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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 Coastal Bus & Equip. Sales Inc.

Creditor IRS moved for relief from the automatic stay to setoff pre-petition tax overpayments of the debtor against its unpaid tax liabilities incurred during the pendency of its chapter 11 case, including withholding, Federal Insurance Contributions Act ("FICA"), and Federal Unemployment Tax Act taxes.
Ruling: 
IRS was granted right to apply prepetition tax liability refunds against unpaid postpetition tax liability incurred during the debtor's chapter 11 case under a right of recoupment.
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Metro. Steel Inc. v. Halversen (In re Halversen)

Plaintiff creditor sued defendant debtors, alleging that the debt owed to it was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4) based on the debtors's fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity. The debtors moved to dismiss the complaint, while the creditor moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Alleged violation of state trust statute was not sufficient to demonstrate fraudulent conduct and creditor otherwise failed to prove nondischargeability of debt.
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Stubbs v. Chase Manhattan Mortg. Corp. (In re Stubbs)

Plaintiffs, a debtor joined by her chapter 13 trustee, brought an adversary proceeding pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 544(a)(3) against defendant creditors seeking to avoid a mortgage lien based on an alleged improper acknowledgment. The matter was before the court for consideration upon a stipulated record.
Ruling: 
Mortgage lien was avoidable and subordinate to the hypothetical bona fide purchaser trustee since the mortgage had an improper acknowledgement and thus failed to provide constructive notice.
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Farmer v. Green Tree Serv. LLC (In re Snelson)

Plaintiff, a chapter 7 trustee in bankruptcy, filed an adversary complaint seeking to avoid a lien on the debtor's mobile home held by defendant creditor, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 544, and to recover the value of the mobile home for the benefit of the debtor's estate under 11 U.S.C. § 551. The trustee claimed the lien was avoidable due to a clerical error in the description of the collateral. Both parties moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Trustee could not avoid creditor's lien since the creditor's security interest was perfected despite a clerical error in the description of the collateral.
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Richardson v. Ford Motor Credit Co. (In re Casias)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor seeking to avoid certain payments as preferences. The issue was whether the trustee could avoid as a preference wages paid to a judgment creditor within 90 days of the debtor's bankruptcy where a state court wage deduction order was entered more than 90 days before the bankruptcy was filed.
Ruling: 
Wages paid to judgment creditor within preference period pursuant to judgment order entered prior to preference period were avoidable transfers since the debtor obtained the interest in the wages after performing work.
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James v. Tipler (In re Tipler)

The matter was before the court on plaintiff judgment creditors'objection to discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2), (3) and (4), and objection to the dischargeability of their claim pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2), (4) and (6).
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied discharge based on failure to keep recorded information and false oath.
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Ponder v. Apyron Techs. Inc. (In re Apyron Techs. Inc.)

Plaintiff former employee sought a judgment declaring that he and not defendant debtor, who was his former employer, owned certain intellectual property. It was determined that the debtor owned the technology. The bankruptcy court addressed the balance of the debtor's motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Former employee's intellectual property claim against debtor employer was subordinated to claims made by other unsecured creditors since the employee's false representations greatly injured the debtor.
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Turner v. Cornelius (In re Cornelius)

The debtor filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. The United States trustee asserted that the debtor's discharge was to be denied pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 727(a)(2) and 727(a)(4).
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied discharge where the debtor made two material false oaths.
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In re Meyn

Movant trustee sought to dismiss the chapter 7 case of respondent debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b) or alternatively to dismiss the debtor's case under section 707(a) for "cause." The debtor's chapter 13 case had been previously dismissed for failure to confirm a plan.
Ruling: 
Abuse of chapter 7 was found where the debtor inflated expenses, failed to disclose certain interests and prepetition expenditures, and had sufficient disposable income for a meaningful chapter 13 plan.
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In re Trobaugh

Debtors filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 13 of the Code. Debtors later moved to avoid creditor's lien on a mobile home pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(f).
Ruling: 
Debtors were denied motion to avoid a creditor's lien on their mobile home since the lien was consensual.
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Conseco Inc. v. Schwartz (In re Conseco Inc.)

Plaintiff, a corporation newly formed to act as the chapter 11 reorganized debtor, filed a motion in its adversary proceeding against defendant litigants, seeking pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 524 to enforce the discharge injunction and a related injunction contained in the debtor's confirmed plan of reorganization and the confirmation order.
Ruling: 
Discharge and plan injunctions did not bar class action since the insurance contracts at issue in the action were executory contracts that debtor was obligated to perform after discharge.
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Tynes v. Lowell (In re Lowell)

Plaintiff former spouse of defendant bankruptcy debtor brought an adversary proceeding against the debtor, seeking a determination that amounts owed by the debtor under the parties'divorce decree were non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) and (15). The court conducted a trial.
Ruling: 
Debts owed to debtor's former spouse pursuant to a divorce decree were nondischargeable since they were intended as part of spousal support.
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Savage & Assocs. P.C. v. A.I. Credit Corp. (In re Teligent Inc.)

Plaintiff representative of unsecured creditors of reorganized bankruptcy debtors brought an adversary proceeding against defendant, a company which financed insurance premiums, alleging that the debtors' payments to the company for financing its business insurance premiums constituted preferential transfers under 11 U.S.C. § 547. The company moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Debtors'payments to a company for financing the debtors'business insurance premiums were not preferential transfers since the company was oversecured and had properly perfected its security interest.
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Thurmond v. Rajapakse (In re Rajapakse)

The chapter 7 trustee moved, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 521(4), for an order directing the debtors to turn over and account for certain property located outside the United States. The debtors contended that the disputed property was not property of the estate and was therefore beyond the bankruptcy court's jurisdiction.
Ruling: 
Order directing the debtors to turn over property located outside the United States was granted since estate property includes that located inside or outside the United States.
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Gordon v. NovaStar Mortg. Inc. (In re Hedrick)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee in bankruptcy sought to avoid as a preference, a security deed recorded for the benefit of defendant lender against debtors'residence that secured a refinancing loan, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 547. The trustee asserted that the recording was a transfer of an interest in debtors'property within the 90-day period preceding the bankruptcy, made while debtors were insolvent. Both parties moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Creditor's loan security deed was not an avoidable preference since the security deed was effective not on its recording but on the date of execution, which was prior to 90-day lookback period, and under equitable subordination doctrine.
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