Judge Hamilton

Central States Southeast & Southwest Areas Pension Fund v. SCOFBP LLC

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois held here that defendant two solvent affiliates of defendant insolvent employer, that incurred withdrawal liability to plaintiff fund, were both trades or businesses that were under common control with the insolvent employer at all relevant times so that both were liable for the employer's withdrawal liability. Defendants appealed.
Ruling: 
Companies that were part of debtor's estate were under common control of debtor and liable for debtor's withdrawal liability.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on December 27,2011, LexisNexis #0112-105

Flowers v. Wells Fargo Bank

Defendant lender filed a motion for an order dismissing plaintiff borrower's complaint for failure to state a claim. The borrower asserted claims of promise without intent to perform and fraudulent concealment, and a claim for an accounting.
Ruling: 
Debtor lacked standing to pursue action against lender unless exempt or abandoned by trustee.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 13,2011, LexisNexis #0811-019

Alegree v. Michael H. Clement Corp. (In re Michael H. Clement Corp.)

The district court reviewed the bankruptcy court's decision not to require assumption or rejection of a lease of property that had been transferred to new owners.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court properly held that assumption or rejection of lease, that was not a true lease, was not required.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on February 25,2011, LexisNexis #0411-077

Regen Capital I Inc. v. UAL Corp. (In re UAL Corp.)

Affiliated debtors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A creditor assigned its unsecured claim to a claims trader. Debtor objected to the claim and rejected the contracts. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division held that the claims trader was not entitled to a "cure" that would pay it in full for the claim because the debtor did not assume the executory contracts at issue. The claims trader appealed.
Ruling: 
District court properly held claims trader was not entitled to "cure" under rejected executory contract.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on February 18,2011, LexisNexis #0311-069

Follet Higher Educ. Group Inc. v. Berman (In re Berman)

A bankruptcy court held that appellant creditor, failed to prove that a debt owed to it was non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4), after it concluded that the creditor had not established that appellee debtor acted in any fiduciary capacity toward the creditor. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois affirmed. The creditor appealed.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court properly found debt owed by debtor advertising firm was dischargeable absent evidence of fiduciary relationship with creditor.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 21,2011, LexisNexis #0211-051

Garoutte v. Damax Inc.

Debtor challenged a summary judgment award of the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of Indiana, arguing that collateral estoppel should not have precluded him from challenging the nondischargeability, under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(6), of his debt to appellee creditor based upon his state conviction for criminal conversion against the creditor under Ind. Code § 35-43-4-3.
Ruling: 
Criminal conviction for conversion did not preclude debtor from contesting finding of nondischargeability.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on March 03,2009, LexisNexis #0409-079

Neighbors v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys.

Plaintiff debtor filed an action against defendants, a mortgage lender and a nominee beneficiary, alleging 11 claims for relief arising from the debtor's purchase of a home, default on a mortgage, and foreclosure proceedings. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the action.
Ruling: 
Debtor's action against mortgage lender dismissed as not properly disclosed in bankruptcy.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 27,2009, LexisNexis #0209-113

In re Equivest St. Thomas Inc. v. HS Holdings Inc.

Plaintiff resort guests filed a negligence action against defendant debtor as well as against other parties. The debtor, the alleged owner of the resort, had sought relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Plaintiffs filed a motion for relief from the automatic stay provision of the Bankruptcy Code pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 362(d).
Ruling: 
Relief from stay to allow creditors to pursue negligence action against debtor resort denied.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on August 04,2008, LexisNexis #0908-003

Murphy v. ODonnell (In re Murphy)

In two bankruptcy cases before the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the chapter 13 trustee sought to modify a confirmed chapter 13 plan to increase the amount to be paid to the unsecured creditors. The bankruptcy court denied the motion to modify in case one, but granted it in case two and the district court affirmed the decisions. The trustee appealed in case one and the debtor appealed in case two.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court properly allowed modification that provided greater payment to unsecured creditors where there was substantial change and denied in second case absent change.
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