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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.

Verdini v. Poirier (In re Verdini)

Plaintiff bankruptcy debtor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant, the debtor's former spouse, alleging that debts to the spouse arising from the parties'settlement agreement in their divorce proceedings were dischargeable. The spouse contended that the debts were nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) and (15) as alimony and as marital debts which the debtor was able to pay.
Ruling: 
Marital debts were deemed dischargeable since the alimony was actually compensation for unequal distribution of corporate assets.
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In re Talib

Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(3), a chapter 13 debtor filed a certification of exigent circumstances and a motion to waive debt counseling prior to filing.
Ruling: 
Debtor's motion to waive pre-filing debt counseling requirement was denied since she did not establish exigent circumstances.
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In re Artimm S.r.l.

An Italian bankruptcy trustee filed an ancillary proceeding under former 11 U.S.C. § 304 to avert a default judgment against the debtor in a California case filed by the debtor's former executive. Bankruptcy court approval was sought for a proposed settlement agreement entered into by the debtor and a movie studio; the executive and a movie producer opposed the settlement's provision for the transfer of funds to the trustee in Rome.
Ruling: 
Settlement was approved and settlement funds were directed to Italian bankruptcy court to assure an economical and expeditious administration of the estate.
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Campos v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A.

Appellant debtor challenged the decision entered by the bankruptcy court that denied the debtor's claim for relief from appellee bank's seizure of funds from the debtor's savings account.
Ruling: 
Debtor could not recover setoff because the obligation was more than a year old and did not render debtor insolvent.
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In re Ross-Tucker

A chapter 7 trustee obtained a judgment ordering the debtor to pay the trustee an amount representing proceeds of a lawsuit settlement that the debtor failed to disclose. The trustee then filed motions to hold the debtor in contempt and to surcharge the debtor's exempt property (the debtor's home) based on the debtor's failure to comply with the judgment.
Ruling: 
A surcharge against exempt property was allowed where a debtor failed to disclose and spent case settlement proceeds.
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In re Williams

Debtor requested a waiver of the requirement to obtain budget and credit counseling under 11 U.S.C. § 109(h). Rather than filing the required certification, the debtor filed a motion to be excused from filing a certificate of credit counseling.
Ruling: 
Court denied the debtor's motion to be excused from filing a certificate of credit counseling and ordered the debtor to file either the required certificate of credit counseling or certification of exigent circumstances or risk dismissal of the case without further notice or hearing.
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In re Balthrop

Chapter 13 trustee filed an objection to confirmation of debtors'plan, which objection was joined by creditor, claiming that the plan did not comply with 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(4).
Ruling: 
Debtors'chapter 13 plan was confirmed since the plan met the best interests of the creditor test, the debtors could exempt the marital residence, and the creditor did not show a medical emergency exception to this exemption.
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In re White

Debtor moved to avoid liens pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523. The issue before the court was one of statutory construction of 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(2)(A). More specifically, the question was whether the language "the debtor's interest in the property" required that computations with respect to jointly owned property be based upon only the debtor's share rather than the value of the entire property.
Ruling: 
Two judicial liens were avoided since the court calculated the debtor's interest in joint property as the debtor's partial interest rather than as the value of the entire property and since the amount of the impairment of the debtor's exemption exceeded t
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In re OConner

U.S. Trustee filed a motion to dismiss Chapter 7 debtor's case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b).
Ruling: 
Debtors did not substantially abuse chapter 7 where they could not fund a plan and had been trying to repay their debts to their detriment.
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In re Montoya

Chapter 13 debtor filed a motion to extend the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3)(B). Because the debtor had a prior chapter 13 case pending within the preceding 1-year period that was dismissed, the stay prohibiting any action taken with respect to the debtor's will terminated on November 26, 2005. The chapter 13 trustee objected.
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied extension of automatic stay since the debtor was unable to overcome presumption of bad faith in making third filing.
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Neely v. Smith (In re Neely)

The debtor appealed two interlocutory orders of the bankruptcy court. The first order denied his 11 U.S.C. § 706(a) motion to convert from a Chapter 7 to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The second order withdrew the first order, granted the motion to convert, and then immediately reconverted the debtor's case to a Chapter 7 case.
Ruling: 
Order denying conversion was revoked, and case was remanded for consideration of whether debtor bad faith existed since strong presumption in favor of conversion exists.
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In re Fishwick

Debtor filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. Because the debtor's prior chapter 13 filing was dismissed in the year prior to the date of the present filing, the debtor sought an extension of the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3)(B).
Ruling: 
Court scheduled further hearing on debtor's application for automatic stay extension even though it appeared that debtor did not file in good faith.
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In re Blair

Debtors filed a voluntary chapter 7 petition and elected the Texas exemptions, including the generous homestead exemption. Movant unsecured creditor objected to the claim of exemption, arguing that the debtors were subject to the $125,000 cap on their homestead exemption provided in 11 U.S.C. § 522(p).
Ruling: 
Debtors'payments made during the 1,215 days prior to filing that increased their homestead's equity value did not create an interest in real property and thus were not subject to the statutory cap on electing a state homestead exemption.
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In re US Airways Inc.

Debtor airline filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The court established a claims bar date for creditors other than governmental units. After the claims bar date passed, movant former employee and wife sought leave to file a late proof of claim. The bankruptcy court held a hearing on the motion.
Ruling: 
Debtor's former employee was denied a motion to file a late proof of claim since sufficient notice was provided and no excusable neglect was established.
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In re Natl Staffing Servs. LLC

After the debtor, a corporation, filed for bankruptcy, movant creditors filed a joint motion pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1104(a) for the appointment of a trustee.
Ruling: 
Creditor's motion for appointment of a trustee was granted as in the best interest of the creditors but not based on finding of misconduct by debtor corporation.
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