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.

JP Morgan Chase Bank v. Hobbs (In re Hobbs)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint to deny defendant chapter 7 debtor a discharge based on the debtor's loss of business records, 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2)(A), and the debtor's failure to maintain and preserve adequate records, 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(3).
Ruling: 
Debtor's discharge was denied based on a failure to maintain and preserve adequate records.
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Vaughan v. Meridan Natl Corp. (In re Ottawa River Steel Co.)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee commenced an adversary proceeding against defendants, creditors, seeking to recover certain prepetition transfers made by the debtor. The creditors moved for summary judgment, alleging that the trustee's claims were time barred under 11 U.S.C. § 546.
Ruling: 
Creditor was denied summary judgment where the court ruled it could decide the date an order for relief triggered two-year limitations period for filing creditor's complaint.
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Cote v. Catherman (In re Catherman)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint to determine the dischargeability of a debt owed by defendant debtor. The creditor brought this suit pursuant to the statutory exception to discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A).
Ruling: 
Creditor failed to establish that debtor intentionally misrepresented the purpose of a loan and thus loan debt was deemed dischargeable.
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Messenger v. Messenger (In re Messenger)

Plaintiff ex-wife brought a complaint pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(15) to determine the dischargeability of a marital debt assumed by defendant debtor.
Ruling: 
Debtor's assumption of marital credit card debt was deemed nondischargeable.
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In re Brown

Chapter 13 trustee filed a motion for a modification of debtor's confirmed plan to raise the monthly plan payments, on the grounds that his disposable income significantly increased following plan confirmation. Trustee also sought to require debtor to apply the proceeds of a post-confirmation refinancing of his residence as an additional lump sum plan payment.
Ruling: 
Code's good faith requirement warranted granting trustee's motion to amend debtor's confirmed chapter 13 plan due to increase in available income.
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Lehtonen v. Time Warner Inc. (In re PurchasePro.com Inc.)

Plaintiff trustee of debtor's liquidating trust filed a complaint against defendant transferee under Nevada's version of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. The complaint also alleged that defendant was liable under Nevada corporate law for a failure to provide the full amount of the agreed-upon consideration required when defendant exercised its rights under the warrant. Defendant moved to dismiss.
Ruling: 
Trustee's complaint against stock transferee was not dismissed since cancellation of stock option and the immediate reissuance of an amended and restated stock option that resulted in economic harm to the debtor was a fraudulent transfer of an interest of the debtor.
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Lorenz v. Am. Educ. ServicesPennsylvania Higher Educ. Assistance Agency (In re Lorenz)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor seeking a determination that the debtor's student loans were dischargeable due to "undue hardship" under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8). These student loans were used to finance the debtor's podiatry school education. Due to changes in the field, the debtor abandoned podiatry and chose instead to pursue a career as a registered nurse. The debtor was unemployed at the time of trial.
Ruling: 
Student loans were deemed dischargeable due to undue hardship for a debtor who faced having to switch careers to increase income.
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In re Reed

Chapter 7 trustee objected to the debtor's claim of exemption involving the debtor's asserted homestead exemption in realty in which the debtor did not live.
Ruling: 
Trustee's objection to homestead exemption applied to realty in which debtor did not reside was overruled since debtor's former spouse who resided there qualified as a dependent at the time of filing.
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Purviance v. Region 1 Self Reliance Program (In re Purviance)

Plaintiff debtor filed a complaint against defendant, an agency of the state of Idaho charged with collecting unpaid child support, seeking an order declaring debts, which arose out of a Canadian child support order in favor of her former husband, dischargeable. The state filed a motion for summary judgment contending that the debt was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5), and the debtor filed a cross motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Court granted motion of state agency collector of unpaid child support establishing Canadian child support order as enforceable debt but ruled that material fact remained on whether it was deemed support under the Code.
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In re Moroney

Primary creditor, the IRS, objected to the confirmation of the debtor's chapter 13 plan for lack of good faith and for not devoting all of debtor's disposable income into the performance of the plan. The U.S. trustee moved to dismiss the case based on 11 U.S.C. §§ 1307 and 1325.
Ruling: 
Chapter 13 petition was dismissed due to debtor bad faith in proposing modest payout in plan since the tax debt was recently not discharged under chapter 7 and the debtor showed no evidence of financial troubles or efforts to pay the tax debt.
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Fanaras v. Carpenter (In re Fanaras)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(d), seeking to revoke the discharge entered in favor of the debtor. The trustee moved for summary judgment as to all counts in the complaint. The debtor cross moved for summary judgment, seeking to dismiss all counts on the basis that they were time barred.
Ruling: 
Debtor was granted partial summary judgment since the one-year statute of limitations for requesting revocation of discharge is not subject to equitable tolling.
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In re Freeman

The debtors filed a petition for relief under chapter 7 of the Code. The debtors filed a motion for an order directing the turnover of monies held by a creditor. The creditor filed an objection to the motion. The court treated the matter as an action for a violation of the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362, pursuant to the court's authority under 11 U.S.C. § 105(a), together with Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7015 and 9014.
Ruling: 
Creditor did not violate automatic stay when the debtors made postpetition payments on a collateralized debt that was to be reaffirmed but had not yet been reaffirmed.
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Lucas v. Lyle (In re Lyle)

Plaintiff creditors, owners of a residence, brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor, a contractor, alleging that a debt to the owners for the contractor's defective work was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) based on the contractor's misrepresentation that the contractor was licensed. The bankruptcy court reconsidered the owners'claim upon remand from the district court.
Ruling: 
Debt for unlicensed contractor debtor's damage to a residence from defective work was deemed dischargeable since the debtor did not misrepresent that the debtor was unlicensed.
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Picard v. Avellino (In re Bernard L. Madoff Inv. Sec. LLC)

Ruling: 
Claims against Madoff accountant with actual knowledge the firm was not trading securitieswere not barred by safe harbor and could proceed. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.)
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on January 01,2001, LexisNexis #0816-078

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