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 23,000 opinion summaries by keyword, relevant code section, court and judge. Opinion summaries are provided by our partner LexisNexis® Collier and are updated weekly.

Redmond v. MHC Fin. Servs. (In re Barker)

Defendants, chapter 7 debtor and creditor, filed motions for summary judgment in trustee's action, which sought to avoid a transfer of an interest in property pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 547(b).
Ruling: 
Avoidance safe harbor not available where creditor could not establish perfection within 20 days of debtor receiving possession of collateral.
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In re Helm

The debtors, a musician and his wife, filed under chapter 7 and converted the case to a chapter 11 case. The debtors moved for entry of an order pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 365 rejecting an executory contract with a collection agent.
Ruling: 
Debtors were allowed to reject an executory contract in its entirety since the contract was not fully performed and the contracting party could not overcome the debtor's showing that rejection of the contract would benefit the estate.
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Briggs v. Labarge (In re Phillips)

Appellee trustee moved for sanctions against appellant attorney, alleging that the attorney violated Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9011 by filing a bankruptcy petition for the debtor without meeting with the debtor or obtaining the debtor's signature. The bankruptcy court agreed and imposed sanctions. The bankruptcy appellate panel affirmed the bankruptcy court's order. The attorney appealed.
Ruling: 
Attorney violated Bankruptcy Rules by filing bankruptcy petition for the debtor without meeting with the debtor to confirm that the debtor authorized second filing.
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Mangiulli v. Rameker (In re Mangiulli)

Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 548, plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding complaint against defendant, a Wisconsin village, seeking to recover an alleged fraudulent conveyance made to the village by two chapter 7 debtors. The trustee appealed, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 158, after the bankruptcy court granted summary judgment to the village on his fraudulent conveyance claim.
Ruling: 
Property tax assessments were not reliable indication of market value in determining if conveyance was fraudulent.
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In re Habash

Appellant creditor filed an adversary complaint to revoke appellee debtor's chapter 7 discharge in the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court dismissed the complaint with prejudice and the creditor appealed.
Ruling: 
Proceeding for revocation of discharge properly dismissed as untimely where creditor should have been capable of filing within time limits.
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In re Ward

The debtor filed for bankruptcy relief under chapter 13 and submitted a proposed plan. The trustee objected to the plan, asserting that the debtor was not going to pay all of her projected disposable income into the plan during the applicable commitment period as required by 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b).
Ruling: 
Social security income excluded from calculation of disposable income.
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Cohen v. KB Mezzanine Fund II LP (In re SubMicron Sys. Corp.)

A creditors' committee in a bankruptcy case brought an adversary proceeding against appellee lenders challenging a sale under 11 U.S.C. § 363(b) of debtors' assets; appellant plan administrator was substituted for the committee. The district court withdrew the reference to the bankruptcy court and approved the sale. The administrator appealed.
Ruling: 
Asset sale approval was affirmed since the bankruptcy court did not err in characterizing the lenders'financing as debt rather than equity and since the lenders were allowed to credit bid the full face value of their claims against the debtor's estate.
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Bennett & Fairshter LLP v. Stinky Love Inc. (In re Lacy)

Appellant law firm challenged an order and judgment from the bankruptcy court, which granted a motion by appellee creditor to implement the debtor's confirmed plan of reorganization, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1142, and disallowed the law firm's claim for attorneys'fees for postpetition, preconfirmation employment by the debtor.
Ruling: 
Order disallowing attorneys' fees was affirmed since the law firm's postpetition, preconfirmation employment had not been authorized.
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In re Paschal

Movant, a chapter 13 debtor, sought a declaratory judgment and, in the alternative, sought a continuance of the automatic stay, requesting the court to determine the meaning of 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3)(A), as enacted pursuant to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, Pub.L. No. 109-8, § 302.
Ruling: 
Court interpreted section 362(c)(3)(A) of the Code to not have terminated all of the debtor's automatic stay protections simply because the debtor had a prior case dismissed within the preceding year but rather to have terminated only if actions were taken by creditors within the prior year.
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Cliftondale Oaks LLC v. Silver Lake Enters. LLC (In re Cliftondale Oaks LLC)

Debtor objected to creditor's proof of claim and sought disallowance of the portion of the claim that represented default interest and late charges. The debtor argued that the default interest and late charges constituted an unreasonable penalty. The debtor also asserted that the payment of default interest and late charges would be inequitable to the debtor's other equity holders.
Ruling: 
Creditor was entitled to default interest as reasonable fees but was not entitled to double recovery by also charging late fees.
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In re Phillips

Debtor filed a motion to extend the automatic stay in her chapter 13 bankruptcy case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3) under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. Neither the Trustee nor any creditors filed an objection to the motion.
Ruling: 
Automatic stay was extended for second chapter 13 case because the debtor demonstrated good faith in making second filing despite failing to make payments in the first case, and changed circumstances showed an ability to pay.
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In re Cable & Wireless USA Inc.

Creditor, a state taxing authority, filed a motion for leave to file a late proof of claim. The claim was for overdue unemployment insurance taxes. The trustee of the liquidating trust filed an opposition to the motion.
Ruling: 
Taxing authority was denied a motion to file a late proof of claim since excusable neglect was not found where the taxing authority had delayed more than a year in requesting to file the proof of claim.
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Miller v. Advantage Credit Counseling Service (In re Miller)

Debtor filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. The court granted debtor's motion for an extension of time for filing the certificate of credit counseling required under 11 U.S.C. §§ 109(h)(1) and 521(b). Debtor filed a document that was purportedly a certificate of credit counseling.
Ruling: 
Alleged facsimile from credit counseling agency did not meet certification of credit counseling requirement, but the court treated document as a motion for a reasonable time to obtain the certification.
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In re Amherst Techs. LLC

In a core proceeding of 11 jointly administered chapter 7 cases, movant, a newly elected chapter 7 trustee, brought a preliminary objection to resolve a disputed election pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2003(d)(2). The U.S. trustee filed a report of the disputed chapter 7 election. The court held a preliminary status meeting and a final hearing to resolve the disputed election.
Ruling: 
Court ruled that the interim trustee had offered sufficient proof that the creditor had an interest materially adverse to the other unsecured creditors and thus was not qualified to request an election and vote for a permanent trustee.
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Ingham County v. Strojny (In re Strojny)

Plaintiff creditor was a county that had entered into a public construction contract with defendant debtor. Due to a billing error, the debtor was overpaid for work on the project. The county obtained a judgment against the debtor. The county filed the instant adversary proceeding against debtor seeking a determination that the debt was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A), (a)(4) and /or (a)(6).
Ruling: 
Judgment held by a county for overpayment to a debtor was deemed dischargeable since the debtor did not intend to injure the county by overbilling.
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