Judge Perkins

Vargas v. Educational Credit Mgmt. Corp. (In re Vargas)

Plaintiff chapter 7 debtor filed a complaint against defendant creditor to determine the dischargeability of a student loan under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Student loan debt could be discharged where debtor attended college late in life, never worked in chosen field and limited ability to pay.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 12,2010, LexisNexis #0210-086

In re McCreary

Debtor filed a petition under chapter 13 and a plan to repaying his creditors. The debtor's ex-wife asked the court to dismiss the debtor's case, claiming that the debtor acted in bad faith, in violation of 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(a)(7), when he declared chapter 13 bankruptcy, and that his plan could not be confirmed under § 1325(a)(3) because it was proposed in bad faith. The ex-wife's objections were tried to the court.
Ruling: 
Chapter 13 case was not filed in bad faith despite fact that debt to former spouse would have been nondischargeable in chapter 7.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 29,2009, LexisNexis #0210-030

In re Kucharz

The chapter 7 debtor disclosed that he had received unemployment compensation totaling $ 1,230 during the six-month period preceding the bankruptcy filing, but claims it as a benefit under the Social Security Act (SSA) that need not need to be included in the calculation of his current monthly income (CMI) on Official Bankr. Form. 22C. The chapter 13 trustee filed an objection, asserting the compensation must be listed as CMI.
Ruling: 
Unemployment compensation received in six months prior to petition date should be treated as regular monthly income.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 28,2009, LexisNexis #1209-001

Watts v. Hood (In re Hood)

Plaintiff creditor, the purchaser under a contract to deed, sought a determination of nondischargeability under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2)(A) with respect to the debt arising out of the contract, alleging that the defendant debtor falsely represented that she was making the underlying mortgage payments on the subject real property, and the payments were current during the term of the contract for deed. The property was foreclosed upon.
Ruling: 
Payments by potential purchaser to debtor who did not use them to pay mortgage as represented in contract were nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 08,2009, LexisNexis #1109-048

In re Redpath

Bankruptcy debtors moved to redeem a motor vehicle under 11 U.S.C.S. § 722 by paying an amount to a creditor secured by the lien, but the creditor objected to the amount and asserted that the value of the vehicle was higher.
Ruling: 
Debtor could redeem vehicle for retail value, but less than value set by creditor's expert which was greater than purchase price.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 30,2009, LexisNexis #1109-056

In re Whipple

Debtors filed a plan that proposed to strip down the claim of the creditor that was secured by a motor vehicle. The creditor objected to confirmation, arguing that its purchase money security interest claim, held for less than 910 days, was exempt from strip-down by operation of the hanging paragraph of 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(a), so that the amount of its secured claim was the petition date balance rather than the fair market value.
Ruling: 
Claim including negative equity secured by "910 vehicle" could not be bifurcated.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 21,2009, LexisNexis #1009-098

In re Clemons

The matter before the court was the confirmation of the Amended chapter 13 Plan filed by debtor and the objection by the chapter 13 Trustee. The issue concerned whether a marital adjustment could be claimed for mortgage related expenses for which debtor was not contractually liable.
Ruling: 
Debtor entitled to marital adjustment for mortgage-related expenses in current monthly income calculation.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 16,2009, LexisNexis #0809-134

Ambassadors Travel Servs. v. Liescheidt (In re Liescheidt)

Plaintiff former employer filed an adversary complaint against defendant chapter 13 debtor, alleging that during the course of her employment she had embezzled a large sum of money and seeking a determination that its claims were nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2), (a)(4), and (a)(6). The debtor moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that it was filed too late.
Ruling: 
Dischargeability proceeding was not ripe for determination where debtor sought a full compliance discharge.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 22,2009, LexisNexis #0609-008

In re Powell

After the debtor husband and wife filed a chapter 13 plan, an unsecured creditor challenged the plan on the grounds that it was filed in bad faith. A secured creditor objected to the plan on the ground that it violated the anti-bifurcation provision of 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(a) (hanging paragraph referencing paragraph 5). The bankruptcy court held a trial on the objections.
Ruling: 
Secured claim in luxury vehicle purchased within 910 days of petition date could not be bifurcated where alleged business use was less than 50 percent.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 01,2009, LexisNexis #0609-021

In re Smith

The chapter 13 trustee objected to the debtors' proposed chapter 13 plan.
Ruling: 
33 month deferral of plan payments was not evidence of bad faith.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on March 24,2009, LexisNexis #0509-021

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