FTI Consulting, Inc. v. Merit Management Group, LP

(7th Cir. July 28, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit holds that the safe harbor provision of 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) does not apply to a transaction in which an entity that serves as merely a conduit for a pre-petition transfer is the only entity that fits one of the necessary categories of entities in that section. The conduit was a financial institution, which is a type of entity protected by § 546(e). However, neither the debtor nor the transferree were a type of entity that is protected. Thus, the court holds that the safe harbor provision does not apply and reverses the district court judgment. Opinion below.

Judge: Wood

Attorneys for Trustee: Reid Collins & Tsai LLP, Gregory S. Schwegmann

Attorneys for Defendant: Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Jason J. DeJonker, James B. Sowka

2016-07-28 – fti consulting v merit management

Author: Matt Lindblom

Zeiden v. Griswold (In re Wierzbicki)

(7th Cir. July 27, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s order finding that the debtor’s prepetition transfer of a farm to the defendant was a fraudulent transfer subject to avoidance. The debtor transferred the farm in exchange for the defendant’s agreement to abandon litigation he had brought against the debtor. The bankruptcy court found that the debtor did not receive reasonably equivalent value in exchange for the farm. Opinion below.

Per Curiam

Defendant: Pro Se

Attorney for Trustee: Brenda L. Zeddun

2016-07-27 – in re wierzbicki

Author: Matt Lindblom

Wittman v. Koenig

(7th Cir. July 26, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit interprets a Wisconsin exemption statute applicable to annuity contracts. The statute provides that such a contract is exempt from assets available to creditors so long as it “complies with the provisions of the internal revenue code.” The trustee argued for a narrow interpretation of this language, while the Court ultimately agrees with the broader interpretation of the statute employed by Wisconsin bankruptcy courts. Opinion below.

Judge: Hamilton

Attorney for Debtors: Dewitt Ross & Stevens S.C., Craig E. Stevenson

Attorney for Trustee: Ruder Ware, Steven Martin Anderson

2016-07-26 – wittman v koenig

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Hurst

(Bankr. S.D. Ind. July 8, 2016)

The court overrules the debtor’s ex-spouse’s objection to confirmation of the Chapter 13 plan. The creditor argued her claim could not be discharged because it was a domestic support obligation. However, the court analyzes the divorce decree and determines that the payments ordered were not tied to health or employment prospects or the creditor’s ability to support herself. Under the circumstances, the court concludes the claim is not for a domestic support obligation and may be discharged. Opinion below.

Judge: Moberly

Attorney for Debtor: Robert Perry Law Office, Robert C. Perry

Attorney for Creditor: Eric C. Welch

2016-07-08 – in re hurst

Author: Matt Lindblom

Halpin v. Hardy (In re Hardy)

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. July 8, 2016)

The bankruptcy court holds the debt is dischargeable. The debtor sold a television to the plaintiffs, claiming it was a “high definition” television. The plaintiffs disputed that characterization and obtained a judgment in state court for the purchase price plus punitive damages. However, the court finds that the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proof in showing the requisite elements of § 523(a)(2)(A). Opinion below.

Judge: Schaaf

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Thomas D. Bullock, James Ross Stinetorf, DelCotto Law Group PLLC, Laura Day DelCotto, Dean A. Langdon

Attorneys for Debtors: Getty & Childers, PLLC, J.D. Kermode

2016-07-08 – halpin v hardy

Author: Matt Lindblom

Harper v. Conco ESOP Trustees

(W.D. Ky. July 7, 2016)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s order enjoining the transfer of certain equity interests in the reorganized chapter 11 debtor because it violated the terms of the confirmed plan. The court determines that the bankruptcy court interpreted rather than modified the plan and thus the district court reviews the appealed order for abuse of discretion. While the plan did not expressly prohibit the transfer of the equity interests, the facts surrounding the negotiation and confirmation of the plan clearly evidenced the interested parties’ intent to prohibit such transfer until a certain date. Opinion below.

Attorneys for Appellants: Kaplan & Partners, LLP, Casey L. Hinkle, David S. Kaplan; Keller Rohrback LLP, David S. Preminger; Frost Brown Todd LLC, Cory J. Skolnick, Edward M. King, John S. Egan; Hahn & Hessen LLP, Gilbert Backenroth, Jeffrey Zawadzki; Seiller Waterman, LLC, Neil Charles Bordy

Attorneys for ESOP Trustees: Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, Lea Pauley Goff, P. Douglas Barr

Attorneys for Oversight Committee: Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Claude R. Bowles, Jr., James R. Irving, John W. Ames

2016-07-07 – harper v conco esop trustees


Author: Matt Lindblom