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.

Keith Eickert Power Prods. LLC v. Escada (USA) Inc. (In re Keith Eickert Power Prods. LLC)

Plaintiff chapter 11 debtor filed a complaint to avoid a fraudulent transfer pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 544(b) and 548, avoid a preferential transfer pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 547, and recover property pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 550.
Ruling: 
Court ruled debtor established transfer was fraudulent and that corporation was initial transferee.
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In re Lortz

A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a creditor's lien, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 544(a)(1), the "strong arm provision." The creditor filed a motion for relief from the automatic stay.
Ruling: 
Trustee was allowed to avoid lien since creditor's clerical error and erroneous release of title made creditor unsecured creditor.
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Woody v. United States Dept. of Justice (In re Woody)

Creditors, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education, appealed a final judgment of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas discharging chapter 7 debtor's Department of Education student loans (the 523 Loan) pursuant to the "undue hardship" provision in 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8), and debtor's Health Education Assistance Loan (the HEAL loan) pursuant to the "unconscionable"provision in 42 U.S.C. § 292f(g).
Ruling: 
Undue hardship discharge of student loan debt was not clearly erroneous.
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In re Soards

Creditor filed objections to the chapter 13 plans of debtors in two separate cases. The creditor held security interests in the debtors'vehicles. The issue was that rate of interest that the creditor was entitled to receive on its claim.
Ruling: 
Court deemed that Till provided applicable interest rate in sustaining creditor's objections to confirmation.
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In re Martinez-Held

A trustee filed an ore tenus motion, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(a), to condition the voluntary dismissal of a debtor's chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on the payment of the trustee's attorneys'fees.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court refused to condition voluntary dismissal in case with few assets on payment of trustee's attorneys'fees.
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In re Laynas

The court reviewed debtor's reaffirmation agreement under 11 U.S.C. § 524(c)(2), as amended by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BAPCPA"), Pub. L. No. 109-8, 119 Stat. 23 (2005), and under new section 524(k) and (m) of the BAPCPA. A creditor that initially filed a motion for relief from automatic stay, seeking to repossess debtor's car under state law, entered a signed reaffirmation agreement between it and debtor.
Ruling: 
Reaffirmation agreement was not approved since parties did not appear at hearing to rebut presumption of undue hardship or make clear that debtor could fulfill obligation.
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Hedquist v. Fokkena (In re Hedquist)

Appellant debtors sought review of an order of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota, which granted appellee trustee's motion to dismiss their chapter 11 case, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1112(b)(2), based on their inability to effectuate a plan and imposed a 180-day bar, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 349, against refiling a chapter 11 case.
Ruling: 
Dismissal was affirmed since debtors were unable to effectuate chapter 11 plan.
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Howard Delivery Serv. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co.

Petitioner employer filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. Respondent insurer filed an unsecured creditor's claim, seeking priority status under 11 U.S.C. § 507(a)(5) for unpaid workers'compensation premiums. The bankruptcy court denied priority status to the insurer's claim, and the district court affirmed. The Fourth Circuit reversed. Certiorari was granted.
Ruling: 
Court deemed that unpaid workers'compensation insurance premiums were not entitled to priority status under section 507(a)(5) because such premiums were classified more as liability insurance premiums than as employee benefit plan contributions.
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In re Mayer-Myers

Debtor proposed a chapter 13 bankruptcy plan that sought to modify the claim of creditor, a mortgagee. Creditor objected to the confirmation of the chapter 13 plan, arguing that it violated the anti-modification directive set forth in 11 U.S.C. § 1322(b)(2).
Ruling: 
Court denied confirmation since debtors had no right to modify creditor's rights under plan.
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In re Atamian

Debtor filed a motion pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(h) for sanctions, damages, and punitive damages against creditor and the creditor's insurer, as subrogee. The creditor opposed the motion and also filed a request for clarification of the court's previous order that granted the creditor limited relief from the automatic stay to permit the creditor to continue to pursue claims against the debtor.
Ruling: 
Debtor was granted motion for actual and punitive damages for creditor's violation of stay.
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In re Hackney

The law practice of bankruptcy debtors'counsel was purchased by another attorney who substituted for prior counsel, and the attorney received fees from the debtors and from the proceeds of refinancing the debtors'home. The trustee moved to compel the attorney to disgorge the fees for failure to comply with disclosure requirements of 11 U.S.C. § 329 and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2016, and the attorney petitioned for an award of additional fees.
Ruling: 
Successor to debtor's original counsel ordered to disgorge fees due to failure to make proper disclosures.
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Gorski v. Eisen (In re Henricks Commerce Park LLC)

Appellant, the equity security holder of the debtor, appealed from a decision of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio that disallowed as an administrative expense under 11 U.S.C. § 503(b)(3)(D) and (4) the professional fees of the equity security holder's attorney on the basis that the attorney's services made a substantial contribution to the debtor's chapter 11 case.
Ruling: 
Panel affirmed decision to deny attorneys'fees as administrative expenses since fees were, in effect, services for debtor.
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In re Quevedo

Creditor had a non-purchase money lien on debtor's vehicle. Debtor's chapter 13 plan proposed to pay the secured portion of the creditor's claim in full. The unsecured portion would not be paid. The creditor objected. The issue before the court was one of first impression: whether the creditor's non-purchase money secured claim should be classified as a fully secured claim under the "hanging paragraph"in amended 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)
Ruling: 
Creditor's objection to having only secured portion of claim paid was overruled since section 1325(a)'s hanging paragraph only protected purchase money security interests.
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Waldron v. National Fire Ins. Co. (In re EbaseOne Corp.)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee, on behalf of debtor's estate and debtor's president and CEO, filed a Complaint against defendant insurer, alleging that it wrongfully failed to indemnify and defend the CEO under a corporate liability insurance policy to cover losses suffered as a result of claims for wrongful acts committed by directors and officers. Pending was the insurer's Motion to Withdraw Reference to District Court.
Ruling: 
Reference of state law indemnity action withdrawn.
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Caillouet v. First Bank and Trust (In re Entringer Bakeries)

The debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11, which was subsequently converted to a chapter 7 case. Plaintiff trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor, seeking to avoid alleged preferential transfers under 11 U.S.C. § 547(b) and seeking to recover such amount from the creditor as an initial transferee under 11 U.S.C. § 550.
Ruling: 
Trustee was entitled to recover preferential transfer from creditor in amount estate was diminished by net proceeds of sale of debtor's property.
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