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Western District

In re Niedzielski

A creditor filed a motion for relief from stay, arguing that a chapter 12 debtor had no interest in a farm on the petition date and therefore, the farm was excluded from the property of the bankruptcy estate under 11 U.S.C.S. § 541(a).
Ruling: 
Horse farm quitclaimed to former spouse in divorce was not property of the estate.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 28,2010, LexisNexis #1210-087

Wolfe v. Frederickson (In re Frederickson)

Creditor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor, her former handyman, asking the court to deny him a bankruptcy discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(a). The matter was pending judgment following a trial.
Ruling: 
Debtor's alleged "impauperization" was not sufficient grounds for denial of discharge.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 22,2010, LexisNexis #1210-024

Asher v. Koper (In re Koper)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint against defendant Chapter 7 debtor to obtain a judgment excepting her claim from discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4). The creditor contended that the debt, memorialized in a state court consent judgment, arose from the debtor's embezzlement of insurance proceeds.
Ruling: 
Debt based on fraudulent transfer acknowledged by debtor in state court consent judgment was nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 20,2010, LexisNexis #1110-120

Maloney v. Harte (In re Harte)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint against defendant Chapter 7 debtors in which he alleged that a debt owed to him should be declared nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4) and (a)(6). The complaint also sought the denial of a discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(a)(2) and (a)(4).
Ruling: 
Dispute between shareholders of closely held corporation did not result in nondischargeable debt.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 14,2010, LexisNexis #1110-118

In re Bear Creek Partners I LLC

The United States Trustee (UST) moved to dismiss a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding commenced against the debtor, a special purpose entity holding title to an apartment complex, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1112(b)(4). The debtor's real estate lender and principal secured creditor, a real estate trust, concurred in the dismissal motion. The debtor and several petitioning creditors opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Confirmation of plan calling for debtor to operate apartment complex denied given debtor's conflicting motion to sell the property.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on October 04,2010, LexisNexis #1110-060

In re Cyberco Holdings Inc.

Following avoidance actions filed by trustees against a creditor of two chapter 7 debtors that were related because of common ownership, the creditor filed separate motions to substantively consolidate the chapter 7 cases.
Ruling: 
Creditor lacked standing to seek consolidation under §542 of cases of debtors with common ownership.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on July 02,2010, LexisNexis #1010-035

West Mich. Cmty. Bank v. Wierenga (In re Wierenga)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint against defendant chapter 7 debtors seeking damages for the removal of improvements from the debtors' house after they lost the house through foreclosure, but during the statutory redemption period. In addition to damages, the creditor sought a judgment excepting its claim from discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(6). The creditor filed a motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Debtor's removal of fixtures from property following foreclosure resulted in nondischargeable debt.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 14,2010, LexisNexis #0910-050

Capp. Equities LLC v. Christine (In re Christine)

Plaintiff company, the buyer of certain real estate from debtors, a married couple, filed a complaint against debtors pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2)(A) to except from discharge a debt arising from debtors' alleged misrepresentations in connection with the sale, to plaintiff, of an apartment building. Debtor husband did not appear at trial or mount a defense while debtor wife appeared and proceeded pro se.
Ruling: 
Debtor's misrepresentation regarding condition of property to buyer resulted in nondischargeable debt.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 14,2010, LexisNexis #0910-048

In re Deavila

After winning confirmation of their chapter 13 plan, debtors failed to keep current on their obligations to a mortgage creditor, who thereafter won relief from stay to pursue state law remedies. Per 11 U.S.C.S. § 1329, debtors then sought court approval of proposed amendments to the plan providing for surrender of the mortgaged premises to the creditor, reduction of plan payments, and reduction of the dividend to unsecured creditors.
Ruling: 
Post-mortgage default amendments to plan proposing surrender of property and adjustment of payments approved.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 04,2010, LexisNexis #0810-133

Hagan v. Goldstein (In re Goldstein)

Plaintiff, a chapter 7 trustee, filed a fraudulent conveyance proceeding against defendant, the wife of a debtor, to avoid and recover prepetition transfers. In support of her complaint, the trustee challenged the transfers as both constructively and actually fraudulent, but in her summary judgment motion, she advanced just a constructive fraud theory and only as to a portion of the amount in the complaint.
Ruling: 
Trustee could recover fraudulent transfers to debtor's spouse for which no reasonably equivalent value was given.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 14,2010, LexisNexis #0810-095

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