In re Zenga

(6th Cir. B.A.P. Jan. 17, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. reverses the bankruptcy court’s order denying the debtors’ motion to dismiss the involuntary bankruptcy petition filed against them by a single creditor. The debtors argued that 11 U.S.C. § 303(b)(1) required a minimum of three petitioning creditors to institute an involuntary bankruptcy against them, because they had twelve or more creditors. The petitioning creditor argued that the debtors should be equitably estopped from asserting they had twelve creditors because in prepetition post-judgment discovery, they stated that they had only ten other creditors. The B.A.P. holds that, while the 303(b)(1) requirement is not jurisdictional, the bankruptcy court erred as a matter of law in applying equitable estoppel because the creditor failed to establish sufficient detriment as a result of the misrepresentation in the post-judgment discovery. Opinion below.

Judge: Humphrey

Attorneys for Debtors: Lefkovitz & Lefkovitz, Steven L. Lefkovitz

Attorneys for Appellee: Bass, Berry & Sims PLC, Gene L. Humphreys

2017-01-17-in-re-zenga

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Bullitt Utilities, Inc.

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Sep. 1, 2016)

The bankruptcy court addresses the issue of whether the debtor’s prepetition claim for a surcharge before the Public Service Commission is property of the estate. The pre-petition receiver for the debtor argued that it was not, because the debtor abandoned its assets prepetition in the PSC action. The court disagrees, finding that legal title was not severed in the prepetition proceedings, and thus the bankruptcy trustee has control and authority over the surcharge claim. Opinion below.

Judge: Lloyd

Attorneys for trustee: James R. Irving, Robert W. Keats

Attorneys for Receiver: Kaplan & Partners LLP, Charity B. Neukomm, James E. McGhee, Christopher B. Rambicure

2016-09-01 – in re bullitt utilities

Author: Matt Lindblom