4th Circuit

In re Medley

Pro se bankruptcy debtors contacted a petition preparer's website and subsequently agreed to pay the preparer to complete their bankruptcy petition and accompanying schedules and forms. The bankruptcy trustee obtained an order to show cause to determine whether the preparer engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, and the preparer did not appear at the show cause hearing.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy petition preparer who acted as more than a scrivener engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and thus committed a deceptive practice under the Code.
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Khuu v. Beeren & Barry Invs. LLC (In re Khuu)

Plaintiffs, chapter 13 debtors, brought an action to set aside a prepetition foreclosure sale at which defendant purchasers bought debtors'house. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim for relief.
Ruling: 
Court denied a motion to dismiss the debtor's complaint since the complaint stated a claim and the debtors had standing under the circumstances to assert transfer avoidance powers that ordinarily reside with the trustee.
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In re West

A secured creditor filed a motion to allow untimely filing of a proof of claim in a debtor's chapter 13 case, arguing that as it had not been listed on the debtor's schedules, it had not received timely notice of the bankruptcy filing.
Ruling: 
Debtor's pre-petition county property taxes were not dischargeable since the taxes were not listed in the debtor's chapter 13 plan.
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In re Rudy

A chapter 7 matter was before the court on an order requiring debtor's former wife and her attorney to show cause why they should not be held in civil contempt, and appropriate sanctions imposed, for violation of the discharge injunction.
Ruling: 
Debtor's former wife and the wife's attorney were held in contempt for violating a discharge injunction by pursuing indemnification for credit card debts for which the debtor's liability was deemed to have arisen prepetition.
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Mosko v. Am. Educ. Serv. (In re Mosko)

Plaintiff debtors brought an adversary complaint to determine the dischargeability of their student loan debts pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8). Defendant, the successor to the lender, opposed dischargeability.
Ruling: 
One debtor had student loan debt deemed dischargeable due to undue hardship while other debtor received only partial discharge.
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Young v. Elite Financial Services (In re Young)

A debtor filed a motion for sanctions pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(h), as it existed prior to the amendments provided by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, alleging that a creditor willfully violated an automatic stay by attempting to repossess the debtor's automobile during his ongoing chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
Ruling: 
Debtor was granted sanctions against a creditor who violated the automatic stay by respossessing the debtor's truck after the debtor filed.
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In re Lawrence

Plaintiff chapter 7 debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant United States and others to determine the dischargeability of his various student loan obligations. The United States, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, moved to dismiss with respect to the debtor's Health Education Assistance Loans ("HEAL").
Ruling: 
Debtor's HEAL student loans were deemed nondischargeable and the undue hardship argument was irrelevant since an unconscionability standard applied and the debtor did not plead unconscionability sufficiently.
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In re Estate of Roberts

In petitioner individual's capacity as executor of a decedent's estate, petitioner filed a chapter 13 petition on behalf of a decedent's probate estate
Ruling: 
A decedent's estate or its executor are not persons under the Code and thus may not be debtors.
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Fuller v. Cash Am. Pawn (In re Fuller)

Plaintiff, chapter 13 debtor, brought an adversary action against defendant pawn shop alleging the latter violated the automatic stay by disposing of jewelry she had placed with the pawn shop as security for a personal loan and notifying debtor of a purported forfeiture under S.C. Code Ann. § 40-39-110. The pawn shop moved for summary judgment on the claim.
Ruling: 
Pawn shop's notice of forfeiture and selling of the debtor's pawned jewelry violated the automatic stay.
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Chelsea Woods Condo. v. Okupe (In re Okupe)

Movant creditor filed a request for an order to terminate or annul the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) in order to consummate a foreclosure sale of respondent debtor's condominium unit.
Ruling: 
Creditor's motion to terminate automatic stay was granted since evidence showed a foreclosure sale on the debtor's condo occurred prior to filing.
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