Hunt v. Spencer (In re Spencer)

(Bankr. S.D. Ind. Feb. 24, 2017)

The bankruptcy court denies the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in this nondischargeability action under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2), (4), and (6). The plaintiff argued that a state court judgment collaterally estopped the debtor from defending against the claims. The court holds that the findings in the state court judgment are insufficient to prevent the debtor from asserting a defense in this action. Opinion below.

Judge: Carr

Attorney for Plaintiff: Mulvey Law LLC, Joseph L. Mulvey

Attorney for Debtor: Mercho Caughey & DeLay, Tarek Elias Mercho

2017-02-24-in-re-spencer

Author: Matt Lindblom

Tennessee v. Hildebrand (In re Corrin)

(6th Cir. Feb. 23, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s decision to confirm the debtor’s Chapter 13 plan, which included payment of overdue property taxes under Tennessee law with an interest rate of 12%. The state argued that the interest rate should be 18% due to the additional 6% interest permitted under the applicable state statute for a default penalty. The court holds that the 12% provided in the “nonbankruptcy law” is applicable, while the 6% penalty is not applicable. Opinion below.

Judge: Stranch

Attorney for State: Gill Robert Geldrich, Office of the Attorney General of Tennessee

Attorney for Debtor: Rothschild & Ausbrooks, Mary Elizabeth Ausbrooks, Alexander Koval

2017-02-23-in-re-corrin

Author: Matt Lindblom

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