Lee v. The William R. Lee Irrevocable Trust (In re Lee)

(S.D. Ind. Feb. 17, 2017)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s judgment in favor of the plaintiff trust. The bankruptcy court held that the trust could pierce the corporate veil and hold the debtor personally liable to the trust. The district court analyzes Indiana law on veil piercing and finds no error. Opinion below.

Judge: Young

Attorney for Debtor: Goering Law LLC, Wilmer E. Goering, II

Attorney for Plaintiff: Kroger Gardis & Regas LLP, David E. Wright

2017-02-17-in-re-lee

Author: Matt Lindblom

Hovious v. Bridgewater Homeowners Association, Inc. (In re Hovious)

(Bankr. S.D. Ind. Feb. 15, 2017)

The bankruptcy court enters judgment in favor of the debtor and against the home owners’ association but does not award any damages. The debtor argued the HOA violated the discharge injunction when it attempted to collect post-petition dues from the debtor. The debtor intended to surrender the property, but it was not clear whether the debtor had ceased occupying the residence based on evidence presented. The court finds that the HOA may have technically violated the discharge injunction but had proceeded in good faith and pursuant to a reasonable interpretation of applicable law. Opinion below.

Judge: Carr

Attorney for Debtor: Mark S. Zuckerberg

Attorney for Defendant: Thrasher Buschmann & Voelkel, P.C., Stephen Robert Donham

2017-02-15-in-re-hovious

Author: Matt Lindblom

Walro v. Lee (In re Lee)

(S.D. Ind. Feb. 13, 2017)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s judgment in favor of the trustee in this fraudulent transfer action. The district court rejects the defendant’s arguments that the bankruptcy court relied too heavily on a trust document and state court judgment for the finding of fraud. The bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion by entering a money judgment for the value of the shares at the time of the transfer rather than ordering that the shares be returned (at their depreciated value). The bankruptcy court also did not commit clear error in valuing the shares. Opinion below.

Judge: Young

Attorneys for Trustee: Rubin & Levin PC, John M. Rogers

Appellant: Pro Se

2017-02-13-in-re-lee

Author: Matt Lindblom

Gresk v. Bulmer (In re Bulmer)

(Bankr. S.D. Ind. Feb. 10, 2017)

The bankruptcy court enters judgment in favor of the debtor on the trustee’s claims to avoid transfers of real property, but the court enters judgment in favor of the trustee on the claim under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4) and denies the debtor a discharge. The court finds that the debtor made a false oath on his statement of financial affairs with reckless disregard for the truth. The debtor had transferred property prior to his divorce but claimed those transfers were made as a result of the divorce. Opinion below.

Judge: Moberly

Attorney for Trustee: Randolph A. Leerkamp

Attorneys for Defendant: Allen Wellman McNew, Michael Clifford Cooley, Wolf Law Firm, LLC, Sarah Margaret Wolf

2017-02-10-in-re-bulmer

Author: Matt Lindblom

Meoli v. The Huntington National Bank

(6th Cir. Feb. 8, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit reverses in part the bankruptcy court’s judgment in this fraudulent transfer action. The defendant bank received funds as loan payments from an affiliate of the debtor. The affiliate entity was created by the debtor to facilitate a ponzi scheme. The bankruptcy court held that all of the loan payments were recoverable. The Sixth Circuit differentiates between direct loan payments from the affiliate, indirect loan payments resulting from the affiliate depositing into the debtor’s bank account, and excess deposits later withdrawn by the debtor or seized by the government. Opinion below.

Judge: Rogers

Attorneys for Trustee: Mika, Meyers, Beckett & Jones, Douglas Arthur Donnell, Fredric Norman Goldberg

Attorneys for Defendant: Covington & Burling, Robert Allen Long, Jr., Mark William, Mosier, David Meir Zionts, Warner, Norcross & Judd, Jeffrey O. Birkhold, James Moskal, Matthew T. Nelson

2017-02-08-in-re-meoli

Author: Matt Lindblom

Cox v. Nostaw, Inc. (In re Central Illinois Energy Cooperative)

(7th Cir. Feb. 8, 2017)

The Seventh Circuit denies the trustee’s motion to dismiss his appeal and remand so that the bankruptcy court could approve the settlement between the parties, as the bankruptcy court recently indicated that it would approve the settlement. The court denies the motion because Appellate Procedure Rule 12.1 requires that the district court indicate that it would grant the same relief as the bankruptcy court. Opinion below.

Judge: Ripple

Attorneys for Trustee: Riordan, Fulkerson, Hupert & Coleman, Alan Fulkerson

Attorneys for Appellee: Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, Thomas W. O’Neal

2017-02-08-in-re-central-illinois-energy-cooperative

Author: Matt Lindblom

Indiana Department of Workforce Development v. Burge (In re Burge)

(Bankr. S.D. Ind. Feb. 2, 2017)

The bankruptcy court makes additional findings of fact following the appeal and remand. The court’s original judgment stands, as the court concludes again that the plaintiff failed to prove that the debtor should have known of the fraud committed with his accounts. Opinion below

Prior opinion summary: click here

Judge: Carr

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Jackson Kelly, PLLC, Spencer W. Tanner; Office of the Attorney General, Heather M. Crockett, Maricel E.V. Skiles

Attorneys for Debtor: Redman Ludwig, Keith Eirik Gifford

2017-02-02-in-re-burge

Author: Matt Lindblom