Judge Barrett

In re Whigham

An entity and a married couple whose cases were being jointly administered (collectively, the debtors), filed a joint motion to extend the exclusivity periods within which to file a plan and obtain acceptances pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1121(d). A creditor objected to the motion.
Ruling: 
Motion to extend exclusivity periods granted due to good faith progress towards reorganization.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 06,2012, LexisNexis #1012-026

Brown v. Branch Banking & Trust Co. (In re Brown)

Plaintiff debtor filed this adversary proceeding alleging that defendant creditor was: (1) in willful contempt of the Confirmation Order, (2) in willful violation of the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C.S. § 362, and (3) liable for damages under 11 U.S.C.S. § 362(k). Debtor sought actual damages as well as punitive damages in the amount of $150,000 and attorney fees and litigation expenses. The creditor moved to dismiss, Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
Ruling: 
Creditor did not violate stay by failing to take affirmative steps to accept surrendered property.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 04,2012, LexisNexis #1012-073

In re Ward

Before the court was debtor's modification of plan after confirmation and the chapter 13 Trustee's objections thereto. Debtor filed this modification after confirmation (MAC) seeking to reduce the monthly payments to $200/month because debtor was unable to make the $2,500/month step up payment because his current income and expenses demonstrated the ability to pay less than the amount in the confirmed plan.
Ruling: 
Postconfirmation modification granted over trustee's objection due to failure of debtor to realize anticipated substantial increase in income.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 24,2012, LexisNexis #0912-138

In re Moore

A chapter 7 debtor who was incarcerated filed a motion to waive his appearance at the 11 U.S.C.S. § 341 meeting as well as any other hearing that might be required.
Ruling: 
Incarcerated debtor's appearance at §341 meeting of creditors could not be waived.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 24,2012, LexisNexis #0912-109

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

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