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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  • 04/08/2015
    Richard D. Myers, Chap. 7 Trustee v. Douglas A. Dick (In re Summer Productions, LLC), Ch. 7, BK13-81929, A14-8025 (Apr. 8, 2015) 04/08/2015

    The court denied the trustee’s motion for summary judgment in a preference action because the evidence before the court did not establish the element of insolvency, nor was it clear that the property transferred was property of the debtor.

  • 03/30/2015
    James A. Overcash, Chap. 11 Trustee v. Carol Knisley (In re Big Drive Cattle, L.L.C.), Ch. 11, BK11-42415, A13-4040 (Mar. 30, 2015) 03/30/2015

    The debtor in this case is a feedlot set up as an LLC. The bankruptcy trustee filed a preference avoidance action against one of the LLC’s members to recover payments made to him when his cattle were sold. This court initially granted summary judgment to the trustee, but on appeal the district court remanded the matter for the court to focus on the issue of whether the funds transferred were actually property of the debtor and to specifically consider the issues of bailment and constructive trust. After a trial, the bankruptcy court found that the proceeds transferred to the defendant were not held in bailment and were indeed property of the debtor. The defendant in his membership capacity had participated in granting the debtor’s lender a security interest in the debtor’s deposit accounts, which included the account into which the proceeds of his cattle sales were deposited and paid out to him, so his consent removed the bailment protection he might otherwise have had. The defendant did not establish an “ordinary course of business” defense, so judgment was entered in the trustee’s favor.

  • 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.

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