In re Pfetzer

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Mar. 22, 2018)

The bankruptcy court addresses the issue of whether a motion to dismiss for lack of good faith under 11 U.S.C. § 1307(c) can save an otherwise untimely § 1325(a)(7) objection to confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan. The court holds that because § 1325(a)(7) requires the determination of the debtor’s good faith in filing the petition as part of the plan confirmation process, a motion to dismiss under § 1325(a)(7) cannot rely on an allegation of lack of good faith if the motion is filed after the deadline to object to confirmation. Opinion below.

Judge: Wise

Attorney for Debtor: Michael B. Baker

Attorney for Creditor: Finney Law Firm, LLC, Justin C. Walker

2018-03-22 – in re pfetzer

Author: Matt Lindblom

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

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

In re Dickson

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Nov. 22, 2017)

The bankruptcy court grants the the creditors’ motion for sanctions pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9011. The creditors argued that the debtor filed her Chapter 11 petition in bad faith. The court finds that sanctions are appropriate because the debtor filed the petition without a legitimate bankruptcy purpose. The debtor sought the protection of the automatic stay but did not intend to reorganize or seek an orderly liquidation. Instead, the debtor sought to obtain a civil remedy—the stay of execution of the judgment against the debtor while her appeal was pending. Opinion below.

Judge: Wise

Attorneys for Debtor: Gess Mattingly & Atchison, William W. Allen, Stefan J. Bing, John Thomas Hamilton, Elizabeth Thompson

Attorney for Creditors: DelCotto Law Group PLLC, Jamie L. Harris

2017-11-22 – in re dickson

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Lexington Hospitality Group, LLC

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Nov. 1, 2011)

The bankruptcy court grants the debtor’s motion regarding cash collateral use, because the property to be used (hotel revenue and post-petition restaurant revenue) was not subject to a perfected security interest. The court determines that the hotel revenue paid in cash was not subject to the creditor’s mortgage because it was not rent. A hotel customer does not obtain a real property interest in a hotel room, but instead has a license. The cash paid for the room is thus personal property. The creditor was not in possession of the cash or deposit accounts, and thus the lien was not perfected as to that cash. Hotel revenue paid from credit cards constituted an obligation that would be a “payment intangible” under Article 9. The creditor’s financing statement failed to identify payment intangibles as collateral. While it referenced an “all asset” security agreement, that was insufficient to perfect a security interest in payment intangibles. The creditor does not have a lien on post-petition restaurant revenue pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 552. Opinion below

Judge: Schaaf

Attorneys for Debtor: DelCotto Law Group PLLC, Laura Day DelCotto, Jamie L. Harris, Sara A. Johnston

Attorneys for Creditors: Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Martin B. Tucker, Sarah S. Mattingly

2017-11-01 – in re lexington hospitality group

Author: Matt Lindblom

 

In re Witham

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Oct. 12, 2017)

The bankruptcy court awards damages to the debtor for the creditor’s willful violation of the automatic stay. The debtor had an agreement with the tanning bed salon in which the salon would deduct a monthly payment from her debit card. Despite numerous notifications of the bankruptcy and the violation of the automatic stay, the salon continued to make the deductions post-petition. The court enters an award for damages that includes attorney fees and punitive damages. Opinion below.

Judge: Wise

Attorney for Debtor: Grant M. Axon

2017-10-12 – in re witham

Author: Matt Lindblom