Levin v. Paige (In re Stein)

(S.D. Ind. June 2, 2017)

The district court denies the defendant’s motion to withdraw the reference in this fraudulent conveyance action. The defendant answered the complaint, requesting a jury trial and noting that he does not consent to adjudication by the bankruptcy judge. The district court acknowledges that the bankruptcy court lacks authority to conduct a jury trial without express consent of all parties. However, the district court holds that immediate transfer is not necessary. The bankruptcy court may handle all pretrial matters, and the case can be transferred to the district court if a jury trial becomes necessary. Opinion below.

Judge: Pratt

Attorneys for Trustee: Rubin & Levin, PC, James E. Rossow, Jr. John M. Rogers

Attorney for Defendant: Jeffrey O. Meunier

2017-06-02 – in re stein

Author: Matt Lindblom

Halifax Financial Group L.P. v. Hazel (In re Hazel)

(S.D. Ind. Feb. 27, 2017)

The district court dismisses the appeal because the bankruptcy court’s order was not final and appealable. The creditor had filed an emergency motion for stay relief to proceed with acquiring title to the debtor’s real property through Indiana’s tax sale and tax deed procedures. The bankruptcy court denied the motion without prejudice. The district court holds that the bankruptcy court’s order was not final, in part because it was without prejudice and appeared to be a preliminary decision. Opinion below.

Judge: Young

Attorneys for Creditor: Harrison & Moberly, David J. Theising

Attorneys for Debtor: Tom Scott & Associates, PC, Jess M. Smith, III

2017-02-27-in-re-hazel

Author: Matt Lindblom

Lee v. The William R. Lee Irrevocable Trust (In re Lee)

(S.D. Ind. Feb. 17, 2017)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s judgment in favor of the plaintiff trust. The bankruptcy court held that the trust could pierce the corporate veil and hold the debtor personally liable to the trust. The district court analyzes Indiana law on veil piercing and finds no error. Opinion below.

Judge: Young

Attorney for Debtor: Goering Law LLC, Wilmer E. Goering, II

Attorney for Plaintiff: Kroger Gardis & Regas LLP, David E. Wright

2017-02-17-in-re-lee

Author: Matt Lindblom

Walro v. Lee (In re Lee)

(S.D. Ind. Feb. 13, 2017)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s judgment in favor of the trustee in this fraudulent transfer action. The district court rejects the defendant’s arguments that the bankruptcy court relied too heavily on a trust document and state court judgment for the finding of fraud. The bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion by entering a money judgment for the value of the shares at the time of the transfer rather than ordering that the shares be returned (at their depreciated value). The bankruptcy court also did not commit clear error in valuing the shares. Opinion below.

Judge: Young

Attorneys for Trustee: Rubin & Levin PC, John M. Rogers

Appellant: Pro Se

2017-02-13-in-re-lee

Author: Matt Lindblom

U.S. v. Bush

(S.D. Ind. Nov. 18, 2016)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s holding that a tax penalty is dischargeable if the penalty is described by either 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(7)(A) or (B). Opinion below.

Judge: McKinney

Attorney for Appellant: Peter Sklarew

Attorneys for Debtors: Camden & Meridew, PC, Julie A. Camden

2016-11-18-us-v-bush

Author: Matt Lindblom

Levin v. Verizon Business Global, LLC (In re Onestar Long Distance, Inc.)

(S.D. Ind. Mar. 28, 2016)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s judgment that found the creditor established a new value defense to the trustee’s preference claim. The debtor made payments to the creditor on a promissory note during the preference period. The creditor continued to provide services to the debtor during the preference period, and it billed for those services on a monthly basis. The total value of the services exceeded the debtor’s payments. The court holds that the bankruptcy court correctly applied the per diem method of allocation of new value credit under the facts of this case, and the new value defense applied. Opinion below.

Judge: Young

Attorneys for Trustee: Kilpatrick Stockton LLP, Colin M. Bernadino, Michael D. Langford, Todd C. Meyers, Rubin & Levin, P.C., Elliott D. Levin, James T. Young

Attorneys for Creditor: Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, Mark S. Carder, Bingham McHale LLP, Thomas C. Scherer

2016-03-28 – in re onestar long distance

Author: Matt Lindblom

Evans v. Evans (In re Evans)

(S.D. Ind. Feb. 27, 2015)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s decision dismissing the creditor’s nondischargeability claim. The creditor had paid child support payments to the debtor, his ex-wife, prepetition. He sought reimbursement of payments made after his daughter stopped attending school, and the debtor then filed bankruptcy seeking to discharge the claim. The creditor sought to declare the debt nondischargeable under § 523(a)(2)(A), asserting that the payments were obtained under false pretenses. The debtor and creditor had little to no communications during the relevant time period, and the creditor had not been made aware of the fact that his daughter had stopped attending school. The court holds that the bankruptcy court may have erred in requiring the creditor to put forward evidence of a false statement by the debtor (the Seventh Circuit does not necessarily require such a showing), but it was a harmless error because the debtor failed to prove the debtor had the requisite fraudulent intent in accepting the payments. The bankruptcy court’s decision on that point was not clearly erroneous. Opinion below.

2015-02-27 – evans v evans

Author: Matt Lindblom