Judge Barrett

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

Walton v. HLJ Enters. (In re HLJ Enters.)

Objectors, the U.S. Trustee (UST) and a creditor, challenged the right of an accounting firm to compensation based on its second application for compensation and also sought an order requiring the firm to disgorge fees previously paid to it. At issue was whether the firm was ineligible to serve as an accountant for debtor in possession (DIP) by reason of 11 U.S.C.S. § 327(a).
Ruling: 
Accounting firm's application for compensation denied as it was ineligible to provide services to debtor in possession.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on June 28,2011, LexisNexis #0911-036

Wilmington Plantation Owners Assn v. Foster (In re Foster)

A homeowners' association and individual homeowners filed a motion to dismiss a debtor's case for cause pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1112(b)(1) on the grounds that the petition was not filed in good faith. The debtor, an unsecured creditor, and two secured creditors opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Case filed to gain tactical advantage in litigation dismissed as not filed in good faith.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 17,2011, LexisNexis #0911-061

In re Graham Bros. Constr. Inc.

A claimant of Chapter 11 debtor filed a motion to allow a late claim.
Ruling: 
Late filed proof of claim disallowed where creditor intentionally had sought to avoid jurisdiction of bankruptcy court.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on May 16,2011, LexisNexis #0811-135

Adams v. Volpitto (In re Volpitto)

Former employees brought an adversary proceeding against bankruptcy debtor seeking a determination that a debt to the employees for the debtor's failure to make employer contributions to a retirement plan was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4) based on the debtor's breach of fiduciary duty as the plan trustee.
Ruling: 
Debtor employer's failure to make discretionary contributions to profit sharing plan did not result in nondischargeable debt.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on March 22,2011, LexisNexis #0711-015

Baxter v. Turner (In re Turner)

Bankruptcy debtors were above-median-income debtors with negative disposable income and the debtors proposed a plan which provided for monthly payments for the benefit of unsecured creditors for a period of three years. The bankruptcy trustee objected to confirmation of the debtors' plan on the ground that the applicable commitment period under 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(b)(1)(B) was at least five years.
Ruling: 
Confirmation denied where above median debtors' plan proposed term of less than 60 months.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on March 17,2010, LexisNexis #0610-134

GD Deal Holdings LLC v. Sharma (In re Sharma)

Before the court was the motion for relief from stay filed by a bank seeking stay relief based upon debtor's stated intent to retain the bank's collateral without entering into a reaffirmation agreement.
Ruling: 
Chapter 7 debtor required to reaffirm debt in order to retain secured real property.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 15,2010, LexisNexis #0410-084

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