Southern District

In re Clarke

Debtor's bankruptcy case was reinstated on January 24, 2006. Debtor filed a suggestion of bankruptcy with the state court. On February 28, 2006, the state court entered orders denying debtor's objection to a foreclosure sale, and granting the purchaser's request for a writ of possession in foreclosure. On the afternoon of February 28, debtor filed an emergency motion to vacate and/or stay state court order denying his objection to foreclosure.
Ruling: 
Court deemed automatic stay was revived on reinstatement of case and, thus, state court orders denying debtor's objection to foreclosure sale were void.
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In re Wagstaff

The debtor filed a proceeding for relief under chapter 7 and claimed a homestead exemption and a tenancy by the entireties exemption. The trustee objected to the claimed property exemptions.
Ruling: 
Trustee's objection to debtor's claimed exemption in residence held as tenancy by entirety was sustained since section 522(p)(1)'s $125,000 limitation applied and one creditor's claim was against both debtor and debtor's husband.
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In re Westenberger

The debtor filed an emergency motion to reconsider an earlier order that dismissed the case. The debtor sought relief under chapter 7, and the court had dismissed the petition because the debtor had not obtained budget and credit counseling before filing his petition, as required by 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(3)(A)(i).
Ruling: 
Debtor was granted reconsideration of dismissal due to deficient certification of exigent circumstances since debtor described sufficiently exigent circumstances in having counseling agency make debtor wait five days until debtor's check cleared.
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In re Farkas

A chapter 7 matter was before the court upon the Amended Motion to Dismiss Bankruptcy Proceeding filed by movants, two creditors, and upon the Joinder to the Creditors'Motion to Dismiss filed by movant, a third individual who had also filed a proof of claim.
Ruling: 
Motions to dismiss were denied since "for cause" grounds for dismissal under section 707(a) were not present.
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Kapila v. WLN Family Ltd. Pship (In re LeNeve)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee, having established that debtor fraudulently operated numerous businesses as instrumentalities and alter egos of himself, completely disregarding the legal status thereof, sought to recover a total of $957,215 in purportedly fraudulent transfers received by defendant, an investor in debtor's schemes, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 548(a)(1)(A) and Fla. Stat. § 726.105(1)(a)
Ruling: 
Fraudulent transfer claims were dismissed since debtor received value in making transfers and was repaying investor with no shown fraudulent intent.
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Goldberg v. Countrywide Home Loans Inc. (In re Seaway Intl Transp. Inc.)

Plaintiff trustee filed an action against defendant bank alleging that payments that the debtors had made to the creditor, to make mortgage payments that were owed to the creditor by the debtors'principal owner, were fraudulent transfers that could be recovered for the benefit of the debtors'estates, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 544 and 548.
Ruling: 
Transfers were deemed not fraudulent since debtors received reasonably equivalent value by compensating their principal owner solely by making the owner's mortgage payments in exchange for the owner's services.
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In re Calderon

Debtor filed a pro se bankruptcy petition and a statement regarding her failure to obtain the credit counseling required by 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(1) prior to filing the petition.
Ruling: 
Case was dismissed since debtor did not meet the prefiling credit counseling exception under section 109(h)(3).
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Wood v. United States (In re Wood)

Plaintiff debtor sought relief against defendant IRS for the IRS's postpetition efforts to collect debtor's prepetition tax deficiencies, asserting that the IRS violated the court's order confirming debtor's plan and the automatic stay, and filed an alleged false proof of claim. Debtor sought actual and punitive damages, and sanctions against the IRS, which moved to dismiss the complaint.
Ruling: 
IRS's postpetition efforts to collect prepetition debts did not violate discharge injunction since the income tax deficiencies were exempted from discharge.
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Wood v. United States (In re Wood)

Plaintiff debtor sought relief against defendant IRS for the IRS's postpetition efforts to collect debtor's prepetition tax deficiencies, asserting that the IRS violated the court's order confirming debtor's plan and the automatic stay, and filed an alleged false proof of claim. Debtor sought actual and punitive damages, and sanctions against the IRS, which moved to dismiss the complaint.
Ruling: 
IRS's postpetition efforts to collect prepetition debts did not violate automatic stay since the stay was lifted when the debtor received a discharge and the income tax deficiencies were exempted from discharge.
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In re Petit-Louis

A chapter 7 debtor requested that the court waive the pre-bankruptcy counseling requirement pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(3). The assistant U.S. trustee did not support the request. The cause was heard pursuant to the court's notice of hearing on Debtor's Certification of Exigent Circumstances.
Ruling: 
Debtor with limited English skills was granted a waiver of the prefiling credit counseling requirement since none of the counseling agencies could provide counseling in the debtor's language of Creole.
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