Judge Michael

Miller v. Dow (In re Lexington Oil & Gas Ltd. Co.)

Chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant investors, seeking a judgment recharacterizing payments the investors made to a corporation as equity, and a judgment avoiding the repayment of those sums under 11 U.S.C.S. § 554 as a fraudulent transfer under the Oklahoma Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 24, §§ 112-123. The trustee settled his claims against one of three investors he sued.
Ruling: 
Payments by investors to debtor recharacterized as equity and repayments of investments avoided as fraudulent transfers.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on January 27,2010, LexisNexis #0410-020

Bank of the Prairie v. Picht (In re Picht)

Appellant bank appealed from the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas, which confirmed appellee debtors' plan over the bank's objection. On appeal, the appeal court answered a question raised by neither of the parties: may a bankruptcy court issue a ruling without explanation, and inform the parties that it will explain the legal and factual basis for its decision if, and only if, one of the parties appeals that decision?
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy courts are required to explain legal and factual bases for plan confirmation.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 14,2009, LexisNexis #0609-035

In re Reed

The debtors sought approval of a reaffirmation agreement under which they wanted to reaffirm both an automobile loan and a real estate loan. The real estate loan had a substantial balloon payment.
Ruling: 
Reaffirmation of real estate loan with substantial balloon payment would impose undue hardship on debtor.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 01,2009, LexisNexis #0609-057

Ennis v. Green Tree Servicing LLC (In re Ennis)

Appellant debtors sought review of an order of the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia sustaining appellee creditor's objection to the debtors' chapter 13 plan. The bankruptcy court held that the creditor's claim, which was secured by a lien on the debtors' mobile home, was protected under 11 U.S.C.S. § 1322(b)(2) from modification because the mobile home was real property that was the debtors' principal residence.
Ruling: 
Claim secured by mobile home which was personal property rather than real property under state law was not protected from modification.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 25,2009, LexisNexis #0409-015

In re Minardi

The debtor moved for approval of a reaffirmation agreement. Debtor's counsel, however, refused to provide the declaration required by 11 U.S.C.S. § 524(c)(3).
Ruling: 
Reaffirmation agreement could not be approved absent counsel's required declaration regardless of liability concerns.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 23,2009, LexisNexis #0409-007

In re Cleveland

Claimants were engaged in the business of purchasing and servicing unsecured bankruptcy receivables through blanket assignments, and the claimants filed proofs of claim in debtors' bankruptcies. The debtors objected to the proofs of claim on the grounds that the claimants did not establish legal ownership of the debts and that the claims were unenforceable under state law.
Ruling: 
Purchaser and servicer of unsecured bankruptcy receivables sufficiently established ownership of claims objected to by debtors.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 30,2008, LexisNexis #1108-006

In re Hermesch Entities I

The debtors filed for relief under chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code and a plan was approved. The creditor filed a motion for an administrative claim for reimbursement of insurance proceeds.
Ruling: 
Claim for insurance premiums that were not part of postpetition transaction and did not benefit estate was not entitled to administrative expense status.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on August 19,2008, LexisNexis #0908-117

In re Hale-Halsell Co.

Counsel for a committee of unsecured creditors of a chapter 11 debtor filed a motion for approval of its compromise with the United States Trustee, which sought to adjust a fee arrangement under 11 U.S.C.S. § 328(a) to increase the amount of compensation paid to it.
Ruling: 
Creditor's committee's counsel's application for enhanced fee denied.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on July 01,2008, LexisNexis #0808-057

In re Chalakee

Creditors filed proofs of claim asserting that bankruptcy debtors owed credit card debt to the creditors, and the debtors objected to the creditors' claims on the ground that the amounts claimed to be owed were disputed.
Ruling: 
Debtors' objections to creditors' proofs of claim for credit card debt overruled.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 27,2008, LexisNexis #0408-008

In re Engles

When a reaffirmation agreement for a vehicle loan was not executed or filed by a creditor, that debt was discharged. The debtors filed a motion for relief from the discharge order under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1) or (6) and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9024 and a request for approval of the reaffirmation agreement.
Ruling: 
Debtors could not obtain revocation of own discharge.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 27,2008, LexisNexis #0408-017

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