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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

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

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 Select Car Rental Inc.

A debtor filed an application for approval of the employment of an attorney as special counsel, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 327(e), for the purpose of representing the debtor in a contested matter regarding a creditor's proof of claim. The creditor objected to the application.
Ruling: 
Attorney representing third party plan proponents could not represent debtor in contested adversary proceeding.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on November 17,2008, LexisNexis #0109-002

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

In re High Voltage Engg Corp.

The liquidating supervisor for chapter 11 debtors filed a motion pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 554 for an order authorizing the abandonment to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection of the debtors'contingent interest in certain funds held in trust, and a motion pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9019 for authority to cause the debtors to enter into a settlement agreement with two individuals and the State of New Jersey.
Ruling: 
Funds, in which debtor had contingent interest, held in trust for remediation of contaminated property could be paid to state environmental agency as part of settlement rather than abandoned.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on November 07,2008, LexisNexis #1208-099

Sternklar v. Heritgage Auction Galleries Inc. (In re Paul)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee and debtor sued defendant coin dealers, alleging, inter alia, breach of an employment agreement and fraudulent and preferential transfers of assets under a business relationship between the debtor and the dealers. Seeking to enforce arbitration clauses contained within various documents the debtor executed, the dealers moved to dismiss or stay and compel arbitration, or to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b).
Ruling: 
Fraud claims brought under Bankruptcy Code were not arbitrable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on November 04,2008, LexisNexis #1208-067

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