Judge Walrath

In re Atl. Gulf Cmtys. Corp.

Chapter 7 trustee filed a motion to approve the termination of an escrow account established for the protection of New York consumers and the turnover of the remaining escrow funds to the bankruptcy estate. The New York State Department of State opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Funds deposited in escrow by debtor developer pursuant to state law were not property of the esate.
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Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors v. Acres of Diamonds LP (In re The IT Group Inc.)

Plaintiff liquidating trust brought an adversary claim against defendant transferee, seeking to avoid and recover $575,000 as a fraudulent transfer pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 548(a)(1)(B) and 550. The transferee moved for summary judgment, asserting that the transfer was a non- avoidable settlement payment pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 546(e). Transferee and the trust also filed motions in limine concerning expert witness testimony.
Ruling: 
Settlement payment by financial institution was protected from avoidance.
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In re Alterra Healthcare Corp.

A newspaper moved to intervene in the reorganized debtor's chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding for the limited purpose of seeking access to judicial records and proceedings. The newspaper asked the court to vacate several orders sealing records of settlement in the case.
Ruling: 
Information in settlements filed by debtor did not relate to commercial operations and was a matter of public record.
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In re Fowler

Debtor filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy complaint, and the United States Trustee ("UST") filed a motion to dismiss the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2) and (b)(3). The issue was whether debtor, for purposes of section 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I), could take the ownership deduction specified in the IRS Local Transportation Expense Standards for a car she owned, which was not collateral for any debt.
Ruling: 
Debtor who owned car outright was still allowed to take ownership deduction specified in IRS Local Transportation Expense Standards.
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In re Anderson

Before the court was the "Emergency Petition for Rule to Show Cause for Violation of Bankruptcy Discharge Injunction" filed by debtors. The creditor concerned opposed the requested relief.
Ruling: 
Post-reposssession letter claiming deficiency violated discharge injunction.
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In re Pennington

The United States Trustee ("UST") filed a motion to dismiss the chapter 7 case of a debtor for abuse pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(1) and (3).
Ruling: 
Court considered debtor's anticipated income and expenses in dismissing chapter 7 case for substantial abuse.
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Moore v. Strickland (In re Strickland)

Plaintiff former husband sued defendant debtor, objecting to the dischargeability of any debt due to him as support pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(B), (a)(4) and (a)(5) and objecting to the discharge of the debtor for failing to disclose assets on her schedules pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4). The bankruptcy court held a trial on the merits.
Ruling: 
Discharge denied due to debtor's failure to list business in schedules.
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In re Paret

The trustee moved to dismiss a debtor's chapter 7 case based upon the totality of the debtor's financial circumstances.
Ruling: 
Court ruled that in determining whether substantial abuse of chapter 7 existed, totality of circumstances test included consideration of debtor's ability to repay creditors.
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In re Perez

A bankruptcy trustee moved for employment of a real estate broker to sell debtors'residence, but the debtors proposed to refinance the residence and pay the estate the value of the residence less exemptions, secured debt on the residence, and costs of sale.
Ruling: 
Trustee's motion to value debtors'property as of conversion date and employ realtor denied absent evidence of bad faith.
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In re Weber

The debtor claimed as an exemption to her chapter 7 bankruptcy estate her interest in her residence pursuant to former 11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(2)(B). Objector, the chapter 7 trustee, took issue with the exemption.
Ruling: 
Court overruled trustee's objections and determined that debtor's exemption in property was presumed to be valid.
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