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Judge Thomas L. Saladino

Stephen Lee Clouse, Ch. 7, BK17-81515-TLS (Oct. 29, 2020)

The court granted a creditor’s motion to file a proof of claim more than two years late in a Chapter 7 case. Section 509(b) permits the allowance of a late-filed claim if it falls within the scope of § 726(a)(1), (2), or (3). Here, the claim is not a priority claim under § 507 and the movant had timely notice of the case, so the only applicable subsection is § 726(a)(3) as the trustee has not yet made a final distribution of assets.

Brian C. Podwinski, Ch. 7, BK19-41937-TLS (Oct. 19, 2020)

The court denied the debtor’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and gave creditors who moved for an extension of time to file a dischargeability proceeding – after the deadline had expired – an opportunity to show that equitable grounds exist for extending the deadline. To equitably toll the deadline, the creditors must prove they pursued their rights diligently and that some extraordinary circumstance stood in their way. An evidentiary hearing was scheduled on the creditors’ motion.

Jasper Fanning v. Jared Brooks & Jeffrey Brooks (In re Brooks), Ch. 11, BK18-40417, -40418; A18-4016, -4017, -4024, -4025 (Oct. 15, 2020)

After a trial in four related adversaries concerning competing rights to the proceeds of the sale of cattle subject to a calf-share agreement, the court determined the appropriate division of the proceeds among the debtors, the owners of the cattle, and the debtors’ lender. One of the debtors had also filed an agister’s lien against the plaintiffs, which the court found to be invalid and unenforceable.

Caiti J. Bunger v. Brandon M. Smith (In re Smith), Ch. 7, BK19-41985-TLS, A20-4009-TLS (Sept. 11, 2020)

The court granted summary judgment to the debtor’s former spouse, finding the debt owed by the debtor to equitably divide the parties’ property pursuant to the divorce decree is excepted from discharge under § 523(a)(15). The non-dischargeable amount includes the attorney’s fees awarded by the state court in connection with a contempt order entered in the plaintiff’s favor when the debtor failed to make an installment payment on the property judgment when due.

Community First Bank v. Donovan D. Frank (In re Frank), Ch. 7, BK18-41022-TLS, A18-4027-TLS (Aug. 26, 2020)

After a trial seeking denial of discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727, the court ruled in favor of the debtor. The plaintiff had filed the complaint seeking a declaration that the debtor is a business partner to his non-debtor spouse, who owns a business that buys, breeds, and sells cattle. Because the debtor did not list this alleged partnership interest in his bankruptcy schedules or Statement of Financial Affairs, and declared under oath the schedules as filed were correct, the plaintiff sought to deny him a discharge from his debts under §§ 727(a)(2) and (4).

DN Enter. v. John J. Navarro (In re Navarro), Ch. 7, BK19-81567-TLS, A19-8034-TLS (Aug. 11, 2020)

This adversary proceeding was filed by a creditor holding a judgment in a state-court lawsuit finding that the debtor had committed tortious conversion. The complaint seeks a denial of discharge under § 727(a)(4)(A) because the debtor failed to disclose certain assets in his bankruptcy schedules and at his § 341 meeting, or, alternatively, an exception from discharge based on § 523(a)(4).

Anthony & Judith Archer, Ch. 13, BK05-85920 (July 20, 2007)

The debtors, who were operating under a confirmed five-year Chapter 13 plan, wanted to refinance their house and pay off the plan early. The trustee objected on the basis that § 1325(b) requires debtors to make payments for the stated time period in the plan regardless of their ability to make total plan payments in less time. The court overruled the trustee’s objection, stating:

Russ's Car Wash, Inc. & James A. Martinez, Ch. 11, BK06-41676 (Oct. 22, 2007)

The court granted a creditor’s motion to convert this case from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7, finding cause for conversion in the debtors’ inability to formulate a feasible plan because they were unable to find a buyer for their primary asset. The debtors also failed to file a disclosure statement and plan within the time periods established by the Bankruptcy Code, and paid pre-petition expenses and post-petition professional fees without court order.


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