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.

Gharavi v. U.S. Dept. of Educ. (In re Gharavi)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding seeking the discharge of her student loans pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8). Defendant creditors defended the complaint by arguing that the debtor had resources to pay the obligation. The court held an evidentiary hearing.
Ruling: 
Court discharged most of the debtor's student loan debt due to undue hardship related to the debtor's multiple sclerosis.
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Bryant v. JCOR Mech. Inc. (In re Electron Corp.)

Defendant materialman appealed an order of the bankruptcy court that avoided as preferential a payment made by debtor within 90 days before debtor filed a proceeding under chapter 11. Plaintiff was the trustee of the debtor's estate.
Ruling: 
Payments were not preferential transfers since the materialman was a secured creditor in that the materialman would have been entitled to perfect a statutory lien had the materialman not been paid in full.
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In re Mundy

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor, seeking to avoid a lien that the creditor had in certain personal property owned by the debtor, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(1)(B). The court issued findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Ruling: 
Debtor was granted a motion to avoid a lien on common household goods but not on other personal property.
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Mirant Corp. v. S. Co.

The bankruptcy court recommended that the reference not be withdrawn as to an adversary proceeding filed by the jointly administered chapter 11 debtors and a creditors committee against defendant, one debtor's prior parent corporation, that asserted core and non-core claims under 28 U.S.C. § 157. The parent, who had requested a jury trial, had also requested transfer to Georgia after withdrawal.
Ruling: 
Motion for withdrawal of a reference was granted since the action was more in the nature of a non-core proceeding than a core proceeding.
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City & County of San Francisco v. PG&E Corp.

Plaintiff governmental entities sued defendant corporation and its utility company in state court seeking restitution to third parties under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code section 17200 of the California Unfair Practices Act. The actions were removed to bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court ruled the section 17200 actions for restitution were not removable. The U.S. district court held otherwise. The entities appealed.
Ruling: 
State unfair practices actions seeking restitution constituted police or regulatory power actions that could not be removed to bankruptcy court.
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In re Euro-American Lodging Corp.

A creditor (mortgagee) filed an involuntary chapter 7 case, 11 U.S.C. § 303(b), against an alleged debtor, its mortgagor. The matter was before the court for a ruling following a three-day bench trial. The alleged debtor opposed the petition.
Ruling: 
Creditor sustained burden of proof on involuntary petition where debtor had no more than eight bona fide creditors as of petition date.
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In re Johnson

The court conducted a hearing on debtor's motion to extend the automatic stay and the creditor's opposition thereto. The court granted debtor's motion in open court and asked debtor's attorney to submit an order. The court signed the order granting the motion, but due to the nature of the creditor's opposition to the motion, the court entered a memorandum opinion clarifying its ruling.
Ruling: 
Creditor could not foreclose on the debtor's home since the stay did not automatically end after 30 days with respect to the debtor's home and thus remained in effect until the debtor's case was dismissed or discharged.
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In re McBride

A bankruptcy debtor's chapter 13 plan was confirmed and provided for monthly payments to a creditor whose debt was secured by the debtor's vehicle but, upon the debtor's failure to make the plan payments, the creditor repossessed and sold the vehicle. The creditor submitted an amended claim for deficiency, and the debtor moved to disallow the claim.
Ruling: 
Creditor's deficiency claim was disallowed since the creditor did not reserve a right of relief from potential deficiency.
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In re Dwiggins

An oversecured mortgage creditor amended its claim in debtors bankruptcy to include postpetition attorneys fees, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 506(b), for bankruptcy-related services and for defending the debtors'state-court appeal of a decision in favor of the creditor. The debtors objected to the creditor's amended claim.
Ruling: 
Claim for postpetition creditor's attorneys' fees incurred in collecting debt was allowed.
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In re Desert Vill. Ltd. Pship

The debtor in possession filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy relief. Claimant creditor filed a proof of claim for moneys owed for accounting services provided prepetition to the debtor in possession. The debtor in possession objected to the proof of claim. The court held a hearing on the objection.
Ruling: 
Court sustained the debtor's objection to the creditor's proof of claim as to the additional amount listed but not to the claim itself since debtor listed an amount owed to the creditor on the petition.
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In re Stout

The U.S. trustee moved to dismiss the debtor's chapter 7 case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b) on the grounds that the filing constituted a substantial abuse of the provisions of chapter 7.
Ruling: 
Trustee was granted motion to dismiss the debtor's case since the amounts the debtor budgeted for the debtor's daughter's home schooling and ice skating lessons constituted a substantial abuse of chapter 7.
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In re Kelly

The United States Trustee filed a motion to convert debtors' reopened chapter 13 case to chapter 7 for the administration of undisclosed assets.
Ruling: 
Fraud was not grounds for converting chapter 13 case after confirmation completion and discharge.
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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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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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