Northern District

In re Green

A bankruptcy debtor proposed a chapter 13 plan which provided for an applicable commitment period ("ACP") of three years, but the bankruptcy trustee asserted that the ACP for the above median debtor under 11 U.S.C. § 1325 was five years unless all allowed unsecured creditors were paid in full. The trustee objected to confirmation of the debtor's plan.
Ruling: 
Above median debtor with lack of current disposable income was not required to adhere to five year applicable commitment period.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 29,2007, LexisNexis #1207-018

In re Thompson

After a city issued a utility shutoff notice to debtors requesting payment on the same day that it received a notice of the debtors'chapter 7 discharge, the debtors sought a finding of contempt and an award of damages and attorneys'fees under 11 U.S.C. § 105(a), alleging that the city violated the discharge injunction under 11 U.S.C. § 524(a).
Ruling: 
Utility shutoff notice, issued on day notice of discharge was received, but then corrected, did not violate discharge injunction.
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In re Brown

In consolidated cases, bankruptcy debtors variously claimed exemptions under state law for cash and a motor vehicle, and one debtor claimed a homestead exemption. A judgment creditor of both debtors objected to the exemptions on the grounds that the state exemptions conflicted with federal bankruptcy law and that the retroactive homestead exemption was an unconstitutional taking.
Ruling: 
State exemption scheme was authorized by bankruptcy code and not in the conflict with federal exemptions.
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In re James

In separate cases, bankruptcy debtors moved for a finding that communications to the debtors from the former servicer of municipal tax liens against the debtors constituted attempts to collect prepetition debts from the debtors in violation of the automatic bankruptcy stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)(5).
Ruling: 
Notices of sale of tax liens containing legend required by Fair Debt Collection Practices Act did not violate stay.
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In re Reserve Capital Corp.

On remand from the district court, certain debtors raised the issue that the proposed relief previously ordered by the bankruptcy court was an impermissible post-confirmation modification of the previously confirmed plan of the one reorganized surviving chapter 11 debtor. The bankruptcy court had ordered the compromise and payment of claims against the surviving reorganized debtor.
Ruling: 
Court ordered settlement and payment of claims against surviving reorganized debtor was not an impermissible post-confimation modification.
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In re Petrocci

Under consideration by the court were three contested matters resulting from three separate objections to the Chapter 13 Plans of debtors in the three cases treated in the decision. The objecting secured creditors objected to debtor's plans on the ground that those plans did not provide for the payment in full of the creditors'claims mandated by the so-called "hanging paragraph" of 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(9).
Ruling: 
Hanging paragraph applied to creditors holding purchase money security interests.
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Rahm v. Halpin (In re Halpin)

Appellants, members of a union and trustees of various benefit funds, filed an objection to the dischargeability of a debt under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4). The debt consisted of monies that an employer, by and through appellee debtor, in his capacity as president of the employer, was obligated to contribute towards the funds. The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York discharged the debt. Appellants filed an appeal.
Ruling: 
Unpaid benefit plan contributions were dischargeable where debtor was not shown to have fiduciary responsibility.
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In re Sullivan

Under consideration by the court was a motion filed by debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(h). Claiming violations of the automatic stay provisions of 11 U.S.C. § 362, debtor requested $10,000 in actual, statutory, and punitive damages against a creditor and its law firm, as well as contingent attorney fees, or, in the alternative, $2,000 in attorneys' fees, and an order vacating and discharging any indebtedness claimed by the creditor.
Ruling: 
Creditor's inclusion of undisclosed preconfirmation attorneys fees and bankruptcy attorneys'fees in payoff letter demanding payment as prerequisite to closing violated stay.
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In re Brickely

Movant creditor sought an order confirming the automatic dismissal of the chapter 13 bankruptcy case based on one of the debtor's failure to comply with 11 U.S.C. § 521(i), where she inadvertently failed to timely submit two payment advice statements. The trustee and debtors moved the court to deny the dismissal order, asserting debtors promptly complied with the requirement and acted in good faith.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court declined to dismiss case for debtor's inadvertent failure to file two payment advices.
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Borden v. Brunswick Baptist Church (In re Brunswick Baptist Church)

In appellee debtor's chapter 11 petition, appellant creditors were named on the debtor's list of creditors but their counsel was not listed. The creditors filed unsecured proofs of claim nearly three months after the deadline to file claims (bar date), and the bankruptcy court denied the creditors' motion seeking to enlarge the period in which to file proofs of claim. The creditors appealed.
Ruling: 
Debtor properly sent notice of bar date to creditors where creditors' attorney failed to request service.
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