Judge Morris

In re Crawford

A bidding agent for a mortgage lender submitted the only bid at a foreclosure sale of a bankruptcy debtor's real property, which was conducted by a state-court referee after the debtor's spouse produced a copy of the debtor's bankruptcy petition which was filed the previous day. The bankruptcy court issued an order for the lender and the referee to show cause why they should not be liable for violating the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C.S. § 362.
Ruling: 
Lender, bidding agent and referee willfully violated stay by conducting foreclosure auction despite notice of bankruptcy.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 05,2008, LexisNexis #0708-039

In re Northwest Airlines Corp.

Financial advisors which were properly retained by a committee of unsecured creditors in a bankruptcy case were awarded fees and costs in accordance with their previously approved retention agreements. The advisors requested additional success or completion fees based on the successful reorganization of bankruptcy debtors.
Ruling: 
Financial advisors to committee of unsecured creditors were not entitled to success/completion fees.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on February 29,2008, LexisNexis #0408-026

In re McCormick

Debtor filed a petition under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code and an application requesting that the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C.S. § 362(a) be extended to a limited liability company (LLC) he owned. Two people who identified themselves as judgment creditors, and a third person who claimed she was a creditor, opposed the application.
Ruling: 
Court refused to extend stay to debtor's non-debtor LLC.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 08,2008, LexisNexis #0308-005

In re Pinti

A bankruptcy debtor proposed a chapter 13 plan which provided for surrender of a vehicle in full satisfaction of the claim of a creditor secured by the vehicle. The creditor objected to the debtor's plan on the ground that the Hanging Paragraph under 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a) did not preclude bifurcation of the creditor's claim and allowance of an unsecured claim for the deficiency after the vehicle was sold.
Ruling: 
Debtor's surrender of vehicle in full satisfaction of creditor's claim prevented creditor from filing deficiency claim.
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In re Nichols

Citing 11 U.S.C. § 109(h), 11 U.S.C. § 521(b), and 11 U.S.C. § 707(a), the U.S. trustee asked the court to dismiss two chapter 7 petitions filed by unrelated debtors based on a claim that debtors in each case failed to comply with the credit counseling requirement in 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(1). At issue was whether the court had express or implied power to excuse such noncompliance.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court had authority to excuse compliance with credit counseling requirement in appropriate cases.
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In re Azbill

The United States Trustee's emergency motion to reopen the debtor's chapter 7 case to administer an asset was granted and a successor chapter 7 trustee was appointed on the same day. The successor chapter 7 trustee's subsequent motion to approve a compromise with a bank regarding a certificate of deposit was then granted. The debtor moved to set aside the order approving the compromise.
Ruling: 
Debtor's failure to receive notice of motion to approve compromise of claim where debtor's counsel received actual notice.
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In re Murphy

A creditor submitted a request under 11 U.S.C. § 362(j) for an order confirming the termination of an automatic stay, ruling that a subsequent chapter 13 plan would not bind the creditor, and awarding attorneys'fees.
Ruling: 
Court confirmed that automatic stay was terminated since debtor had prior case dismissed within one year of filing.
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In re Elmendorf

Three separate bankruptcy cases of three debtors were before the court on three separate Motions to Dismiss for Cause filed by the U.S. Trustee.
Ruling: 
Three cases dismissed for failure to comply with credit counseling requirement but dismissal "with prejudice" applied only if warranted by facts.
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Banner v. Cohen Estis & Assocs. LLP (In re Balco Ltd.)

Plaintiff bankruptcy trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendant law firm which represented bankruptcy debtors in consolidated cases, seeking disgorgement of the firm's retainer based on lack of disclosures under 11 U.S.C. § 327 and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2014. The firm moved for reconsideration of the order which directed the firm to disgorge the retainer and denied the firm's fee application.
Ruling: 
On reconsideration, disgorgement of attorneys' fees upheld where firm failed to disclose conflict of interest.
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In re Quackenbush

Debtor filed a chapter 7 case and claimed as exempt her interest in a "systematic investment plan" account in the amount of $3,152. The chapter 7 trustee objected to the exemption.
Ruling: 
Debtor's interest in a systematic investment plan account was deemed estate property since the interest did not meet the enumerated exceptions under section 541(b).
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