicable Median Family Income: § 1325(b)(3) ] § 92.4  Household Size and Comparison of CMI to Median Family Income: § 1325(b)(3).

 

7  See § 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories.

 

8  I.R.M. 5.15.1.10 (May 1, 2004), available at 2007 WL 2646965 (emphasis added).

 

9  See § 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories for further discussion of the different versions of the Internal Revenue Manual applicable in Chapter 13 cases.

 

10  See below in this section, and see § 476.1 [ Local Standards: Housing and Transportation ] § 95.3  Local Standards: Housing and Transportation.

 

11  See § 477.16 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—Internet Provider/E-mail ] § 95.19  Other [Necessary] Expenses—Internet Provider/E-mail.

 

12  See below in this section, and see § 476.1 [ Local Standards: Housing and Transportation ] § 95.3  Local Standards: Housing and Transportation.

 

13  11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I), discussed in § 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories.

 

14  381 B.R. 233 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 2008) (Paine).

 

15  No. 07-60534-RCM, 2007 WL 2329695 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. Aug. 13, 2007) (unpublished) (McGuire).

 

16  2007 WL 2329695, at *2.

 

17  354 B.R. 340 (Bankr. D.N.H. 2006) (Vaughn).

 

18  There are many good reasons why consulting the Internal Revenue Manual to interpret expense deductions in Chapter 13 cases is a bad idea. See §§ 471.1 [ Big Picture: Too Many Issues ] § 94.1  Big Picture: Too Many Issues, 475.1 [ National Standards ] § 95.2  National Standards, 476.1 [ Local Standards: Housing and Transportation ] § 95.3  Local Standards: Housing and Transportation and 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories.

 

19  I.R.M. 5.15.1.10 (May 9, 2008). See also I.R.M. 5.15.1.10 (May 1, 2004) (“It must meet the necessary expense test.”), available at 2007 WL 2646965.

 

20  See §§ 471.1 [ Big Picture: Too Many Issues ] § 94.1  Big Picture: Too Many Issues and 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories.

 

21  I.R.M. 5.15.1.7(1) (May 9, 2008); I.R.M. 5.15.1.7(1) (May 1, 2004), available at 2007 WL 2646965.

 

22  See, e.g., In re Scurlock, 385 B.R. 814, 816–17 (Bankr. M.D.N.C. 2008) (Carruthers) (“The telecommunication expense falls under the category of ‘actual’ expenses incurred by debtors, which are specified as ‘Other Necessary Expenses’ on Form B22C, a category for which the IRS does not set out specific dollar allowances. . . . The debtor bears the burden of demonstrating that these expenses are actual, reasonable, and necessary expenses for themselves. . . . Debtor did not present any documentary evidence . . . . [T]he Debtor failed to meet her burden of demonstrating that her $276.00 telecommunication expense is actual, reasonable, and necessary.”); In re Barnes, 378 B.R. 774, 780 (Bankr. D.S.C. 2007) (“[T]elecommunication expense is an expense that must be actual, reasonable, and necessary.”); In re Oltjen, No. 07-60534-RCM, 2007 WL 2329695 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. Aug. 13, 2007) (unpublished) (Cell phone and Internet expenses for the debtor’s younger sister are not reasonable and necessary for the maintenance or support of the debtor.); In re Plumb, 373 B.R. 429, 440 (Bankr. W.D.N.C. 2007) (Other Necessary Expense deduction for telecommunication expenses must be actual, reasonable and necessary. “[Section] 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I) allows debtors to deduct their actual expenses under this category. . . . [T]he debtors bear the burden of demonstrating that these expenses are actual, reasonable, and necessary expenses for themselves.”); In re Stimac, 366 B.R. 889, 892 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2007) (“The Internal Revenue Manual provides that . . . Other Necessary Expenses ‘must provide for the health and welfare of the [debtor] and/or his or her family or they must be for the production of income.’”); In re Napier, No. 06-02464-JW, 2006 WL 4128358, at *2 (Bankr. D.S.C. Sept. 18, 2006) (unpublished) (“Debtors are allowed to deduct their actual expense for telecommunication services from disposable income as an ‘other necessary expense.’ . . . Pursuant to § 1325(b)(2) and (3), this expense must be reasonable and necessary. Debtors bear the burden of demonstrating that this expense is actual, reasonable, and necessary.”); In re Lara, 347 B.R. 198, 204 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 2006) (“In deciding whether an expense is an allowable Other Necessary Expense, the Court concludes that the Debtors bear the initial burden of proving that a requested expense is (i) their actual monthly expense, (ii) within one of the categories identified as an Other Necessary Expense by the IRS, and (iii) necessary for their health and welfare or for the production of income. Once the Debtors satisfy this burden, the burden of going forward with the evidence shifts to the Trustee.”); In re Renicker, 342 B.R. 304, 311 (Bankr. W.D. Mo. 2006) (“[U]nder the I.R.S. standards incorporated into § 707(b)(2)(A)(i), telecommunications expenses can be included in the calculation of disposable income if they are necessary and reasonable. The source of this standard is not the § 1325(b)(2) ‘reasonably necessary’ standard, though. The ‘necessary’ element is derived directly from the Internal Revenue Manual[,] which sets forth the definition and applicable standards for the ‘Other Necessary Expenses’ referred to in § 707(b)(2)(A)(i), and the ‘reasonable’ element is, the Court believes, implicit in all disposable income analyses.”).

 

23  See § 477.16 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—Internet Provider/E-mail ] § 95.19  Other [Necessary] Expenses—Internet Provider/E-mail.

 

24  See § 477.12 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—Unsecured Debts ] § 95.15  Other [Necessary] Expenses—Unsecured Debts.

 

25  See 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I), discussed in § 476.1 [ Local Standards: Housing and Transportation ] § 95.3  Local Standards: Housing and Transportation.

 

26  See I.R.M. 5.15.1.9 (May 9, 2008) and I.R.M. 5.15.1.9 (May 1, 2004), available at 2007 WL 2646964, discussed in § 476.1 [ Local Standards: Housing and Transportation ] § 95.3  Local Standards: Housing and Transportation.

 

27  I.R.M. 5.15.1.9(1)(a) (May 1, 2004), available at 2007 WL 2646964.

 

28  See http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=104840,00.html (Oct. 2, 2007).

 

29  See I.R.M. 5.15.1.10 (May 9, 2008).

 

30  There is some controversy whether the October 1, 2007, changes to the Local Standards Housing and Utilities issued by the IRS were effective in bankruptcy cases on October 1, 2007, or as time-shifted by the IRS to January 1, 2008. See § 476.1 [ Local Standards: Housing and Transportation ] § 95.3  Local Standards: Housing and Transportation.

 

31  “At least” is here because the IRS did not provide an effective date in bankruptcy when it issued the new version of the Internal Revenue Manual on May 9, 2008. See § 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories.

 

32  For example, the additional expense allowance for education expenses for each dependent child younger than 18 years of age in 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(IV) specifically requires the debtor to explain why the additional expenses are not already accounted for in the National Standards, Local Standards or Other [Necessary] Expenses. See § 483.1 [ Education Expenses ] § 95.26  Education Expenses.

 

33  366 B.R. 889 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2007).

 

34  362 B.R. 402 (Bankr. C.D. Ill.), on reconsideration, 370 B.R. 188 (Bankr. C.D. Ill. 2007).

 

35  347 B.R. 198 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 2006).

 

36  See § 477.16 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—Internet Provider/E-mail ] § 95.19  Other [Necessary] Expenses—Internet Provider/E-mail.

 

37  366 B.R. at 892.

 

38  362 B.R. at 411. But see In re Lara, 347 B.R. 198 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 2006) (Because basic phone service is included in the Local Standards for housing and utilities, $83 per month for basic phone service was not allowed as an Other Necessary Expense for telecommunications.).

 

39  See In re Petro, 381 B.R. 233 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 2008) (Paine) (Telecommunication services of $350 per month are allowed to debtors with a family of four children that uses cell phones to stay in touch.); In re Barnes, 378 B.R. 774, 780 (Bankr. D.S.C. 2007) (“$220.00 per month for cable, internet, and telephone services is not so out of the ordinary to make the expense unreasonable.”); In re Oltjen, No. 07-60534-RCM, 2007 WL 2329695, at *2 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. Aug. 13, 2007) (unpublished) (Debtor listed $45 as telephone expense, $150 as cell phone expense and $44 for Internet access. “The Trustee suggested that a reasonable expense would be $75 per month for cell phone use. The Court finds that this $75 expense is reasonably necessary for the maintenance or support of the Debtor. The Debtor provided no information . . . why she needs internet service or why an internet expense at this dollar level is reasonably necessary for her maintenance or support. The Trustee suggested a $25 per month expense for internet service. The Court finds that this $25 expense is reasonably necessary for the maintenance or support of the Debtor.”); In re Napier, No. 06-02464-JW, 2006 WL 4128358, at *2 (Bankr. D.S.C. Sept. 18, 2006) (unpublished) (“Mrs. Napier testified that Debtors pay . . . $25.00 per month for a land based telephone line; $60.00 per month for a cellular telephone; and between $80.00 and $100.00 per month for internet access. Mrs. Napier works from home and relies upon internet access in her employment. The Court finds that these expenses are actual, reasonable, and necessary and therefore allows Debtors $175.00 per month in telecommunication expenses.”).

 

40  In re Renicker, 342 B.R. 304, 311 (Bankr. W.D. Mo. 2006) (“The Debtors in this case, however, have not provided the Court with any documentary or testimonial evidence that any additional telecommunications expenses, let alone $235 worth of such services, are necessary.”).

 

41  In re Scurlock, 385 B.R. 814, 816–17 (Bankr. M.D.N.C. 2008) (Carruthers) (“The debtor bears the burden of demonstrating that these expenses are actual, reasonable, and necessary expenses for themselves. . . . Debtor did not present any documentary evidence . . . . Debtor testified that the $276.00 included charges for internet and telephone . . . . [T]he bill included charges for at least one premium cable channel, Showtime. . . . [T]he Debtor failed to meet her burden of demonstrating that her $276.00 telecommunication expense is actual, reasonable, and necessary.”).

 

42  See § 472.1 [ Netting Issues, Including Exclusion of Payments for Debts ] § 94.2  Netting Issues, Including Exclusion of Payments for Debts.

 

43  11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I), discussed in §§ 472.1 [ Netting Issues, Including Exclusion of Payments for Debts ] § 94.2  Netting Issues, Including Exclusion of Payments for Debts and 477.1 [ Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories ] § 95.4  Other [Necessary] Expenses—In General; All Categories.