Judge Steen

Capco Energy Inc. v. McMoRan Oil & Gas LLC (In re Capco Energy)

Debtors brought an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor. Each had owned working interests in mineral production of a well. The creditor filed a crossclaim against the purchaser of the debtors' working interest, asserting it was liable for approximately $336,683.57 of gas imbalance from sales of production. Those parties submitted cross motions for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Creditor entitled to summary judgment against debtors, though not estate, for gas balancing despite failure to file timely proof of claim.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on January 04,2011, LexisNexis #0211-030

Smith v. Wells Fargo Educ. Fin. Servs. (In re Smith)

Chapter 7 debtor sought a discharge of her consolidated student loan pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Consolidated student loans were dischargeable on grounds of undue hardship.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 14,2010, LexisNexis #0111-104

JMW Auto Sales LLC v. Garcia (In re Moye)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee sought to recover transfers made by debtors during the preference period, i.e. within 90 days prior to the filing of bankruptcy petitions. Defendants admitted receipt of the funds. Defendants argued that the funds that the debtors transferred to defendants were not property of the bankruptcy estate and could not have been recovered as preferential transfers or as fraudulent transfers. Defendants filed a counterclaim.
Ruling: 
Preference period transfers pursuant to alleged agency agreement were avoidable given evidence that transferees were creditors.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 18,2010, LexisNexis #0111-018

Cage v. Waite (In re Moye)

Bankruptcy trustee brought adversary proceedings against defendant investors in vehicle retail installment contracts of bankruptcy debtors, seeking to recover payments by the debtors to the investors related to the contracts as preferential transfers under 11 U.S.C.S. § 547. The trustee moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Payments to investors in retail installment contracts were avoidable or preferential.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 18,2010, LexisNexis #1210-124

In re Caltex Holdings LP

Debtor partnership filed a petition under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, and the case was subsequently converted to one under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. On August 9, 2010, counsel for the chapter 11 trustee filed its first and final application for compensation, asking for an award of $73,995 in professional fees and $2,289 in expenses, payable as an administrative expense. The debtor's counsel filed an objection.
Ruling: 
Chapter 11 trustee's counsel's fees paid in reduced amount from secured lender's cash collateral.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on October 08,2010, LexisNexis #1110-085

In re Bohannon

A bankruptcy debtor's estate included a whistleblower lawsuit against the debtor's former employer for wrongful termination. To encourage the debtor to fully participate in the lawsuit, the bankruptcy trustee moved to grant the debtor a portion of any net recovery from the lawsuit, free of claims of the estate and creditors.
Ruling: 
Trustee's motion to grant debtor portion of recovery to ensure cooperation in whistleblower lawsuit denied.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 07,2010, LexisNexis #1110-046

In re Saden

Before the court was debtor's application to engage a certain counsel as debtor's general bankruptcy counsel. The U.S. Trustee objected to the application. A hearing was held.
Ruling: 
Attorney who was a creditor holding adverse interest to estate was not disinterested and could not serve as debtor's general bankruptcy counsel.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 09,2010, LexisNexis #1010-107

United States Trustee v. Rand (In re Rand)

Chapter 7 trustee filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking denial of defendant debtor's discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(a)(6)(A) on the ground that the debtor refused to obey the lawful orders of the court.
Ruling: 
Discharge denied in involuntary case due to debtor's failure to provide financial information citing Fifth Amendment privilege.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 26,2010, LexisNexis #1010-100

Northrup v. Magnum Oilfield Servs. (In re Aspen Exploration Inc.)

In this adversary proceeding, plaintiff Trustee sought to avoid and to recover a $ 150,000 postpetition transfer under authority of 11 U.S.C.S. §§ 549, 550. Defendant transferee's answer denied the material allegations of the complaint. The Trustee moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Unauthorized postpetition transfer to initial transferee could be avoided.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on April 28,2010, LexisNexis #0710-125

Mechanical & Elec. Concepts Inc. v. CalTex Holdings LP (In re CalTex Holdings LP)

Plaintiff creditor filed an adversary complaint asserting essentially the same claims it had in a state court proceeding, that it had a right to specific performance or damages in the amount of $ 117,650, as a result of the debtor's taking its funds and failing to produce the vast majority of the cabinets the creditor had agreed to purchase. The trustee for defendant debtor, and the creditor each moved for partial summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Creditor held unsecured claim for breach of contract that was materially unperformed by debtor.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on March 22,2010, LexisNexis #0710-006

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