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In re Michaud

In three chapter 13 cases, the trustee objected to confirmation of the debtors'chapter 13 plans on the grounds that the debtors were not using all of their disposable income to fund their chapter 13 plans, as required by 11 U.S.C.S. § 1325(b)(1)(B).
Ruling: 
Confirmation denied due to debtor's failure to devote income tax refund to plan.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 30,2008, LexisNexis #0209-130

Smith v. Pritchett (In re Smith)

Appellant debtor challenged the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire's order overruling his objection to the proof of claim filed by appellee, his former spouse, and denying his motion to avoid her lien.
Ruling: 
Penalties for late alimony payments were not domestic support obligations and related lien was avoidable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 29,2008, LexisNexis #0309-001

In re Porter

The court issued an order to a bank to show cause regarding provisions contained in a reaffirmation agreement between debtors, a married couple who filed a chapter 7 case, and the bank relative to a mortgage on the couple's residence. At issue was whether approval of the agreement was properly denied by reason of the bank's failure to obtain an order allowing postpetition fees and expenses under 11 U.S.C.S. § 506(b).
Ruling: 
Approval of reaffirmation agreement denied due to failure to seek allowance for postpetition attorneys'fees that were included.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 22,2008, LexisNexis #0209-111

Lassman v. Hegarty (In re Hegarty)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor seeking to revoke his discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(a)(3) or (a)(4)(D). The trustee asserted that the debtor failed to keep and produce or knowingly and fraudulently withheld statements and cancelled checks with respect to two separate bank accounts.
Ruling: 
Debtor's discarding of bank statements due to misunderstanding with trustee was not grounds for denial of discharge.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 16,2008, LexisNexis #0309-125

Antognoni v. Basso (In re Basso)

Debtor appealed from an order of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts that denied his discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 727(a)(2)(A) and sustained plaintiff creditor's objection to his homestead exemption. The court denied the debtor's discharge under the continuous concealment doctrine, and denied the homestead exemption because he had filed the declaration of homestead in violation of a state court order.
Ruling: 
Denial of discharge on theory of "continuing concealment" reversed as homestead declaration announced, rather than hid, interest in property.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 09,2008, LexisNexis #0309-034

Martinez v. Arce (In re Martinez)

Appellant debtor challenged an order of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto that granted the motion to dismiss filed by appellee, the debtor's former spouse, and dismissed the debtor's Chapter 13 case, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 1307(c), on the grounds of her bad faith in filing the petition.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court properly granted motion to dismiss by debtor's spouse despite disallowance of spouse's claim.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 01,2008, LexisNexis #0309-035

A.J. Rinella & Co. v. Bartlett (In re Bartlett)

Plaintiff creditor, a produce distributor, brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtors who operated a wholesale produce business, seeking a determination that a debt arising from the debtors' purchase of produce from the creditor was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(4) based on the debtors' fiduciary defalcation.
Ruling: 
Produce distributor's failure to retain sale proceeds in trust pursuant to Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act resulted in nondischargeable debt.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 01,2008, LexisNexis #0309-098

In re Bernard

The United States Trustee moved to dismiss the debtors' case for abuse under 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(2), or in the alternative, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(3). The debtors objected to the motion. The court found that the motion turned on whether the debtors could properly deduct their income taxes withheld rather than the actual amount of the tax liability incurred.
Ruling: 
Case ordered dismissed or converted for abuse due to debtor's deduction of taxes withheld rather than actual tax liability resulted in understated current monthly income.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 20,2008, LexisNexis #1208-121

In re Fontaine

The chapter 7 debtors delivered a copy of their federal tax return to the chapter 7 trustee at the 11 U.S.C.S. § 341 meeting with the creditors. However, they did not deliver of copy of the return to a creditor until the next day. The creditor moved to dismiss the chapter 7 case. The debtors' objected to the motion.
Ruling: 
Delivery of copy of tax return to creditor one day after it was provided to trustee was not grounds for dismissal.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 17,2008, LexisNexis #1208-116

In re Fatsis

After the debtor failed to make plan payments in a timely manner, his chapter 13 case was converted to a chapter 7 case. After the chapter 7 trustee learned at the 11 U.S.C.S. § 341 meeting that the debtor had transferred nonexempt stock without notice or authorization, he moved to hold the debtor in contempt for violation of the confirmation order and for sanctions. The debtor objected to the motion. The court held an evidentiary hearing.
Ruling: 
Debtor sanctioned in amount received in unauthorized transfer of nonexempt stock.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 14,2008, LexisNexis #1208-132

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