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 Hill

After the debtors filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 13, they filed a bankruptcy plan in which they proposed to modify a creditor's claim that was secured by a vehicle. The creditor objected to the plan. The court held a hearing on confirmation.
Ruling: 
Secured claim on motor vehicle consistently used to generate income for debtors'maintenance and support could be modified.
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In re Brown

After bankruptcy debtors'case was closed, the debtors'former mortgagee filed an eviction action against the debtors and the debtors counterclaimed on the ground that the mortgagee engaged in improper debt collection activities. After the case was reopened, the trustee moved for leave to release the debtors' prepetition cause of action against the mortgagee to the debtors in exchange for a cash payment.
Ruling: 
Debtor's motion to purchase cause of action from estate in closed case granted over objection of potential defendant.
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Chapple v. Fahnestock & Co.

Defendants moved for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 in an employment discrimination action. Defendants contended that plaintiff was obligated to identify the lawsuit as a potential asset when filing her chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, and argued that plaintiff no longer had standing to pursue the action.
Ruling: 
Unscheduled employment discrimination action that was not abandoned or administered remained property of the estate.
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In re Steinhaus

A creditor filed a motion to confirm termination of an automatic stay, compel surrender of a vehicle, and authorize foreclosure upon the vehicle in the debtors'chapter 7 case. The court held a hearing on the motion.
Ruling: 
Stay terminated 30 days after filing where debtor did not elect to either redeem or reaffirm debt secured by automobile.
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Lankheet v. Porter (In re Bonzelaar)

Appellant seller sought review of a decision of a bankruptcy court, which found that certain real property was part of debtor's bankruptcy estate in the seller's case against appellee trustee.
Ruling: 
Property conveyed to debtor without her consent and listed in schedules solely upon advice of counsel was property of the estate.
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Peters v. Pikes Peak Musicians Assn

When reorganization failed, debtor orchestra converted its chapter 11 bankruptcy to a chapter 7 proceeding. Defendant musicians were granted a first priority payment of postpetition wages and benefits due under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") as administrative expenses under 11 U.S.C. §§ 503(b)(1)(A) and 507(a)(1). Plaintiff trustee appealed the decision from the District Court for the District of Colorado.
Ruling: 
Musicians performed necessary services for debtor orchestra and were entitled to priority payments pursuant to collective bargaining agreement.
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Busseto Foods Inc. v. Laizure (In re Laizure)

Appellant creditor sought review of a judgment of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California, which dismissed his complaint alleging that its claim against appellee debtor was revived and seeking a determination of nondischargeability under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4).
Ruling: 
Personal claim was not revived upon repayment of settlement funds as preference.
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In re FV Steel & Wire Co.

Chapter 11 debtors objected to a former employee's proof of claim pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 502(b)(1), on the grounds that the claim was barred by judicial estoppel.
Ruling: 
Discharged debtor's unscheduled EEOC action was not barred by judicial estoppel.
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Pratt v. GM Acceptance Corp. (In re Pratt)

Chapter 7 debtors, husband and wife, appealed a decision from the District Court for the District of Maine affirming a bankruptcy court ruling that creditor, a car financing corporation, did not violate the discharge injunction by declining to discharge its lien on debtors'automobile until they paid the remaining balance due on their prepetition car loan.
Ruling: 
Creditor's refusal to release valueless auto lien unless outstanding balance was paid was coercive and violated discharge injunction
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In re Jordan

Counsel to debtors in possession in this chapter 11 case sought court approval of his application for fees in the amount of $22,264.20 and reimbursement of expenses of $17.18.
Ruling: 
Attorneys' fees substantially reduced due to errors and unnecessary, non-beneficial work performed.
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In re Anderson

Before the court was the "Emergency Petition for Rule to Show Cause for Violation of Bankruptcy Discharge Injunction" filed by debtors. The creditor concerned opposed the requested relief.
Ruling: 
Post-reposssession letter claiming deficiency violated discharge injunction.
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Deceder v. Pennsylvania Higher Educ. Assistance Agency (In re Deceder)

Defendant original creditor and intervening defendant successor creditor, filed a motion to dismiss chapter 7 debtor's claim, which sought damages pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93 and ch. 93A for the original creditor's allegedly unfair and deceptive debt collection practices.
Ruling: 
State law unfair debt collection action was not related to bankruptcy.
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Salyer v. Sallie Mae Servicing Corp. (In re Salyer)

Plaintiff debtors filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy. The debtors sued defendants, including a loan servicer and a university, for a determination that their educational loans were dischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Discharge of student loan debt denied where debtor could afford payments with reasonable reduction in monthly expenses.
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In re Bolze

Plaintiff debtors filed a proposed chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. A secured creditor, a creditor union, objected to the plan. Debtor one had borrowed money from the creditor to purchase a car, which was titled in both debtors'names. The creditor held a perfected purchase money security interest in the vehicle. In their plan, the debtors proposed to cram down the creditor's claim, treating only a portion of it as a secured claim.
Ruling: 
Debt secured by automobile acquired within 910 days of filing was not subject to bifurcation.
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In re Gott

The debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 7 and received a discharge. Subsequently, the debtor filed an amended Schedule C to add a homestead exemption in her mobile home. Creditor filed an objection to the debtor's claimed homestead exemption.
Ruling: 
Debtor could not claim exemption in mobile home in which she did not reside on petition date and for which she had indicated intent to abandon.
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