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.

IndyMac Bank v. Kogan (In re Kogan)

Plaintiff bank filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment upholding the bank's mortgage lien and invalidating defendant creditors'judgment lien on defendant debtors'realty.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over claims to escrowe funds that were abandoned by trustee.
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Wilson v. Moir (In re Wilson)

Plaintiff chapter 11 debtor sued defendant individuals, seeking to invoke her 11 U.S.C. § 544 strong-arm powers as a debtor in possession to set aside defendants'deed of trust on the grounds that it was not in the chain of title and would not have bound a bona fide purchaser for value. The debtor moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied summary judgment since section 544(a) barred debtor-in-possession from avoiding deed of trust binding on debtor.
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In re Robotic Vision Sys.

Creditor filed objections to the applications filed by professionals for chapter 7 debtors, which sought final approval of fees and expenses for services rendered to debtors prior to when the court converted debtors'cases from chapter 11 to chapter 7.
Ruling: 
Contested matters were converted to adversary proceedings with chapter 7 trustee as plaintiff since claims of fraud by chapter 11 professionals were estate property.
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In re Michener

After debtors filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, movant trustee objected to the debtors'exemptions and moved for an order compelling turnover of property of the debtors'estate pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 542 and an order declaring employee stock options ("ESOs") to be property of the debtors'estate.
Ruling: 
Employee stock options were property of the estate whether or not exercisable on filing date.
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In re Mayland

The debtors moved for authority to redeem their vehicle for $12,125. The creditor objected. The debtors argued that the proper valuation standard was the replacement value of the vehicle, which they computed by taking 90 percent of the retail value for the vehicle listed by the National Automobile Dealers Association ("NADA") Official Used Car Guide. The creditor argued that the replacement value was the full retail NADA value, which was $13,900.
Ruling: 
Court ruled that section 506(a)(2) and thus replacement value provided standard for valuing vehicle for redemption purposes in both chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases.
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In re Guadette

Movant, special counsel to the trustee of a chapter 7 bankruptcy estate, filed a final fee application, seeking additional fees on theories of fee-shifting, common fund, quantum meruit, and the application of a contingency fee agreement to all assets of a second bankruptcy estate. Objectors included, inter alia, the trustee, the Small Business Administration, and three recovery corporations, one of which filed a motion to release escrow funds.
Ruling: 
Court modified fee agreement and awarded counsel additional fees since parties benefitted from counsel's work.
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In re Bennet

The debtors and a creditor sought approval of a reaffirmation agreement regarding real property.
Ruling: 
Reaffirmation of debt secured by real property denied as not in best interests of debtor since payments were current and ride-through limits applied only to personal property.
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McArdle v. Alvarez (In re Alvarez)

Plaintiff creditors moved for summary judgment against defendant debtor in their action alleging they were entitled to summary judgment on the issue of dischargeability of a debt pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(6).
Ruling: 
Debt was deemed nondischargeable since fraud and personal liability were already found in state court action.
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Lefelstein v. Donlevy (In re Donlevy)

Plaintiffs, creditors, filed a complaint against defendant debtor to have a debt held nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A), (a)(4) and (a)(6). The creditors had contracted with the debtor for remodeling services. They alleged that they gave the debtor a deposit to purchase materials, but that the debtor never paid the supplier for such materials. The supplier subsequently placed a mechanic's lien on the creditors'property.
Ruling: 
Amount of mechanic's lien placed on creditor's property due to debtor's defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity was deemed nondischargeable.
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Burghart v. Douglas County (In re Burghart)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant state officials pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(7), seeking a ruling that his obligation on an order of restitution entered as a condition of probation in a state court criminal case was dischargeable. Defendants moved to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 12 and Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).
Ruling: 
Order of restitution was excepted from discharge since under state law restitution was penal in nature.
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OneBeacon Amer. Ins. Co. v. A.P.I. Inc.

Appellant insurer challenged an order of the bankruptcy court, which confirmed a plan of reorganization of appellee debtor, a distributor of insulation that contained asbestos.
Ruling: 
Plan containing trust succeeding to debtor's rights in asbestos insurance policies confirmed.
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In re Ragland

In two chapter 13 cases, counsel for debtors filed motions seeking to direct the chapter 13 trustee to pay them, for payment of outstanding legal fees, all funds received by the trustee from the debtors prior to the dismissal of their chapter 13 cases.
Ruling: 
Court lacked jurisdiction over post-dismissal fee dispute between debtor and counsel.
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Illinois v. Trost (In re Trost)

Plaintiff state of Illinois brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor asserting that debts were nondischargeable based on the state's investigation of consumer complaints against the debtor. The debtor moved to dismiss the adversary complaint on the ground that the complaint was untimely under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4007(c).
Ruling: 
Debtor's motion to dismiss state's complaint was granted since complaint was untimely filed and sufficient notice had been provided.
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In re Schanuth

Debtors, husband and wife, petitioned for chapter 13 relief. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BAPCPA") applied to debtors' petition. Debtors proposed a plan and sought confirmation. The chapter 13 trustee moved to deny confirmation of the plan.
Ruling: 
Plan was denied confirmation since plan was not feasible due to lack of disposable income and was too short in duration.
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Sunflower Bank N.A. v. Otte (In re Otte)

Adversary plaintiff bank sought to have individual debtor's guaranty obligation be held nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(B) for defaulting borrower corporation's loans. The bank claimed that the debtor had fraudulently reported the borrower's inventory. The court previously ruled the debt was not one for fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity that would be excepted from discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4).
Ruling: 
Obligation to bank was not excepted from discharge since bank failed to show an intent to defraud by debtor.
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