Judge Vaughn

Smith v. Lynch (In re Lee)

Chapter 7 trustee sought to set aside certain payments made by the debtor to defendant, his employer, on the grounds that they constituted preferential transfers to an insider pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 547(b). The employer filed a motion to dismiss.
Ruling: 
Preference proceeding dismissed as to payments made within one year of petition date to non- insiders.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 21,2010, LexisNexis #1010-095

Westbrook v. Westbrook (In re Westbrook)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint against defendant chapter 7 debtors seeking to except her unsecured claim from discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2) and (a)(4). The debtors filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7012(b) on the grounds that the claim was time-barred.
Ruling: 
Nondischargeability proceeding dismissed where fraud claim was time barred under state law.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 19,2010, LexisNexis #0810-010

In re ONeil

A chapter 7 debtor's ex-spouse filed a motion for a determination that proceeds from the sale of stock in the debtor's corporation should not be considered part of the bankruptcy estate. Objections to the motion were filed by the debtor and by the chapter 7 trustee.
Ruling: 
Proceeds from sale of stock in debtor's corporation distributed between former spouse and the estate pursuant to allocation in divorce decree.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 12,2010, LexisNexis #0810-045

In re Self Enters. & Holdings LLC

The creditors filed an involuntary petition against a debtor under chapter 7. Movant, a member of the debtor, filed a motion requesting that the court dismiss, abstain, or grant relief pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. §§ 707(a), 305(a)(1), or 362(d) so that she could pursue a state court action against the other holder to recapture property for the debtor. The creditors opposed the motion. The chapter 7 trustee filed a non-objection to dismissal.
Ruling: 
Involuntary case dismissed in best interests of all parties.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on February 26,2010, LexisNexis #0610-072

Maroun v. New York Mortg. Co. LLC (In re Maroun)

Plaintiff chapter 13 debtor brought an adversary proceeding against defendants, including a mortgage broker and a mortgage lender, alleging violations of N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. ch. 358-A and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C.S. § 1601 et seq., breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and fraud. The broker moved for judgment on the pleadings.
Ruling: 
Court abstained from hearing state law claims against mortgage broker after previously abstaining from similar claim against lender.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 11,2010, LexisNexis #0410-138

Maroun v. New York Mortg. Co. LLC (In re Maroun)

Plaintiff chapter 13 debtor brought an adversary proceeding defendants, including a mortgage lender and a mortgage broker, alleging violations of N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 358-A and 15 U.S.C.S. §§ 1635, 1638, and 1639 and also alleging breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and fraud. The lender moved to dismiss.
Ruling: 
Court abstained from matter "related to" debtor's case but largely concerning state law.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 11,2010, LexisNexis #0410-137

Puzzo v. Martin (In re Martin)

Plaintiff homeowners brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor who performed construction work on the homeowners' residence seeking a determination that a debt to the homeowners was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a) based on the debtor's fraud, fiduciary defalcation, and willful and malicious injury. The debtor moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim.
Ruling: 
Debt was dischargeable absent showing that debtor contractor knew that representations regarding payment of subcontractors were false when made.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 03,2009, LexisNexis #0110-049

DeSteph v. Connecticut Dept of Banking (In re DeSteph)

Chapter 13 debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendants, the State of Connecticut Department of Banking, the Commissioner, and a staff member (the State), for the State's alleged violation of the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C.S. § 362 and for violation of N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 358-C. The State filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7012(b).
Ruling: 
State action to enforce securities laws fell within regulatory exception to automatic stay.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 02,2009, LexisNexis #0110-075

Blacksmith Invs. Inc. v. Woodford (In re Woodford)

Creditor, a limited liability company, sought review from an order of the bankruptcy court for the District of Massachusetts, that granted judgment in favor of the debtor, a union iron worker, on the creditor's complaint objecting to the dischargeability of its claim based upon a consent judgment entered against the debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2)(A).
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court properly held that claim based on consent judgment that did not include finding of fraud was dischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 23,2009, LexisNexis #1209-085

In re McLaughlin

Creditor bank filed three motions for relief from the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C.S. § 362 for the purpose of foreclosing on properties owned by debtors. The debtors filed a motion to avoid attachment against the bank pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 547.
Ruling: 
Relief from stay granted to allow creditor bank to foreclose in absence of sufficient equity cushion.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 03,2009, LexisNexis #1009-086

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