Judge Barrett

Crouser v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP (In re Crouser)

After debtor asked the court to approve a settlement with a creditor that had violated the stay in 11 U.S.C.S. § 362, which settlement included a $25,000 payment to debtor, the chapter 13 trustee objected to the settlement to the extent that it allowed debtor to receive the balance of the payment net of attorneys fees. At issue was whether, per 11 U.S.C.S. § 541 and 11 U.S.C.S. § 1306, a § 362(k) claim was property of debtor or of the estate.
Ruling: 
Proceeds of settlement of stay litigation were property of the estate.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 20,2012, LexisNexis #0912-053

In re Diaz

Before the court was debtor's motion to waive the personal financial management course requirement. Debtor was incarcerated and averred he lacked the necessary telephone or internet to complete the counseling requirement.
Ruling: 
Incarcerated debtor not entitled to waiver of financial management course requirement.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 03,2012, LexisNexis #0912-023

In re Gillis

A chapter 11 debtor filed a motion to abandon property to a bank in full satisfaction of the bank's claim pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 554. The bank objected to the motion, arguing the abandonment in full satisfaction was contrary to the plan's language and the court's previous orders allowing the bank to foreclose on the property.
Ruling: 
Debtor allowed to abandon property but bank could assert deficiency claim.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 17,2012, LexisNexis #0812-022

In re Randis Inc.

Pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1121, the "shareholder" sought to file and confirm a small business chapter 11 plan for the small business debtor more than 300 days after the date of the order for relief.
Ruling: 
Confirmation of small business plan denied as not filed within 300 days and case dismissed.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on June 27,2012, LexisNexis #0712-092

In re Paul

After a landlord obtained a prepetition judgment and writ of possession, it sought relief from the automatic stay to take possession of an apartment rented by a chapter 13 debtor.
Ruling: 
Prepetition eviction judgment on non-monetary basis was not subject to stay.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 08,2012, LexisNexis #0712-041

Daniel v. Wheeler County State Bank (In re Daniel)

Plaintiff chapter 13 debtor filed a complaint against defendant, her former employer, alleging that the employer discriminated against her in violation of 11 U.S.C.S. § 525(b) by terminating her employment because of her bankruptcy filing. The employer moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Employer who fired debtor after being informed by debtor of bankruptcy but prior to actual filing of petition, was not liable for discrimination on account of bankruptcy.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 04,2012, LexisNexis #0612-120

In re Key

Chapter 13 debtors filed a motion to incur debt in order to improve property inherited more than180 days after they filed their bankruptcy petition.
Ruling: 
Debtor could not incur debt to improve non-estate property.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 02,2012, LexisNexis #0312-049

In re Williams

The chapter 13 trustee filed an objection to the confirmation of below median debtor's proposed chapter 13 plan, arguing that, at the time the debtor's repayment of a loan to his 26 U.S.C.S. § 401(k) was repaid, he should be required to increase his payments for the benefit of creditors, given his increased disposable income pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(b)(3).
Ruling: 
Debtor ordered to increase plan payments after 401(k) loan was repaid or to convert or face dismissal.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 23,2012, LexisNexis #0612-067

Arsenault v. JPMorgan Chase Bank (In re Arsenault)

Chapter 13 debtors filed an adversary proceeding against defendant bank, seeking a determination that the bank violated 11 U.S.C.S. § 362 and a court order which confirmed the debtor's Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan because it refused to have title to real property transferred from the debtors' names to the bank's name. The bank filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
Ruling: 
Bank's refusal to acquire title to property after surrender by debtors did not violate stay.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 19,2011, LexisNexis #1011-108

Bryant v. HSBC Mortg. Servs. (In re Bryant)

Plaintiff bankruptcy debtor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant mortgage creditor alleging that the creditor did not hold a valid mortgage against the debtor's real property and overstated the amount owed on the debtor's mortgage debt. The creditor moved for relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay to allow foreclosure against the property.
Ruling: 
Relief from stay to foreclose granted where creditor established ownership of mortgage and debtor was in arrears and lacked equity in the property.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 11,2011, LexisNexis #0811-107

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