Judge Lee

In re Serda

A creditor held a second priority trust deed against a bankruptcy debtor's residence, and the debtor asserted that the value of the residence was less than the amount secured by the first priority trust deed and that the creditor's claim was thus unsecured. The debtor moved to value the residence.
Ruling: 
Second lien on debtor's residence was partially secured based on creditor's appraisal which employed comparable sales of bank owned properties.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 17,2008, LexisNexis #1208-025

In re Bandura

When debtor sought confirmation of her proposed plan, the creditor objected to a provision therein recognizing only part of the creditor's claim as a secured claim and treating the balance as unsecured. At issue was whether the creditor's payoff of debtor's negative equity was a purchase money obligation such that plan confirmation over the creditor's objection was improper under 11 U.S.C.S. § 506 and 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(a)(9).
Ruling: 
Negative equity included in "910 vehicle" loan was not a purchase money obligation and so that debt could be bifurcated.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 15,2008, LexisNexis #0908-055

In re Moreno

Debtor's bankruptcy was filed on October 25, which was within one year after a prior chapter 13 case had been dismissed for failure to make plan payments. Debtor's motion to extend the stay was scheduled for November 28, which was four days after the expiration of the stay. He then filed an ex parte application to extend the automatic stay until the date of the hearing pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 105 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9006(b).
Ruling: 
Ex-parte motion for extension of stay until hearing scheduled for four days after expiration denied as notice to creditors was mandatory.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 20,2007, LexisNexis #0108-003

In re Da Silva

A U.S. Trustee sought an order imposing a fine pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 110(l) against the preparer of a debtor's chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.
Ruling: 
Treble damages imposed on petition preparer who failed to make proper disclosures and provided improper advice.
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In re Running Horse LLC

Chapter 11 debtor filed an application to employ a law firm as special counsel pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 327(e). The United States Trustee objected.
Ruling: 
Firm that represented creditor in acquisition of debtor was not disinterested and could not represent debtor or real estate and transactional matters.
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Salven v. Lyons (In re Bergtholdt)

Plaintiff trustee filed a complaint to recover the commission received by defendant broker from the sale of the debtors'residence on the ground that the commission constituted property of the bankruptcy estate that was subject to turnover under 11 U.S.C. § 542 and that the payment of the commission constituted a voidable transfer of property of the estate under 11 U.S.C. § 549.
Ruling: 
Real estate broker's commission on unauthorized postpetition sale of debtors'residence was avoidable.
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Sims v. Big Lots Sotres Inc.

In a Title VII employment discrimination case, defendant former employer moved for summary judgment asserting that plaintiff former employee was judicially estopped from pursuing her claim because the employee filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, obtained a discharge, and failed to disclose to the bankruptcy court her pending or potential suit or administrative proceeding against the employer.
Ruling: 
Employment discrimination actions that had not accrued as of filing date were not property of the estate.
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Williamson v. Cent. Miss. Med. Ctr.

Plaintiff, debtor, sued defendants, a hospital, doctors, and corporations, in state court, asserting claims of medical negligence and product liability based upon injuries debtor allegedly sustained during a medical procedure. Debtor moved to abstain and remand the case to the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi. Defendants opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Debtor's motion for abstention and remand of action back to state court was granted since state court could handle matter timely and would not impede estate's efficient administration.
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BNY Capital Funding LLC v. Us Airways Inc.

Appellant creditor challenged an order of the bankruptcy court, which determined that appellee debtor retained certain rights agreed to by appellant in a Letter of Intent ("LOI"), and that the LOI was not an executory contract and thus subject to the prohibition on assumption of contracts to extend financial accommodations under 11 U.S.C. § 365(c)(2).
Ruling: 
Court deemed that letter of intent did not constitute executory contract since there was no unperformed or future obligations.
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Educ. Credit Mgmt. Corp. v. Spence

Before the court was appellant creditor's appeal of an order of the bankruptcy court, which fully discharged appellee debtor's student loan debt owed to the creditor. The creditor argued that the bankruptcy court erred by discharging the debtor's student loan because she would suffer an undue hardship if required to pay her student loan debt.
Ruling: 
Court reversed bankruptcy court by ruling that debtor had not met three elements for determining debt dischargeability due to undue hardship.
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