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 Azbill

The United States Trustee's emergency motion to reopen the debtor's chapter 7 case to administer an asset was granted and a successor chapter 7 trustee was appointed on the same day. The successor chapter 7 trustee's subsequent motion to approve a compromise with a bank regarding a certificate of deposit was then granted. The debtor moved to set aside the order approving the compromise.
Ruling: 
Debtor's failure to receive notice of motion to approve compromise of claim where debtor's counsel received actual notice.
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Jensen v. Eck (In re Steele)

Plaintiff bankruptcy trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendant transferee of payments from a bankruptcy debtor, seeking to set aside the transfers as preferential. The transferee moved to dismiss the proceeding on the ground that the transfers occurred outside the preference period of 11 U.S.C. § 547(b)(4)(B), and the trustee asserted that the period was equitably tolled.
Ruling: 
Close friend of debtor was not an insider so that transfer to the friend more than 90 days prepetition was not preferential.
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In re Beene

The chapter 13 trustee raised objections to confirmation of the debtors'amended plan, asserting that the plan violated the 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(4) best interest of creditors test because unsecured creditors would receive a greater distribution in a chapter 7 liquidation, where debtors'defective mortgage could be avoided.
Ruling: 
Objection to amended chapter 13 plan in converted case sustained due to potential windfall to unsecured creditors if mortgagee's claim were avoided.
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In re Russell

After the debtors filed a voluntary chapter 13 petition and an amended plan, a creditor objected to confirmation of the amended plan on the basis that the debtors had not filed the proceeding in good faith, the plan was not proposed in good faith pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(3), and that all of the debtors' projected disposable income would not be applied to make plan payments pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b)(1)(B).
Ruling: 
Chapter 13 case dismissed as filed in bad faith after creditor's claim was held nondischargeable in chapter 7 case already pending in another jurisdiction.
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Rombro v. Dufrayne (In re Med Diversified Inc.)

In a debtor's chapter 11 proceeding, appellant creditor filed a proof of claim based on his termination agreement with the debtor. Appellee trustee filed a complaint against the creditor alleging that his claim was subject to mandatory subordination under 11 U.S.C. § 510(b). The bankruptcy court granted summary judgment for the trustee, and the District Court for the Eastern District of New York affirmed. The creditor appealed.
Ruling: 
Claim based on termination agreement with debtor providing for exchange of prime stock for debtor's common stock was subject to equitable subordination.
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Bevelle v. Jefferson County (In re Bevelle)

Plaintiff chapter 13 debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendants, an Alabama city and county, seeking to enjoin the city from vacating an alleyway adjacent to his property and to enjoin the county from using its eminent domain powers to take his property. The debtor moved for issuance of a temporary restraining order ("TRO"). The city filed a motion to dismiss. The county filed motions to abstain and for relief from the automatic stay.
Ruling: 
State court condemnation action was an exercise of police or regulatory power and was not subject to stay.
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In Landaverde

A chapter 13 debtor filed an emergency motion for continuation of the automatic stay, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3)(B), in his second bankruptcy case.
Ruling: 
Emergency continuance of stay denied where second chapter 13 case was filed one day after dismissal of prior case without schedules or showing of change in circumstances.
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Brooks-Hamilton v. City of Oakland (In re Brooks-Hamilton)

Plaintiff debtor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant trustee in bankruptcy, and the trustee filed cross-claims. At issue was whether the debtor effectively transferred certain real property to an irrevocable trust prior to filing for bankruptcy, so that it was not property of the bankruptcy estate and could not effectively be sold by the trustee. The trustee moved for summary judgment and to dismiss the claims.
Ruling: 
Postpetition recording of deeds from debtor to prepetition irrevocable trust was avoidable.
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In re Bradshaw

A chapter 7 debtor filed an application asking the court to waive the bankruptcy filing fee in her case as allowed under 28 U.S.C. § 1930(f)(1). The chapter 7 trustee objected to the application, contending that the debtor had not correctly and fully disclosed her monthly income. In response to the trustee's objection, the debtor filed amended schedules and an amended fee waiver application with the court.
Ruling: 
Application fo filing fee waiver denied where debtor had excess monthly income sufficient to pay in installments.
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In re Spurlin

Chapter 7 debtors filed a motion to convert their bankruptcy case to one under chapter 13. The chapter 7 trustee and a creditor filed objections to the motion.
Ruling: 
Conversion to chapter 13 denied where debtors admitted they did not have regular income.
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Lightfoot v. Landry (In re Lightfoot)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee sued defendant debtors, seeking to revoke their discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(1) on the ground that they failed to disclose a motorcycle on their original bankruptcy schedules. The bankruptcy court held a trial on the complaint.
Ruling: 
Revocation of discharge for failure to disclose motorcycle denied where trustee knew of alleged fraud, but failed to act prior to deadline for objection to discharge.
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Ohio Crime Victims Reparations Fund v. Harwell (In re Harwell)

Plaintiff, a state crime victims reparations fund brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor, alleging that a debt to the fund for amounts the fund paid to the victim of the debtor's assault was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6), based on the willful and malicious nature of the assault. The bankruptcy court conducted a trial.
Ruling: 
Debt owed to victim of debtor's assault with knife was not excepted from discharge as guilty plea was not dispositive of willful and malicious injury and evidence was consistent with self-defense.
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In re Opra

After debtor filed a voluntary chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, her new attorney filed amended schedules disclosing lawsuit proceeds valued at $100,000 and claiming an exemption in the newly-scheduled asset pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(5), (d)(11)(D) and (d)(11)(E). The trustee timely objected to the debtor's amended exemptions. The bankruptcy court held a hearing on the objection.
Ruling: 
Debtor's former attorneys ordered to appear and show cause as to failure to disclose lawsuit proceeds on schedules.
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In re Attorneys at Law & Debt Relief Agencies

Plaintiff, a regional bankruptcy trustee, appealed a standing order issued by a bankruptcy judge that interpreted provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BAPCPA") that defined and regulated "debt relief agencies." Intervening interested parties were four attorneys comprising a professional corporation with a significant bankruptcy practice.
Ruling: 
Trustee lacked standing to contest bankruptcy court's blanket ruling that attorneys are not "debt relief agencies"as defined under BAPCPA.
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In re Spurlin

Chapter 7 debtors filed a motion to convert their bankruptcy case to one under chapter 13. The chapter 7 trustee and a creditor filed objections to the motion.
Ruling: 
Debtor who could not establish source of regular income was not an eligible chapter 13 debtor.
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