Western District

In re Thulis

Debtors owned two adjoining lots of real property and constructed a residence on one lot which was financed by a bank, but the bank mistakenly recorded its mortgage interest by reference only to the unimproved lot. The bankruptcy trustee objected to the bank's secured claim against the improved lot.
Ruling: 
Bank held a general unsecured claim on property against which mortgage was never recorded.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on June 05,2012, LexisNexis #0812-126

In re Butler

Debtor filed a petition under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code and claimed that money she invested in a partnership that was available to individuals who worked for her employer was exempt from creditors' claims under 11 U.S.C.S. § 522(d)(10)(E). A trustee who was appointed to administer the debtor's bankruptcy estate filed an objection.
Ruling: 
Debtor's interest in partnership established by employer for employees was exempt.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 29,2012, LexisNexis #0612-087

In re Palmer Lake Plaza LLC

A creditor filed a motion to transfer venue under 28 U.S.C.S. § 1412 or , in the alternative, to dismiss the case.
Ruling: 
Change of venue granted where assets, creditors, witnesses and debtor LLC's sole member all were located in another district.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on April 16,2012, LexisNexis #0612-070

In re Shiferaw

An attorney for a chapter 11 debtor filed a final application for interim compensation pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 330. The debtor objected to the application, requesting that the court defer ruling until the case was concluded. Because the attorney's services were terminated by the debtor, the court treated the application as a final application.
Ruling: 
Application for compensation by counsel who was not qualified to represent debtor denied pending completion of bankruptcy and ethics CLE programs.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 23,2012, LexisNexis #0212-108

In re Keena

The trustee in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case filed an objection to the debtors' claim of homestead exemption under 11 U.S.C.S. § 522(d)(1). The court treated the filings as cross motions for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Debtors could not claim homestead exemption in empty lot adjacent to residence.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 13,2011, LexisNexis #0212-082

Kepler v. Eichline (In re Eichline)

The United States trustee filed a motion to reopen the debtor's closed case, and brought an adversary complaint under 11 U.S.C.S. §§ 549 and 551, asserting that debtor failed to disclose an interest in the real property where he resided, which had been conveyed to his son and then to a revocable family trust.
Ruling: 
Postpetition transfer of property in which debtor retained an interest could be avoided.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 13,2011, LexisNexis #0212-091

First Weber Group Inc. v. Horsfall (In re Horsfall)

Debtor obtained a judgment that a debt to creditor was dischargeable, and the debtor moved for sanctions on the ground that the creditor brought the nondischargeability proceeding for an improper purpose. The creditor moved for sanctions on the ground that the debtor's answer denied established facts which improperly extended the litigation.
Ruling: 
Cross-motions for sanctions by debtor and creditor relating to nondischargeability proceeding denied.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 17,2011, LexisNexis #0112-032

In re Hinesley Family Ltd. Pship No. 1

Settlement agreements between a bankruptcy debtor and creditors, upon which confirmation of the debtor's plan of reorganization depended, collapsed after the creditors refused to consummate the agreements based on new information concerning property to be sold to the creditors under the agreements. The creditors moved to convert the debtor's bankruptcy case from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.
Ruling: 
Chapter 11 case converted to chapter 7 after discovery of easement and environmental violations reduced value of property proposed for sale.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on October 12,2011, LexisNexis #1111-094

Kolve v. IRS (In re Kolve)

Plaintiff debtors filed an action against defendant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine whether their income taxes for 2005 and 2006 were dischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. §§ 507(a)(8) and 523(a)(1). Plaintiffs filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, which the court treated as a motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Taxes due more than three years before petition date and after confirmation in prior chapter 13 case were dischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 22,2011, LexisNexis #1211-010

U.S. Bank v. Plains Mktg. Canada LP (In re Renew Energy LLC)

Defendant supplier filed a motion for summary judgment in chapter 11 trustee's action under 11 U.S.C.S. § 547(b) to recover payments made by the debtor under three contracts in the ninety days before filing bankruptcy.
Ruling: 
Settlement payments under forward contracts for purchase of natural gas could not be recovered by trustee.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on August 24,2011, LexisNexis #0911-126

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