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 Zandford

The debtor filed a petition to disallow a proof of claim filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The proof of claim was based on a civil judgment (requiring disgorgement) following a criminal conviction of the debtor for securities law violations. The debtor argued that under the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 U.S.C. § 3701 et seq., the SEC had no standing to assert the claim.
Ruling: 
Claim based on civil judgment for securities law violations was nondischargeable whether or not allowed.
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In re Elmendorf

Three separate bankruptcy cases of three debtors were before the court on three separate Motions to Dismiss for Cause filed by the U.S. Trustee.
Ruling: 
Three cases dismissed for failure to comply with credit counseling requirement but dismissal "with prejudice" applied only if warranted by facts.
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Krist v. Curtis (In re Curtis)

Plaintiff creditor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor seeking a determination that his debt was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and (B).
Ruling: 
Debt was deemed dischargeable despite debtor's false representations since creditor was not justified in relying on these representations.
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Alabama Dept of Human Resources v. Sanders (In re Sanders)

Appellant creditor sought review of an order of bankruptcy court, which included the creditor's domestic support arrearages within plan of appellees, two debtors and the debtors'trustee, but overruled the creditor's objection to confirmation of the plan as to whether the order of priorities of 11 U.S.C. § 507 should apply to the plan.
Ruling: 
BAPCPA did not require domestic support arrerages to be paid in full before other disbursements in a chapter 13 plan.
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In re Toccaline

The issue before the court was whether to dismiss the case due to the debtors' failure to obtain prepetition credit counseling. The debtors filed a certificate of exigent circumstances and an amended certificate of exigent circumstances. The chapter 13 trustee objected to the amended certificate on the grounds that the debtors'request for counseling on the petition date failed to satisfy the requirements of 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(3)(A)(ii).
Ruling: 
Case was dismissed since debtors were unable to obtain the credit counseling within the required five-day period from their request.
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Magten Asset. Mgmt. Corp. v. Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP (In re Northwestern Corp.)

Appellant creditor sought review of an order issued by the bankruptcy court, denying the creditor's motion to disqualify appellee, the debtor's counsel.
Ruling: 
Court affirmed order denying motion for attorney disqualification since potential conflict of interest was not per se disqualification.
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Wilson v. Home-Savers LLC (In re Wilson)

Plaintiff chapter 13 debtor sued defendants, seeking a declaratory judgment that a deed and a deed of trust he executed to convey a property and any other aspects of the transaction involving those instruments (including the borrowing of money) were void under the Bankruptcy Code due to the pendency of his bankruptcy case. The debtor and defendants filed motions for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Property that had vested with debtor upon plan confirmation was no longer property of the estate and could be transferred.
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Chase Bank USA N.A. v. Haley (In re Haley)

Plaintiff credit card issuer sought a determination of nondischargeability under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2) of its debt in the amount of $8,445. It alleged that this amount was the sum of the cash advances and/or convenience check charges incurred within the 60 days preceding the filing of the petition. It also alleged that debtor obtained the credit by false pretenses, false representations and/or actual fraud. Debtor moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Court denied debtor summary judgment concerning debt dischargeability since there was insufficient evidence regarding state of mind when credit card charges were made.
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Regions Bank v Faulk (In re Faulk)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2) to determine the dischargeability of its claim for two construction loans made in its connection with defendant debtor's part-time business as a residential contractor. The creditor contended that the debtor obtained the loans by actual fraud.
Ruling: 
Debt was deemed dischargeable since creditor had not proven fraud.
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In re Sanchez

Movant trustee filed a motion to deny confirmation of respondent debtors'chapter 13 plans.
Ruling: 
Court sustained trustee's motion to deny confirmation since 401(k) disbursements should have been included in calculating monthly income.
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Webb v. Bible (In re Bible)

Plaintiff judgment creditor filed an adversary proceeding against defendants, a debtor and an individual, in which the creditor sought the denial of the debtor's discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2), (3), (4) and (5), a determination regarding the dischargeability of a debt under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6), and alleged fraudulent conveyances. Defendants moved to dismiss.
Ruling: 
Debtor's motion to dismiss creditor's proceeding seeking denial of discharge was granted in part and denied in part since creditor had sufficiently pled fraud claim.
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Gaughan v. Edward Dittlof Revocable Trust (In re Costas)

Appellee chapter 7 trustee sued appellant debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 548, seeking to avoid as a fraudulent conveyance a disclaimer by the debtor of her interests in a trust. The Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona granted the debtor's summary judgment motion and denied the relief sought by the trustee. The trustee appealed.
Ruling: 
Panel affirmed judgment finding that debtor's disclaimer was not fraudulent transfer of property since panel ruled that bankruptcy law did not preempt state law in defining property interests.
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Hoge v. Moore (In re Railworks Corp.)

Plaintiff guarantors of performance bonds issued to a bankruptcy debtor sued defendant representatives of the debtor and its parent company, also a debtor, alleging state law claims to recover amounts paid by the guarantors upon default under the bonds. The action was removed to bankruptcy court, the representatives moved to dismiss the claims, and the guarantors moved for abstention or remand.
Ruling: 
Removed state law action by bond guarantors against debtor remanded to state court.
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In re Duke

Movant debtors filed motions to surrender collateral (two motor vehicles) in full satisfaction of debts owed to respondent secured creditors.
Ruling: 
Court held that surrender of vehicle in compliance with hanging paragraph of section 1325(a) did not fully satisfy creditors'claims.
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In re St. Joseph Cleaners

A bankruptcy debtor's chapter 11 case was converted to chapter 7 and the chapter 11 counsel for the debtor received an award of fees which included the balance of the prepetition retainer paid by the debtor. The chapter 7 trustee subsequently discovered that the debtor's estate had insufficient funds to pay the chapter 11 administrative claims, and the trustee moved for disgorgement of a portion of counsel's retainer.
Ruling: 
Chapter 7 trustee's motion for disgorgement of portion of chapter 11 counsel's retainer paid prior to conversion was denied since confirmed plan payments were final.
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