Judge Jaroslavsky

In re Rodrigues

Movant, the U.S. Trustee, sought dismissal of a chapter 7 case pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(1) as presumptively abusive under § 707(b)(2) and as an abuse under the totality of circumstances per § 707(b)(3). At issue was whether, under the test for presumptive abuse, debtors' mortgage obligations on the date of filing were to be included in the "means test calculation" even though debtors intended to surrender the home to the lienholders.
Ruling: 
Inclusion of mortgage payments on property intended for surrender in means test calculation is not grounds for abuse dismissal.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on February 11,2008, LexisNexis #0308-083

In re Mitchell

The chapter 7 Trustee applied to hire a real estate brokerage firm to market estate commercial real property. The United States Trustee objected, arguing that the firm was disqualified from acting for the estate because one of its principals owned stock in the parent company of the bank which held the first deed of trust on the property and also sat on the board of directors of that company. This connection was disclosed in the application.
Ruling: 
Real estate brokerage firm could be retained to market estate commercial property despite principal's conections with bank holding deed of trust.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 18,2008, LexisNexis #0208-107

Bay Area Diamond Wholesalers Inc. v. Polinski (In re Polinski)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint against defendant debtor to deny the debtor his discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727. The creditor alleged three grounds for denying the discharge: (1) that the debtor transferred title of his home to his wife with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor; (2) that he failed to keep or preserve adequate business records: and (3) that he failed to satisfactorily explain the disappearance of assets.
Ruling: 
Discharge denied due to debtor's failure to account for disappearance of precious gems.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 15,2008, LexisNexis #0308017

Cummings v. Educational Credit Mgmt. Corp. (In re Cummings)

Plaintiff debtor initiated a proceeding against defendant creditor to have a student loan obligation owed to the creditor of about $100,000 discharged pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8). The court held a trial and issued a memorandum opinion.
Ruling: 
68 year old debtor with health problems that prevented continuance of limited family counseling business granted undue hardship discharge of student loan debt.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 13,2007, LexisNexis #1207-102

In re Vantage.com

A debtor petitioned for relief under chapter 12 and submitted a plan of reorganization. Three creditors objected to the plan, and one of the creditors filed a motion for dismissal, conversion, or removal of the debtor as a debtor in possession.
Ruling: 
Organic vegetable grower's case ordered converted to chapter 7 on grounds of bad faith.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on September 13,2007, LexisNexis #1007-090

In re Newman

A debtor filed a petition under chapter 7, and she asked the court to waive her filing fee. The court noticed errors in the schedules the debtor submitted, and it ordered a person who prepared those schedules to appear so it could determine if she engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy petition preparer's presentation of worksheet containing legal advice to debtor violated Bankruptcy Code.
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DeCecco v. United States (In re DeCecco)

Plaintiff bankruptcy debtors, husband and wife, brought an adversary proceeding against defendant United States, seeking a determination that the debtors'student loan debts were dischargeable based on undue hardship under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Debtor spouse with childrearing responsibilities and severe psychological difficulties granted undue hardship discharge of student loan debt.
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Locke v. Perpinan (In re Perpinan)

Plaintiff trustee commenced an adversary proceeding to deny defendant debtor a discharge for concealing the proceeds of the sale of his home and for turnover of the remaining proceeds.
Ruling: 
Discharge denied due to debtor's concealment of proceeds of sale of home from creditors.
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In re Storek

A debtor reopened his chapter 7 bankruptcy case following his discharge on the ground that a state court action instituted against him by his mother and his brothers violated the discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 524(a)(2).
Ruling: 
State court action based on real estate dispute brought by debtor's family fifteen years after discharge violated discharge injunction.
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