Netzer v. Office of Lawyer Regulation

(7th Cir. Mar. 13, 2017)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the district court’s dismissal of the appeal. The debtor failed to appeal the bankruptcy court’s order within the 14-day period set forth in Bankruptcy Rule 8002(a)(1). The court discusses authority holding that courts do not have equitable powers to contradict bankruptcy statutes and rules. Opinion below.

Judge: Easterbrook

Attorney for Debtor: Randy Joseph Netzer

Attorney for Appellee: Sean Michael Murphy

2017-03-13 – in re netzer

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

In re Kempff

(7th Cir. Jan. 30, 2017)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s judgment in favor of the debtor in the nondischargeability action. The creditor argued the discharge should be denied because the debtor transferred funds to pay a tax claim after the petition was filed and because of misstatements in the debtor’s schedules. The bankruptcy court found that the debtor did not authorize the post-petition transfer and found her testimony that the errors in the schedules were innocent mistakes. The court affirms, finding no basis to disturb the bankruptcy court’s findings and acceptance of the debtor’s testimony. Opinion below.

Judge: Sykes

Attorneys for Debtor: Burke, Warren, Mackay & Serritella, P.C.

Attorney for Appellant: Jeffrey W. Finke

2017-01-30-in-re-kempff

Author: Matt Lindblom

Smith v. Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.

(7th Cir. Dec. 22, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the district court’s judgment that the action against the debtor’s spouse did not violate the Chapter 13 co-debtor stay. The action against the spouse was based on a credit card account held only by the spouse. The debtor argued that, based on Wisconsin law, her assets were subject to the spouse’s credit card debt. The court holds that, while the automatic stay would prevent collection from property of the estate, the co-debtor stay did not prevent the action against the spouse because the debtor was not a “co-debtor” on that debt. Opinion below.

Judge: Flaum

Attorneys for Debtor: Kerkman & Dunn, Briane F. Pagel, Jr., Gregory M. Schreiber

Attorneys for Appellee: Hunton & Williams, Jarrett Lee Hale, Gregory G. Hesse, Eric W. Flynn, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP,  Jeffrey P. Justman, Jane E. Maschka, Aaron D. Van Oort

2016-12-22-smith-v-capital-one-bank

Author: Matt Lindblom

Loventhal v. Edelson

(7th Cir. Dec. 21, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s judgment that certain real property of the debtor was exempt because it was held in a tenancy by the entirety under Illinois law. The creditor argued that the tenancy by the entirety was severed when the real property had been transferred to a trust prepetition. The Seventh Circuit examines applicable Illinois statutes and concludes that the transfer did not sever the tenancy by the entirety. Opinion below

Judge: Posner

Attorney for Debtor: Kofkin Law, Scott J. Kofkin

Attorneys for Creditor: Schwartz & Kanyock, Andrew R. Schwartz, Karen Irene Jeffreys Bridges

2016-12-21-loventhal-v-edelson

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Trentadue

(7th Cir. Sept. 14, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court and district court ruling that debtor husband must pay ex-wife’s attorney’s fees as a priority, non-dischargeable domestic support obligation (DSO). Debtor was ordered by a state court to pay $25,000 directly to his ex-wife’s attorney for “significant over-trial”. He never paid and eventually filed Chapter 13. His ex-wife’s attorney filed a DSO claim for $25,000. Debtor objected to the claim but was overruled. On appeal, he argued that the over-trial award did not deserve DSO status because it was not payable to his spouse, former spouse, child, or caregiver as required by §101(14A) of the Code. The 7th Circuit noted that debtor’s interpretation of §101(14A) was correct, but refused to address this argument because he failed to raise it before the bankruptcy court or the district court. Debtor also argued that DSO status should be denied because the over-trial award was intended as punishment, not as support, but the Court noted that every Circuit that has considered the issue (including the 6th, in In re Rugiero, 502 F.App’x. 436, 439 (6th Cir. 2012)) has recognized that attorney fee awards can constitute support under certain circumstances. Opinion below.

Circuit Judges: Ripple, Kanne, and Williams

Attorney for Debtor/Appellant: Jared Nusbaum

Attorney for Appellee: Helen Ludwig

Author: Robert Imperial

2016-09-14-in-re-trentadue

In re Ferguson

(7th Cir. Aug. 23, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit dismisses the appeal, holding it does not have jurisdiction. The bankruptcy court entered an order permitting marshaling  of the debtor’s assets to pay two secured creditors. The district court reversed, holding that marshaling was inappropriate because there were no longer two funds available to pay both creditors (one had been distributed to one of the creditors years earlier). There was no order, however, that directed how the remaining assets would actually be distributed. Thus, the Seventh Circuit held that there was no final order and it did not have appellate jurisdiction. Opinion below.

Judge: Easterbrook

Attorney for Appellant: Robert Lindstrom

Attorney for Debtor: Carrie Leigh Magerl

Attorneys for United States: Gerard A. Brost, Thomas J. Clark, Peter Sklarew, Patrick J. Urda

Attorney for Trustee: Jeana K. Reinbold

2016-08-23 – in re ferguson

Author: Matt Lindblom