Couch v. Panther Petroleum, LLC (In re Couch)

(6th Cir. Nov. 6, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit affirms the B.A.P., holding the entry of summary judgment in favor of the creditors in the nondischargeability action was appropriate. The creditors obtained a default judgment against the debtor in Tennessee state court. The default judgment was on the merits and the doctrine of collateral estoppel applied. Opinion below.

Judge: Rogers

Appellant: Pro Se

Attorneys for Creditors: Keating, Muething & Klekamp, Joseph E. Lehnert, Brian P. Muething, Jason V. Stitt

2017-11-06 – in re couch

Author: Matt Lindblom

Tennessee v. Hildebrand (In re Corrin)

(6th Cir. Feb. 23, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s decision to confirm the debtor’s Chapter 13 plan, which included payment of overdue property taxes under Tennessee law with an interest rate of 12%. The state argued that the interest rate should be 18% due to the additional 6% interest permitted under the applicable state statute for a default penalty. The court holds that the 12% provided in the “nonbankruptcy law” is applicable, while the 6% penalty is not applicable. Opinion below.

Judge: Stranch

Attorney for State: Gill Robert Geldrich, Office of the Attorney General of Tennessee

Attorney for Debtor: Rothschild & Ausbrooks, Mary Elizabeth Ausbrooks, Alexander Koval

2017-02-23-in-re-corrin

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Bratt

(6th Cir. B.A.P. Apr. 26, 2016)

The B.A.P. holds that the recently-enacted Tennessee statute setting a higher interest rate for property tax claims in bankruptcy does not in fact determine the interest rate for such a claim in bankruptcy. Here, the property tax claim was oversecured, so interest could be paid on the claim pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 506(b). Sec. 511 provides that the interest rate shall be determined by applicable nonbankruptcy law. The court holds that the Tennessee statute was a “bankruptcy law,” and thus the regular interest rate under Tennessee law applies. Opinion below.

Judge: Wise

Attorney for Government: R. Alexander Dickerson

Attorney for Debtor: Alexander Koval

2016-04-26 – in re bratt

Author: Matt Lindblom

 

Panther Petroleum, LLC v. Couch (In re Couch)

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Jan. 7, 2016)

The bankruptcy court grants summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, finding the plaintiff’s claims are non dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(6). The plaintiff obtained a default judgment against the debtor in a Tennessee state court, in which the debtor participated until discovery. Prior to entry of the default judgment, the debtor filed bankruptcy but failed to give notice to the plaintiff. After the bankruptcy case was closed, the plaintiff learned of the bankruptcy for the first time and then filed the adversary proceeding. The court holds that § 523(a)(3) is satisfied because the plaintiff did not have timely notice of the bankruptcy filing. The court then holds that, based on the state court judgment, collateral estoppel prohibits the debtor from defending against the claims. Opinion below.

2016-01-07 – panther petroleum v couch

Author: Matt Lindblom

Lawless v. Newton (In re Lawless)

(6th Cir. Dec. 15, 2014)

The Sixth Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s order denying the chapter 7 debtor’s claimed exemption in a deferred-compensation retirement plan. The debtor claimed his deferred-compensation credits were exempt under Tennessee law. The trustee objected. While the plan fit the Tennessee statute’s general definition of exempt retirement accounts or plans, an exception to the statute applied. Because the debtor had the option to accelerate payment and take a lump sum distribution, the exemption did not apply. Thus, the deferred-compensation credits were correctly held to be property of the estate. Opinion below.

2014-12-15 – lawless v newton

Neal v. First Alliance Bank

(Sixth Circuit July 9, 2014)

The Sixth Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s denial of the Chapter 7 debtors’ claimed exemption in two annuities. In this brief opinion, the court adopts the district court’s reasoning that the annuities did not qualify under the Tennessee exemption statute relied upon by the debtors. Opinion below.

2014-07-09 – neal v first alliance bank