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In re Lott

The bankruptcy court granted the chapter 7 trustee's motion to reopen the debtors' case. The issue was whether the wife debtor's interest in the proceeds of an action for the wrongful death of her mother were property of the estate. The trustee claimed that the debtor's interest in the wrongful death action proceeds was property of the estate because that interest, and the cause of action, arose on the prepetition date of death.
Ruling: 
Debtor's interest in the proceeds of a wrongful death action of her mother's estate was property of the estate since it was at least a prepetition contingent right to the proceeds.
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In re Hettler

Plaintiff creditor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtors, alleging that the creditor's state court judgment against the debtors established willful and malicious injury to the creditor and thus the judgment debt was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) based on collateral estoppel. The creditor moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
State jury findings of actual malice sufficiently established willful and malicious injury under the Code and thus judgment was nondischargeable.
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In re Bramlett Plumbing Inc.

In August, 2005, the debtors filed an application to employ an accounting firm, and the application disclosed that the debtors had paid the firm a prepetition retainer. The court advised debtors that the filing was deficient and the debtors filed a pleading withdrawing the application. The debtors were directed to file a report disclosing the actual amount of the retainer and its disposition.
Ruling: 
Debtors'counsel was ordered to refund the debtor a retainer that had been characterized to the court as for bankruptcy case services but that had been applied to a prepetition services debt.
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In re Engebregtsen

Debtors filed a chapter 13 case, and creditor, the holder of a lien in debtors'pickup truck, filed a proof of claim in the total amount of $21,834.72, delineating $20,475 as the secured portion of the claim and $1,359.72 as the unsecured portion. Debtors opposed the creditor's valuation of the vehicle and filed an objection to allowance of the claim.
Ruling: 
The liquidation value at the time of filing was held to be the valuation method for the creditor's objected-to proof of claim on the lien held on the debtor's pickup truck and was not affected by the debtor's continued unauthorized use of the vehicle.
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Wash. Mut. Bank F.A. v. Sommerville (In re Sommerville)

Plaintiff, a servicer for a prior lien holder, alleged that it filed a corporate deed of release in error and that defendant debtor's note has not been paid in full. The servicer sought to have the deed of release set aside and the deed of trust reinstated. The debtor and defendant trustee opposed reinstatement of the deed of trust as violating 11 U.S.C. § 544(a). The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Lien holder was barred by automatic stay from correcting the lien holder's mistaken release of debtor since filing established the trustee as a hypothetical lien creditor senior to the lien holder.
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Khuu v. Beeren & Barry Invs. LLC (In re Khuu)

Plaintiffs, chapter 13 debtors, brought an action to set aside a prepetition foreclosure sale at which defendant purchasers bought debtors'house. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim for relief.
Ruling: 
Court denied a motion to dismiss the debtor's complaint since the complaint stated a claim and the debtors had standing under the circumstances to assert transfer avoidance powers that ordinarily reside with the trustee.
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In re West

A secured creditor filed a motion to allow untimely filing of a proof of claim in a debtor's chapter 13 case, arguing that as it had not been listed on the debtor's schedules, it had not received timely notice of the bankruptcy filing.
Ruling: 
Debtor's pre-petition county property taxes were not dischargeable since the taxes were not listed in the debtor's chapter 13 plan.
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In re Rudy

A chapter 7 matter was before the court on an order requiring debtor's former wife and her attorney to show cause why they should not be held in civil contempt, and appropriate sanctions imposed, for violation of the discharge injunction.
Ruling: 
Debtor's former wife and the wife's attorney were held in contempt for violating a discharge injunction by pursuing indemnification for credit card debts for which the debtor's liability was deemed to have arisen prepetition.
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Baron v. Klitchko (In re Klutchko)

Plaintiff bankruptcy trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendants, the debtor and a corporation, alleging that the debtor's discharge should be denied under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a) for making a false oath, concealing property with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors, and failing to maintain and provide adequate financial records. The court conducted a bench trial.
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied a discharge because the debtor intentionally and with fraudulent intent failed to disclose the debtor's consultant work performed for a corporation formed by the debtor's live-in companion.
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Yun Zhong Qui v. Ci Qing Zhou (In re Ci Qing Zhou)

Plaintiff judgment creditor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor, seeking a determination that the judgment debt against the debtor for defamation and infliction of emotional distress was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) based on the debtor's false accusations that the creditor committed sexual assaults.
Ruling: 
Judgment debt against the debtor for defamation and infliction of emotional distress was dischargeable since the schizophrenic debtor had believed the creditor sexually assaulted her and thus did not act maliciously toward the creditor.
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