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 21,500 opinion summaries by keyword, relevant code section, court and judge. Opinion summaries are provided by our partner LexisNexis® Collier and are updated weekly.

Walsh v. McMurry

Appellee bankruptcy trustee objected when appellant chapter 7 debtor claimed an exemption from the bankruptcy estate for his entire individual retirement account ("IRA"). The debtor appealed after the bankruptcy court sustained the objection and ruled that a portion of his IRA was not exempt under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(10)(E).
Ruling: 
Case remanded to bankruptcy court for determination as to whether IRA was reasonably necessary to support debtor and family and therefore partially exempt.
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In re West

A trustee objected to a debtor's claim of federal exemptions under 11 U.S.C. § 522 in a chapter 7 case.
Ruling: 
Debtor not meeting residency requirements for exemptions under law of filing state or and no longer eligible for exemptions under law of state of former residence could elect federal scheme.
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In re Teraforce Tech. Corp.

The law firm for the unsecured creditors' committee in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case applied for the allowance of compensation and reimbursement of expenses under 11 U.S.C. § 330(a). A secured creditor and the reorganized debtor were the objecting parties.
Ruling: 
Attorneys'fees approved with reduction for reasonableness and inappropriate time entries.
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In re West

A trustee objected to a debtor's claim of federal exemptions under 11 U.S.C. § 522 in a chapter 7 case.
Ruling: 
Debtor who was not eligible for exemptions in filing state due to insufficient residency or state of former residence could claim exemptions under bankruptcy code.
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In re Reyes

A debtor was required to appear and show cause why her chapter 13 bankruptcy case should not have been dismissed for failure to obtain the consumer credit counseling briefing required by 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(1).
Ruling: 
Chapter 13 case dismissed due to debtor's failure to obtain credit counseling or to establish exigent circumstances to justify a waiver.
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In re Grunau

The debtors'attorney was ordered to show cause why his fees should not have been disgorged, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 329 and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2017.
Ruling: 
Attorney who regularly filed chapter 13 cases in district ordered to disgorge excessive fees in routine case.
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In re Grunau

The debtors'attorney was ordered to show cause why his fees should not have been disgorged, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 329 and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2017.
Ruling: 
Law firm that was a prominent filer of chapter 13 petitions ordered to disgorge excesive fees in routine cases.
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Naylor v. New Jersey Higher Educ. Student Assistance Auth. (In re Naylor)

Plaintiff debtor sought a determination that a student loan debt owed to defendant creditor was discharged pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727 rather than was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Student loan debt was discharged upon finding of undue hardship
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Advanced Imaging Ctr. Of N. Ill. LP v. Cassidy (In re Cassidy)

Chapter 11 creditors filed motions for judgment on the pleadings in their adversary proceedings, which alleged that the debts owed by debtor were not dischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2)(A), (a)(4) and (a)(6). Debtor filed cross motions for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Arbitrator's finding of fraud did not estop debtor from arguing dischargeability of debt where issues and standards were not identical.
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Walsh v. Benson

Appellant debtor appealed the opinion and order of the bankruptcy court which held that the debtor's Individual Retirement Account ("IRA") was neither excluded from the bankruptcy estate under 11 U.S.C. § 541(c)(2) nor exempt under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(10)(E). Appellee trustee opposed the appeal.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court erred in concluding that IRA was not eligible for exemption.
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In re Brinley

An unsecured creditor moved for an order finding that the unencumbered equity created by the avoidance of its judgment lien against certain property be preserved for the bankruptcy estate pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 551. The debtor objected to the motion, arguing that section 551 was inapplicable and that the property in question had been technically abandoned as a result of the closing of the bankruptcy case.
Ruling: 
Unencumbered equity in abandoned property should be preserved for benefit of the estate.
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Fugate v. Equity One Inc. (In er Graybeal)

Chapter 7 trustee filed a motion for summary judgment in its action, which sought to preserve an avoided lien for the benefit of the estate pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 551. Creditor filed a cross motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Erroneously released deed of trust could be preserved for benefit of estate over objection of junior lienholder.
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In re Sheffer

Chapter 7 debtor filed a motion to approve a global settlement of several fraudulent transfer claims.
Ruling: 
Per se ban on settlement of proceedings for denial of discharge would be unduly restrictive.
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In re Thompson

Creditors filed a motion to allow claim of creditors following their filing of a report of the proceedings in a civil action indicating that a judgment had been entered against the debtor and that the jury had determined that the debtor's actions were intentional.
Ruling: 
Creditors could reopen case to allow claim based on post-discharge entry of civil judgment.
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