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 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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Para v. Para (In re Para)

Plaintiff former spouse brought an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15), seeking a judgment of nondischargeability as to two obligations imposed on the debtor in a divorce proceeding. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment with respect to this claim. The court held a hearing on the motions.
Ruling: 
Debt to former spouse discharged where former spouse had paid country club dues rather than support payments owed to debtor.
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Caldwell v. Continental Am. Ins. Co. (In re Caldwell)

Plaintiff, a chapter 7 debtor, filed an adversary proceeding against defendant insurers for breach of a long-term disability insurance policy. Defendants countered with a demand that an alleged overpayment of benefits be ruled nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and that they recoup an overpayment of benefits that they claimed to have made, arguing that the funds were not estate property in the first instance.
Ruling: 
Overpayment of long term disability benefits was dischargeable.
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In re Hentges

Petitioning creditors sought an order for relief against an alleged debtor under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. The creditors claimed that they were eligible to file an involuntary petition under 11 U.S.C. § 303(b) and that, except for debts that were subject to a bona fide dispute as to liability or amount, the debtor was generally not paying his debts as they became due.
Ruling: 
Involuntary petition properly filed against debtor who was hostile, litigious and used sham and artifice to avoid paying creditors.
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Jordan v. Smith

The bankruptcy court revoked appellant debtor's discharge of indebtedness pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(3), for refusing to obey its administrative order, which expressly forbade debtor from transferring any interest in her property, even after discharge. Debtor appealed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 158(a).
Ruling: 
Discharge properly revoked for debtor's failure to obey administrative order.
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In re Golden Empire Air Rescue Inc.

The chapter 7 trustees in related bankruptcy cases filed motions to approve settlements entered into with settling creditor. Objecting creditor opposed the motions.
Ruling: 
Settlement of complex state law action with creditors approved.
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Robertson v. IRS (In re Robertson)

Plaintiff debtor, the primary limited partner of taxpayer, a limited partnership, challenged the claim of defendant IRS. At issue was a determination whether the debtor was a responsible person of the limited partnership for purposes of imposition of tax liability under 26 U.S.C. § 6672, and whether the taxes were nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. §§ 507(a)(8) and 523(a)(1).
Ruling: 
Debtor's liability as responsible person for trust fund taxes was nondischargeable.
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In re Trejos

Bankruptcy debtors purchased a motor vehicle which was financed by the seller, and the seller assigned the debt which was secured by the vehicle. The debtors sought confirmation of their chapter 13 plan which proposed to bifurcate the assignee's claim into a secured claim and an unsecured claim under 11 U.S.C. § 506, but the assignee asserted that the unnumbered, hanging paragraph under 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a) precluded bifurcation.
Ruling: 
Assignee of motor vehicle debt held an allowed secured claim for the total amount of principle and interest due.
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Case v. Hilgers (In re Hilgers)

Plaintiff bankruptcy trustee sought a declaration that defendant debtor's remainder interests in three revocable inter vivos trusts were assets of the debtor's bankruptcy estate and subject to turnover. Defendant oil company claimed an interest in the debtor's remainder interests as a prepetition judgment creditor. The case was tried by the bankruptcy court.
Ruling: 
Debtor's remainder interest in revocable inter vivos spendthirft trusts was property of the estate where the trusts were terminated prepetition.
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In re New Orleans Paddlewheels Inc.

Movants, a shareholder of chapter 11 debtor and a city, filed motions pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1104(a)(1) to appoint a trustee or an examiner. Debtor objected to both motions.
Ruling: 
Chapter 11 trustee appointed due to evidence of malfeasance by president of debtor.
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In re Covington

Movant trustee objected to respondent debtor's exemptions in a $1,000 bank deposit and an automobile in a chapter 7 case. The trustee filed a motion to sell the automobile.
Ruling: 
Disallowance of exemption was not prerequisite to enforcement of domestic support obligation against the exempt property.
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Schnittjer v. Allied Props. & Cas. Ins. Co. (In re Huebbe)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant insurance company to recover an amount paid directly to the debtor in a settlement agreement reached after the debtor had filed for bankruptcy. The trustee alleged that the insurance company's violation of the automatic stay was willful and sought to recover damages and attorneys' fees. The insurance company claimed that it never received notice of the bankruptcy.
Ruling: 
Payment of insurance proceeds directly to debtor violated stay where agent's knowledge of filing was imputed to company.
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In re Legacy Health Care LLC

The reorganized debtor operated a nursing home on land leased from landlord. The lease contained a "prevailing party" provision. Under this provision, the landlord sought attorneys fees and costs incurred since the filing of the petition and incident to the debtor's reorganization efforts. The reorganized debtor argued that the provision has no application, but if it did, then it was the party that "prevailed."
Ruling: 
Landlord entitled to fees and costs associated with enforcing lease terms against debtor nursing home operator.
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In re Brill

Movant creditor objected to the confirmation of respondent debtors'chapter 13 plan.
Ruling: 
Where 1325(a) hanging paragraph applied to debt, Till rate of interest was required to preserve present value of claim.
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In re DeCelis

In an adversary proceeding, a trustee obtained a default order declaring that the transfer by defendant debtor to defendant co-owner of an interest in a house was void. After learning that the debtor and the co-owner acquired title to the subject property as tenants in common from the same grantors in a single deed, the trustee filed a motion to sell the property free and clear of the co- owner's interest pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 363(f).
Ruling: 
Trusteecould not sell property free and clear of co-owner's interest absent co-owner's affirmative consent.
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