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Northern District

In re Wait

The chapter 7 trustee objected to the debtor's claim of a homestead exemption under Iowa Code §§ 499A.18, 561.16, 561.19, and 561.20. The debtor moved for abandonment of property, asserting that the mortgage encumbering the property was an executory contract under 11 U.S.C.S. § 365(d)(1), and because the trustee did not assume or reject it, it was deemed rejected.
Ruling: 
Mortgage is not an executory contract and need not be assumed or rejected by trustee.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 30,2008, LexisNexis #0209-006

In re Lundeen

The husband and wife debtors moved to modify their chapter 13 plan after confirmation. The standing trustee did not object, nor did any other party-in-interest. Nonetheless, the court held hearing on the motion.
Ruling: 
Debtor could not modify plan to justify unauthorized use of tax refunds.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 12,2008, LexisNexis #0209-069

In re Sickels

When debtors, a married couple who had filed a chapter 7, attempted to rescind a reaffirmation agreement that they had executed with a credit union that held an unrecorded mortgage on their residence, on the ground of mutual mistake, the credit union objected. At issue, inter alia, was whether the statutory period for rescission under 11 U.S.C.S. § 524(c) had expired.
Ruling: 
Objection to recission of reaffirmation agreement on grounds of mutual mistake overruled.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 20,2008, LexisNexis #0109-081

In re Ludwig

Debtors, a married couple, moved to modify their chapter 13 plan pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1329 to suspend payments based on the wife's loss of employment, such suspension to remain in place until the wife became employed once again. The chapter 13 trustee objected to the motion on the ground that it was too vague and that a specific period of suspension had to be identified.
Ruling: 
Modification calling for indefinite suspension of payments due to wife's unemployment denied.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 20,2008, LexisNexis #0109-092

In re Smith

A debtor filed for relief under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. A trustee filed a motion for turnover of real estate commissions, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. §§ 541 and 542, claiming that the debtor earned the commissions prior to filing for bankruptcy and that the commissions were property of the estate.
Ruling: 
Real estate commissions earned prior to petition date were property of the estate and subject to turnover.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 31,2008, LexisNexis #1208-096

Stastny v. Sedivec (In re Sedivec)

Defendant debtor filed for relief under chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Plaintiff former girlfriend filed a complaint to determine dischargeability of money that the girlfriend gave to the debtor toward the purchase of a home, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2)(A).
Ruling: 
Money given to debtor by girlfriend for downpayment on new house was dischargeable absent written documentation.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 22,2008, LexisNexis #0109-047

In re Thompson

The debtors filed for relief under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. The debtors filed an exhibit D, entitled a statement of compliance with the credit counseling requirement, and indicated that they had requested credit counseling, but were not able to obtain it within five days of their request. The debtors filed a motion for a temporary waiver of the counseling requirements.
Ruling: 
Certificate of post-petition completion of required credit counseling did not establish exigent circumstances and was insufficient grounds for temporary waiver.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 30,2008, LexisNexis #1208-001

In re Vantiger-Witte

A debtor filed for relief under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code and submitted a proposed plan. The Farm Service Agency (FSA), a creditor, objected to confirmation of the plan, claiming that the debtor had failed to account for cattle and other property that were collateral for the FSA's loans.
Ruling: 
Chapter 13 plan confirmation denied in case converted from chapter 12 where debtor intended to dispose of farming operation by paying least possible amount to creditors.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 29,2008, LexisNexis #1208-034

In re Barbee

In a core proceeding under 28 U.S.C.S. § 157(b)(2)(L), the debtor in a chapter 13 bankruptcy asked to retain her economic stimulus refund check. The trustee objected.
Ruling: 
Debtor allowed by plan to retain portion of monthly disposable income could not retain economic stimulus refund.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 18,2008, LexisNexis #1108-054

In re Aldrich

Mortgage creditor objected to confirmation of the chapter 13 plans in two chapter 13 cases. The matters were consolidated. The debtors' plans contained provisions that required court approval before the creditor assessed postpetition charges and fees.
Ruling: 
Plan confirmation denied due to improper provisions concerning creditor rights.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 04,2008, LexisNexis #1008-048

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