Panther Petroleum, LLC v. Couch (In re Couch)

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Jan. 7, 2016)

The bankruptcy court grants summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, finding the plaintiff’s claims are non dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(6). The plaintiff obtained a default judgment against the debtor in a Tennessee state court, in which the debtor participated until discovery. Prior to entry of the default judgment, the debtor filed bankruptcy but failed to give notice to the plaintiff. After the bankruptcy case was closed, the plaintiff learned of the bankruptcy for the first time and then filed the adversary proceeding. The court holds that § 523(a)(3) is satisfied because the plaintiff did not have timely notice of the bankruptcy filing. The court then holds that, based on the state court judgment, collateral estoppel prohibits the debtor from defending against the claims. Opinion below.

2016-01-07 – panther petroleum v couch

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Witty

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Jan. 4, 2016)

The bankruptcy court denies the United States Trustee’s (“UST”) motion to dismiss the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case under 11 U.S.C. § 707(b). The UST argued that the debtor’s monthly expenses were excessive. The court finds that the expenses are not excessive considering the debtor’s current employment demands significant expenses for travel and clothing. The compensation warranted the expenses, and the debtor was required to travel for weekend visits with her children following her 2013 divorce. Opinion below.

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Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Horn

(Bankr. S.D. Ind. Jan. 4, 2016)

The bankruptcy court denies the United States Trustee’s (“UST”) motion to dismiss the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case under 11 U.S.C. § 707(b). The UST did not argue that the debtor filed in bad faith, but instead the totality of the circumstances of the debtor’s financial situation warranted dismissal. The debtor scheduled significant monthly retirement payments and tax overpayments that the UST contended could be used to fund a Chapter 13 plan. The court finds that the circumstances here did not warrant dismissal, in part due to the debtor’s age and retirement savings to date. Opinion below.

2016-01-04 – in re horn

Author: Matt Lindblom

Brown v. UAL Corporation (In re UAL Corporation)

(7th Cir. Dec. 31, 2015)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s decision to deny the motion to reopen the chapter 11 case. The movant sought to reopen the case to pursue pre-petition state law claims of employment discrimination. The matter had been pending in the bankruptcy court during the bankruptcy case, but the movant had failed to diligently pursue the claims at that time. The court finds that the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion. Opinion below.

2015-12-31 – brown v ual corp

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Nierzwicki Holdings, LLC

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Dec. 30, 2015)

The bankruptcy court denies the motion for stay relief to proceed with prepetition litigation. The movants were seeking to enjoin the debtors’ operation of a nightclub due to an alleged noise nuisance. The bankruptcy court applies the factors for considering whether stay relief should be granted to allow prepetition litigation to continue. While some of the factors were not determinative, allowing the litigation to continue would cause serious damage to the debtors’ reorganization efforts. The court ultimately concludes that stay relief is inappropriate. Opinion below.

2015-12-30 – in re nierzwicki holdings

Author: Matt Lindblom