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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.

Bonneville Power Admin. v. Mirant Corp. (In re Mirant Corp.)

Defendant federal power marketing agency appealed from a judgment of the District Court For the Northern District of Texas that affirmed two bankruptcy court orders holding that the agency violated 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)'s automatic stay and denying relief from the stay. The agency argued it could terminate its executory contract with the debtor power producer under an ipso facto clause under 11 U.S.C. § 365(e)(2)(A).
Ruling: 
Federal power marketing agency violated an automatic stay by not first seeking relief from the stay before attempting to terminate an executory contract.
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Albee v. U.S. Dept of Educ. (In re Albee)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor to determine the dischargeability of certain student loan obligations pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Debtor was granted undue hardship discharge of student loan debt since the debtor's current level of income and earnings potential would not permit the debtor to make minimum payments.
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In re Abbott

The debtor filed a motion to obtain a determination that the prepetition arrearage that was owed to the creditor had been paid in full. The creditor was the holder of the first mortgage on the debtor's residence. The creditor objected to the motion, on the grounds that the debtor continued to owe an additional amount of prepetition arrearage.
Ruling: 
Servicer of a creditor's mortgage was denied claim for additional prepetition arrearages since that claim had been addressed in prior confirmed plans.
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Sicherman v. Rivera (In re Rivera)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee alleged that the court should revoke and deny defendant debtor's discharge because debtor: (1) obtained it through fraud by representing that he received only $15,000, as opposed to $95,000, from a personal injury claim; (2) fraudulently failed to surrender the $80,000 proceeds; and (3) refused to obey an order to appear at the Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2004 examination. Pending were cross-motions for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Discharge was revoked since the debtor knowingly and fraudulently failed to report or deliver estate property to the trustee when the debtor received additional proceeds from a personal injury claim.
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In re Southcoast Express Inc.

A lessor of a commercial property contended that it terminated a bankruptcy debtor's lease of the property before the debtor filed its bankruptcy petition, and thus the automatic bankruptcy stay did not bar the lessor's eviction action under 11 U.S.C. § 362(b)(10). The lessor moved for an order determining that the bankruptcy stay did not apply or granting relief from the stay.
Ruling: 
Court ruled that the automatic stay did not apply to a lease terminated prepetition by the expiration of the lease term, but an evidentiary hearing was needed to determine if the lease was properly terminated.
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In re Detienne Assocs. L.P.

Movant creditor filed a motion, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1112(b), to dismiss respondent debtor's chapter 11 case.
Ruling: 
Court granted creditor's motion to dismiss debtor's chapter 11 case since debtor filed solely to invoke stay and delay foreclosure.
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In re Mingueta

Debtor filed a chapter 13 case and requested a waiver of the requirement to obtain pre-bankruptcy budget and credit counseling due to exigent circumstances. The bankruptcy court directed the debtor to show cause why the case should not be dismissed due, in pertinent part, to his failure to file either a certificate of credit counseling or a certificate of exigent circumstances in compliance with 11 U.S.C. § 109(h).
Ruling: 
Debtor's chapter 13 case was dismissed since the debtor neither obtained prepetition credit counseling nor established grounds for a temporary or permanent waiver of the requirement.
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Jalbert v. M.G.E. UPS Sys. (In re CGI Liquidation Inc.)

Plaintiff, the liquidating supervisor of the consolidated debtors, filed an adversary proceeding seeking a return of three alleged preferential payments to defendant corporation. The corporation denied that the payments were avoidable preferences and filed a motion for partial summary judgment seeking judgment on one of the payments.
Ruling: 
Corporation was denied partial summary judgment in a transfer avoidance action since the corporation failed to show that the payment from debtors was less than it would have been entitled to receive under chapter 7 and, thus, not preferential.
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In re Thomas

Bankruptcy debtors'chapter 13 plan provided for payment of the debtors'federal tax liability and the plan was confirmed, but the government subsequently filed a proof of claim for substantially greater tax liability. The debtors stipulated to the claim, and the bankruptcy court considered whether debtors and their counsel intentionally misrepresented the debtors'tax liability.
Ruling: 
Order confirming the debtors'plan was vacated, and sanctions were imposed on the debtor 's counsel based on intentional misrepresentations of the debtor 's tax liability that constituted fraud.
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In re Robinson

Debtor filed a voluntary chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. Before the court were Objections to Confirmation of two creditors.
Ruling: 
Court ruled that the debtor could modify the interest rates that secured creditors received in a chapter 13 case.
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In re Rafter Seven Ranches L.P.

The instant dispute arose out of four prepetition leases between the creditor, as lessor, and the debtor, as lessee, for the lease of four irrigation sprinkler systems. The debtor filed an objection to the creditor's claim. The creditor filed a motion for an order requiring the debtor to assume or reject the leases pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 365(d)(2).
Ruling: 
Creditor was denied an order requiring the debtor to assume or reject the leases since the leases were terminated prepetition, but the creditor was permitted to claim rental payments on the leased sprinkler systems.
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In re Garden Ridge Corp.

Before the court in a chapter 11 matter was the motion, by a terminated employee of debtors'management services affiliate, for relief from the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362(d) to the extent necessary to set off certain amounts owing from and owed to debtors.
Ruling: 
Former employee of the debtor was denied relief from the automatic stay to effectuate a setoff since the debts in question were not mutual and thus could not be set off.
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In re Petty

The chapter 13 trustee objected to confirmation of the debtors'proposed plan. The basis for the trustee's objection was that the debtors have scheduled monthly charitable contributions, in the form of weekly tithes and offerings to his church, while only paying unsecured creditors approximately one percent of their claims over the life of the plan. The trustee also moved for dismissal of the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1307.
Ruling: 
Trustee's objection to plan confirmation was overruled since the debtors'proposed charitable contribution did not exceed the cap of 15 percent of the debtors'gross income.
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In re Dansby

The debtor filed a request for a temporary wavier of the requirement of prepetition credit counseling under 11 U.S.C. § 109(h). The U.S. trustee filed a timely objection to the debtor's request.
Ruling: 
Waiver of the prepetition credit counseling requirement was not granted since the evidence showed the debtor could have complied with some due diligence.
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Morris v. St. John Natl Bank (In re Haberman)

Plaintiff trustee sued defendant bank, seeking to avoid the bank's lien on the debtors'car. After the debtor paid off the balance the debtor owed, the bankruptcy court determined that the bank's lien was unperfected and the trustee could avoid it. The trustee then sought a determination in the postpetition payments.
Ruling: 
Bank was ordered to turn over to the trustee an amount equal to the value of a car as of the day the debtors filed for bankruptcy, leaving the bank with a general unsecured claim against the bankruptcy estate for the same amount.
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