Carroll v. Takada

(7th Cir. July 18, 2017)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s order sustaining the trustee’s objection to the debtors’ $30,000 exemption in trust assets. The debtors argued the spendthrift provisions in the trust prevented the interest from becoming property of the estate. The court holds that the trust interest fully vested before the debtors filed bankruptcy. An exemption was inappropriate and the interest was property of the estate. Opinion below.

Judge: Sykes

Attorney for Debtors: Julia D. Mannix

Attorney for Trustee: Zane Zielinski

2017-07-18 – in re carroll

Author: Matt Lindblom

 

Ball v. United Cumberland Bank (In re Ball)

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. July 17, 2017)

The bankruptcy court dismisses the debtor’s complaint seeking to avoid a transfer to the bank defendant. The transfer consisted of the Bank exercising its contractual setoff right and applying funds in the debtor’s bank account to the Bank’s claim. The transfer occurred while the bankruptcy case was dismissed. The debtor fails to state a claim that is plausible on its face. Opinion below.

Judge: Schaaf

2017-07-17 – in re ball

Author: Matt Lindblom

Renner v. U.S. Bank National Association (In re Renner)

(Bankr. S.D. Ind. June 26, 2017)

The bankruptcy court dismisses without prejudice the debtor’s complaint against a foreclosing creditor because the court concludes it lacks subject matter jurisdiction. The debtor filed the complaint alleging numerous causes of action, including violations of the automatic stay. However, the alleged acts occurred at a time when the subject property was no longer property of the estate. Opinion below.

Judge: Carr

Attorneys for Debtor: Sabin, Shea & Des Jardines LLC, J. Andrew Sabin

Attorneys for Creditor: Rubin & Levin, Reynold T. Berry, Deborah Caruso, Ian Peter Goodman, Cassandra A. Nielsen, Meredith R. Theisen

2017-06-26 – in re renner

Author: Matt Lindblom

Kendrick v. Rister (In re Rister)

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. May 18, 2017)

The bankruptcy court grants the defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in this vehicle lien avoidance action. The debtor entered into a sale contract for purchase of the vehicle on the day before the petition was filed, but the certificate of title was not transferred to the debtor until after the petition was filed. Accordingly, the court finds that the vehicle is not property of the estate and the complaint should be dismissed. The court permits the trustee a period of time in which to file an amended complaint based on the trustee’s assertion that the estate may include rights under the sale contract. Opinion below.

Judge: Wise

Attorney for Trustee: Michael B. Baker

Attorneys for Defendants: Steiden Law Offices, Eric A. Steiden; Frost Brown Todd LLC, Paige Leigh Ellerman, Adam J. Webb; Aaron J. Nash; Patricia L. Johsnon

2017-05-18 – in re rister

Author: Matt Lindblom

Town Center Flats, LLC v. ECP Commercial II LLC (In re Town Center Flats, LLC)

(6th Cir. May 2, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit reverses the bankruptcy court, finding that the assignment of rents acted as a complete transfer of ownership and the assignor did not retain any interest in the rents. The court analyzes Michigan law on such assignments and concludes that because the debtor/assignor had no rights in the rents assigned, they were not property of the bankruptcy estate. Opinion below.

Judge: Stranch

Attorney for Appellant: Robert N. Bassel

Attorney for Appellee: Jeremy S. Friedberg

2017-05-02 – in re town center flats

Author: Matt Lindblom

Spradlin v. Khouri (In re Bruner)

(6th Cir. B.A.P. Jan. 4, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. affirms the bankruptcy court’s decision and order denying the trustee’s request for turnover of funds paid to the debtor’s criminal defense attorney. The debtor’s mother had made the transfer from a bank account held jointly with the debtor. The trustee failed to meet the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the attorney fee was property of the estate, and thus turnover was inappropriate. Because the debtor had no claim to the fee, the trustee had no claim for turnover. Opinion below.

Judge: Humphrey

Attorneys for Defendants: Khouri Law Firm, Yelena Bakman, Edward P. Kerns, Michael John Khouri, Wai Brenda Tso

Attorneys for Trustee: Bingham Greenebaum LLP, Richard Boydston

2017-01-04-in-re-bruner

Author: Matt Lindblom

Phi Air Medical, LLC v. Westenhoefer (In re White)

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Nov. 11, 2016)

The bankruptcy court grants summary judgment in favor of the trustee in this declaratory judgment action, in which the plaintiff sought a judgment that certain health insurance proceeds were not property of the estate. The plaintiff argued that the debtor had assigned the proceeds to it prior to the bankruptcy, but the court holds that the evidence presented did not establish such assignment. The debtor’s spouse had signed the document for him, but the debtor’s spouse did not have the requisite agency authority to do so. Opinion below.

Judge: Schaaf

Attorney for Plaintiff: Stites & Harbison PLLC, Chrisandrea L. Turner

Attorney for Defendant: Barber Law PLLC, T. Kent Barber

Author: Matt Lindblom

2016-11-11-in-re-white