Judge Jellen

Regal Fin. Bank v. Heaton (In re Heaton)

Defendant Chapter 11 debtors were prevailing parties in plaintiff creditor's complaint seeking to render nondischargeable a debt evidenced by two pre-bankruptcy commercial guaranties in the creditors' favor. The debtors moved for an award of attorney's fees against the creditor pursuant to an attorney's fees clause in the commercial guaranties.
Ruling: 
Creditor could not set off postpetition assessment of debtor's attorneys' fees against its prepetition claim against debtor.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 23,2011, LexisNexis #0611-129

Arriva Pharms. Inc. v. Lezdey (In re Arriva Pharms. Inc.)

Chapter 11 debtor, whose plan had been confirmed, brought an adversary complaint against defendants, parties bringing a state court action against the debtor challenging the debtor's assumption of a pre-petition license agreement. Debtor moved for summary judgment on its claim asserting that the state court plaintiffs were barred from bringing and prosecuting the state court suit.
Ruling: 
State court action challenging debtor's assumption of prepetition lien agreement was barred by confirmation order.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on April 26,2011, LexisNexis #0511-099

Martinez v. Vergara (In re Vergara)

Creditor sought a determination that a debt owed to him by a chapter 7 creditor was non-dischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2)(A) (fraud), 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2)(B) (false financial statement), and 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4) (fiduciary fraud. The debt arose from the purchase of the creditor's real property by the debtor.
Ruling: 
Claim relating to debtor's purchase of real property from creditor was dischargeable absent evidence of fraud, misrepresentation or fiduciary relationship.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 18,2010, LexisNexis #1210-114

Landis v. Bell (In re Bell)

Plaintiff Acting United States Trustee (UST) filed an adversary proceeding against defendant chapter 7 debtor, seeking an order under 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(d)(1) which revoked a prior order the court entered which granted the debtor a general discharge. The case was tried to the court.
Ruling: 
Discharge revoked due to misrepresentations and omissions intended to defraud creditor and trustee.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 25,2010, LexisNexis #1210-025

In re NWP Concord II LLC

A creditor filed a motion for relief from the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 362(d) in order to proceed with its sale of a chapter 11 debtor's property.
Ruling: 
Relief from stay granted where single real estate asset debtor's property had no equity and creditor was not adequately protected.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on September 01,2010, LexisNexis #1010-079

Bank of Am. V. MBNA Am. Bank (In re Malfatti)

Plaintiff banks sought summary judgment on an adversary complaint seeking a determination that, by the application of collateral estoppel, the liability of defendant debtor under a pre-bankruptcy default judgment issued by a state court was nondischargeable per 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(6). Issues included the effect, if any, on the application of collateral estoppel that the judgment was a default judgment issued after debtor violated court orders.
Ruling: 
Default judgment issued in case based on fraudulent debt elimination scheme after debtor violated court orders was nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on May 28,2010, LexisNexis #0910-020

Dimonyannis v. Sallie Mae Servicing (In re Dimonyannis)

Plaintiff chapter 7 debtor filed a complaint against defendant student loan servicing company seeking an undue hardship discharge of his student loan obligations under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Debtor who could maintain minimal standard of living while making payments denied an undue hardship discharge of student loan debt.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on April 29,2010, LexisNexis #0710-120

In re Lawton

A creditor, the former spouse of a chapter 13 debtor, filed an objection to the debtor's claim of a homestead exemption under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 704.730(a)(2).
Ruling: 
Judgment lien avoided as impairing debtor's preexisting community property interest in homestead.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 12,2010, LexisNexis #0310-011

In re Pacific Rollforming LLC

In a contested involuntary chapter 7 case, the debtor opposed entry of an order for relief on the ground that one or more of the petitioning creditors was not a qualified petitioner. Alternatively, the debtor contended that the court should abstain from proceeding with the case because abstention would be in the best interests of the debtor and its creditors.
Ruling: 
Involuntary case dismissed where one petitioning creditor acquired a claim solely to join the petition and in best interests of debtor and creditors.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on September 30,2009, LexisNexis #1109-037

In re R. Ring Enters.

A debtor filed for relief under chapter 11. A landlord moved for an order requiring the debtor to surrender and vacate a premises on the ground that the debtor's prepetition premises leases were terminated by operation of 11 U.S.C.S. § 365(d)(4).
Ruling: 
Leases that debtor proposed to assume were not deemed rejected after 120 days when confirmation of timely filed chapter 11 plan was still pending.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on February 19,2009, LexisNexis #0509-111

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