Eastern District

In re Zabringer

A trustee objected to confirmation of a debtor's amended chapter 13 plan on the ground that it did not provide for all of the debtor's projected disposable income, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(b)(1)(B).
Ruling: 
Student loan payments were not "special circumstances" that could be deducted from projected disposable income calculation.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 30,2008, LexisNexis #0708-086

In re Spraggins

The bankruptcy court previously overruled the chapter 13 trustee's objection to confirmation of the debtor's proposed plan and confirmed the plan. The Trustee appealed, and in his motion to stay pending appeal, noted that the court's opinion conflicted with the district court's decision in In re Navejer. The bankruptcy court issued a supplemental opinion to provide the its rationale for its holding.
Ruling: 
Decision that below median debtor did not need to dedicate tax refunds to plan distinguished from seemingly conflicting precedent.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 14,2008, LexisNexis #0608-130

In re Eiler

Debtors were a married couple who entered into a reaffirmation agreement with a bank to which the mortgage loan on their residence had been transferred during a prior bankruptcy case (Case 1). In their current case, a chapter 13 (Case 2), debtors objected to the bank's secured proof of claim on the ground that attorneys fees and other costs were improperly included therein.
Ruling: 
Bank violated discharge injunction by seeking to collect fees and costs not allowed for in reaffirmation agreement.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 14,2008, LexisNexis #0608-114

Mann v. Smith (In re Smith)

Defendant debtors filed for relief under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, and in an earlier proceeding, the court granted plaintiff trustee's motion for a default judgment and entered an order denying the debtors' discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(a)(2). The debtors filed a letter with the court that the court construed as a motion to vacate the order denying discharge.
Ruling: 
Denial of discharge for failure to appear at hearing on default motion vacated based on excusable neglect.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 14,2008, LexisNexis #0608-119

In re Martinez

The United States Trustee filed a motion to dismiss chapter 7 debtors'bankruptcy case pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(1), based on § 707(b)(2) and § 707(b)(3).
Ruling: 
Case dismissed for abuse where debtors were not entilted to pro rata expense allowance for any loan that could be paid off before the commitment period.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 08,2008, LexisNexis #0608-049

In re Ford

A bankruptcy debtor proposed a plan which bifurcated a claim of a creditor secured by a motor vehicle into secured and unsecured claims and pay only the secured portion in full. The creditor objected to the debtor's plan on the ground that 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(a) (hanging paragraph referencing paragraph 5) precluded such bifurcation.
Ruling: 
Vehicle loan could be bifurcated as vehicle purchased by debtor for fiancee was not for personal use.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 29,2008, LexisNexis #0608-127

In re Rither

A debtor filed for relief under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code and the original plan was confirmed on May 31, 2005. A trustee moved to dismiss the case because the debtor did not provide her 2005 and 2006 income tax returns and one-half of the refunds. The parties agreed to modify the plan, and an amended plan was filed. The trustee opposed confirmation of the amended plan.
Ruling: 
Plan not proposed in good faith due to debtor's attempt to circumvent contribution of one-half of tax refund.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 16,2008, LexisNexis #0608-032

In re Spraggins

A debtor filed for relief under chapter 13, and submitted a proposed plan. A trustee objected to the plan, contending that the debtor needed to dedicate 100% of her tax refunds for 36 months or that the debtor could propose a plan for 60 months with contributions of 50% of the tax refunds.
Ruling: 
Plan of below median debtor proposing to dedicate 50% of tax refunds for three years could be confirmed.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 11,2008, LexisNexis #0508-126

In re Spraggins

A debtor filed for relief under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, and submitted a proposed plan. A trustee objected to the plan, contending that the debtor needed to dedicate 100% of her tax refunds for 36 months or that the debtor could propose a plan for 60 months with contributions of 50% of the tax refunds.
Ruling: 
Below-median debtor was not required to devote 100% of tax refunds for three years of proposed plan.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 11,2008, LexisNexis #0508-019

In re Crego

Debtors, a husband and wife, filed a joint petition under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code but converted their case to one under chapter 13 after the United States Trustee moved to dismiss their case as an abuse of the provisions of chapter 7. A chapter 13 trustee was appointed to represent the bankruptcy estate, and he filed an objection to the debtors' chapter 13 plan.
Ruling: 
Debtors could claim expenses of maintaining separate households as "special circumstances."
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 02,2008, LexisNexis #0408-119

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