In re Thomas

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Mar. 1, 2018)

The bankruptcy court denies the debtors’ motion to seal a settlement agreement they reached with an adversary proceeding defendant. The debtors stated that if the documents were not sealed, the other party would not agree to the settlement. However, the debtors failed to provide any evidence to establish that the circumstances warranted the relief requested. Public access to court records should only be restricted in appropriate circumstances. Opinion below.

Judge: Wise

Attorneys for the Debtors: Strauss Troy, Robert R. Sparks; Matthew T. Sanning

2018-03-01 – in re thomas

Author: Matt Lindblom

Dean v. Lane (In re Lane)

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Feb. 21, 2018)

The bankruptcy court grants the debtor’s motion to dismiss the nondischargeability action. The plaintiffs asserted a personal injury claim against the debtor, but they were unable to proceed with prosecution of the claim due to the automatic stay. The plaintiffs filed a complaint objecting to the discharge of this claim. The court dismisses the case, holding it does not have jurisdiction to liquidate or estimate the claim because personal injury claims have not been referred to the bankruptcy court, pursuant to LR 83.12(a). Opinion below.

Judge: Lloyd

Plaintiffs: Pro Se

Attorneys for Debtor: Seiller Waterman LLC, Neil Charles Bordy

2018-02-21 – in re lane

Author: Matt Lindblom

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

(U.S. Sup. Ct. Feb. 27, 2018)

The Supreme Court holds that the safe harbor of 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) applies only to the transfer that is sought to be avoided, and is not applicable based solely on intermediary transfers. Section 546(e) exempts from a trustee’s avoidance powers certain types of transfers (e.g., settlement payments as defined in § 101) to certain protected parties, including financial institutions. If the transfer sought to be avoided is between two non-protected parties, the safe harbor does not apply, even if there is an intermediary or conduit party that is a protected party. Opinion below.

Justice: Sotomayor

2018-02-27 – merit management v. fti consulting

Author: Matt Lindblom

Calloway Cleaning & Restoration, Inc. v. McFarland (In re McFarland)

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Feb. 20, 2018)

The bankruptcy court enters summary judgment in favor of the debtors in this nondischargeability action. Following a Christmas Eve fire at the debtors’ home, they entered into a contract with the plaintiff to restore the property. The contract provided that the plaintiff would take insurance proceeds as compensation for the work. A dispute arose, and the debtors used the insurance proceeds for other expenses. The plaintiff argued that the debt is non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2) and (4). The court disagrees, finding the creditor failed to present evidence sufficient to establish the necessary intent under § 523(a)(2) or to establish a “fiduciary capacity” under § 523(a)(4). Opinion below.

Judge: Wise

Attorneys for Creditor: Frost Brown Todd LLC, Patricia K. Burgess; Michael E. Nitardy

Attorney for Debtors: Michael L. Baker

2018-02-20 – in re mcfarland

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Joseph

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Feb. 7, 2018)

The bankruptcy court grants the debtor’s motion to enforce the discharge injunction and for sanctions. The creditor held a certificate of delinquency for unpaid real property taxes. Post-discharge, the creditor sought and obtained an in rem judgment to foreclose the tax lien. The foreclosure sale did not fully satisfy the lien, and the creditor then recorded a judgment lien against the debtor for the deficiency and sought to foreclose on other real property of the debtor. The bankruptcy court holds this is an attempt to collect on the discharged claim for the unpaid property taxes. Sanctions are appropriate under these circumstances. Opinion below.

Judge: Schaaf

Attorneys for Debtor: Ryan R. Atkinson; DelCotto Law Group PLLC, Michael J. Gartland

Attorneys for Creditor: Bilz & Associates, P.S.C., Joshua M. Bilz, David A. Schulenberg

2018-02-07 – in re joseph

Author: Matt Lindblom

Harker v. PNC Mortgage Company (In re Oakes)

(6th Cir. B.A.P. Feb. 6, 2018)

The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. affirms the bankruptcy court’s order denying the mortgage holder’s motion for judgment on the pleading in this mortgage avoidance action. The creditor argued that recently-enacted Ohio statutes provide that the bankruptcy trustee, as a hypothetical judicial lien creditor, cannot avoid the mortgage, which was improperly executed and recorded. The B.A.P. holds that, pursuant to Ohio law at the time the case was filed, the trustee takes priority over the creditor’s defective mortgage. Opinion below.

Judge: Opperman

Attorneys for Trustee: Donald F. Harker, III; Rieser & Marx, Dianne F. Marx, John Paul Rieser

Attorneys for Creditor: Plunkett Cooney, Amelia A. Bower

2018-02-06 – in re oakes

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Lane

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Feb. 5, 2018)

The bankruptcy court denies the creditors’ motion to dismiss the Chapter 13 case. The motion raised issues that could have been raised in an objection to confirmation of the plan. The confirmation order operates as res judicata of all issues which could have been raised at the confirmation hearing. Opinion below.

Judge: Lloyd

Attorneys for Debtor: Seiller Waterman LLC, Neil Charles Bordy

Creditor: Pro Se

2018-02-05 – in re lane

Author: Matt Lindblom