Judge Cornish

Smith v. Bridgman

Creditor filed an adversary proceeding against chapter 7 debtor, seeking a determination that debt owed to her was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5), (6) and (15).
Ruling: 
Attorneys' fees awarded in action finding no common-law marriage existed between debtor and creditor was dischargeable.
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In re Davis

A chapter 7 trustee filed a motion pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 329(b) seeking to disgorge the attorney's fee paid, prepetition, by a chapter 7 debtor to her attorney. The debtor objected to the motion. The $1,500 fee amount was in excess of the presumptive fee amount adopted by the court in 1999 for chapter 7 cases. The court held a hearing and thereafter issued a decision on the motion.
Ruling: 
New requirements of BAPCPA justified raising of local presumptive attorneys'fee.
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Morris v. St. John Natl Bank (In re Haberman)

Appellant chapter 7 trustee brought a lien avoidance action against appellee creditor and debtors pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 544(a) and 551. The Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas limited the trustee's recovery of postpetition payments to the value of the vehicle on the date of bankruptcy and denied his motion to recover postpetition payments made in excess of the value of that vehicle. The trustee appealed.
Ruling: 
Trustee's recovery on avoided liens limited to value of collateral on petition date.
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In re Johns

A means test calculation submitted by bankruptcy debtors indicated that the debtors'monthly disposable income exceeded a statutory amount and thus created a presumption of bankruptcy abuse under 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(A)(i). The trustee moved to dismiss the debtors'petition based on the presumption of abuse.
Ruling: 
Case was dismissed since potential zero distribution in hypothetical conversion to chapter 13 case did not rebut presumption of abuse of chapter 7.
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In re Lawson

A bankruptcy debtor defaulted on an educational loan and the lending university obtained a state-court judgment against the debtor for the loan debt. The university recorded its judgment and the debtor moved to avoid the university's judgment lien pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(f) on the ground that the lien impaired the debtor's homestead exemption.
Ruling: 
University's lien impaired debtor's homestead exemption and was thus avoidable.
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Anstine v. Centex Home Equity Co. LLC (In re Pepper)

Defendant creditor appealed a judgment entered by the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado in favor of plaintiff chapter 7 trustee avoiding a transfer made by the debtors to the creditor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 547(b). The transfer at issue was the creditor's recording of a deed of trust seven months and 18 days after the loan transaction. The creditor argued that the transaction was exempt under 11 U.S.C. § 547(c).
Ruling: 
Creditor was denied an appeal of a transfer avoidance judgment since the parties may have intended to make a contemporaneous exchange but in fact delayed recording a deed for seven months.
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In re Phillips

Debtor filed a motion to extend the automatic stay in her chapter 13 bankruptcy case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3) under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. Neither the Trustee nor any creditors filed an objection to the motion.
Ruling: 
Automatic stay was extended for second chapter 13 case because the debtor demonstrated good faith in making second filing despite failing to make payments in the first case, and changed circumstances showed an ability to pay.
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