Judge France

DeHart v. Miller (In re Miller)

Debtor filed a petition under chapter 13 and claimed that a payment in the amount of $ 88,500 which a master awarded her in a state-court divorce action was exempt property under 11 U.S.C.S. § 522(d)(10)(D). A law firm that represented the debtor in her divorce action filed a claim for $ 101,908 against the debtor's bankruptcy estate, and the firm and a chapter 13 trustee filed objections to the debtor's exemption claim.
Ruling: 
Sum awarded to debtor in divorce was exempt property.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 05,2010, LexisNexis #0410-051

Boyce v. Barnhart (In re Barnhart)

Movant creditor sought to dismiss the debtor's chapter 13 case, alleging that the petition was not filed in good faith and should be dismissed pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1307(c).
Ruling: 
Case dismissed for bad faith where filed shortly after state court judgment and transfer of assets with inadequate disclosures.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 05,2010, LexisNexis #0210-097

City of Harrisburg v. Kanoff (In re Kanoff)

Movant city filed an objection to the proposed chapter 13 plan of respondent debtor, contending that the city held a security interest in debtor's business assets, specifically a liquor license, which was listed as an asset in debtor's amended Schedule B.
Ruling: 
City did not have a security interest in debtor's liquor license.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 17,2009, LexisNexis #0809-015

DeAngelis v. MacNamara (In re MacNamara)

A husband and a wife, filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. United States Trustee (UST) moved to dismiss the case, invoking 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(1) and (3), as amended by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-8.
Ruling: 
Chapter 7 case dismissed for abuse due to debtor's unreasonable and unnecessary expenses and ability to fund chapter 13 plan.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 05,2009, LexisNexis #0709-125

Moshannon Valley Citizens v. Rosewood Real Estate Inc. (In re Moshannon Valley Citizens Inc.)

Debtor-in-possession, the operator of a hospital, filed a Complaint seeking injunctive relief and damages for breach of contract against prospective purchasers of the hospital. The complaint alleged that the prospective purchasers were in breach of the purchase agreement and related security agreements.
Ruling: 
Action by debtor-in-possession against prospective purchaser for breach of contract was a core proceeding.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on February 25,2009, LexisNexis #0509-056

Atrium View LLC v. Eastern Savings Bank (In re Atrium View LLC)

Objectants, a Chapter 7 debtor and a third lienholder, asserted that a prepayment premium asserted by respondent first lienholder against the proceeds of an auction sale of certain real estate was unreasonable and should be disallowed pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 506(b).
Ruling: 
Prepayment premium claimed by first lienholder against proceeds of auction disallowed as unreasonable.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on December 24,2008, LexisNexis #0209-008

Armstrong v. Access Group (In re Armstrong)

Three defendant creditors (movants) sought summary judgment on the adversary complaint of plaintiff debtor wife, who sought a determination that her student loans were dischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Student loan debts were nondischargeable where debtor had ignored obligation in favor of consumer spending.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 16,2008, LexisNexis #1208-081

Buckley v. Taylor

Defendant debtor filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff creditor's adversary complaint alleging that the creditor's state court personal injury claim was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. §§ 523(a)(6) and 1328(a)(4).
Ruling: 
Claim for willful or wanton injury could be nondischargeable regardless of whether creditor obtained prepetition judgment.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 02,2008, LexisNexis #0808-123

Americredit Fin. Servs. v. Lanier (In re Lanier)

Objectant, a secured creditor, opposed debtor's motion to modify a confirmed chapter 13 plan to permit him to surrender a vehicle securing the claim as an alternative to obtaining the creditor's approval of the modification or to paying the claim through the plan. At issue was whether such a modification deprived the creditor of a property right without just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Ruling: 
Proposed plan modification for surrender of vehicle in full satisfaction of debt pursuant to hanging paragraph did not violate Fifth Amendment.
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United States v. Martinez

Movant IRS appealed the decision that permitted it to setoff respondent debtors'federal income tax refunds against prepetition taxes, but only against priority obligations. The district court remanded the matter to provide the court an opportunity to delineate the facts considered in limiting the setoff to the IRS's priority claim.
Ruling: 
IRS granted relief from stay to setoff tax refunds against tax liabilities.
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