(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Aug. 18, 2015)
The bankruptcy court grants the trustee’s motion to dismiss the Chapter 13 based on the debtor having secured claims in excess of that allowed under 11 U.S.C. § 109(e). The debtor argued that her schedules, which listed secured debt less than the 109(e) threshold, should control on the issue of her eligibility. The court holds that it may review other items in the record to determine eligibility. For reasons including that the debtor failed to include prepetition interest on her mortgage debt and listed certain debts as unliquidated and contingent when they almost certainly were not, the court finds that the debtor is not eligible for Chapter 13. Opinion below.
2015-08-18 – in re ash
Author: Matt Lindblom
(N.D. Ind. June 22, 2015)
The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s order denying the debtor a discharge for making false oaths in connection with his bankruptcy case. The debtor failed to list a number of assets and transactions in his schedules and statement of financial affairs. The creditor filed the complaint to deny the discharge and then amended the complaint well after the deadline for filing such complaints. The debtor argued the amendments should not have been allowed. The court recognizes the narrower standard for amendments to relate back to the original complaint in denial of discharge proceedings, but it holds that here the amendments merely listed additional omissions from the debtor’s filings and served as additional support for the original claim, and thus should relate back to the original filing date. The court also finds that the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in finding the debtor had the requisite intent. Opinion below.
2015-06-22 – simmons v crossroads bank
Author: Matt Lindblom
(Bankr. S.D. Ind. Dec. 22, 2014)
The bankruptcy court overrules the creditor’s objection to the Chapter 13 debtor’s proposed plan. The creditor was the debtor’s ex-wife. She objected to the plan, arguing both the petition and the plan were filed in bad faith, as the debtor’s sole motivation was to discharge a judgment she had obtained following the divorce. The court discusses the standards for showing a petition and plan are filed in bad faith. The creditor failed to satisfy either standard. Although there were inaccuracies in the debtor’s schedules, they did not rise to the level of showing fraud or bad faith. The court ordered the debtor to correct the schedules and file an amended plan if necessary. Opinion below.
2014-12-22 – in re trainor
(7th Cir. Nov. 19, 2014)
The Seventh Circuit holds the debtor’s discharge should be denied, affirming the district court’s reversal of the bankruptcy court’s ruling in favor of the debtor in the nondischargebility action. The Chapter 7 debtor had omitted certain creditors from her Schedule F. She testified at trial that she had done so because she intended to pay those creditors (friends and family members) on their claims after the bankruptcy. The creditor-plaintiff sought denial of her discharge under § 727(a)(4)(A), alleging the omissions (and other discrepancies in her schedules) constituted her knowingly and fraudulently making a false oath or account in the case. The Seventh Circuit held that this satisfied the statute, even though her fraudulent acts were not to her pecuniary benefit. Opinion below.
2014-11-19 – skavysh v katsman
(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Nov. 6, 2014)
The bankruptcy court grants the creditor’s motion to dismiss the chapter 13 case because the debtor was not eligible for chapter 13, as his unsecured debt exceeded the debt limit of 11 U.S.C. § 109(e). The court recognizes that based only on the debtor’s schedules, the debt limit was not exceeded. While the Sixth Circuit has stated a bankruptcy court should look primarily to the debtor’s schedules to make the chapter 13 eligibility determination, the bankruptcy court holds that a state court judgment against the debtor is sufficiently reliable to establish that the debtor omitted unsecured debt that would cause his total unsecured debt to exceed the § 109(e) debt limit. Opinion below.
2014-11-06 – in re wentz
(Seventh Circuit Issued June 24, 2014)
The Seventh Circuit reverses the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer. The plaintiff had previously filed bankruptcy and failed to schedule as an asset an employment discrimination claim. The defendant employer moved for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff should be estopped from asserting the claim after omitting it from her schedules. The district court granted the motion, but the appellate court reversed, finding the transcript from the 341 meeting reflected that the plaintiff had disclosed the claim and thus there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the plaintiff intentionally omitted the claim such that estoppel would apply. Opinion below.
2014-06-24 – spaine v community contacts