Month: May 2017

Bankr. M.D.N.C.: In re Griffin- Attorney Certification of Reaffirmation

Summary:

The bankruptcy court issued a show cause order to the Debtor’s attorney for signing a certification that a reaffirmation would not be an undue hardship for the Debtor. The court held that in regards to a reaffirmation the debtor’s attorney must file an Affidavit stating that the Reaffirmation:

1. Represents a fully informed and voluntary agreement by the debtor;
2. Does not impose an undue hardship on the debtor or a dependent of the debtor;
3. That the attorney fully advised the debtor of the legal effect and consequences of the agreement and any default under such an agreement, as well as other options available instead of reaffirmation.… Read More

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4th Circuit: In re Jackson – Debtor is Entitled to the Full Means Test Deduction under National or Local Standard

Summary:

The Bankruptcy Administrator moved to dismiss the Debtors case arguing that on the Means Test they were limited to deduction of the lesser of either the actual mortgage and vehicle expenses or the amounts under the applicable National or Local standard. In affirming denial of this motion by the the bankruptcy court, the Court of Appeals held that based on the plan language of 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I) “[t]he debtor’s monthly expenses shall be the debtor’s applicable monthly expense amounts specified under the National Standards and Local Standards.” 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I) (emphases supplied). In addition to the unambiguous application of the statutory language, the Court held that a contrary result would create the absurd result of “punishing frugal debtors”, by encouraging them to incur secured debts up to the amounts under the standards.… Read More

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Bankr. W.D.N.C.: In re Duvall- Impact of Abandonment on Debtor is Not Relevant

Summary:

The Trustee sought to abandon LLCs of inconsequential value to avoid tax liabilities of more than $1 million due to recaptured pass through losses. Abandonment of these assets would shift the tax liability to the debtor, who contended that this would improperly burden his fresh start. The bankruptcy court rejected this as the “[i]mpact on the debtor is not … one of the factors to be considered in authorizing abandonment, which suggests that impact on the debtor is not a necessary
consideration.” In re Johnston, 49 F.3d 538, 541 (9th Cir. 1995)

For a copy of the opinion, please see:

Duvall- Impact of Abandonment on Debtor is Not Relevant Read More

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Bankr. E.D.N.C.: In re Cooper- Adequate Protection Payments Only Required Where Use of Property Causes Depreciation in Interest

Summary:

Throughout extended litigation regarding the validity of a junior mortgage (there are more than 300 docket entries in this Chapter 13 case), a motion to dismiss filed by the trustee remained pending due to the inability to confirm a plan. After more then five years when the court determined both liens were valid in In re Cooper, but demoted lien of First American, the Debtors proposed a plan surrendering the property to the secured creditors, with the collateral to satisfy those claims and the $61,554.84 paid by the debtors to date being held by the trustee.

First American, the holder of the second mortgage, opposed confirmation arguing that the plan was unfair and not proposed in good faith, since it had received no payments.… Read More

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Bankr. M.D.N.C.: In re Carter- Standing in Involuntary Bankruptcy; Good Faith in Filing Involuntary Bankruptcy

Summary:

The Debtor caused a fatal motor vehicle accident while under the influence and was subsequently pleaded guilty to felony death by motor vehicle. At the time of the collision, the Debtor was covered by his own insurance with State Farm and the Allstate insurance policy held by the owner of the car the Debtor was driving. The decedent’s estate settled with both Allstate, but after being unable to reach terms with State Farm, ultimately obtained a wrongful death verdict for approximately $2.8 million. When collection efforts failed, the Estate commenced an involuntary Chapter 7, with the Trustee employing special counsel to pursue automobile liability claims against State Farm and Allstate.… Read More

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