Recent Opinions

ABI's Bankruptcy case opinion summaries website provides summaries of bankruptcy-related opinions issued by U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeal since 2005. Search almost 20,000 opinion summaries by keyword, relevant code section, court and judge. Opinion summaries are provided by our partner LexisNexis® Collier and are updated weekly.

In re Ginter

Movant debtor sought to avoid a nonpossessory, nonpurchase money security interest that the debtor had with the nonmovant creditor. The creditor argued that the debtor was precluded from avoiding the security interest because the debtor had previously stipulated to relief from the stay and was not estopped from avoiding the security interest at issue.
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied a motion to avoid a creditor's nonpossessory, nonpurchase money security interest since the debtor had stipulated that the creditor had a security interest and since the motion was barred by res judicata.
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In re Irons

Before the court in a chapter 13 matter was a motion filed by debtors objecting to three proofs of claims filed by a claimant. The claimant filed opposition to debtors'motion with respect to Claim Nos. 5, 9, and 12. Debtors cross-moved for attorney's fees.
Ruling: 
Debtor's motion seeking disallowance of claims was denied though debtors could later object to amounts of claims.
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In re Parish

Creditor held a security interest in the debtor's vehicle. The debtor moved to value the creditor's claim and the creditor moved to strike the debtor's notice of valuation.
Ruling: 
Court granted creditor's motion to strike debtor's motion to value creditor's claim on debtor's vehicle since section 506 did not apply.
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Russell v. Tadlock (In re Tadlock)

After appellant debtors listed their home with liens exceeding its value, a creditor's motion to proceed with foreclosure was granted, appellee trustee filed a report of no distribution, and the case was closed. When the home sold for more than the remaining liens, the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Wyoming revoked the order of abandonment and declared that the surplus was the property of the estate. The debtors appealed.
Ruling: 
Debtors were entitled to a surplus that exceeded liens on their foreclosed home, and the trustee was not entitled to reopen the case since the trustee had not moved to except the property from abandonment prior to the close of the case.
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In re Wallace

Before the court in debtor's bankruptcy matter was a motion to dismiss filed by the chapter 13 standing trustee.
Ruling: 
Debtor's case was dismissed since the debtor failed to obtain the required prefiling credit counseling or file a certificate of exigent circumstances.
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Geyer v. United States Dept of Educ. (In re Geyer)

In a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, debtors, a husband and wife, filed against defendant, the U.S. Department of Education ("DOE"), an adversary complaint seeking to discharge the wife's student loans pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8). The bankruptcy court granted DOE summary judgment. Debtors appealed.
Ruling: 
Debtors were denied discharge of student loan debt since they did not establish undue hardship.
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Snowden v. Freds Stores of Tenn. Inc.

Plaintiff employee filed a notice of consent to become part of a class action to recover unpaid overtime wages brought against defendant employer pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq. The employer filed motions for summary judgment as to the employee's claim on the basis of judicial estoppel.
Ruling: 
Former employee was not judicially estopped from bringing an FLSA action for simply delaying by four months amending the debtor's chapter 13 bankruptcy schedule to include the potential claim.
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Cozzone v. Ingui (In re Ingui)

Adversary plaintiff, a judgment creditor of defendant debtor, sought to have the default judgment for $3.8 million he had secured in a state court excepted from the debtor's discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).
Ruling: 
Default judgment was deemed dischargeable since the creditor did not demonstrate that the debtor had willfully and maliciously caused or intended to cause injury to the debtor.
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Ziemski v. Ziemski (In re Ziemski)

Appellee bankruptcy debtor brought an adversary proceeding against appellant, the former spouse of the debtor, alleging that the spouse improperly received military retirement benefits to which the debtor was entitled. The spouse appealed the order of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas which required the spouse to turn over the benefits to the debtor's estate.
Ruling: 
Portion of military retirement benefits of the debtor's former spouse was not estate property since the debtor was not entitled to that portion at the time of filing.
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Skiba v. Andrzejewski (In re Andrzejewski)

Respondent debtors had filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy relief pursuant to chapter 7. Movant trustee objected to a claimed exemption by the debtors for amounts in an Individual Retirement Account ("IRA"), to the extent the claim exceeded the amount allowed under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(5), and the trustee objected to a claimed exemption for personal injury payments received.
Ruling: 
Debtors were allowed to exempt a personal injury award and a portion of their IRA account.
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In re Farkas

A chapter 7 matter was before the court upon the Amended Motion to Dismiss Bankruptcy Proceeding filed by movants, two creditors, and upon the Joinder to the Creditors'Motion to Dismiss filed by movant, a third individual who had also filed a proof of claim.
Ruling: 
Motions to dismiss were denied since "for cause" grounds for dismissal under section 707(a) were not present.
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DirecTV Inc. v. Deerey (In re Deerey)

Plaintiff judgment creditor filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking an order that defendant debtor could not discharge, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6), a debt owed to the creditor as a result of the debtor's willful violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(4).
Ruling: 
Debt owed due to willful piracy of creditor's stallite television system required hearing on issue of malice prior to determination of dischargeability.
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In re Zayed

Chapter 13 debtor received a refund associated with his 2004 federal income tax return. The debtor moved for leave to keep these funds contrary to the requirement contained in the order confirming his chapter 13 plan. The debtor requested that he be allowed to keep his 2004 tax refund due to the substantial damage to his home suffered as a result of hurricanes. The debtor estimated that the damages totaled at least $55,000.
Ruling: 
Debtor was bound by confirmed plan to turn over tax refund especially where the debtor had failed to disclose a rise in income.
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In re Savoie

Before the court was debtors'motion pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) for reconsideration of the court's order granting the motion of the trustee to dismiss their chapter 7 case for substantial abuse pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b).
Ruling: 
Court affirmed ruling that the debtors'$15,000 expenditure for private school tuition for their daughter constituted a substantial abuse of chapter 7.
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Wells v. TCF Natl Bank (In re Hi Tech Fleet Serv.)

The matter came before the court on plaintiff chapter 7 trustee's motion for summary judgment. The trustee requested summary judgment on a two-count complaint seeking: (1) a determination of the amount, validity, and extent of defendant creditor's claim, and (2) avoidance of an allegedly unauthorized postpetition transfer of funds to the creditor.
Ruling: 
Court dismissed the trustee's complaint alleging avoidable transfers and demanding turnover since no provision in either the Code or case law allowed a chapter 7 trustee to bring an action challenging an asset sale consummated pursuant to court order in a chapter 11 proceeding.
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