New Jersey

Watman v. Groman (In re Watman)

Debtor appealed the bankruptcy court's denial of his discharge and finding that he fraudulently transferred property under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2)(A) and (a)(7). The District Court for the District of Massachusetts affirmed. Debtor appealed, arguing that the bankruptcy court erred in both its factual findings and its manner of inquiry on remand following an earlier appellate decision.
Ruling: 
Debtor dentist's transfer of assets from bankrupt original practice to new practice was fraudulent.
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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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DeRose v. Chiro Plus Inc. (In re Chiro Plus Inc.)

Appellant creditors were hired by two chapter 7 debtors to process and collect their bills. The creditors filed claims after the debtors terminated their contract and filed for bankruptcy protection. The creditors appealed after the bankruptcy court granted a motion filed by appellee, a chapter 7 trustee, and expunged the claims that they had filed in the debtors'consolidated bankruptcy proceedings.
Ruling: 
Creditors'argument that burdens of proof were improperly allocated was rejected since the trustee rebutted the prima facie validity of the creditors'claims and the creditors failed to then show the claims were valid.
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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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Hutchinson v. Del. Sav. Bank FSB

Plaintiff debtors sued defendant lender for fraud, breach of contract, and violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act ("NJCFA") and sued defendant loan servicing companies for negligence/intentional tort, breach of contract, violation of the NJCFA, and violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"). Defendants moved to dismiss.
Ruling: 
Debtors were not bound following a chapter 7 conversion to the estate value stated in their chapter 13 plan since the debtors'claims against the lender were not listed in their chapter 13 plan but later in their chapter 7 case.
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Hutchinson v. Del. Sav. Bank FSB

Plaintiff debtors sued defendant lender for fraud, breach of contract, and violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act ("NJCFA") and sued defendant loan servicing companies for negligence/intentional tort, breach of contract, violation of the NJCFA, and violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"). Defendants moved to dismiss.
Ruling: 
Debtors'claims against the lender were not barred by confirmation of their chapter 13 plan since conversion to chapter 7 removed the res judicita effect of that chapter 13 plan.
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