Bankr. E.D.N.C.: In re Abuharb- Fees for Dilatory Actions in Avoiding Judgment Lien


Abuharb filed his first Chapter 13 case, receiving a discharge on January 23, 2014, including any personal liability on a claim owed to Mission Valley Shopping Center (“MVA”) for a judgment in the amount of $38,093.14. At that time, Abuharb owned his residence at 8301 Rubblestone Path, but the Chapter 13 plan provided that the property was to be surrendered. When Abuharb subsequently obtained a loan modification for the mortgage on his residence, he neither modified the plan nor sought to avoid the judgment lien of MVA. After that bankruptcy completed, Abuharb twice sought to re-open the case to avoid the judgment lien, with both motions being denied due to the lapse of time and Abuharb’s failure to both avoid the lien at that time or modify the plan.

Abuharb then filed a second Chapter 13 bankruptcy, valuing the residence in the amount of $195,000 and seeking to avoid the judgment lien of MVA on the basis that the two mortgages had total balances of $212,486.48, with an asserted homestead exemption of $30,000.00.

MVA did not contest the value, but argued that it should be allowed its costs and fees incurred due to the failure by Abuharb to avoid the lien in the first case, the multiple motions to re-open and collection costs incurred between the two cases. Relying on Noble v. Yingling, 37 B.R. 647 (D. Del 1984) and Webb v. Robert Boroughs, Ltd., 48 B.R. 454 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 1985), the court held that equity required that Abuharb bear the costs associated with his dilatory actions in the amount of $2,434.50.
For a copy of the opinion, please see:

Abuharb- Fees for Dilatory Actions in Avoiding Judgment Lien


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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