Judge Whitley

Belfor USA Group Inc. v. Helms (In re Helms)

Creditor brought an adversary proceeding against bankruptcy trustee seeking a declaration that insurance proceeds paid to bankruptcy debtors as a result of a fire that destroyed the debtors' residence belonged to the creditor by assignment as the contractor which rebuilt the residence. The creditor and the trustee cross-moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Prepetition assignment of insurance proceeds could not be avoided and proceeds were not property of the estate.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 14,2012, LexisNexis #0312-019

Malone v. Golden (In re Malone)

Debtors brought an adversary proceeding against creditor alleging that the creditor violated the bankruptcy discharge injunction by making telephone calls and sending emails to the debtors in an attempt to collect a loan debt which was discharged in the debtors' bankruptcy.
Ruling: 
Creditor's telephone calls and emails to debtor violated discharge injunction.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 19,2012, LexisNexis #0312-016

In re Prosperity Park LLC

In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, a debtor filed a motion seeking to confirm its first amended disclosure statement and plan of reorganization. A bank filed a motion seeking relief from the automatic stay.
Ruling: 
Relief from stay to proceed against debtor's property granted where debtor's chapter 11 plan could not be confirmed.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on May 17,2011, LexisNexis #0611-042

In re Frank

An examiner sought instructions from the court as to the disbursal of funds to the IRS pursuant to the provisions of a confirmed plan. The debtor claimed the funds, asserting that nothing was owed on the IRS claim.
Ruling: 
IRS entitled to claim payment for erroneous credit pursuant to terms of confirmed plan.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on March 09,2011, LexisNexis #0411-100

Andresen & Arronte PLLC v. Hill (In re Hill)

Creditor, a law firm which represented defendant debtors in a prepetition state court lawsuit (debtors were also defendants there), brought an adversary proceeding against debtors pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2). At trial, debtors moved for directed verdict after the firm presented its case-in-chief. The court deferred a ruling on that motion until after debtors presented their case.
Ruling: 
Dischargeability proceeding dismissed as to debtor's spouse against whom there was no evidence of fraud.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on March 23,2010, LexisNexis #0610-087

In re Siler

Based on a bankruptcy debtor's projected disposable income, the debtor presumptively abused chapter 7 bankruptcy, but the debtor asserted that disallowed expenditures constituted special circumstances to rebut the presumption based on the debtor's retirement plan contributions, a plan loan obligation, and a student loan obligation. The bankruptcy administrator moved to dismiss the debtor's case.
Ruling: 
Debtor's retirement plan contributions and loan obligations did not constitute special circumstances that would rebut the presumption of abuse.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on March 23,2010, LexisNexis #0610-100

Starcher v. Mills (In re Starcher)

This matter was before the court in a trial for the purpose of determining the dischargeability of a $ 4,209 (plus interest and costs) judgment debt owed by plaintiff debtors to defendant creditor. The creditor objected to dischargeability of her judgment debt on the assertion that her daughter's dress (as well as a number of other brides' dresses) was knowingly resold by debtors to other brides before debtors' store closed in May 2008.
Ruling: 
Judgment based on debtor's re-sale of creditor's daughter's bridal dress prior to closing of store was discharged as not based on willful or malicious conduct or fraud.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 31,2009, LexisNexis #0210-083

In re Wynne Residential Asset Mgmt. LLC

A chapter 7 debtor filed an application and amended application for compensation to a law firm and an attorney (the applicants) for fees and expenses incurred while representing the debtor in possession (DIP) during the chapter 11 phase of the bankruptcy estate. A bankruptcy administrator objected, arguing that the applicants were not "disinterested persons" as defined in 11 U.S.C.S. § 101(14) and as required by 11 U.S.C.S. § 327.
Ruling: 
Fees of counsel to debtor in possession reduced by half due to representation of debtor's principal and other insiders.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on December 18,2009, LexisNexis #0210-036

Maloy v. Sigmon (In re Maloy)

Chapter 7 debtors and a trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendants, an attorney and his law firm, to recover funds under 11 U.S.C.S. § 542 for the benefit of the estate. The debtors alleged as grounds for recovery that defendants committed malpractice. The trustee filed a motion for approval of a settlement agreement with defendants pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9019.
Ruling: 
Settlement of legal malpractice action on behalf of estate approved.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 07,2009, LexisNexis #0110-087

In re Fitness Mgmt. Group

The State of North Carolina brought an action in a State court against a bankruptcy debtor alleging that the debtor committed unfair and deceptive trade practices by failing to maintain adequate bonds for its health clubs. The State moved for a declaration of exemption from the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C.S. § 362(b)(4) based on the State's exercise of its police and regulatory powers.
Ruling: 
State enforcement of health club bond requirements against debtor was subject to police and regulatory power exception from stay.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on November 23,2009, LexisNexis #1209-112

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