Author: Ed Boltz
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.

Bankr.  E.D.N.C.: In re Matusak- Timeliness of Motion to Modify; Judicial Estoppel and Unanticipated Changes in Circumstances; Extension of Plan LengthBankr.  E.D.N.C.: In re Matusak- Timeliness of Motion to Modify; Judicial Estoppel and Unanticipated Changes in Circumstances; Extension of Plan Length

Summary:

Mr.  Matusak’s plan provided, obviously among things, that he was required to produce  verified updated Schedules of income and expenses during the 36 months Applicable Commitment Period of his plan whenever such were requested by the Chapter 13 Trustee or Ms.  Brown,  his ex-wife and a creditor.  Based on that financial information, Ms.  Brown filed a motion to modify Mr.  Matusak’s plan in November 2016, seeking both an increase in the monthly payment and an extension of the plan from 36 to 60 months.

Prior to the hearing on the Motion to Modify in April 2017, Mr.  Matusak made the 36th payment under the original confirmed plan and argued that, the bankruptcy court no longer had authority to modify his plan as 11 U.S.C.… Read More

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Bankr. E.D.N.C.: McInnis v. Phillips- Determination of Whether Debts are Primarily Consumer; Creditor Does Not Have Standing to Bring Avoidance Actions

Summary:

In determining whether 11 U.S.C. § 707(b) was applicable, the bankruptcy court held that despite the debtors having thirteen consumer debts totaling $296,775.43 and eight business debts totaling $294,595.56, “[b]ecause of how easily a mortgage can skew the claims in favor of consumer debt” the debt secured by real property should be excluded from this consideration. In re Jones, 2009 WL 102442, *1 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. Jan. 12, 2009) (citing In re Booth, 858 F.2d 1051, 1054 (5th Cir. 1998)). After this adjustment, the debtors had primarily non-consumer debts and 11 U.S.C. § 707(b) did not apply.

Additionally, the bankruptcy court held that only a Trustee and not a creditor had authority to bring avoidance actions under 11 U.S.C.… Read More

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Law Review: Eraslan, Hulya et al.- The Anatomy of U.S. Personal Bankruptcy Under Chapter 13

Abstract:

By compiling a novel data set from bankruptcy court dockets recorded in Delaware between 2001 and 2002, the authors build and estimate a structural model of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This allows them to quantify how key debtor characteristics, including whether they are experiencing bankruptcy for the first time, their past-due secured debt at the time of filing, and income in excess of that required for basic maintenance, affect the distribution of creditor recovery rates. The analysis further reveals that changes in debtors’ conditions during bankruptcy play a nontrivial role in governing Chapter 13 outcomes, including their ability to obtain a financial fresh start.… Read More

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Bankr. E.D.N.C.: In re Price – True Lease or Disguised PMSI; Rule 60(b) Reconsideration

Summary:

On March 23, 2017, the bankruptcy lifted the automatic stay for Peak Leasing with regard to one of four trailers Mr. Price had obtain from Peak and took under advisement whether the remaining claims were “true leases” or disguised PMSIs. To determine such the bankruptcy court applied the UCC “Bright-Line” Test, which provides as follows:

A transaction in the form of a lease creates a security interest if the consideration that the lessee is to pay the lessor for the right to possession and use of the goods is an obligation for the term of the lease and is not subject to termination by the lessee, and:

(1) The original term of the lease is equal to or greater than the remaining economic life of the goods;

(2) The lessee is bound to renew the lease for the remaining economic life of the goods or is bound to become the owner of the goods;

(3) The lessee has an option to renew the lease for the remaining economic life of the goods for no additional consideration or for nominal additional consideration upon compliance with the lease agreement; or

(4) The lessee has an option to become the owner of the goods for no additional consideration or for nominal additional consideration upon compliance with the lease agreement.… Read More

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E.D.N.C.: U.S. v. Cox- In rem Jurisdiction for Judicial Foreclosure

Summary:

Mr. And Mrs. Cox, through their then attorney, entered into a settlement agreement in a civil forfeiture action brought for the collection of taxes, wherein they agreed to pay the government more than $3 million and granted Deeds of Trust against thirty-five tracts of land located throughout Alabama and North Carolina. After entering into this settlement, the government then initiated criminal prosecution of both of the Coxes and they subsequently pleaded guilty, with Mr. Cox being sentence to 33 months imprisonment, Mrs. Cox to 3 years probation, and each being fined $50,000. The when the Coxes failed to pay the agreed amount (perhaps in part because they were in prison), the government sought to judicially foreclose on the properties.… Read More

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E.D.N.C.: Collins v. First Financial Services- Sanctions for Failure to Comply with Discovery Orders

Summary:

Ms. Collins, representing herself pro se, in an action alleging multiple claims arising from a mortgage lending scheme by the defendants failed to comply with multiple orders regarding discovery. Upon the motions of the defendants, the district court (lamenting that no attorneys from the Pro Bono Panel had stepped up to assist Ms. Collins) applied the four-part test from Belk v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ., 269 F.3d 305, 348 (4th Cir. 2001) to determine what sanctions to impose:

1) whether the non-complying party acted in bad faith;
(2) the amount of prejudice that noncompliance caused the adversary;
(3) the need for deterrence of the particular sort of non-compliance; and
(4) whether less drastic sanctions would have been effective.… Read More

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Bankr. M.D.N.C.: In re Macy- Reaffirmation Is Voluntary for Both Debtor and Creditor

Summary:

Following receipt of an Reaffirmation Agreement from World Omni, the Macys completed and signed the statutorily prescribed form and both returned the documents to World Omni and filed a copy with the bankruptcy court.

The bankruptcy court sua sponte held that the filing of the Reaffirmation “absent a signature of an authorized representative” of World Omni was improper and of no binding effect, despite that it may be necessary for a debtor to establish that the requirements of 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(2) were met, since only partially executed “creates uncertainty with the vital and powerful discharge injuction….” The court did allow, however, that debtor’s counsel can file a certificate of service reflecting compliance with the requirements of 11 U.S.C.… Read More

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Mann, Ronald: Bankruptcy and the U.S. Supreme Court (Cambridge University Press 2017)Mann, Ronald: Bankruptcy and the U.S. Supreme Court (Cambridge University Press 2017)

Summary:

Through the lense of cases,  Prof.  Mann examines how the Supreme Court has interpreted Bankruptcy Code in recent decades, positing that while bankruptcy cases are not among the “big questions” that attract the attention of law clerks and the media, they are not quite the “dogs” of the  Supreme Court docket that tax cases might be.  P.  2.  Using the briefs, news archives and the available papers of the Justices themselves, Prof.  Mann concludes that the Supreme Court decisions are “replete with back-and-forth negotiations about the precise wording of opinions, changes of position after the initial decision and substantial changes in doctrinal approach over time.”

From this Prof. … Read More

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N.C. Court of Appeals: In re Ackah- Remedy for Statutorily Defective Notice of Foreclosure Does Not Include Overturning Sale

Summary:

Reserve Homeowners Association commenced a foreclosure against residential rental property owned by Ms. Ackah for unpaid homeowner’s association dues. Notice of the sale was left at the property and notices sent (and returned unclaimed) to other family members. Ultimately, the property was purchased by the Jones Family Holdings a the sale. Finding that Ms. Ackah did not receive actual notice of the foreclosure , the superior court accordingly set aside the sale.

The majority of opinion of the Court of Appeals held that N.C.G.S. § 1A-1, Rule 4 did require the HOA to use “due diligence” in effectuating service. Since the HOA knew or had reason to know that Ms.… Read More

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Bankr.  W.D.N.C.: In re Leviner- Characterization of Claim as Domestic Support Obligation

Summary:

After nearly 35 years of marriage,  Thomas Leviner and Kathy Leviner divorced and negotiated a Settlement where the parties prior marital residence was retained jointly for their children to inherit,  but with Mr.  Leviner to make the mortgage payments and Ms.  Leviner to retain the property during her lifetime (unless she remarried.)  Mr.  Leviner was also pay alimony of $300 a week until Ms.  Leviner turned 67 years old.  In 2015, after refinancing the house, Mr.  Leviner sought to offset the mortgage payments from the alimony being paid.  This was rejected by Ms.  Leviner, through her domestic attorney, and Mr.  … Read More

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