Judge Frank

In re Harmon

Movant, the U.S. Trustee (UST), sought dismissal of a Chapter 7 filed by debtor on the ground that a grant of relief would be an "abuse" under 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(1) based on debtor's having claimed, as a monthly expense, the debt service required on her student loan. The key issue was whether debtor's obligation to repay that loan constituted "special circumstances" under § 707(b)(2)(B).
Ruling: 
Student loan obligation was not a "special circumstance" that would allow a deduction, so that case was ordered converted or dismissed for abuse.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 16,2011, LexisNexis #0311-060

Theokary v. Abbatiello (In re Theokary)

Plaintiff debtor brought an adversary complaint against four defendants, two individual horse trainers who foreclosed liens against the debtor's horses under the New Jersey Stableman's Lien Act, N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2A:44-51 to 2A:44-52, and two stables where the horses had been kept, asserting they willfully violated the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C.S. § 362(a)(3), during the course of the no-asset bankruptcy case.
Ruling: 
Lienors' attorneys violated stay by completing foreclosure sales of debtor's horses.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 14,2011, LexisNexis #0311-040

Schnable v. Reinford (In re Reinford)

Plaintiff filed an adversary proceeding against defendant Chapter 7 debtors, claiming that the male debtor fraudulently deprived plaintiff of his interest in real property. The court dismissed plaintiff's complaint, and plaintiff filed an amended complaint. The debtors filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint.
Ruling: 
Adversary proceeding seeking recovery for fraud dismissed as creditor should properly have filed a proof of claim.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 11,2011, LexisNexis #0211-043

In re Express Car & Truck Rental Inc.

After the court dismissed involuntary chapter 7 petitions filed against debtors by a creditor, the former debtors, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 303(i), filed a motion seeking an award of attorney's fees in the amount of $34,524.
Ruling: 
Debtors' attorneys' fees awarded after dismissal of meritless involuntary petition.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on November 09,2010, LexisNexis #1210-001

Olick v. Northampton County (In re Olick)

Plaintiff Chapter 13 debtor filed an amended complaint against defendants, a county and a school district, asserting various claims arising from the county's acceptance of a payment from the debtor's mortgage lender to satisfy unpaid real estate tax obligations, including the pre-petition real estate taxes provided for in the confirmed plan. All three parties filed motions for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
County's acceptance of tax payments from mortgagee did not violate stay.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 09,2010, LexisNexis #1210-040

Monastra v. Monastra (In re Monastra)

In an adversary proceeding, plaintiff ex-wife sued defendant chapter 7 debtor objecting to the debtor's discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(a)(2) and (4) and , alternatively, requesting a determination that certain debts owed to her were nondischargeable under either 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(5) or (15). The ex-wife filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings.
Ruling: 
Obligation to former spouse pursuant to divorce proceeding was nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 06,2010, LexisNexis #1110-090

In re OBrien

Before the court was the debtors' objection to a proof of claim filed by a creditor asserting that it held a claim of $13,024 as an assignee of a credit card account.
Ruling: 
Proof of claim disallowed due to inadequate documentation of creditor's assignee status.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 30,2010, LexisNexis #1010-132

In re Saxbys Coffee Worldwide LLC

Debtor LLC filed a petition under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, and proposed a plan for reorganizing its business. The United States Trustee (UST) and three creditors filed objections to the debtor's plan.
Ruling: 
Confirmation of chapter 11 plan denied due to improper release of claims between non- debtors and lack of support by majority of creditors.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on September 22,2010, LexisNexis #1010-091

In re Coley

Debtor filed a petition under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code and claimed that $18,620.75 of the interest he held in his residence was exempt property under 11 U.S.C.S. § 522. The debtor filed a motion to avoid a judicial lien which a judgment creditor had placed on his residence, except to the extent of $11,605.66, and the creditor opposed the motion, claiming that its lien was non- avoidable to the extent of $51,379.25.
Ruling: 
Judicial lien impairing exemption could be avoided.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 22,2010, LexisNexis #1010-085

Bryen v. United States (In re Bryen)

Plaintiff-debtor moved to reopen his case and brought an adversary complaint, seeking a determination that his debt to defendant United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for unpaid taxes had been discharged in September 2004, in his Chapter 7 filing. The IRS asserted that the debt was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(1)(C).
Ruling: 
IRS tax debt that debtor willfully attempted to evade or defeat was nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 13,2010, LexisNexis #0910-033

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