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.

Cadle Co. v. Taras (In re Taras)

Plaintiff creditor filed a complaint objecting to the discharge of defendant debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2) and (4).
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied discharge due to debtor's material omission from debtor's schedules of an interest as a trust beneficiary.
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In re Lawrence

Plaintiff chapter 7 debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant United States and others to determine the dischargeability of his various student loan obligations. The United States, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, moved to dismiss with respect to the debtor's Health Education Assistance Loans ("HEAL").
Ruling: 
Debtor's HEAL student loans were deemed nondischargeable and the undue hardship argument was irrelevant since an unconscionability standard applied and the debtor did not plead unconscionability sufficiently.
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Powers v. United States (In re Powers)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant, the Colorado Department of Revenue ("DOR") challenging an assessment by the DOR for additional state income tax that the DOR claimed that the debtor owed for two tax years after the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") reported changes in the debtor's federal income discovered through an audit. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
An additional state tax income assessment was deemed nondischargeable since the debtor had failed to file an amended state tax return required after the IRS had audited the debtor and reported changes in the debtor's income tax.
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In re Estate of Roberts

In petitioner individual's capacity as executor of a decedent's estate, petitioner filed a chapter 13 petition on behalf of a decedent's probate estate
Ruling: 
A decedent's estate or its executor are not persons under the Code and thus may not be debtors.
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IndyMac Bank F.S.B. v. Mitchell (In re Mitchell)

Plaintiff creditor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor, claiming that the debtor's obligation under a construction loan entered into between the debtor and the creditor was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A), or (a)(2)(B), or (a)(6). The creditor filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims.
Ruling: 
Summary judgment was denied to a creditor claiming loan obligation nondischargeability since the creditor presented insufficient evidence regarding alleged false statements in the loan application and reliance on these statements.
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In re Jenkins

Moving creditor sought to reopen a bankruptcy case to permit filing a motion to modify or amend the order of discharge and for relief from the discharge injunction, so the creditor could bring a claim against the debtor for the unauthorized use and conversion of the creditor's house boat in the Circuit Court for Knox County, Tennessee.
Ruling: 
Creditor was denied motion to reopen bankruptcy case but only because the creditor was not listed as a creditor and could pursue a separate nondischargeability proceeding regarding damages claim at any time.
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Fuller v. Cash Am. Pawn (In re Fuller)

Plaintiff, chapter 13 debtor, brought an adversary action against defendant pawn shop alleging the latter violated the automatic stay by disposing of jewelry she had placed with the pawn shop as security for a personal loan and notifying debtor of a purported forfeiture under S.C. Code Ann. § 40-39-110. The pawn shop moved for summary judgment on the claim.
Ruling: 
Pawn shop's notice of forfeiture and selling of the debtor's pawned jewelry violated the automatic stay.
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Dircks v. Global Fin. Credit L.L.C. (In re Dircks)

Plaintiff debtor and the debtor's wife filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy protection under chapter 7 of the Code. The debtor and the debtor's wife filed an adversary action against defendant creditor to have the court declare as void a prepetition agreement between the parties.
Ruling: 
Court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over debtors'adversary action against a creditor since the trustee had abandoned the claims related to the action and thus had no effect on the estate.
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Richardson v. Pilgrim (In re Pilgrim)

Plaintiff, a Chapter 7 trustee, sought denial of the debtors' discharges pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2)(A), (a)(2)(B), (a)(3), (a)(4)(B), and (a)(5). The trustee moved for a default judgment, which the bankruptcy court denied without prejudice. The trustee, having re-served the complaint and summons and filed an affidavit addressing the debtors' military status, renewed his motion for a default judgment.
Ruling: 
Discharge was denied where the debtors failed to provide accounting of cash settlement received three months prior to filing or respond to trustee's inquiries or default judgment motion.
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Bellows v. Froug (In re Froug)

Defendant debtor commenced a chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding. Plaintiff former wife contended that certain obligations were not dischargeable in bankruptcy under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5). She filed a motion for partial summary judgment or a judgment on the pleadings.
Ruling: 
Former wife was granted partial summary judgment against debtor in finding spousal and child support were not dischargeable but postponed uncertain determination regarding second mortgage.
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Chelsea Woods Condo. v. Okupe (In re Okupe)

Movant creditor filed a request for an order to terminate or annul the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) in order to consummate a foreclosure sale of respondent debtor's condominium unit.
Ruling: 
Creditor's motion to terminate automatic stay was granted since evidence showed a foreclosure sale on the debtor's condo occurred prior to filing.
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Citibank (South Dakota) N.A. v. Han (In re Han)

Plaintiff credit card company filed an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor alleging that the debtor's obligation to the credit card company was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A). After filing an amended complaint, the credit card company filed a renewed motion for a default judgment.
Ruling: 
Portion of debtor's credit card debt was deemed nondischargeable due to debtor's fraud.
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In re Kenard

Movant deed holder filed a motion to validate a foreclosure sale in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Ruling: 
Debtor's case was dismissed and the court validated a foreclosure sale since the debtor filed two chapter 13 petitions in bad faith by accepting property title and then immediately filing to try to stop foreclosure.
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In re Bush

The debtor filed a notice of appeal of an order entered by bankruptcy court (the lift stay order), which denied the debtor's motion for recusal and granted the motion for relief from the automatic stay filed by the creditor. The debtor filed the current motion seeking a stay of the lift stay order pending the resolution of his appeal.
Ruling: 
Debtor failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits to obtain a stay pending the resolution of the debtor's appeal of a lift stay order.
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Mostoller v. CitiCapital Commer. Corp. (In re Stetson & Assocs.)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee brought an adversary complaint to avoid several liens against personal property of the debtor that were held by defendant creditor pursuant to financing statements filed pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-9-101 et seq. (Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.) The creditor moved for relief from the automatic stay and for abandonment by the trustee of the bankruptcy estate's interest in the collateral.
Ruling: 
Trustee could not avoid a creditor's lien and did not have priority over the creditor's interests since the creditor's interests were perfected at the time of filing.
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