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.

Ampel v. Ampel (In re Ampel)

Movant husband sought relief from the automatic stay to obtain a determination in state court of dischargeability under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) of certain obligations of his ex- wife, respondent, debtor. That motion was denied, but in connection with the motion, the husband may have violated the automatic stay when he continued postpetition to deduct from the debtor's monthly alimony payments amounts to repay certain debts owed by the debtor.
Ruling: 
Former spouse's deductions from monthly alimony payments to debtor were impermissible setoffs in violation of stay.
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Baerga v. Solomon Bros. Realty Corp. (In re Raven)

After a court entered a default judgment in favor of defendant creditor in its action for collection of money and foreclosure of a mortgage against plaintiff debtor, the court entered a default judgment in the debtor's adversary proceeding alleging that the underlying debt had been discharged before the mortgage lien securing its payment was registered. The debtor filed a motion for entry of judgment and for damages.
Ruling: 
Debtor awarded punitive damages for creditor's knowing violation of discharge injunction and damages for emotional disturbance of being served at financial insitution where she worked as loan officer.
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New Hampshire Supreme Court Profl Conduct Comm. v. Richmond (In re Richmond)

Plaintiff New Hampshire Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee sued defendant debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(7), seeking to except from discharge the debtor's obligations arising out of two attorney disciplinary proceedings. The parties stipulated to undisputed material facts. The committee moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Debtor attorney's obligations stemming from attorney disciplinary proceedings were nondischargeable.
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T & D Moravits & Co. v. Munton (In re Munton)

Appellant subcontractor challenged a Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California ruling denying summary judgment that a debt arising from appellee debtor's breach of fiduciary duty relating to a construction project was not dischargeable. At issue was whether a state court default judgment under the Texas Construction Trust Fund Statute ("TCTFS") conclusively established that debtor was a fiduciary under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4).
Ruling: 
State construction trust fund statute created fiduciary relationship resulting in nondischargeable loan debt.
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Davis v. Rickabaugh (In re Rickabaugh)

Plaintiff judgment creditors commenced an adversary proceeding to determine the dischargeability of a state court judgment against the debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a) arising from a malpractice action.
Ruling: 
Debt arising from legal malpractice due to inexperience rather than fruad or wilful, malicious conduct was dischargeable.
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Sims v. Big Lots Sotres Inc.

In a Title VII employment discrimination case, defendant former employer moved for summary judgment asserting that plaintiff former employee was judicially estopped from pursuing her claim because the employee filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, obtained a discharge, and failed to disclose to the bankruptcy court her pending or potential suit or administrative proceeding against the employer.
Ruling: 
Employment discrimination actions that had not accrued as of filing date were not property of the estate.
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In re Delfino

The debtor's filed a motion for reconsideration of the court's order that denied the debtor's motion to reopen his case for the purpose of amending or adding creditors. The debtor also filed a motion to enforce the discharge or in the alternative to show cause as to why the creditor should not be held in contempt.
Ruling: 
Debtor could not reopen case after seven years to add creditors due to lack of good faith.
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In re Hackney

Under 11 U.S.C. § 507, a creditor bank sought an allowance of administrative expenses representing professional fees and litigation expenses it incurred in a prepetition state court fraudulent conveyance action against the debtor and numerous transferees of the debtor. After the debtor filed its chapter 7 petition, the trustee substituted as plaintiff and settled the lawsuit.
Ruling: 
Fees and expenses incurred by bank in prepetition fraudulent conveyance action against debtor were not entitled to prioriy administrative status.
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Eddy v. Educational Credit Management Corp. (In re Eddy)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor to determine the dischargeability of certain student loan obligations pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Debtor with no disabilities or medical conditions who did not make good faith effort to pay denied discharge of student loan debt.
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Baker v. Sharpe (In re Sharpe)

Chapter 7 creditor filed an adversary complaint against debtor objecting to the dischargeability of certain debt pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2) and 523(a)(6).
Ruling: 
Oral misrepresentations of wealth by debtor to friend who extended loan did not render debt nondischargeable.
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In re Coover

Claimants, home mortgage creditors, objected to language contained in a form chapter 13 plan proposed and recommended by the chapter 13 trustee for the judicial district. At issue was whether the issue was ripe, whether the language was internally inconsistent, whether the language violated 11 U.S.C. § 1322(b)(2), and whether language noting that the proviso was subject to modification by a subsequent court order was properly added.
Ruling: 
Plan procedure to definitively ascertain amount owed to secured creditor was not an impermissible modification.
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Gill v. Hodgen (In re Hodgen)

Chapter 7 debtors filed a motion to dismiss creditors'complaint, which sought to avoid a discharge of debts arising from actual fraud and willful and malicious damage to property.
Ruling: 
Discharge revoked where property transferred to allegedly to satisfy debt was reconveyed back to debtors after discharge.
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Nickless v. Kessler (In re Berman)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee sued defendant life estate holder, seeking an order quieting title of certain property in his favor and recovery of the property taxes deferred by defendant. The trustee and defendant moved for summary judgment. The trustee and debtor moved for sanctions against defendant and her attorneys for willful violation of the automatic stay and a declaration that a state probate court order was void ab initio.
Ruling: 
Challenge to probate court determination of debtor's interest in decedent's estate violated stay.
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McNemar v. Student Loan Servicing Center (In re McNemar)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor to determine the dischargeability of certain student loan obligations pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Debtor who made voluntary decision to cease payments denied undue hardship discharge of student loan debt.
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First Am. Title Ins. Co. v. Nation (In re Nation)

Plaintiff title company commenced an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor to determine whether a debt under a promissory note was discharged pursuant to a chapter 13 plan. In the alternative, the title company sought to vacate the discharge to permit collection. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Title company that paid mortgage note under policy could not collect from debtor where mortgage was provided for in plan and discharge had issued.
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