Opinions

The District of Nebraska offers a database of opinions for the years 1997 to 2011, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

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  • 03/02/2015
    Michael Joseph Smith & Brandy Lee Smith v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC (In re Smith), Ch. 13, BK14-80246, A14-8041 (Mar. 2, 2015) 03/02/2015

    An unsecured junior lien on the debtor’s residential real estate may be avoided after the debtor completes Chapter 13 plan payments. The case law in the Eighth Circuit permits wholly unsecured liens to be stripped off.

  • 02/25/2015
    Noelle L. DeLaet v. Nat'l Collegiate Trust (In re DeLaet), Ch. 7, BK13-40421, A13-4032 (Feb. 25, 2015) 02/25/2015

    After trial, the court granted the debtor’s request to discharge her student loans. She has a stable job, although not in her field of study, but has been unable to find a better-paying job in the Lincoln area and is unlikely to earn significantly more in the future. Her monthly expenses are modest and reasonable. The stress of financial problems, including repayment of these student loans, has had an impact on the debtor’s emotional health and caused difficulties in her personal relationships. The totality of the circumstances indicates that repayment of the student loans would be an undue hardship for the debtor.

  • 02/25/2015
    Noelle L. DeLaet v. Discover Bank (In re DeLaet), Ch. 7, BK13-40421, A13-4033 (Feb. 25, 2015) 02/25/2015

    After trial, the court granted the debtor’s request to discharge her student loans. She has a stable job, although not in her field of study, but has been unable to find a better-paying job in the Lincoln area and is unlikely to earn significantly more in the future. Her monthly expenses are modest and reasonable. The stress of financial problems, including repayment of these student loans, has had an impact on the debtor’s emotional health and caused difficulties in her personal relationships. The totality of the circumstances indicates that repayment of the student loans would be an undue hardship for the debtor.

  • 02/23/2015
    Kevin Michael Kros & Tonia Marie Kros v. Household Fin. Corp. III (In re Kros), Ch. 13, BK13-80400, A14-8044 (Feb. 23, 2015) 02/23/2015

    An unsecured junior lien on the debtors' residential real estate may be avoided after the debtors complete Chapter 13 plan payments. The case law in the Eighth Circuit permits wholly unsecured liens to be stripped off.

  • 02/20/2015
    Venithia Deneen Wells v. Household Fin. Corp. III (In re Wells), Ch. 13, BK13-82560, A14-8042 (Feb. 20, 2015) 02/20/2015

    An unsecured junior lien on the debtor’s residential real estate may be avoided after the debtor completes Chapter 13 plan payments. The case law in the Eighth Circuit permits wholly unsecured liens to be stripped off.

  • 02/09/2015
    Herbert F. Schroeder, Ch. 7, BK14-41523-SH (Feb. 9, 2015) 02/09/2015

    The court denied the debtor’s motion for sanctions for violation of the automatic stay by a creditor who sent billing statements for medical expenses incurred by the debtor’s late wife. While the debtor argued that the bills were an attempt to collect the debt from him because a husband is liable for his wife’s medical expenses under Nebraska law, the court found no evidence either that the creditor knew the husband had filed bankruptcy or was in fact attempting to collect from the husband because the bills were addressed only to the non-debtor wife. The court held there was no willful violation of the automatic stay and sanctions were not warranted.

  • 01/13/2015
    Thomas D. Stalnaker, Trustee v. George Allison, Jr. (In re Tri-State Fin'l, LLC), Ch. 11, BK08-83016, A10-8052-SH (Jan. 13, 2015) 01/13/2015

    On remand, with no party requesting the court to recall witnesses for further testimony, the bankruptcy court reviewed the transcript and recordings of the original trial and concluded that the funds at issue were property of the debtor’s bankruptcy estate rather than simply held in trust for a group of investors. The funds fall within the scope of a lender’s security agreement, so the lender’s claim is entitled to priority over the claim of the bankruptcy estate’s unsecured creditors.

  • 01/08/2015
    Kevin D. Hebner & Amanda J. Hebner, Ch. 7, BK08-82938 (Jan. 8, 2015) 01/08/2015

    The court granted the debtors’ motion for contempt against a mortgage servicer who continued to contact the debtors about collecting on the loan for more than three years after a discharge was granted. The court awarded the debtors their attorneys’ fees, $2,500 in actual damages, and $10,000 in punitive damages for these violations of the discharge injunction.

  • 01/08/2015
    Antoinette Marie Harris v. Windham Prof'ls (In re Harris), Ch. 7, BK13-41856, A14-4001 (Jan. 8, 2015) 01/08/2015

    After a trial on the dischargeability of the debtor’s student loan indebtedness, the court ruled that the debt was excepted from discharge. The evidence indicated the debtor’s income is likely to increase in the foreseeable future, as a result of higher salaries as well as a reduction in expenses. Several of the monthly expenses listed by the debtor are relatively short-term obligations, such as repayment of some small loans and support for a child in college In addition, the debtor’s income tax withholding is higher than necessary and changing it would free up some cash as well. The debtor is also eligible for the income-based repayment plan and, as a public employee, the debtor is eligible for a public service loan forgiveness program, meaning she could complete payments in 10 years instead of 25, thereby averting the hardship of paying on student loans well past retirement age, and she may not be subject to an oppressive tax obligation for the forgiveness of the loan balance.

  • 01/05/2015
    Thomas D. Stalnaker, Trustee v. George Allison, Jr. (In re Tri-State Fin'l, LLC), Ch. 11, BK08-83016, A10-8052-SH (Jan. 5, 2015) 01/05/2015

    A party moved to recuse the bankruptcy judge assigned to the case from handling the matter on remand, asserting that the judge would be biased due to an inability to set aside impressions formed from the judge’s review of and familiarity with the trial testimony, evidence, and earlier rulings in the case. The court denied the motion, explaining that the scope of the disqualification statute does not  extend to knowledge gleaned and opinions formed in the course of judicial proceedings. Because the movant did not show the court’s previous decision was based on extrajudicial information, nor did the movant demonstrate the existence of “deep-seated favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment impossible,” recusal was unwarranted.

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