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Judge Thomas L. Saladino

Sheri J. Palmer Revocable Trust v. Jason Michael Stephens (In re Stephens), Ch. 7, BK21-40869-TLS, A21-4023-TLS (Dec. 12, 2022)

After a trial on the plaintiff’s complaint to except a debt from discharge under § 523(a)(2)(A), the court ruled for the defendant. The plaintiff loaned $500,000 to the debtor to purchase a controlling interest in a bank. For various reasons, the debtor bought only a minority interest, and the transaction took longer than the plaintiff expected. When the debtor filed a Chapter 7 case, the plaintiff filed this adversary proceeding to have the debt declared non-dischargeable.

Eletech, Inc., v. Jonathan Jones (In re Jones), Ch. 7, BK21-80876-TLS, A21-8024-TLS (Dec. 7, 2022)

The bankruptcy court granted summary judgment to a creditor holding a judgment debt and excepted the debt from discharge. The state-court judgment was entitled to preclusive effect on the matter of dischargeability, as the elements of § 523(a)(2)(A), (a)(4), and (a)(6) were established by the state-court record. The debtor did not identify any genuine issues of material fact that would preclude summary judgment.

James A. Overcash, Chap. 7 Trustee v. Bank of Dixon County (In re Tori Lynn Mattes), Ch. 7, BK21-80346-TLS, A21-8014-TLS (June 8, 2022)

The court granted summary judgment to the Chapter 7 trustee, avoiding a lien that was noted on a vehicle’s certificate of title after the bankruptcy petition date. The court found the lien to be an unauthorized post-petition transfer and a preference. Because the lien was not timely noted on the title, it did not attach and was not perfected under Nebraska law. The lien was avoided and the creditor ordered to disgorge payments received on it.

Topp's Mechanical, Inc., Ch. 11, BK21-40038-TLS (Nov. 23, 2021)

The court sustained the objection to confirmation filed by the Subchapter V trustee regarding the plan provisions for payment of a secured creditor’s § 1111(b) claim. The court found that the plan proposes to pay to the secured creditor “far more than it is entitled to receive as a result of its election under 11 U.S.C. § 1111(b), [so] there is less money available to pay to unsecured creditors. Accordingly, the plan discriminates unfairly and is not fair and equitable to the class of unsecured creditors.”

Curt Brown & Stephanie Brown v. JD Peterson & Dawn E. Peterson (In re Peterson), Ch. 7, BK20-40028-TLS, A20-4008-TLS (Aug. 30, 2021)

After a trial on objections to discharge, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and denied the debtors a discharge under § 727(a)(2) (transfer or concealment of property with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor) and § 727(a)(4)(A) (false oaths or accounts).

Meta Advisors LLC on behalf of G-Estate Mgmt. Co. v. Mastercraft Int'l Ltd. (In re Gordmans Stores, Inc.), Ch. 11, BK17-80304-TLS, A18-8321-TLS (June 29, 2021)

The court granted an unopposed motion for summary judgment to avoid and recover preferential transfers from an unsecured creditor and to disallow the creditor’s claim until the preferences have been repaid.

Larry E. Wieckhorst & Tracy D. Wieckhorst v. The Center for Rural Affairs (In re Wieckhorst), Ch. 13, BK19-42090-TLS, A21-4009-TLS (May 26, 2021)

The court granted default judgment to the debtors, ordering that a wholly unsecured junior lien on the debtors’ residential real estate may be avoided after the debtors complete Chapter 13 plan payments.

Jade Scott Clements & Sherry Louise Clements, Ch. 12, BK19-41806-TLS (Apr. 22, 2021)

Unexpected excess funds remain after the sale of farm equipment by the senior secured creditor. The Chapter 12 trustee proposes to pay the funds to unsecured creditors, but another creditor also claims rights to them, and the debtors would like to use them in their farming operation.

The court had granted relief from the automatic stay to sell the equipment because the evidence indicated the debtor sold the equipment to another creditor, so it was no longer property of the estate.

Daniel J. Casamatta, Acting United States Trustee v. Matthew Skibicki (In re Skibicki), Ch. 7, BK20-40033-TLS, A20-4011-TLS (Apr. 12, 2021)

The court denied summary judgment on the United States Trustee’s complaint seeking a denial of discharge under §§ 727(a)(2), (a)(4)(A), and (a)(4)(D). While the plaintiff proved that the debtor failed to disclose several bank accounts, gave incorrect balances for accounts that were disclosed, and failed to disclose a number of cash transfers, under circumstances that lead to a presumption of intent to deceive, the debtor should be given the opportunity to rebut that presumption at trial.

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