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Judge Bailey

In re Pires

Objectors, two secured creditors holding mortgages on property of a chapter 13 debtor, opposed confirmation of her proposed plan on the ground that the plan's treatment of their secured claims was improper for various reasons including that it was a "hybrid" plan that was prohibited by 11 U.S.C.S. § 1322 and that even if hybrid plans were permitted, the plan proposed herein nonetheless did not satisfy the criteria for same in In re McGregor.
Ruling: 
Confirmation of "hybrid" plan denied.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 07,2011, LexisNexis #1211-024

Agin v. Chambers (In re Ruel)

Plaintiff Chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid under 11 U.S.C.S. § 547(b) and preserve for the estate the transfer by the debtor to a family trust a mortgage on her home to secure payment of a promissory note. Defendants were all siblings of the debtor and at all relevant times were beneficiaries of the trust.
Ruling: 
Mortgage in favor of family trust could be avoided.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 12,2011, LexisNexis #1111-029

In re Crossing LLC

A law firm filed an amended application for compensation for its services as counsel for a debtor in possession. The debtor and its sole shareholder opposed the application on numerous grounds, including failures of disclosure and misrepresentations, and asked for disallowance of half the compensation requested and denial of a premium.
Ruling: 
Debtor in possession's counsel's fee application allowed with credits for retainer and subordinated to other administrative and unsecured claims due to pattern of nondisclosure.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on September 16,2011, LexisNexis #1011-132

In re Sarafoglou

A bankruptcy debtor did not timely comply with an order of the bankruptcy court to turn over funds in a bank account which the debtor knowingly failed to disclose. The trustee moved for an order holding the debtor in contempt.
Ruling: 
Debtor held in contempt for failure to obey order for turnover of previously undisclosed funds.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 15,2011, LexisNexis #0811-071

Kinsella v. Todisco (In re Todisco)

Creditor, who invested his life savings with debtor, filed an adversary complaint seeking to except debts owed to the creditor from discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4) and (a)(6), by converting funds that creditor had entrusted to debtor, breach of fiduciary duty, and willful and malicious injury, in the amount of $620,000, representing the funds entrusted and reasonable interest thereon.
Ruling: 
Debt owed to creditor who invested life savings with debtor was dischargeable absent evidence of defalcation, embezzlement or willful and malicious conduct.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 15,2011, LexisNexis #0811-081

Braunstein v. Crawford (In re Crawford)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee asserted a claim under 11 U.S.C.S. § 548(a)(1) for recovery of real property that defendant, the chapter 7 debtor, conveyed to his former business associate, which transfer the trustee contended was constructively fraudulent or, in the alternative, a preferential transfer under 11 U.S.C.S. § 547(b).
Ruling: 
Transfer to former business associate against alleged "lien" for post-transfer improvements was preferential.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 30,2011, LexisNexis #0811-057

In re Sayeh

By the motion before the court, the Chapter 11 Trustee sought actual and punitive damages and other relief against debtor for violating the automatic stay by removing estate assets from the premises with which they were imminently to be sold. An evidentiary hearing was held.
Ruling: 
Debtor held in contempt and sanctioned for unauthorized postpetition removal of estate property from hotel prior to sale.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 23,2011, LexisNexis #0311-111

Knowles v. Bayview Loan Servicing LLC (In re Knowles)

Plaintiff debtor filed a complaint against defendant loan servicer alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C.S. § 2605 et seq., and of the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C.S. § 362. Plaintiff also sought to establish liability under 11 U.S.C.S. § 105(a). The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine entered judgments in favor of defendant. Plaintiff appealed. Defendant requested fees and costs.
Ruling: 
Filing of proof of claim and issuance of annual tax statement by loan servicer did not violate stay.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 03,2011, LexisNexis #0111-140

Kapolis v. Heidenrich (In re Heidenrich)

Plaintiff judgment creditors, a brother and sister, sought a determination under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2)(A) of the dischargeability of their prepetition judgment against defendant debtor.
Ruling: 
Debtor general contractor's allegedly misleading references were insufficient grounds for nondischargeability.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 20,2010, LexisNexis #0111-083

Reynolds v. Madoff (In re Reynolds)

Debtors brought two adversary complaints that were, in essence, objections to the trustee's proposed sale of the real property. The debtors principally argued that the court should not have converted their case to one under chapter 7 because their income and expenses are such that their case would be considered an abuse of chapter 7. However, the debtors had consented to the sale in a settlement agreement.
Ruling: 
Chapter 13 debtors who consented to trustee's sale could not interfere with sale or conversion to chapter 7.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 25,2010, LexisNexis #1210-028

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