The court denied the debtor’s motion to reopen her bankruptcy case for purposes of determining the dischargeability of judgment debt for violations of state deceptive trade practices and consumer protection laws. Bankruptcy Code § 350(b) calls for reopening a case to administer assets or accord relief to the debtor. While resolution of the dischargeability issue may provide some relief to the debtor, it would not affect the bankruptcy estate or its creditors, which weighs against reopening the case. In addition, the state court that rendered the judgment has concurrent jurisdiction to determine whether the debt is dischargeable under § 523(a)(7) as a fine, penalty or forfeiture.
Thursday, July 3, 2014