Judge Perkins

In re Englehaupt

A debtor filed for relief under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. The debtor's sister-in-law, filed a claim against the debtor's estate because the debtor was a co-signor on a car loan obtained by the debtor for the purchase of a vehicle. The debtor objected to the sister-in-law's claim.
Ruling: 
Claim by debtor's sister who co-signed auto loan with debtor allowed.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on March 11,2009, LexisNexis #0509-009

Buckley v. National Bank (In re Buckley)

Plaintiff bank filed an action against defendant debtors to obtain an exception to discharge for an obligation allegedly owed by the debtors to the bank, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(6). The court held a trial and issued findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Ruling: 
Debt owed due to debtor's conversion of motorcycle was nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 17,2009, LexisNexis #0409-118

In re Berwick Black Cattle Co.

Involuntary chapter 11 cases were filed against debtors, who then moved to dismiss their cases pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1112(b). The United States Trustee (UST) moved to convert the cases to chapter 7. The creditors' committee also moved to convert or, in the alternative, for appointment of a chapter 11 trustee. The debtors contended that since they were farmers who opposed conversion to chapter 7, conversion was not an available alternative.
Ruling: 
Involuntary chapter 11 case dismissed where estate was insolvent and debtors were farmers whose objection precluded conversion to chapter 7.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on January 15,2009, LexisNexis #0209-086

In re Richardson

The chapter 13 Trustee filed an objection to confirmation of the debtors' proposed chapter 13 plan. The Trustee contended that the debtors, who had above-median income, were not permitted to deduct secured debt payments on property that was being surrendered. Thus, the Trustee contended that the plan failed the projected disposable income requirement of 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(b)(1)(B).
Ruling: 
Clear commercial intent expressed in plain language of code allowed debtor to deduct payments secured by property intended for surrender.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 08,2009, LexisNexis #0609-023

In re Central Ill. Energy LLC

Three joint movants, the chapter 7 trustee, the primary general contractor for the debtor's ethanol plan construction project, and the purchaser of substantially all of the debtor's assets, moved to approve a compromise pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9019. The proposed compromise was embodied in a contract entitled "Stipulation and Mutual Release of Claims". An objection to the motion for approval was filed by a company.
Ruling: 
Repudiation by trustee necessitated denial of motion to approve settlement.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on December 18,2008, LexisNexis #0209-063

In re Central Ill. Energy LLC

Debtor, a Delaware limited liability company, filed a petition under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in December 2007, and the court converted the case to one under chapter 7 in August 2008. A creditor filed a motion for allowance of an administrative expense claim, and the chapter 7 trustee filed an objection to the motion.
Ruling: 
Creditor allowed an administrative expense claim for insurance paid on water treatment facility leased to debtor.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on November 25,2008, LexisNexis #0109-038

Barber v Herold (In re Herold)

Defendant debtor filed for relief under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Plaintiff trustee filed an amended complaint against the debtor, seeking denial of a discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(a)(2) and (6)(A).
Ruling: 
Discharge denied due to efforts to defraud creditor and trustee.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 10,2008, LexisNexis #1208-122

Jefferson v. Midwest Urological Group Ltd. (In re Jefferson)

After receiving a discharge, plaintiff chapter 7 debtor sued defendant medical services provider, alleging that the provider violated the automatic stay and the discharge injunction by continuing to attempt to collect a debt, and seeking compensatory damages, attorney fees, and punitive damages. The provider failed to appear or file a responsive pleading. The debtor moved for a default judgment.
Ruling: 
Violation of discharge injunction did not merit punitive damages absent evidence of financial loss.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 07,2008, LexisNexis #1208-083

In re SVI Media Inc.

A law firm, chapter 7 debtors'counsel, filed an application for an award of attorney fees and costs, to be paid out of prepetition retainers. The Chapter 7 trustee filed an application to retain an attorney from the firm to represent the trustee pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 327.
Ruling: 
Debtor's attorney whose fees exceeded prepetition retainer was a creditor and could not be retained by the trustee.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on October 31,2008, LexisNexis #0209-106

In re Berwick Black Cattle Co.

Bankruptcy debtors proposed a chapter 11 reorganization plan which provided for releases of claims by third parties against, among others, the primary creditors of the debtors which were financing the debtors' reorganization. The debtors sought confirmation of the plan, and no party in interest objected to the releases.
Ruling: 
Plan confirmation denied despite lack of objection due to inappropriate blanket third-party releases.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on September 23,2008, LexisNexis #1208-028

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