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 Rock Rubber & Supply of Conn. Inc.

Movant, a chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor, filed a motion for an order of distribution of secured funds to a creditor bank. Another creditor and the bankruptcy trustee filed objections to the motion. Although the debtor lacked standing to bring the motion because the estate was not solvent, the court assumed that the bank, which had standing, joined the debtor as a movant because its attorney appeared and argued at the hearing on the motion.
Ruling: 
Deposit accounts were property of the estate and not appropriate for distribution to depository bank.
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Golden v. The Guardian (In re Lenox Healthcare Inc.)

Adversary plaintiff chapter 11 trustee sought to avoid and recover transfers of funds from debtor health care facility to defendant insurance company, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 547, 548, 549 and 550. The insurance company moved for summary judgment, asserting the transfers consisted solely of contributions to health and benefits plans of debtor's employees.
Ruling: 
Trustee was allowed to avoid employer debtor's contributions to employee benefit plans but was not allowed to avoid employee contributions to plans.
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In re Buonopane

The chapter 7 trustee filed an objection to the debtor's claim of a homestead exemption pursuant to Fla. Const. art. X, § 4.
Ruling: 
Debtor was not entitled to unlimited homestead exemption under Florida Constitution but rather was limited to $125,000 exemption since section 522(p) applied.
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Gredd v. Bear Stearns Sec. Corp. (In re Manhattan Inv. Fund Ltd.)

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 157(d), defendant securities broker moved for an order withdrawing an adversary proceeding from the bankruptcy court. Plaintiff chapter 11 trustee opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Court denied broker's motion to withdraw reference and remanded case to bankruptcy court for further proceedings.
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Benderson v. Clayton (In re Clayton)

Plaintiff landlord sued defendant chapter 7 debtor, alleging that the amounts the debtor owed for damage to rental property were excepted from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2) because the debtor had entered into a rental agreement with the intent to defraud and induce plaintiff to rent her the property. The court took evidence.
Ruling: 
Amounts owed for damage to rental property were excepted from discharge since landlord showed debtor had entered into rental agreement with intent to defraud and induce landlord to rent to debtor.
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Porter v. United States of America (In re United States of America)

The United States filed a motion to dismiss an involuntary chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed against it by pro se petitioning creditors.
Ruling: 
Involuntary proceeding against the United States, which was not an eligible debtor, dismissed as filed in bad faith.
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Moon v. Bauer (In re Bauer)

A chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary action against defendant personal representative of debtors'estates seeking turnover of the debtors'life insurance policies proceeds and certain other items pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 541(a)(5). The representative filed a motion requesting that the proceedings be suspended under 11 U.S.C. § 305 to permit him to administer all of the assets and claims in the probate estates. The trustee opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Court denied personal representative of debtor's estate motion for abstention under section 305 regarding now deceased debtor's life insurance policy proceeds.
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In re McGuire

Chapter 13 trustee filed a motion to deny confirmation of debtors'chapter 13 plan, on the grounds that the plan was in violation of 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b).
Ruling: 
Chapter 13 plan was denied confirmation since it proposed repayment period for under 60 months and claimed vehicle ownership expense deduction on vehicle owned free and clear of liens.
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In re Henry

The chapter 13 trustee moved to dismiss the debtor's bankruptcy case. The trustee argued that the case should be dismissed because it would take over 60 months to complete, and because the plan was in material default since it will not complete in compliance with the confirmed terms.
Ruling: 
Motion to dismiss was denied since court allowed plan payments to extend beyond maximum period generally allowed.
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Glover v. Saunders Inc. (In re Glover)

Chapter 11 debtor filed a motion for partial summary judgment, which sought to obtain judgment against defendants, a realty company and its individual owner, for a willful violation of the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362.
Ruling: 
Employer's partial withholding of debtor's real estate commissionwas a willfull violation of stay.
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In re Summers

The chapter 7 trustee filed an objection to the debtors'claimed homestead exemption. The issues were: (1) whether 11 U.S.C. § 522(p) applied given Arizona's exemption statute, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 33-1101, and (2) the proper application of the "safe harbor" provision of 11 U.S.C. § 522(p)(2)(B).
Ruling: 
Debtors were entitled to $125,000 homestead exemption since section 522(p) applied.
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In re Brown

A creditor objected to debtors'original chapter 13 plan. The objection was resolved by an agreement that the "best interest number" under 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(4) would be $6,000. Debtors'counsel sent the trustee a proposed modified plan that, inter alia, substituted "n/a" for the best interest number. The trustee did not object to the proposed modified plan. Two years later, the trustee moved to reinstate the original best interest number.
Ruling: 
Court granted modification of plan to correct drafting error since notice had been defective and plan had not become final under section 1329(b)(2).
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DeJong v. Verschuure (In re Verschuure)

Plaintiff, the former spouse of defendant debtor, filed an adversary proceeding against the debtor seeking a determination that certain debts were nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15). The debtor asserted that the debts were not incurred in the course of a dissolution of marriage.
Ruling: 
Debts were deemed nondischargeable since they were incurred in course of marriage dissolution and debtor was capable of paying obligation.
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In re Simmons

Movant creditor filed for relief from the automatic stay. Respondents, debtors and the chapter 13 trustee, opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Plan payments to trustee rather than direct payments, did not deprive creditor of adequate protection.
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