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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.

None of the evidence presented proved that the debtor deliberately and intentionally made a knowingly false representation to the plaintiff for the purpose of deceiving her at the time she made the loan to him. His intent at the time he obtained the funds was key, and at that time, the evidence indicates he did intend to use the money to buy a bank. This lack of fraudulent intent renders the debt dischargeable.

Monday, December 12, 2022
Judge Thomas L. Saladino