Middle District

In re Piknik Prods. Co.

The attorneys for a bankruptcy debtor applied for approval of compensation and reimbursement of expenses. The committee of unsecured creditors objected to payment of any fee that would have resulted in priority above other administrative expenses.
Ruling: 
Debtor's attorneys fees could be paid from cash earned in operation of debtor's business within budget approved by creditor on pro rate basis with other administrative claimants.
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Regions Bank v Faulk (In re Faulk)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2) to determine the dischargeability of its claim for two construction loans made in its connection with defendant debtor's part-time business as a residential contractor. The creditor contended that the debtor obtained the loans by actual fraud.
Ruling: 
Debt was deemed dischargeable since creditor had not proven fraud.
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In re Vinnie

A state agency in charge of collecting child support on behalf of child support payees (agency) filed three claims for child support. The debtor's chapter 13 plan proposed to pay these claims in full, concurrently with other priority claims, including the debtor's attorney. The agency filed an objection to confirmation, claiming that its priority claims should be paid in full before distribution to any other priority creditor.
Ruling: 
Plan was confirmed over creditor's objection since section 1326(b)(1) did not require full payment of creditor's higher priority claim before paying other creditors.
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Hataway v. Welch (In re Welch)

Plaintiff ex-husband filed a motion for summary judgment in his adversary proceeding alleging that the attorney's fees owed him by defendant debtor were excepted from discharge, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5).
Ruling: 
Ex-husband was granted summary judgment and fee award owed ex-husband was deemed nondischargeable.
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Reding v. Gallagher (In re Childs)

Plaintiff bankruptcy trustees brought an adversary proceeding against defendants, two law firms and an attorney, alleging misappropriation of property belonging to estates of bankruptcy debtors. The only parties remaining in the case were the trustees and one firm and its attorney (collectively, the firm). The firm filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 157(d) for mandatory and permissive withdrawal of reference and transfer to the district court.
Ruling: 
Law firm waived its right to withdrawal of reference for a jury trial since its withdrawal motion was not timely.
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In re Berry

After filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, debtor moved for an extension or continuation of the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3).
Ruling: 
Motion for extension of automatic stay was denied since debtor did not file motion before stay had expired.
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Lisenby v. J.A. Cambece Law Office P.C. (In re Lisenby)

Plaintiff debtor filed a complaint against defendants, a law firm and a collection agency, for damages for violation of the automatic stay and violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The debtor moved for default judgment. The bankruptcy court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the sole issue of damages.
Ruling: 
Debtor was entitled to punitive damages where law firm and collection agency willfully violated automatic stay.
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Snowden v. Freds Stores of Tenn. Inc.

Plaintiff employee filed a notice of consent to become part of a class action to recover unpaid overtime wages brought against defendant employer pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq. The employer filed motions for summary judgment as to the employee's claim on the basis of judicial estoppel.
Ruling: 
Former employee was not judicially estopped from bringing an FLSA action for simply delaying by four months amending the debtor's chapter 13 bankruptcy schedule to include the potential claim.
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In re Wright

Creditor had financed the debtors purchase of a vehicle and took a security interest in that vehicle. The creditor objected to confirmation of the chapter 13 plan proposed by the debtors. At issue was whether, under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BAPCPA"), the plan could modify the contractual interest rate applicable to the creditor's secured claim.
Ruling: 
Interest rate on secured claims is calculated by the formula approach not by the contractual interest rate approach.
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In re Horn

Movant creditor filed an objection to confirmation of non-movant debtor's chapter 13 plan.
Ruling: 
Chapter 13 plan was not denied confirmation since Code section 506, instead of a new Code section, applied when a creditor's claim was not a purchase money security interest.
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