ABI's Bankruptcy case opinion summaries website provides summaries of bankruptcy-related opinions issued by U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeal since 2005. Search more than 11,000 opinion summaries by keyword, relevant code section, court and judge. Opinion summaries are provided by our partner LexisNexis® Collier and are updated weekly.

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In re Rexford Props. LLC

11 U.S.C.
Ruling: Claims of trade vendors could be classified separately from those of other unsecured creditors.(Bankr. C.D. Cal.)
Issue: Could debtor’s claims classification proposal be approved?
Holdings: [1]-There was a legitimate business or economic justification for a bankruptcy debtor's proposed classification of claims of trade vendors separately from claims of substantially similar general unsecured creditors, since the classification was reasonably calculated to induce the vendors to...

In re Johnson

11 U.S.C.
Ruling: Online bankruptcy petition preparer sanctioned for unauthorized practice of law. (Bankr. E.D.N.C.)
Issue: Should bankruptcy petition preparer who offered services through a Web site be fined for providing legal advice and deceptively, knowingly signing documents that contained misrepresentations?
Holdings: [1]-A non-attorney owner who created a web-based company that prepared Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions for debtors violated 11 U.S.C.S. § 110 and engaged in the unlawful practice of law in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 84-4 when he used information that was provided by a debtor who lived in North...

In re Yahweh Ctr., Inc.

11 U.S.C.
Ruling: Appointment of committee of unsecured priority wage claimants approved. (Bankr. E.D.N.C.)
Issue: Should the bankruptcy court appoint a committee of unsecured priority wage claimants?
Holdings: [1]-The former employees' motion to appoint a special committee of non-insider unsecured priority wage claimants was granted where no general committee of unsecured trade creditors existed that adequately represented the employees' interests, the average employee would have found it very difficult...

Desmond v. Am. Express Centurion Bank, Inc. (In re Callas)

Ruling: Payments on antecedent credit card debt accepted in good faith were not avoidable. (Bankr.N.D. Ill.)
Issue: Could the trustee avoid and recover allegedly preferential or fraudulent transfers made by debtor's non-filing spouse?
Holdings: [1]-Where debtor's non-debtor spouse made allegedly avoidable transfers to creditor, a credit card company, the creditor could avoid recovery of the amount transferred under 11 U.S.C.S. § 550(b)(1) because the transfer was to pay down antecedent credit card debt, and the creditor took the payment...

In re Fernandez

11 U.S.C.
Ruling: Special human rights counsel sanctioned for failure to turn over settlement funds. (Bankr. D.N.M.)
Issue: Should debtor’s special counsel be sanctioned based on his continued delay in remitting the settlement proceeds to the chapter 13 Trustee for nearly a year and failure to comply with court orders?
Holdings: [1]-An attorney who was employed as special counsel to represent Chapter 13 debtors in prosecuting a human rights violation claim they filed against the New Mexico Department of Corrections violated the court's order requiring him to turn over settlement proceeds he received from the State of New...

Milbank v. Sharpshooter II, Inc. (In re Worldwide Diamond Ventures, LP)

11 U.S.C.
Ruling: Overpayment for purchase of unique diamond was an avoidable fraudulent transfer. (Bankr.N.D. Tex.)
Issue: Was debtor’s overpayment for a rare pink diamond an avoidable fraudulent transfer?
Holdings: [1]-A bankruptcy debtor's purchase of a unique colored diamond prior to bankruptcy constituted a constructively fraudulent transfer since the overwhelming evidence established that the debtor grossly overpaid for the diamond based on the sale price of the diamond at auction, and thus the debtor did...

Digital Signs Wizards, Inc. v. Buerger (In re Buerger)

Ruling: Judgment for willful and malicious conduct, entered pursuant to relief from the automaticstay, was nondischargeable. (Bankr. S.D. Tex.)
Issue: Was judgment debt for willful and malicious injury nondischargeable pursuant to collateral estoppel?
Holdings: [1]-A judgment debt of a bankruptcy debtor was not dischargeable based on collateral estoppel since the factual issues surrounding the debtor's conduct were fully and fairly litigated in the state-court action against the debtor, and the jury expressly found that the debtor's misconduct was willful...

In re Ortiz

Ruling: Debtor allowed exemption in retirement plan over objections of creditors. (Bankr. D.P.R.)
Issue: Was debtor entitled to an exemption in retirement plan funds?
Holdings: [1]-Retirement funds belonging to debtor and held in a defined benefits plan and 401(k) plan were exempt pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 522(d)(12) as debtor had complied with § 522(b)(4)(B) by showing that the funds had been in substantial compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and no prior...

In re Escarcega

11 U.S.C.
Ruling: Plan that would allow debtor’s to modify plan without leave of court could not be confirmed.(Bankr. N.D. Cal.)
Issue: Could plan containing provisions intended to authorize debtors to pay off their plans and obtain a discharge at any time after confirmation without having to go through the plan modification process and without having to pay allowed unsecured claim
Holdings: [1]-Plans proposed on behalf of several debtors who declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy could not be confirmed because they allowed the debtors to modify their plan after confirmation without seeking approval from the court, in violation of 11 U.S.C.S. § 1329 and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3015 ; [2]-There was...

Currie v. Sanchez (In re Sanchez)

Ruling: Judgment against debtor CEO and managing member of business for fiduciary defalcationwas nondischargeable. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.)
Issue: Was debt arising from fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity excepted from discharge?
Holdings: [1]-State court judgment was entitled to preclusive effect in a creditor's 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4) nondischargeability proceeding where the state court found fraud under New York law, which required a finding that debtor committed an intentional misrepresentation; [2]-Absence of a technical or...

Dwyer v. Ins. Co. (In re Pihl, Inc.)

11 U.S.C.
Ruling: Sureties’ equitable subrogation claim arose when the sureties became legally obligated. (Bankr.D. Mass.)
Issue: Did sureties’ equitable subrogation claim arise upon making payments or upon incurring a legal obligation to pay?
Holdings: [1]-As soon as the sureties incurred a legal obligation to the project owners, they were entitled to contract retainages and progress payments that were earned by but not yet paid to debtor; [2]-Upon receipt of notice of the sureties' rights to funds from the bonded projects, the project owners...

Evans v. Kirkland (In re Kirkland)

Ruling: Debt arising from promissory note in favor of former spouse was nondischargeable asincurred in the course of divorce. (Bankr. E.D. La.)
Issue: Were debts owed to former spouse nondischargeable?
Holdings: [1]-Consent judgment ordering debtor to pay a monthly amount to creditor, his former wife, was a nondischargeable domestic support obligation under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(5) ; [2]-Promissory note executed in connection with the divorce was not a domestic support obligation under § 523(a)(5) because...

JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Ellison (In re Ellison)

Ruling: Discharge denied due to significant fraudulent transfers that diminished the estate. (Bankr.C.D. Cal.)
Issue: Should debtor be denied a discharge be denied for making prepetition transfers to preferred parties with actual intent to hinder or delay non-preferred creditors?
Holdings: [1]-Pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(a)(2)(A) , debtor was not entitled to a discharge because, under the totality of the circumstances, debtor's prepetition transfers, including transfers to his wife and pre-payment of mortgage payments, resulted in dilution of at least $247,350 in non-exempt assets...

Buckskin Realty, Inc. v. Windmont Homeowners Ass'n (In re Buckskin Realty, Inc.)

11 U.S.C.
Ruling: Bankruptcy court review of foreclosure judgment prevented by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.(Bankr. E.D.N.Y.)
Issue: Could bankruptcy court review and vacate state court foreclosure judgment?
Holdings: [1]- Where plaintiff, as chapter 11 debtor-in-possession, brought an adversary proceeding seeking to vacate a state court foreclosure judgment and sale of two lots to homeowners association after plaintiff failed to pay common charge assessments due on the lots, Rooker-Feldman prevented the court...

Black Diamond Commer. Fin., LLC v. Va. Conservation Legacy Fund, Inc. (In re Patriot Coal Corp.)

Ruling: Abstention from hearing adversary proceeding between non-debtors denied where outcomewould have a material affect on administration. (Bankr. W.D. Va.)
Issue: Should the bankruptcy court abstain from hearing, and remand, dispute between non-debtors?
Holdings: [1]-Although neither of the parties to an adversary proceeding was a debtor, an asset purchase agreement (APA) entered into between the Chapter 11 debtors and defendant and a commitment letter between defendant and plaintiff, which memorialized plaintiff's agreement to fund defendant's acquisition...


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