Judge Mayer

In re Exum

A spouse filed a motion for relief from the automatic stay, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 362, in order to proceed with a divorce action pending in state court against the debtor.
Ruling: 
Relief from stay may not be granted to allow equitable distribution proceedings in divorce cases to proceed.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 21,2008, LexisNexis #0308-110

In re Gonzalez

A debtor and a creditor proposed a reaffirmation agreement, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 524(c).
Ruling: 
Reaffirmation agreement could not be approved due to failure of counsel to opine on ability of debtor to make payments.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 11,2008, LexisNexis #0308-080

El-Yacoubi v. Hetrick (In re Hetrick)

Plaintiffs, persons who claimed title to property located in the District of Columbia, filed an adversary proceeding against defendants, chapter 7 debtors, a chapter 7 trustee, and a limited liability company, seeking an order quieting title to real property, a judgment finding that the debtors committed slander of title and trespass, and a judgment finding that their claims for slander of title and trespass were nondischargeable.
Ruling: 
Judgment for slander of title and trespass was nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 16,2007, LexisNexis #1207-076

In re Buker

After debtor won a discharge in a chapter 7 bankruptcy and the case was closed, debtor filed a claim against defendant creditor which claimed that it had violated the discharge injunction. The case was reopened but the parties settled the claim before an adversary complaint could be filed. Debtor then moved again to reopen the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 350 to enforce the ensuing settlement agreement, which motion was opposed by the creditor.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court lacked jurisdiction to enforce settlement of action for violation of discharge injunction.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 26,2007, LexisNexis #1207-065

In re Lilliefors

The debtor had stated under oath that he completed the credit counseling requirement and would file the credit counseling certificate. However, he did not file the certificate. Because there were assets available for distribution to creditors, both the chapter 7 trustee and the United States Trustee filed motions to prevent the case from being dismissed under Interim Bankr. E.D. Va. R. 1007-1(J)(4).
Ruling: 
Debtor who falsely certified compliance with credit counseling requirement could not benefit from actual non-compliance by obtaining voluntary dismissal.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 03,2007, LexisNexis #1107-004

In re Lee

Movant, the chapter 7 trustee, asked the court to approve a settlement that the trustee proposed to enter into with an individual who co-owned real estate with a chapter 7 debtor. The co-owner was also debtor's ex-husband. At issue was whether the proposed settlement was proper under 11 U.S.C. § 363(h).
Ruling: 
Court approved settlement by which trustee abandoned debtor's interest in real estate held as tenant in common with former spouse in exchange for payment from spouse.
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Meiburger v. Endeka Enters. LLC (In re Tsiaoushis)

Plaintiff trustee filed a motion for summary judgment on his adversary complaint for a declaration that the paragraphs in an operating agreement, which provided for the automatic dissolution of defendant limited liability company ("LLC") upon a member's bankruptcy filing, were valid and fully enforceable. Defendant manager opposed the motion, asserting that the agreement was an executory contract.
Ruling: 
Debtor LLC's operating agreement was not an executory contract and was enforceable where debtor had no duties as manager or unperformed duties as member.
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In re DeCelis

In an adversary proceeding, a trustee obtained a default order declaring that the transfer by defendant debtor to defendant co-owner of an interest in a house was void. After learning that the debtor and the co-owner acquired title to the subject property as tenants in common from the same grantors in a single deed, the trustee filed a motion to sell the property free and clear of the co- owner's interest pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 363(f).
Ruling: 
Trusteecould not sell property free and clear of co-owner's interest absent co-owner's affirmative consent.
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Highgrove LC v. Holcombe (In re Holcombe)

Plaintiff creditor filed an objection to the dischargeability of its debt pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4) as a motion rather than as a complaint commencing an adversary proceeding. Defendant debtor sought to avoid defending the objection on its merits by having the motion dismissed as the wrong procedural method and having the complaint dismissed or stricken as untimely. The creditor filed motions to consolidate.
Ruling: 
Motion objecting to discharge rather than adversary proceeding gave notice to debtor and was sufficient to meet filing deadline.
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