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.

Master-Halco Inc. v. Picard (In re Picard)

After defendant debtor filed a bankruptcy petition under chapter 7, plaintiff creditor filed nondischargeability claims under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2), (4) and (6). The debtor filed a motion to dismiss, and the creditor filed an objection to the motion to dismiss.
Ruling: 
Dismissal of dischargeability causes of action was denied except as to an unproven willful and malicious injury claim.
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In re Delta Air Lines Inc.

Creditor, a municipal aviation authority, brought a motion for relief from the automatic stay in order to set off under 11 U.S.C. § 553 certain credits in favor of the debtors, an airline and its subsidiaries, against rejection damages under 11 U.S.C. §§ 365(g) and 502(g) stemming from a lease with the aviation authority which the debtors rejected.
Ruling: 
Motion for setoff was denied since rejection damages under sections 365(g) and 502(g), which arose after filing, could not be set off against a prepetition claim.
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In re Kanakaris

A judgment creditor's liens against a bankruptcy debtor's property were not entirely avoidable, and the debtor argued that the creditor was not entitled to postpetition interest on those liens. The creditor sought an order authorizing the accrual of interest on the liens.
Ruling: 
Postpetition accrual of interest on creditor's liens was authorized since the debtor's homestead exemption was fully protected under section 522(f).
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Mooney v. Green Tree Serv. LLC (In re Mooney)

Plaintiff, a discharged bankruptcy debtor, brought an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor, alleging that the creditor violated the discharge injunction of 11 U.S.C. § 524(a)(2) by attempting to collect a debt to the creditor which was discharged in the debtor's bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court conducted a trial.
Ruling: 
Creditor willfully and maliciously violated the discharge injunction since the creditor continued to pursue the debtor for the discharged debts.
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V2R LLC v. Special Situations Fund IV LLC (In re Schneider)

Plaintiff creditors filed an action against defendant debtor alleging claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, and embezzlement or larceny under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and (4). The debtor filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.
Ruling: 
Debtor's motion to dismiss complaint was denied since nondischargeability claim was not barred by res judicata.
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In re Burrell

A chapter 13 matter came before the court upon debtor's Motion for Order Allowing Additional Fifteen Days to File Credit Counseling Certification. The trustee opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Debtor's case was dismissed since debtor did not meet the prefiling credit counseling requirements.
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In re OBrien

Movants, the debtor's former wife and the debtor's former counsel, filed separate motions for relief from the stay imposed after the debtor filed for bankruptcy relief. The movants sought relief from the stay, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(b)(2)(B), to enforce fee awards that had been issued as part of post-divorce litigation in the state family court.
Ruling: 
Court refrained from ruling on the requested relief from an automatic stay pending further hearing on whether the fee awards qualifed as domestic support obligations.
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Sherman v. SEC (In re Sherman)

Appellant debtors challenged the decision entered by the District Court for the Central District of California that reversed the bankruptcy court's order that denied appellee Securities and Exchange Commission's ("SEC") motion to dismiss the debtors'chapter 7 petition.
Ruling: 
Appellate court found that the bankruptcy court did not err in denying the SEC's motion to dismiss the debtors'petition for cause.
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Hepner v. Ford Motor Credit Co. (In re Estergaard)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor seeking to avoid the creditor's security interest in a vehicle under 11 U.S.C. § 544(a), claiming that the security interest was unperfected at the time of the filing of the petition. The creditor moved for summary judgment and also filed as statement of supplemental authority. The trustee moved to the statement of strike supplemental authority.
Ruling: 
Trustee was allowed to avoid creditor's security interest on debtor's vehicle since the security interest was unperfected at the time of filing.
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Hodges v. Armada (In re Hodges)

Plaintiffs, debtors, filed an adversary proceeding against defendant collection agency contending the agency's action violated the discharge injunction and provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"). The agency attempted to collect a debt for legal fees allegedly owed to the law firm that represented the debtors in their chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Ruling: 
Collection agency violated discharge injunction by attempting to collect a debt that was discharged.
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Lexington Coal Co. LLC v. Miller Buckfire LEWIS Ying & Co. LLC (In re HNRC Dissolution Co.)

The bankruptcy court ordered the payment of certain administrative fees to appellee, an investment banker retained by debtors, pursuant to the banker's fee application. The fee application sought compensation in the amount of $9.35 million as well as reimbursement of expenses. The bankruptcy court approved the fee application with some adjustments. Appellants challenged the decision.
Ruling: 
Fee application of bankers were approved since a credit bid was contemplated as included in the fee calculation and thus did not warrant modifying the fee agreement.
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In re Jass

The debtors moved for confirmation of their proposed chapter 13 plan and the chapter 13 trustee objected. The issue was whether the term "disposable income" was the same as "projected disposable income" as used in 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b)(1)(B). The debtors contended that their "projected disposable income" would be less than their "disposable income" due to the husband debtor's health problems.
Ruling: 
Court held that the debtors failed to provide sufficient evidence to rebut a presumption that "disposable income" was the same as "projected disposable income" for purposes of confirming a chapter 13 plan.
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Pearson v. Howard (In re Howard)

Plaintiff creditor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor, an attorney, seeking a declaration that the attorney's judgment debt to the creditor for legal malpractice was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523 based on fraud, false representation, fiduciary defalcation, and willful and malicious conduct. The bankruptcy court conducted a trial.
Ruling: 
Attorney debtor's judgment debt was deemed nondischargeable since attorney debtor's conduct constituted a fidudiary defalcation.
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In re Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.

Movant lessor sought relief from the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(d) to commence eviction procedures with respect to respondent debtor's store.
Ruling: 
Court denied lessor's motion for relief from automatic stay since debtor could still possibly assume or reject lease under section 365.
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Artis v. West (In re West)

Plaintiff judgment creditors commenced an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor seeking an order declaring a prepetition judgment debt nondischargeable. The complaint alleged that the judgment debt was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2), (4) and (6). Before the court was the creditors'motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Collateral estoppel barred relitigating the issues that established the debtor intentionally breached a fiduciary duty and, thus, that the prepetition judgment debt was nondischargeable.
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