Judge Mullins

Merchants Bank of Cal. v. Morales (In re Morales)

Plaintiff creditors filed adversary complaints against defendant debtor seeking determinations that amounts owed by the debtor were nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4).
Ruling: 
Poor judgment did not rise to level of intentional wrongdoing to amount to fiduciary defalcation that would make debt nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 26,2013, LexisNexis #0813-087

In re Hinson Mgmt. Group

A creditor conducted a foreclosure sale of a bankruptcy debtor's real property, accepted the high bid, and received the proceeds of sale 19 minutes before the debtor filed its bankruptcy petition. The creditor moved for a comfort order confirming the finality of the sale and the termination of the debtor's equity of redemption.
Ruling: 
Foreclosure sale completed nine minutes prior to filing of petition removed property from the estate.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on June 08,2012, LexisNexis #0712-056

Kasper v. Turnage (In re Turnage)

Claimant filed an adversary proceeding seeking a determination that a debt owed by defendant debtor based on a state court judgment in plaintiff's favor was non-dischargeable per 11 U.S.C.S. § 523. Plaintiff's subsequent motion for summary judgment asserted that the doctrine of collateral estoppel applied and entitled plaintiff to summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Debt based on state court judgment for malicious prosecution was nondischargeble as satisfying conditions for collateral estoppel.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 30,2011, LexisNexis #0112-014

In re Wilhite

The chapter 13 trustee objected to the plan proposed by debtors, a married couple, and sought orders denying confirmation and dismissing the case per 11 U.S.C.S. § 707. At issue was whether an additional $200 monthly deduction claimed by debtors in connection with their automobile expense was improper and meant that they were not committing all of their projected disposable income to the plan as 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(b) required.
Ruling: 
Confirmation denied due to improper additional monthly motor vehicle expense deduction.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 17,2011, LexisNexis #1211-098

Gordon v. Hill (In re Wilson)

Defendant corporation filed a motion for summary judgment in an adversary proceeding commenced by plaintiff Chapter 7 trustee that sought to recover property lost as a result of an allegedly unauthorized and fraudulent short sale conducted by two other defendants, the buyer and seller of the property.
Ruling: 
Loan servicer's negotiation and acceptance of payoff and participation in subsequent sale did not violate stay.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 12,2011, LexisNexis #0811-138

In re Jennings

Chapter 13 bankruptcy debtors were ineligible for discharges based on prior chapter 7 discharges, and the debtors proposed plans which provided stripping down liens of creditors holding second mortgages against the debtors' residences which were wholly unsecured based on the values of the residences. The bankruptcy trustee objected to confirmation of the debtors' plans.
Ruling: 
Confirmation denied where debtors, who were ineligible for discharge due to prior chapter 7 case, proposed to strip liens.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 11,2011, LexisNexis #0811-063

In re Chambers

In a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the issue was whether the campaign funds of the debtor, a candidate for public office who filed for bankruptcy without incorporating the campaign, were the property of the bankruptcy estate. The issue was relevant to the confirmation of the bankruptcy plan. It was also an issue of first impression for the court.
Ruling: 
Funds of debtor's unincorporated political campaign were property of the estate.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 26,2011, LexisNexis #0611-090

Lyon v. United States IRS (In re Lyon)

Chapter 7 debtor filed a complaint against defendant, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), seeking a determination that his tax liabilities arising from his failure to pay taxes between 1999 and 2002 were dischargeable. The IRS contended that the tax liability should not be discharged because the debtor willfully evaded payment pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(1)(C). The IRS filed a motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Tax liability was nondischargeable where debtor repeatedly failed to file returns and evaded payment.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 24,2010, LexisNexis #0910-078

Turner v. Watson (In re Watson)

A chapter 7 trustee filed a motion to dismiss a debtor's voluntary petition pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b), arguing that the debtor improperly deducted monthly amounts due to secured creditors with respect to residential property despite the fact that he intended to surrender the property. The trustee also asserted that the granting of relief would be an abuse of the provisions of chapter 7.
Ruling: 
Debtor could deduct mortgage payments on residence intended for surrender in calculating current monthly income.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 03,2007, LexisNexis #1207-080

Ridge v. Union Acceptance Corp. (In re Ridge)

Debtors were involved in an accident after confirmation of their chapter 13 plan. The vehicle, in which creditor held a secured claim, was deemed a total loss by the debtors'insurer. The debtors objected to a claim filed by the creditor's assignee. The issue was whether the proceeds from the debtors'insurance policy were property of the estate.
Ruling: 
Creditor's interest in insurance proceeds of vehicle totalled postpetition limited to value of interest in vehicle on petition date.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 06,2007, LexisNexis #1107-064

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