10th Circuit

In re Galanis

Two sets of debtors had a prior case pending within one year of filing their present cases. They filed motions to extend the automatic stay, under 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3)(B). Each argued that the court should extend the stay because they filed in good faith.
Ruling: 
Debtors rebutted the bad faith presumption in refiling within one year of prior filings since they had filed to responsibly address their debts, they had steady sources of income, and no objections were made.
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Hamilton v. Wash. Mutual Bank FA. (In re Colon)

Plaintiff trustee in bankruptcy brought an adversary proceeding seeking to use the strong arm powers under 11 U.S.C. § 544 to avoid defendant mortgagee's lien against debtors'homestead for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. Primarily the trustee argued that the mortgage, which described the property as "Lot 29" instead of "Lot 79," would not give a bona fide purchaser constructive notice. The mortgagee moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Trustee could avoid the mortgage with erroneous description as a bona fide purchaser or as a hypothetical lien creditor since the mortgage did not impart constructive notice on the trustee.
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In re Montoya

Chapter 13 debtor filed a motion to extend the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3)(B). Because the debtor had a prior chapter 13 case pending within the preceding 1-year period that was dismissed, the stay prohibiting any action taken with respect to the debtor's will terminated on November 26, 2005. The chapter 13 trustee objected.
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied extension of automatic stay since the debtor was unable to overcome presumption of bad faith in making third filing.
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Mills v. United States IRS (In re Mills)

Plaintiff debtor initiated an adversary proceeding seeking a determination that the debtor's federal income tax obligations were dischargeable in the debtor's chapter 7 bankruptcy. Defendant United States, acting through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), asserted that debtor willfully attempted to evade the taxes for those years, making them nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(1)(C). The IRS moved for summary judgment on the discharge issue.
Ruling: 
Evidence was not sufficient to obtain summary judgment on the issue of debtor's willfulness to avoid tax liability.
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Brown v. Leslie Kitchenmaster & Kot Inc. (In re Hertzler Halstead Hosp.)

Plaintiff trustee sued defendant, an individual and a corporation, under 11 U.S.C. §§ 547 and 548 to avoid and recover alleged preferential and fraudulent transfers made to them by the debtor prior to the date of debtor's bankruptcy petition.
Ruling: 
Transfers to creditors were fraudulent and thus recoverable since they were made with actual intent to hinder and delay the debtor's other creditors.
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Brown v. Leslie Kitchenmaster & Kot Inc. (In re Hertzler Halstead Hosp.)

Plaintiff trustee sued defendant, an individual and a corporation, under 11 U.S.C. §§ 547 and 548 to avoid and recover alleged preferential and fraudulent transfers made to them by the debtor prior to the date of debtor's bankruptcy petition.
Ruling: 
Creditor could not avoid recovery of preferential transfers since the payments were not intended to be contemporaneous exchanges for new value but rather satisfied an antecedent debt.
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Gillman v. Green (In re Green)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee sued defendant debtor, seeking an order revoking the debtor's discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(3) on the ground that the debtor failed to obey a lawful order of the bankruptcy court to turn over tax refunds for a particular tax year. The bankruptcy court held a trial.
Ruling: 
Court denied revocation of discharge since the trustee did not show that the debtor willfully disobeyed an order to turn over tax refunds but rather had spent the proceeds before receiving notice of obligation.
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In re Rocor Intl Inc.

A bankruptcy debtor was entitled to refunds for overpaid excise taxes on fuel, but the IRS retained the refunds as a setoff against excise taxes due for heavy vehicle highway use. The liquidation estate of the debtor moved for turnover of the refunds, and the IRS moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Setoff was inappropriate where IRS applied postpetition tax refunds to prepetition tax liability.
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Davis v. Charlies Care Inc. (In re Cruth)

Plaintiff trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor, which sought to avoid a lien on a car as a preferential transfer under 11 U.S.C. § 547(b).
Ruling: 
Trustee was able to avoid creditor's lien on debtor's car as a preferential transfer since the creditor delayed in perfecting the security interest until during the 90-day prefiling lookback period.
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Morris v. Boeing Wichita Credit Union (In re Hicks)

Plaintiff, a chapter 7 trustee, brought an adversary proceeding against defendants, the debtors and their creditor, to avoid a lien pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 544(a)(2). The creditor filed a third party complaint against third-party defendant, the State of Kansas Department of Revenue ("KDOR"), in the event that the trustee prevailed on his claim. The matter was before the court on a stipulation of facts and briefs of the parties.
Ruling: 
Trustee was granted motion to avoid creditor's lien since the certificate of title did not reflect the lien.
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