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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 Premier Ben. Capital Trust

Movant sought to reopen a chapter 11 case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 350(b) and filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis.
Ruling: 
Motion by third party to repoen thirteen year-old case to file interpleader proceeding denied.
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Celli v. First National Bank (In re Layo)

Appellant trustee challenged an order of the District Court for the Northern District of New York reversing a decision of the bankruptcy court and finding that a confirmed chapter 13, 11 U.S.C. § 1301, bankruptcy plan was res judicata and prevented a debtor from avoiding a mortgage held by appellee bank. The mortgage lien, which had been recorded in the land records, was identified in the chapter 13 plan.
Ruling: 
Confirmation order met requirements for res judicata.
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Midland Euro Exchange Inc. v. Swiss Finance Corp. (In re Midland Euro Exchange Inc.)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendants, a foreign exchange brokerage and 10 unnamed defendants, to set aside and recover allegedly fraudulent transfers of at least $897,000 paid by debtor. Two claims for relief were brought under 11 U.S.C. §§ 548(a)(1)(A) and 550(a). The brokerage, a foreign company, moved to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), made applicable by Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7012(b).
Ruling: 
Fraudulent transfer provisions of Bankruptcy Code do not apply to foreign transfers.
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Lange v. Schropp (In re Brook Valley IV J.V.)

Appellee bankruptcy trustee brought an adversary proceeding against appellants, the principals of bankruptcy debtor partnerships, alleging that the principals breached fiduciary duties by secretly purchasing real properties of the debtor for their own benefit. The principals appealed the judgment in favor of the trustee entered in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska.
Ruling: 
Principals of debtor who formed new entities which purchased debtor's properties at foreclosure sale without disclosure to court ordered to turn over excess proceeds and profits.
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In re Trans Max Techs. Inc.

Debtor filed a voluntary petition for chapter 11 bankruptcy, and thereafter served as debtor in possession. Before the court was debtor's request for plan confirmation. The Office of the United States Trustee ("UST") objected, as did two creditor groups.
Ruling: 
Plan lacked feasibility due to reliance on debtor's implausible development of a flying car within three years.
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Steil v. Steil

Plaintiff filed a complaint seeking to except debt from discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) based on defendant debtors'conversion of his collateral, inventory in a convenience store leased by the debtors. The debtors denied the disposition of the collateral was willful or malicious.
Ruling: 
Willful breach of lease did not result in nondischargeable debt absent proof of maliciousness.
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In re Hess

Two debtors each filed a bankruptcy petition subject to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act without the proof of prepetition credit counseling required by 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(1). The trustee in bankruptcy moved to dismiss the second of the two petitions. The court issued orders to show cause why the petitions should not be dismissed.
Ruling: 
Exemptions from prepetition credit counseling requirement granted where debtors had attempted to comply in good faith.
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Board of Trustees of the Ohio CarpentersPension Fund v. Bucci

Plaintiff, a multiemployer ERISA plan that was maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement and governed by various trust agreements, sought review of a decision of the bankruptcy court, which found that defendant debtor's ERISA employer contribution debt was dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4). The debtor was the alter ego of his business, which had entered into chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Ruling: 
ERISA employer contribution debt was dischargeable in absence of trustee status that could give rise to defalcation.
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Iglesias v. Motown Record Co. (In re Iglesias)

Defendant copyright holders filed a motion for summary judgment in connection with an adversary proceeding in which plaintiff debtors sought a determination that claims by the holders for copyright infringement were discharged in the debtors'2003 chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Ruling: 
Postpetition copyright infringement claims were not discharged in chapter 7 case.
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Goodman v. GMAC Mortgage (In re Turner)

Movant chapter 13 trustee filed a motion seeking guidance as to the disbursement of the excess funds from the foreclosure sale of a debtor's property. Respondent creditor sought payment of its second mortgage from the foreclosure proceeds.
Ruling: 
Creditor was not entitled to payment of attorneys' fees from excess foreclosure proceeds where fees were attributable to creditor's inefficiency and incompetency.
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In re Wiley Brown & Assocs. LLC

The debtor, a limited liability company ("LLC"), filed an application to employ an attorney to represent the debtor in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
Ruling: 
Debtor could not employ inexperience attorney who also represented individual who was the 50% owner of debtor.
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Miller v. United States Dept of Educ. (In re Miller)

Plaintiff debtors filed an adversary complaint to determine if one debtor's student loan debt, consolidated postpetition, was dischargeable in bankruptcy under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8) based on undue hardship. Defendant creditor filed a motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Post-discharge consolidation of debtor's original student loan debt was not dischargeable.
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In re Armstrong World Indus.

Debtors, a company and its subsidiaries, filed a fourth amended plan of reorganization, as modified. The sole objection to the plan was asserted by the unsecured creditors'committee ("UCC"), which claimed that the plan unfairly discriminated against the unsecured creditors in favor of the asbestos personal injury claimants. Thus, the UCC argued, the plan did not comply with section 1129(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 1129(b).
Ruling: 
Plan did not discriminate against unsecured creditors in favor of asbestos personal injury claimants.
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