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 Burney

In several separate cases, a bankruptcy trustee's final accounts included a claim for reimbursement of expenses related to the storage and eventual disposition of the files in the debtors'cases. The U.S. Trustee objected to the final accounts to the extent of such claims.
Ruling: 
Cost of storing files in space leased by trustee was overhead in ordinary course of administration and not reimbursable.
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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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Downey v. Georgia

The State of Georgia filed a proof of claim in debtors'chapter 13 case for income taxes and related interest and penalties for several tax years, asserting that its claim was secured to the extent of the value of debtors' property pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 506(a). Debtors objected to allowance of any part of the claim as secured.
Ruling: 
Debtors could not exempt assets from properly filed state tax lien.
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In re Pool

Debtors sought confirmation of their second amended chapter 13 plan. All other objections to confirmation had been resolved except for an objection raised by a creditor that financed debtors'purchase of a car, so the court considered whether the creditor's objection was properly sustained. At issue was the effect on that claim of the "hanging paragraph" enacted as part of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.
Ruling: 
Creditor covered by section 1325(a)(5) "hanging paragraph" was not entitled to a deficiency upon surrender of collateral.
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Bremer Bank v. Wyss (In re Wyss)

Creditor brought an adversary proceeding against chapter 7 debtors, seeking a determination that debt owed it was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A), (a)(4) and (a)(6). Creditor also filed a motion for sanctions against debtors.
Ruling: 
Debt secured by receivables was dischargeable where creditor did not lose value as a result of alleged fraud and there was not fiduciary relationship.
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Cadle Co. v. Smith (In re Smith)

Defendant debtor filed a voluntary chapter 7 petition upon which relief was ordered. Plaintiff creditors then filed an adversary proceeding seeking to deny the debtor his bankruptcy discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2)(A) and (4)(A). The creditors claimed that the debtor transferred funds to his wife to hinder, delay, or defraud the creditors and that he testified falsely at an 11 U.S.C. § 341 meeting.
Ruling: 
Objection to discharge overruled where debtor's transfer of funds was not knowing and fraudulent.
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Guerra v. Ampel (In re Ampel)

Plaintiff attorney filed a motion for summary judgment on her adversary complaint alleging that her claim for guardian ad litem fees was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5). The debtor filed a motion for sanctions.
Ruling: 
Guardian ad litem fees were in the nature of support and and nondischargeable.
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Massey Energy Co. v. West Virginia Consumers for Justice

In a state court, plaintiffs, an energy company and its president, filed defamation and business conspiracy claims against defendants, a political advocacy group and its president. The claims were removed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1334(b) and 1452 on the ground that the claims were related to the advocacy group's bankruptcy proceeding. Plaintiffs filed a motion to abstain and remand. The advocacy group's president filed a motion to transfer.
Ruling: 
Mandatory abstention applied to remand defamation action to state court.
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In re Kiklis

Debtor filed a disclosure statement in connection with a bankruptcy petition under chapter 11. A creditor objected to the disclosure statement on the grounds that it failed to adequately describe and address the creditor's undersecured claim. The court held a hearing on the objection. The creditor then moved to confirm that it held an unsecured claim.
Ruling: 
Objection to disclosure statement sustained for failure to provide unsecured or undersecured creditors with sufficient information about treatment of claim.
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In re Dan River Inc.

Financial advisor for chapter 11 debtors filed a motion for an order compelling the reorganized debtors to pay a final fee, or, alternatively, for entry of judgment on a final fee. The motion was opposed by the debtors and the official committee of unsecured creditors.
Ruling: 
Financial advisor could not compel immediate payment of administrative expense claim where prohibited by confirmed plan.
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In re Jac Family Foundation

A family foundation's representative filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition on the foundation's behalf. The chapter 13 trustee moved to dismiss the petition on the ground that, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 109(e), only an individual could be a chapter 13 debtor. The representative did not respond to the trustee's dismissal motion. He asked the court to continue the case.
Ruling: 
Foundation was not an "individual" and ineligible to be a debtor under chapter 13.
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Salas v. McGrannahan (In re Salas)

Appellants, chapter 7 debtors, challenged the decision of the bankruptcy court that denied the debtors'motion to force appellee chapter 7 trustee to abandon the estate's interest in the debtors'residence.
Ruling: 
Debtors'residence properly valued as of chapter 13 plan confirmation prior to conversion to chapter 7.
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In re Vagi

After the debtors filed a joint chapter 13 petition, a creditor filed a proof of claim secured by a minivan. The debtors objected to the claim, contending that the secured claim should have been reduced and that the balance of the claim should have been treated as a general unsecured claim, pursuant to the cram down provisions of 11 U.S.C. § 506. The court held an evidentiary hearing.
Ruling: 
Section 1325(a)(9) hanging paragraph applied to property purchased by debtor for use of co- debtor wife.
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In re Thompson

The United States Trustee filed a motion to dismiss debtors' chapter 7 bankruptcy for abuse under 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(1). At issue was whether payments on the debtor husband's 401(k) loan could be used to reduce debtors'current monthly income.
Ruling: 
Payments on 401(k) loan were on account of secured debt and did not constitute abuse.
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