Bankr. E.D.N.C.: In re Skubic- No Summary Judgment on Denial of Discharge

Summary:

In a case involving multiple corporations and transfers back and forth from the Debtors’ household bank accounts and corporate accounts, the Trustee and a major creditor sought a denial of discharge against the debtors under 11 U.S.C. § 727.

After reviewing and finding that the Debtors displayed several of the “badges of fraud”, see West v. Abdelaziz (In re Abdelaziz), 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 591, at *7-8 (Bankr. M.D.N.C. Feb. 1, 2012), the bankruptcy court nonetheless found that the Debtors also displayed several of the mitigating  “badges of a desperate but well-intended debtor”, including:

(1) Evidence showing that the multiple corporations were established for legitimate purposes;
(2) Attempted negotiations prior to bankruptcy with creditors;
(3) Repayment of transfers from corporate accounts, particularly from liquidation of the individual Debtors’ personal property;
(4) Preferential payments were not evidence of an intent to hinder, delay or defraud other creditors;
(5) The Debtors lack of financial sophistication; and
(6) That the Debtors might, even though in one joint bankruptcy as husband and wife, not both share the culpability.

Accordingly, the court found that these matters were better suited for a trial and summary judgment was denied.

Commentary:

“Badges of Fraud” is a far catchier phrase than “Badges of  Desperate but Well-Intended Debtor”.  Perhaps “Badges of Credulity”?

Quotes from ” The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” or “Blazing Saddles”  are  welcome.  David Badger need not reply, since we do not need to hear from him, unless he has showered recently.

For a copy of the opinion, please see:

About

1. Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Washington University, 1993. 2. Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University, 1996. Admissions to Practice of Law: North Carolina Bar, 1996. Federal District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina. Specialty Certification: North Carolina State Bar: Certified as a Specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy. Areas of Practice: Practice limited to consumer and business debtor bankruptcy law, 1998 to present. Memberships: National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers (NCATL). North Carolina Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section. Lectures prepared and presented: North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers seminar on bankruptcy; Topic: Counseling the Consumer Debtor Prior to Court - C.Y.A. Forms to Help 'Gird They Loins'; 2001. Middle District Bankruptcy Seminar; Topic: Preparing Chapter 13 Plans; 2002. NACBA National Convention; Topic: Efficient Office Practices; 2003. NACBA National Convention; Topic: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Debates; 2004. Middle District Bankruptcy Seminar; Topic: Chapter 7 & 13 Hot Issues; 2004. Positions held: NACBA National Convention; Convention Chair; 2008. NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator: Topic: Basic Bankruptcy Issues; 2008. NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator; Topic: Chapter 13-Disposable Income and Other Issues; 2007. NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator; Topic: Representing Members of the Military and Their Families; 2007. NACBA, Member of National Board of Directors, 2006 to present. NCATL, Chair of the Bankruptcy Section, 2003 to 2007. NACBA, Chair of the North Carolina Section, 2003 to 2007. NC Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section, Bankruptcy Council Member, 2004 to present.

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