Judge Drake

Castillo v. Three Aces Auto Sales (In re Castillo)

Chapter 13 debtors filed a motion pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 362(k), seeking an award of actual damages, attorney's fees, and punitive damages against respondent creditor for a willful violation of the automatic stay.
Ruling: 
Damages awarded for creditor's violation of stay by refusing to turn over vehicle repossessed just prior to petition date.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 25,2011, LexisNexis #0911-077

In re Sweet N Sour 7th Ave. Corp.

Movant, the landlord and a creditor of the debtor, moved the court for an order modifying the automatic stay to permit the it to enforce a prepetition warrant of eviction it had obtained against the debtor, terminating the lease. The landlord also sought to apply the debtor's security deposit to past-due rent, arguing that it was entitled to exercise the right of recoupment as to the deposit.
Ruling: 
Stay lifted to allow debtor to vacate eviction order and possibly assume lease.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on June 18,2010, LexisNexis #0810-110

In re Penn

Movants, three creditors, filed a motion, opposed by debtor, to validate a foreclosure sale or, in the alternative, for relief from or annulment of the automatic stay ab initio.
Ruling: 
Nonjudicial foreclosure against property owned by LLC of which debtor was sole owner was not subject to co-debtor stay.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 02,2010, LexisNexis #0810-063

Duncan v. Bucciarelli (In re Bucciarelli)

Defendant debtor filed a voluntary petition under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Plaintiff attorneys filed a complaint against the debtor for the determination of the dischargeability of a particular debt, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2)(A), owed by the debtor. The court denied the debtor's summary judgment motion.
Ruling: 
Divorce attorneys' fees that debtor had admitted she never intended to pay were nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 22,2010, LexisNexis #0510-122

Comfort Care Transp. Prods. LLC v. Advantage Funding Commer. Capital Corp. (In re Around Town Transp. Prods. LLC)

Plaintiff, a purchaser of five vans from defendant debtor, an entity in the business of selling customized vans, filed a complaint seeking a determination as to the ownership of the vans. Before the court was a Motion to Dismiss Complaint, filed by defendant creditor.
Ruling: 
Dispute over ownership of vans that were not property of debtor's estate was not "related to" debtor seller's bankruptcy and was dismissed.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on December 23,2009, LexisNexis #0310-028

Grant v. Home Loan Servicing Inc. (In re Grant)

Debtors brought this adversary proceeding seeking damages for alleged breach of contract and violations of the Truth in Lending Act. Defendants were a home loan servicer and a bank. Defendants moved for summary judgment. Plaintiffs failed to file a response to the motion and, therefore, the motion was deemed to be unopposed.
Ruling: 
Debtor lacked standing to pursue prepetition causes of action which were property of the estate.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 11,2009, LexisNexis #0310-001

In re Ronn Valley LLC

Movant creditor filed a motion to dismiss debtor's bankruptcy case for cause. Debtor opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Chapter 11 case dismissed for cause due to debtor's substantial postpetition losses and low likelihood of rehabilitation.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on November 25,2009, LexisNexis #0310-021

In re Hugh

Before the court was a motion to convert debtor's case from chapter 13 to chapter 7, filed by the trustee. Debtor opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Conversion to chapter 7 denied where chapter 7 trustee would be unable to avoid first-in-right security interest to free up funds for distribution.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 25,2009, LexisNexis #0310-018

HBH Enters. v. Freeman (In re Freeman)

In their complaint, plaintiff creditors sought "reinstatement" of promissory notes, personally guaranteed by defendant debtor, which the court construed to be a request that the debts represented by these notes not be discharged. Debtor filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.
Ruling: 
Proceeding seeking "reinstatement" of notes treated as seeking nondischargeability and dismissed for lack of supporting facts.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 18,2009, LexisNexis #0310-043

Eastman v. Baker Recovery Servs. (In re Eastman)

Plaintiff debtor brought an adversary action against defendant debt collectors, seeking a declaratory judgment that they had violated the discharge injunction of 11 U.S.C.S. § 524 when they attempted to collect a discharged debt. The debtor sought injunctive relief, statutory and actual damages under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.S. § 1692 et seq., several Texas statutes, and for infliction of emotional distress.
Ruling: 
Creditor that obtained default judgment despite knowledge of discharge, causing debtor to lose job and security clearance, violated discharge injunction.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 15,2009, LexisNexis #1209-033

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