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In re Beaza

The trustee moved to dismiss the debtors'chapter 7 petition, based on the debtors'claim of certain deductions on Official Bankr. Form 22A (the Means Test), either as a presumed abuse of chapter 7 pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(2), or alternatively as an abuse of chapter 7 based on the totality of the circumstances of the debtors'financial situation pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(3).
Ruling: 
Case ordered converted or dismissed on totality of circumstances where debtors proposed surrendering collateral to satisfy most of secured debt.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 29,2008, LexisNexis #0209-014

In re Cabrera-Mejia

The court issued an order to show cause why a law firm should not be subjected to sanctions for filing motions seeking relief from the automatic stay that was imposed after various debtors filed petitions under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Ruling: 
Law firm sanctioned for filing and then withdrawing numerous requests for relief from stay without conducting proper investigation into basis for motions.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 23,2008, LexisNexis #0309-094

Brashers Sacramento Auto Auction Inc. v. Ahmed (In re Ahmed)

Plaintiff auto auction company filed a complaint to determine that certain debts owed by defendant debtor were nondischargeable in debtor's chapter 7 case pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(2), (a)(4) and (a)(6).
Ruling: 
Amounts owed by debtor auto dealer to auto sales company were nondischargeable due to theft of auto titles and willful and malicious wrongful sales to third parties.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 23,2008, LexisNexis #0409-006

In re Johnson

The debtors filed for relief under chapter 7. The United States Trustee filed a motion to dismiss the case under 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(3).
Ruling: 
Excess secured debt on debtor's primary residence did not preclude relief in consumer case.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 08,2008, LexisNexis #0409-056

Lebbos v. Schuette

Appellant, the debtor in the underlying bankruptcy, sought review of an order of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California, that approved the settlement and compromise under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9019, by appellee trustee of a civil rights assault and battery suit that the debtor had failed to list as an asset of her estate.
Ruling: 
Approval of settlement of unlisted civil rights assualt and battery case affirmed.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on December 02,2008, LexisNexis #0109-099

In re Johnson

The chapter 11 trustee applied under 11 U.S.C.S. § 327(e) to employ debtors' counsel for the specified special purpose of performing transition services he had requested. As finally adjusted, the 11 U.S.C.S. § 330(a)(1) fee request sought a total of $ 179,894, including the $ 3,857 incurred at the request of the chapter 11 trustee after counsel's § 327(a) employment ended and $ 1625 for preparation and prosecution of the final fee application.
Ruling: 
Employment of debtor's attorney by chapter 11 trustee for transition services approved.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 21,2008, LexisNexis #0109-071

In re Jensen

The United States Trustee (UST) moved to dismiss the debtors' chapter 7 case pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 707(b)(1) and (b)(3)(B). The UST conceded that the debtors' petition did not trigger the "presumption of abuse" under the § 707(b)(2) Means Test. However, the UST argued that the debtors' petition was abusive pursuant to § 707(b)(3)(B) because of the "totality of the circumstances"test.
Ruling: 
Dismissal for abuse under totality of circumstances test denied where result would contradict policies behind means test.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 12,2008, LexisNexis #0109-018

In re Vargas

The movant, which was apparently not the mortgagee of record, sought relief from the automatic stay to proceed on the foreclosure of the promissory note and mortgage. The debtor asserted that the promissory note in issue was a forgery and not a valid instrument.
Ruling: 
Law firm sanctioned for bringing motion for relief from stay to foreclose without evidentiary support.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 22,2008, LexisNexis #0209-135

Fearing v. Serror (In re Fearing)

Appellant debtors challenged an order from a bankruptcy court that granted summary judgment in favor of appellee trustee in the trustee's action for declaratory relief. The trustee sought a determination that the debtors were not entitled to the proceeds from a personal injury settlement. The debtors filed a motion to alter and amend that judgment.
Ruling: 
Debtor's exempt personal injury settlement proceeds could be distributed to satisfy debt secured by tax lien.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 21,2008, LexisNexis #1108-137

In re Serda

A creditor held a second priority trust deed against a bankruptcy debtor's residence, and the debtor asserted that the value of the residence was less than the amount secured by the first priority trust deed and that the creditor's claim was thus unsecured. The debtor moved to value the residence.
Ruling: 
Second lien on debtor's residence was partially secured based on creditor's appraisal which employed comparable sales of bank owned properties.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on October 17,2008, LexisNexis #1208-025

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