Judge Lyons

In re Ruitenberg

A claimant, debtor's estranged wife, filed a claim in debtor's bankruptcy case for her anticipated equitable distribution award. The trustee in debtor's case objected to the claim asserting that she did not have a prepetition right to payment since equitable distribution had not been determined.
Ruling: 
Non-debtor spouse's claim for pending equitable distribution allowed.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 07,2012, LexisNexis #0512-106

In re Zais Inv. Grade Ltd. VII

Senior noteholders filed an involuntary chapter 11 bankruptcy case against debtor, a Cayman Islands corporation, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 303(c), and the court entered an order for relief after the debtor failed to contest the petition. Movant junior noteholders filed a motion to dismiss the debtor's case pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1112, and urged the court to abstain from hearing the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 305(a)(1).
Ruling: 
Junior noteholders could not contest involuntary petition and did not meet burden of showing cause for abstention.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on August 26,2011, LexisNexis #0911-107

Collier v. Goepp (In re Goepp)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint against defendant Chapter 7 debtor seeking a determination that debts arising from a series of loans he made to the debtor were nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(4).
Ruling: 
Debt arising from loans made by elderly family member to debtor who was the lender's attorney-in-fact was nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 16,2011, LexisNexis #0911-045

In re Amos

Chapter 13 debtors sought confirmation of a plan under that proposed to cure the arrearage on a mortgage loan secured by a vacation home, while also maintaining substantial monthly payments on only the first mortgage on that property. The plan proposed to make no payments to unsecured creditors, and the second mortgage creditor objected to the plan as not brought in good faith under 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(a)(3).
Ruling: 
Confirmation of plan including no payments to unsecured creditors while making payments on vacation home loan denied for lack of good faith.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 28,2011, LexisNexis #0811-067

Dobin v. Sheehan (In re Eight Bulls LP)

Plaintiff Chapter 7 trustee filed a motion for summary judgment in an adversary proceeding against defendants, who claimed an interest in debtor's property, seeking to avoid defendants' interests pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 544.
Ruling: 
Trustee could avoid deeds recorded nearly one year after petition date.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on November 18,2010, LexisNexis #1210-050

In re Etoll

Chapter 7 trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendant, the surviving spouse of the debtor, seeking approval to sell residential real property under 11 U.S.C.S. § 363(h).
Ruling: 
Trustee could not sell entireties property after death of debtor vested property in non-debtor spouse.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on March 05,2010, LexisNexis #0510-093

In re Buccolo

Debtor filed a petition under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code and subsequently obtained permission to convert her case to one under chapter 7. The debtor filed a motion under 11 U.S.C.S. § 706(a), seeking permission to reconvert her chapter 7 case to a chapter 13 case. The chapter 7 trustee and a creditor objected to the debtor's motion, questioning the debtor's good faith and the feasibility of her chapter 13 plan.
Ruling: 
Reconversion from chapter 7 to chapter 13 denied as proposed plan was not filed in good faith and was not feasible.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 25,2008, LexisNexis #0109-068

Dobin v. Hill (In re Hill)

Plaintiff bankruptcy trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendant, the former spouse of a bankruptcy debtor, seeking to avoid transfers from the debtor to the spouse in a divorce settlement as fraudulent transfers under 11 U.S.C. § 548(a)(1)(A). The trustee asserted that the settlement was disproportionately favorable to the spouse and was intended to deprive creditors of the debtor's assets.
Ruling: 
Transfers to spouse in divorce settlement were deemed avoidable fraudulent transfers since the transfers disproportionately favored the spouse and were intended to deprive creditors of assets.
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In re Steward

The debtor moved pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) for a determination that a co-op association and its attorney were in violation of the automatic stay by continuing to pursue the removal of the debtor as executor of a probate estate in state court. The violation was willful and warranted an award of attorney's fees and costs.
Ruling: 
Co-op association and its attorney violated the automatic stay by continuing to pursue the removal of the debtor as executor of a probate estate in state court.
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