In re Blankenship

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Mar. 14, 2018)

The bankruptcy court denies the debtor’s motions to avoid two judicial liens. The underlying judgments were solely against the debtor’s spouse. At the time the judgment liens were recorded, the property was owned jointly by the debtor and his spouse. The property was then transferred solely to the debtor. The debtor argues the liens impair his exemptions. The court finds because the lien holders are not creditors of the debtor, the liens do not attach to the debtor’s interest in the property. Opinion below.

Judge: Lloyd

Attorney for Debtor: Julie Ann O’Bryan

Attorney for Creditors: Jeffrey Sexton

2018-03-14 – in re blankenship

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Odell

(6th Cir. B.A.P. Jan. 30, 2018)

The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. dismisses the appeal as moot. The debtor claimed an exemption in her real property that was greater than its value. The mortgagee obtained stay relief to foreclose on the debtor’s real property, and the debtor appealed. The court holds that because the exemption amount exceeded the value of the property, the property was no longer property of the estate and thus not subject to the automatic stay. Even if the court were to reverse the bankruptcy court’s stay relief order, the outcome would be the same. Opinion below.

Judge: Preston

Debtor: Pro Se

Attorney for Creditor: Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss, Joel K. Jensen

2018-01-30 – in re odell

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Morris

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. July 12, 2017)

The bankruptcy court sustains the creditors’ objection to the debtors’ claimed homestead exemption. The property was not owned solely by the debtors, so the exemption would apply only to their partial interest in the property. The property was sold but there was no evidence as to the amount allocated to the debtors’ interest in the property. Opinion below.

Judge: Lloyd

Attorney for Debtors: Mark H. Flener

Attorney for Creditors: Kerrick Bachert PSC, Scott A. Bachert

2017-07-12 – in re morris and bellair

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 Robinson

(7th Cir. Feb. 4, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the district court’s reversal of the bankruptcy court. The debtor claimed an exemption for a rare first edition Book of Mormon under Illinois’s exemption statutes, which permit an exemption for “a bible.” The trustee argued that the debtor should be permitted only to exempt one of the debtor’s other copies, because the rare copy was worth approximately $10,000 and, the trustee argued, the statute was being misused in this case. The court holds that the plain wording of the statute permitted the claimed exemption. Opinion below.

2016-02-04 – in re robinson

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Aubiel

(6th Cir B.A.P. July 22, 2015)

The bankruptcy appellate panel affirms the bankruptcy court’s determination that the debtor was not entitled to claim the Ohio homestead exemption for his 46-foot boat. While the statute permits the homestead exemption to be applied to personal property, the bankruptcy court determined that the trustee met his burden of rebutting the presumption that the exemption was allowable and the debtor failed to establish that the boat was his primary residence. Opinion below.

2015-07-22 – in re aubiel

Author: Matt Lindblom

Ellmann v. Baker (In re Baker)

(6th Cir. July 2, 2015)

The Sixth Circuit applies the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Law v. Siegel and affirms the bankruptcy court’s order allowing the debtors to amend their bankruptcy schedules and claim an exemption in a cause of action they failed to disclose in their original schedules. The debtors had received a discharge and the case was closed with the original schedules in place. They then pursued the cause of action. The trustee moved to reopen the bankruptcy case, and the debtors sought to amend their schedules and claim an exemption in the cause of action. The trustee objected, arguing the debtors acted in bad faith and with fraudulent intent in concealing the asset. Relying on Law v. Siegel, the court holds a debtor’s exemption cannot be taken away as a sanction. The court also finds the trustee’s objection was untimely. Opinion below.

2015-07-02 – in re baker

Author: Matt Lindblom