Judge Hillman

In re Fahey

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint against defendant debtor for a determination that contributions owed to employee benefit plans were nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4). Summary judgment was granted to the debtor. The U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit reversed, holding that he was acting in a fiduciary capacity, and remanded for findings on the issue of whether nonpayment was a defalcation under § 523(a)(4).
Ruling: 
Contributions owed to employee benefit plans were nondischargeable on grounds of fiduciary defalcation.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 11,2013, LexisNexis #0713-017

Pendergast v. Massachusetts Dept of Revenue (In re Pendergast)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant Massachusetts Department of Revenue (MDOR) seeking a determination that certain income taxes were dischargeable. The MDOR filed counterclaims. It sought summary judgment on its counterclaim asserting that the taxes were excepted from discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(1)(B)(i).
Ruling: 
Late filed state tax returns did not satisfy applicable filing requirements and were nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 11,2013, LexisNexis #0713-012

In re Abisso

Chapter 13 trustee objected to confirmation of the debtor's plan.
Ruling: 
Debtor entitled to marital adjustment for non-debtor spouse's income not contributed to household expenses on regular basis.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 17,2013, LexisNexis #0513-032

In re Bertone

Before the court were a creditor's objection to debtor's claim of homestead exemption and debtor's opposition thereto. Also before the court were debtor's motion to avoid judicial lien on real estate and the creditor's objection thereto.
Ruling: 
Debtor who was not qualified under state law could not claim homestead exemption.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 30,2013, LexisNexis #0213-080

In re Dougan

The matter before the court was debtors' Motion to Reconsider Order Denying Motion to Avoid Judicial Lien Execution. On reconsideration, debtors challenged the court's prior ruling that they did not qualify as "owners" under the Massachusetts Homestead Statute because title to their home was held by a residential cooperative housing corporation while they held only a ninety-nine year lease.
Ruling: 
Lien avoided on reconsideration as debtor was entitled to homestead exemption in coop.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 08,2013, LexisNexis #0113-113

In re Pierce

The chapter 7 trustee filed an objection to debtors' homestead exemption, seeking a determination that their homestead exemption under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 188, §§ 1 and 2 was limited to the value of the debtors' life estate interests, and that debtors' power to amend the trust was property of the debtors' estate under 11 U.S.C.S. § 541.
Ruling: 
Debtor's power to amend trust was property of the estate.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 01,2012, LexisNexis #1012-132

In re Bullard

Secured creditor, the mortgagee on debtor's residential real property, filed an objection to confirmation of chapter 13 debtor's third amended plan asserting that the plan improperly bifurcated its secured claim and then paid the secured portion of the claim over a period longer than the maximum five year term of a plan, which violated the nexus of 11 U.S.C.S. §§ 1322(b)(2) and (5).
Ruling: 
Plan could not both modify secured claim and pay claim over period exceeding term of plan.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 24,2012, LexisNexis #0812-066

In re Chicago Invs. LLC

Bankruptcy debtors, franchisees of fitness centers, proposed a plan of reorganization which provided for continuing operation of the centers variously by the debtors or a designee of their major creditor under a settlement agreement between the debtors and the creditor, and the plan provided for payment of all creditors in full. The debtors' franchisor objected to confirmation of the debtors' plan.
Ruling: 
Debtor franchisee's plan confirmed over objection of franchisor whose right of first refusal on transfers of interest in business was not binding.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on April 24,2012, LexisNexis #0512-048

DeGiacomo v. CitiMortgage Inc. (In re Nistad)

A chapter 7 trustee, seeking to avoid a mortgage held by defendant creditor under 11 U.S.C.S. § 544(a)(3) and preserve it for the benefit of the estate, filed a motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Defective mortgage could be avoided and preserved for the benefit of the estate.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 30,2012, LexisNexis #0212-125

Reich v. Hallet (In re Hallet)

The former wife of the chapter 7 debtor filed a adversary proceeding against defendant in which she sought a determination that a default judgment was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523. The court, having denied both parties' motions for summary judgment, reconsidered its decision following plaintiff's request for a status conference.
Ruling: 
On reconsideration, default judgment incorporated in domestic relations order found to have fully litigated issue of larceny for purposes of nondischargeability.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 19,2011, LexisNexis #0112-104

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