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.

Paul v. Suffolk Univ. (In re Paul)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant, a student loan corporation, to obtain a discharge of the debtor's student loan obligation, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8), on the grounds that repayment would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and her family. After a trial, the court issued findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Ruling: 
Single mother of three debtor was denied discharge of student loan debt based on undue hardship since the debtor could increase income based on education level, obtain child support, and work with the offered reasonable repayment plan.
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In re Waggoner

The matter was before the court on the trustee's motion to dismiss debtors'case, which stated that debtors were ineligible for bankruptcy relief by reason of 11 U.S.C. § 109(h).
Ruling: 
Debtors'case was dismissed since the debtors did not obtain credit counseling until a day after filing and did not demonstrate circumstances warranting waiver of the prepetition counseling requirement.
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In re Ross

The debtor filed a chapter 13 case without complying with the credit counseling requirement of 11 U.S.C. § 109. The debtor requested that the court permit him to obtain the required briefing after the filing of his petition under the "exigent circumstances" exception in 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(3).
Ruling: 
Case was dismissed since debtor failed to request credit counseling prior to filing and, thus, could not invoke the exigent circumstances exception.
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In re Hoyo

The debtor's estranged wife filed a motion for relief from the stay. The wife claimed that the debtor did not retain any interest in property that was to be conveyed to the wife through a marital settlement agreement ("MSA") executed but not performed before the debtor had filed his petition for chapter 7 relief.
Ruling: 
Court denied debtor's wife relief from the automatic stay since a marital settlement agreement that affected the property in question was not final until after filing.
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In re Southwest Fla. Heart Group P.A.

In a chapter 11 case, before the court was trustee's motion to assume lease agreement and lease agreement addendum involving an unexpired non-residential lease entered into by debtor and creditor.
Ruling: 
Motion to assume lease was denied since creditor had ownership interest and trustee could not sell property free and clear of that interest.
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In re Carmona

After the debtor filed a petition for chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee filed an application to employ counsel under 11 U.S.C. § 327. The court granted the trustee's motion. Subsequently, the debtor filed a motion to dismiss her case. The court granted the debtor's motion to dismiss and denied payment of fees and costs to the trustee and her counsel. The trustee filed a motion for reconsideration.
Ruling: 
A trustee and the trustee's counsel were denied fees and costs following the dismissal of a case since they did not exercise reasonable billing judgment in that the fees and costs likely benefitted them and not the estate.
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In re Hundley

Debtors sought a determination that creditor bank violated the automatic stay when it refused debtors' postpetition demand to turnover debtors' vehicle that the bank had repossessed prepetition. Debtors demanded the payment of sanctions for the bank's actions, which debtors considered to be willful and therefore remediable under former 11 U.S.C. § 362(h).
Ruling: 
Debtors were awarded damages for the bank's willful violation of the automatic stay by refusing the debtor's postpetition demand for turnover of the debtor's vehicle repossessed prepetition.
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Concannon v. Imperial Capital Bank (In re Concannon)

Appellee creditor sought relief from an automatic stay to foreclose its judgment lien, and appellant debtors defended the motion in their chapter 7 case by seeking a valuation of their rental property encumbered by the lien and avoidance of the creditor's lien pursuant to former 11 U.S.C. § 506(a) and (d). The Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona granted the creditor's motion and lifted the stay. Debtors appealed.
Ruling: 
Appellate panel affirmed ruling that the debtor could not use section 506(d) to remove a creditor's judgment lien and that the lien would pass through the bankruptcy case.
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In re Tai T. Vuong

Debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 7. Creditor, the holder of a third deed of trust on some of debtor's real estate, filed an objection to the debtor's claim of exemptions.
Ruling: 
Creditor's objection to the debtor's claim of exemptions under state law was overruled since the creditor showed no grounds for not allowing the exemptions.
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G.H. Leidenheimer Baking Co. v. Sharp (In re SGSM Acquisition Co. LLC)

Appellant suppliers brought a consolidated appeal from the district court, challenging the lower courts'treatment of preference payments each received from debtor grocery store chain before it filed bankruptcy.
Ruling: 
Payments made to the debtor's suppliers during the preference period were avoidable transfers since they were not made in the ordinary course of business subject to a portion of the payments not being preferential since subsequent new value was provided.
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In re Schneider

A chapter 13 matter was before the court upon debtor's Objection to Claim Two of claimant, his ex-spouse.
Ruling: 
Court rejected debtor's objections to the debtor's ex-wife's claim since, pursuant to Rule 3001(a), the claim substantially conformed with Official Form 10.
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In re Women First Healthcare Inc.

Movant creditor filed a motion to compel payment of escrow funds from debtor's chapter 11 estate. The motion was opposed by debtor and the trustee for a liquidating trust that held all of debtor's assets, pursuant to a reorganization plan approved by the court.
Ruling: 
Creditor's motion to compel payment of escrow funds was denied since debtor had setoff rights.
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In re Kuecker Equip. Co.

A corporate bankruptcy debtor asserted that a former employee of the debtor violated the automatic bankruptcy stay by pursuing a state court action against the debtor's principals. The debtor moved to enforce the bankruptcy stay.
Ruling: 
Debtor's original state court action violated the automatic stay but the amended complaint did not since only the original complaint had included the corporation debtor directly in the action.
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In re Anderson

Bankruptcy debtors, husband and wife, filed a joint chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, and the debtors moved under 11 U.S.C. § 109 for exemption from the requirement that they obtain a briefing from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency before filing bankruptcy.
Ruling: 
Debtors'petition was dismissed since the husband debtor failed to provide a certificate of counseling or exigent circumstances and the wife's certificate of exigent circumstances failed to show an inability to obtain counseling services before circumstances worsened.
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Johnson v. Greene (In re Greene)

Plaintiff judgment creditors brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor, objecting to the debtor's discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2), (3) and (4) because the debtor concealed ownership of cattle, failed to maintain records of his income, and failed to list assets on his schedules. The court conducted a trial.
Ruling: 
Creditors' objection to debtor's discharge were overruled since there was no evidence of fraudulent intent but rather lack of sophistication and business experience.
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