Westlaw Topical Highlights: Bankruptcy, September 3, 2013

September 3, 2013

BankruptcyWestlaw Topical Highlights for Bankruptcy provides summaries of significant federal and state judicial decisions and legislative and administrative activities affecting Bankruptcy law. A Westlaw subscription is required to access the documents linked from this page.

Avoidance: Debtor could invoke trustee’s strong-arm powers only in aid of exemption rights.  In re Thompson 2013 WL 3479768 (Bkrtcy.S.D.Ga.) A Chapter 13 debtor could not invoke the trustee’s strong-arm avoidance powers, by way of defense to a proceeding brought by a creditor to reform its security deed to reflect the fact that, contrary to the way that its documents read on the petition date, the parties had always intended to encumbered debtor’s improved lot, on which her home was located, and not a vacant adjoining lot. While recognizing a split of authority on the issue, a bankruptcy judge in Georgia adopted the majority position and held that the debtor could invoke the trustee’s strong-arm powers only in aid of her exemption rights.  2013 WL 3479768. (The full-text of the rest of the Topical Highlights are available within Westlaw Next, subscription required).

Avoidance: Creditor’s Louisiana privilege was not protected by preference statute’s safe harbor provision for statutory liens.  In re Central Louisiana Grain Co-op., Inc. 2013 WL 4049028 (Bkrtcy.W.D.La.)

Avoidance: Factual issues barred summary judgment for bank on debtor’s claim to avoid bank’s alleged lien under strong-arm statute.  In re B-Bar Tavern Inc. 2013 WL 4000870 (Bkrtcy.D.Mont.)

Case Administration: Motion for leave to amend motion to dismiss Chapter 7 case was not required.  In re Gharraph 2013 WL 4033662 (Bkrtcy.S.D.Ohio)

Claims: Bankruptcy Code did not preempt Chapter 7 trustee’s claim for aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty.  Babin v. Caddo East Estates I, Ltd. 2013 WL 4048983 (E.D.La.)

Discharge: Debtor’s obligations on Health Education Assistance Loans were not discharged.  In re von Kiel 2013 WL 4042492 (E.D.Pa.)

Dismissal: Debtors’ failure to comply with court’s orders warranted dismissal of adversary proceeding for want of prosecution.  In re Acosta 2013 WL 3776399 (Bkrtcy.D.Puerto Rico)

Professionals: Trustee cannot retain statutory percentage fee from plan payments in case without confirmed Chapter 13 plan.  In re Acevedo 2013 WL 4048852 (Bkrtcy.D.N.M.)

Bankruptcy Estate: Aggregate amount of annual voluntary withdrawals that debtor could have made from trust prepetition was estate property.  In re Dorsey 2013 WL 4505457 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Ga.)

Professionals: Counsel for Chapter 13 debtor could not be disciplined for committing fraud on the court.  In re Hood 2013 WL 4574249 (C.A.11 (Fla.))

Appeals: Debtors did not show that allowing adversary proceeding would undermine confirmed reorganization plan.  In re Semcrude, L.P. 2013 WL 4517238 (C.A.3 (Del.))

Attorney Fees: Claim for legal work performed to oppose involuntary Chapter 7 petition could not be allowed as priority “gap” claim. In re Baab Steel, Inc. 2013 WL 4522471 (Bkrtcy.D.Colo.)

Avoidance: LLC owned by individuals who participated in fraudulent transfer could not “wash” transaction through judgment lienholders.  In re J.T. Real Estate Investments, LLC 2013 WL 4505547 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Ind.)

Bankruptcy Estate: Australian law did not manifestly contravene public policy of United States on recognition of foreign insolvency proceeding. In re ABC Learning Centres Ltd. 2013 WL 4516820 (C.A.3 (Del.))

Bankruptcy Estate: Debtor could not exempt car under statute allowing exemption of property recovered by trustee through avoided transfer.  In re McKinnon 2013 WL 4518714 (Bkrtcy.M.D.Fla.)

Discharge: Title insurer justifiably relied on debtor’s affidavit of no intervening liens.  Stewart Title Guar. Co. v. Roberts-Dude 2013 WL 3479409 (S.D.Fla.)

Discharge: Dischargeability determination required adversary proceeding.  In re Walls 2013 WL 3450980 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Miss.)

Case Administration: District court should have resolved certain issues before deciding to enter claims bar order.  In re Greektown Holdings, LLC 2013 WL 4505267 (C.A.6 (Mich.))

Claims: election made by only one member of two-member class of secured creditors is invalid.  In re River Canyon Real Estate Investments, LLC 2013 WL 4441589 (Bkrtcy.D.Colo.)

Discharge: Equitable tolling of deadline for filing nondischargeability complaint, even if permitted, was not warranted.  In re Harper 2013 WL 4505452 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Ga.)

Discharge: Debtor’s material nondisclosure supported denial of discharge on “fraudulent postpetition concealment” and “false oath” theories.  In re Herman 2013 WL 4080755 (Bkrtcy.S.D.Fla.)

Leases and Contracts: Entity remained obligated to provide healthcare benefits to debtor’s retirees even after debtor’s rejection of CBA.  In re Patriot Coal Corp. 2013 WL 4437072 (8th Cir.BAP (Mo.))

Attorney Fees: Assuming that doctrine of quantum meruit applied, award of additional fees to special counsel was not warranted thereunder.  In re Watson 2013 WL 4441542 (Bkrtcy.D.Colo.)

Avoidance: Transfer of segregated funds into clearing accounts as collateral for loan demonstrated actual intent to hinder or defraud.  In re Sentinel Management Group, Inc. 2013 WL 4505152 (C.A.7 (Ill.))

Bankruptcy Estate: Debtor was entitled to entireties exemption in joint federal income tax return.  In re Uttermohlen 2012 WL 8884352 (M.D.Fla.)

Discharge: Debtor caused materially false writing to be made or published with intent to deceive.  In re O’Donnell 2013 WL 4504825 (C.A.1)