Bankruptcy docket roundup – November 29, 2021

Yes BK court really is in the post office.

Since it’s my blog and my jurisdiction, let’s start with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. Got two appeals from lower court appeals, which is to say, the appellants already had a shot at appeal, whether it was with a district court or the 9th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP).

Let’s start with the appeal from the 9th Cir. BAP. Ninth Circuit rejects an appeal from the bankruptcy appellate panel as to whether an advance on an inheritance is a loan that can be discharged in bankruptcy. The BAP and this court rule that it cannot. Mellem v. Mellem (21-60020) Judges Schroeder, Fletcher, and Miller.

Second, the Ninth Circuit summarily affirmed the district court’s ruling from a pro se appeal from a bankruptcy court. Roughly, the appellant failed to follow the rules correctly, including FRBP 8003. Brugnara v. Brugnara (19-17267) Judges Owen, Bade, and Lee.

We have some more appellate court action as well, albeit pretty lightweight like the Ninth. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal summarily denied a petition to appeal from the lower district court because the underlying bankruptcy case was dismissed, so… no jurisdiction. Holmes v. Haynsworth (21-153)

Returning to the 90 or so bankruptcy trial courts, starting in Atlanta in the Northern District of Georgia, ruling on summary judgment arising out of disputes between the debtor and her mortgage servicer. Servicer wins most of the summary judgment points; however, trial will proceed on allegations of discharge and stay injunction violations. White-Lett v. Bank of NY Mellon (20-6278-BEM), Judge Ellis-Monro.

Moving up to the Southern District of New York, objection to pilots’ proofs of claims because of technicalities in collective-bargaining agreements is sustained. Interesting issues related to the confluence of collective bargaining contracts and “flow through” agreements intersecting with the POCs. In re: AMR Corp. (11-15463), Judge Lane.

In the Eastern District of Michigan, an adversary proceeding based on a fraudulent investment scheme to create software for healthcare organizations is ongoing. Today’s opinion arises out of a motion for summary judgment where Judge Randon concludes that “by a fine margin” there are sufficient facts in dispute to proceed to trial. Bojkovic v Kutsomarkos (20-04348), Judge Randon.

Up near Gerry Spence territory in the District of Montana, summary judgment on an undue hardship student loan case is denied (go debtor!). She owes $160k on a salary of $40k. I know the facts are, generally, rooted in cold, hard numbers, but summary judgement seems like it would super dangerous for a sympathetic debtor like this. Luckily, her case lives (I’m partial to student loan plaintiffs). Bonus for readers: interesting discussion of key nuances of the Brunner test in the Ninth Circuit as well. Box v. Granite State Mgmt. & Res. (21-9004-BPH), Judge Hursh.

And another student loan case! Returning to the Northern District of Georgia, post-trial judgment and opinion that debtors’ student loans are not an undue hardship (ugh) where co-signor debtors were caring for their adult child. Think I got the facts right on this, will review. Clark v. Wells Fargo (18-4012), Judge Ellis-Monro.

Seeing as how I have a pending student loan adversary, I think Box and Clark are next up for the podcast (Apple Podcasts link)!

See you tomorrow bankruptcy geeks!

Disclaimer: on these posts, I do not necessarily read the entire case. Often I don’t, in fact. I usually skim them briefly, so if you see anything I got really wrong or an important nuance I missed… please let me know by sending me an email! michael@michaelricelaw.com


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Bankruptcy docket round up – November 23, 2021

Lobby of Bankruptcy Judges Kwan and Russell in the Central District of California

Got up early this morning on the hunt for a case or two to cover in my new podcast series. As always, even with bankruptcy cases at historic lows, there’s a lot going on!

In a new published case out of the Ninth Circuit BAP, Judges Lafferty, Faris, and Spraker affirmed trial court’s dismissal of an adversary proceeding against the debtor. Plaintiff failed to perfect its lien under California law. This court published because it wanted to clarify that 108(c) doesn’t toll filing notices under 546(b). Philmont Management v. 450 S. Western Ave. (2:20-bk-10264-ER).

Turning to the trial courts, there were two opinions out of the Eastern District of Michigan. A subchapter V case was dismissed for failing to file a plan. In re Back To Life Properties. In a different case, Judge Opperman granted summary judgment for a 523(a)(4) complaint over a construction dispute. Miller v. Safford.

Heading south to Kansas, Judge Somers wrote a fairly long and complex opinion regarding Summary judgment in a chapter 12 case regard a 363 sale. In re Parsons.

In a District of Nebraska court, a chapter 11 plan was denied because of concerns over a 1111(b) election. Those elections always confused the daylights out of me, so I think I’ll skip it for today’s podcast! In re Topp’s Mechanical.

Over in Delaware, the court denied cram down on a debtor’s primary residence. Pedicone v. Ajax Mortgage.

Nearby, in the District of Columbia, summary judgment was granted in dispute over the sale of a house and fraud claims under 523(a)(2). Johnson v Johnson.

In South Carolina, a “frequent” pro se litigant’s chapter 7 was dismissed. In re France.

In the case I’ll probably cover in the podcast, a Southern District of Florida court issued a decision about temporarily closing an individual chapter 11 case to avoid administrative fees. In re Hill.

Let’s head back West! Next door to California, in Arizona, Judge Collins who recently paneled an interesting conversation at the ABI’s Consumer Bankruptcy Extravaganza and who’s court I observed in person once, issued an amusing opinion about objections to proofs of claim under the Affordable Care Act. In re Vallejo.

Disclaimer: on these posts, I do not necessarily read the entire case. Often I don’t, in fact. I usually skim them briefly, so if you see anything I got really wrong or an important nuance I missed… please let me know by sending me an email! michael@michaelricelaw.com


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Like what you read but worried you’ll forget to visit my website? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Just sign up to get these posts delivered straight to your inbox!