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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.

In re Carrasquillo

A debtor filed his bankruptcy petition but did not indicate whether he received prepetition credit counseling as required by 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(1) or file a certificate of such counseling as required by Interim Bankr. R. 1007(c). The debtor was ordered to file the certificate within five days, and a creditor moved for an extension of the time for the debtor to comply with the order.
Ruling: 
Creditor's motion to extend debtor's time to file a certificate of prefiling credit counseling was denied since additional time was not needed to file such a certificate.
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Intl Paper Co. v. MCI Worldcom Network Serv.

Plaintiff paper company sued defendant communications company, alleging state law claims of trespass, slander of title, and unjust enrichment. The District Court for the Western District of Arkansas granted summary in favor of the communications company. The paper company appealed. Presently before the court was the communications company's motion to dismiss the appeal.
Ruling: 
Confirmation of the reorganization plan discharged the prepetition trespass claim, and the court did not recognize a further postpetition claim of trespass.
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Biesek v. Soo Line R.R. Co.

Appellant debtor sought review of judgments from the District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, which dismissed the debtor's suit to enforce a settlement offer from appellee employer and which denied the debtor's motion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(2) to reopen the judgment.
Ruling: 
Court rejected motion to reopen a judgment against a debtor since the debtor had not disclosed the potential litigation in the bankruptcy case and the trustee had not properly abandoned the creditors'claims.
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Sears Petroleum & Transp. Corp. v. Burgess Constr. Servs.

Defendant, the executor of the estate of a deceased chapter 7 debtor's late wife, filed a motion for partial summary judgment on plaintiff judgment creditor's and intervenor chapter 7 trustee's claims, which alleged the existence of a resulting trust in property held by the wife for the benefit of debtor, a fraudulent conveyance of property from debtor to the wife, and a fraudulent conveyance of money from debtor to the wife.
Ruling: 
The trustee, not a creditor, could assert claims under state law to avoid fraudulent conveyances effected up to four years prior to filing.
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In re U.S. Airways Inc.

A chapter 11 matter was before the court on cross-motions for summary judgment by movant claimant and movant debtor with respect to a $17 million employment discrimination claim by the claimant, who was employed by debtor airline as a pilot from 1984 to 2001. The claimant also moved for sanctions.
Ruling: 
Proof of claim was disallowed in the debtor's second case since the claim was discharged in the debtor's first case.
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Swartz v. Billingsley (In re Billingsley)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary complaint for accounting and turnover of funds naming the debtor, the debtor's ex-spouse, and a corporation as defendants. The debtor and his ex-spouse were the sole shareholders of the corporation. The complaint sought a turnover of assets from the corporation. The debtor and the corporation moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Trustee was not allowed to seek turnover of assets from a non-debtor corporation of which the debtor was the sole shareholder.
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HLI Creditor Trust v. Metal Techs. Woodstock Corp. (In re Hayes Lemmerz Intl Inc.)

Plaintiff, a creditor trust, commenced an adversary proceeding seeking to avoid and recover, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 547, 550, certain allegedly preferential transfers made by debtors to defendant transferee during the 90-day period prior to the filing of debtors'petitions. The matter was before the court for decision following trial.
Ruling: 
Some transfers were deemed made in the ordinary course of business but not those that altered the payment practice between debtor and transferee.
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In re Carver

In their chapter 13 plan, the debtors listed the creditor that financed their vehicle as having a fully secured allowed claim for $15,000 and proposed to pay the creditor in monthly installments of $250 without interest. The debtors did not dispute that they purchased the vehicle during the 910-day period prior to filing their petition and that they purchased it for personal use. The creditor filed an objection to confirmation of the plan.
Ruling: 
Court interpreted new section 1325(a)(9) to provide that claims under a chapter 13 plan involving a vehicle purchased within the 910-day period prior to filing must receive the greater of either the claim's full amount without interest or the amount the creditor would have received if the claim were bifurcated between secured and unsecured portions and crammed down.
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In re West

A bankruptcy court issued an order to show cause why counsel for bankruptcy debtors failed to comply with the court's requirement that pleadings be filed electronically rather than on paper. Upon counsel's continued failures to comply with the requirement and counsel's apparently inconsistent statements, the court considered whether to sanction counsel pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9011.
Ruling: 
Counsel was sanctioned for refusing to file pleadings electronically and for making misrepresentations to the court regarding the counsel's ability to file electronically.
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In re Hardacre

A bankruptcy debtor proposed a chapter 13 plan that provided no return to her unsecured creditors. The trustee objected to confirmation of the plan on the ground that the debtor impermissibly deducted her mortgage and car loan expenses twice under 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(A)(i) in calculating her disposable income.
Ruling: 
Plan confirmation was denied since the debtor had made a double deduction for mortgage and car loan expenses in calculating projected disposable income.
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In re Schmitz

In a chapter 13 matter, debtor objected to the allowance of attorney fees to a creditor as part of the creditor's claim.
Ruling: 
Oversecured creditor's proof of claim was allowed, but the attorneys'fees for prepetition work was reduced.
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Chase Manhattan Mortg. Corp. v. Shapiro (In re Lee)

Appellant creditor challenged the decision entered by the bankruptcy court, which granted summary judgment in favor of appellee trustee, in an adversary proceeding. The trustee moved for judgment upon his claim to avoid the creditor's mortgage as a preferential transfer under 11 U.S.C. § 547.
Ruling: 
Creditor's refinance mortgage was deemed not preferential since under the earmarking doctrine the debtor's estate was valued the same before and after the refinance transaction.
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Flinn v. Rains (In re Rains)

Plaintiff, the chapter 7 trustee, moved for an order appointing him to act on behalf of defendant judgment debtor to withdraw $250,000 from an Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA")-qualified pension plan as an exercise of the court's authority to appoint a person to perform an act on behalf of a disobedient party pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 70 and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7070.
Ruling: 
Trustee was granted an order appointing the trustee to act on the judgment debtor's behalf to withdraw funds from the debtor's retirement plan since the debtor did not already deliver the amount to the trustee as ordered.
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In re Bell

In a chapter 13 case, a creditor sought allowance of its secured claim. Debtor sought to treat the deficiency at issue as an unsecured claim.
Ruling: 
Creditor's secured claim on a car was disallowed as long as the debtor surrendered the insurance proceeds from the car that was totaled in an accident during the performance of a confirmed plan.
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Morris v. Delgado (In re Alton)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor seeking to avoid an alleged transfer from the debtor as preferential. The debtor granted a security interest in a vehicle to the creditor and subsequently surrendered the vehicle to the creditor.
Ruling: 
Debtor's granting of a security interest in a vehicle to a creditor to secure a loan was deemed a preferential transfer since the lien was not timely perfected and no exceptions to the preferential transfer rule applied.
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