Category: District Courts

E.D.N.C.: In re Hurlburt- Anti-Deficiency Mortgage Statute does not Circumvent Anti-Modification Provisions

Summary:

After direct appeal to the 4th Circuit was declined, the district court affirmed the opinion of the bankruptcy court in Hurlburt that the anti-deficiency statute of N.C.G.S. § 45-21.28 does not allow debtors to circumvent the anti-modification provisions of 11 U.S.C. § 1322(b)(2) and (c)(2), with Witt v. United Companies Lending Corp. (In Re Witt), 113 F.3d 508 (4th Cir. 1997) controlling.

Commentary:

The district court did explicitly draw attention to the fact that in neither Witt nor Nobelman v. American Savings Bank, 508 U.S. 324 (1994), did those courts address mortgages where anti-deficiency statutes would have precluded an unsecured claim, thereby limiting the mortgage claim to the value of the collateral.… Read More

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E.D.N.C.: Summitbridge v. Faison- No Unsecured Claim for Attorneys Fees for Under Secured Creditor

Summary:

In a Chapter 11 case, Summitbridge held a secured (but under secured) claim, which was satisfied, pursuant to the confirmation order, by tender of the collateral. Summitbridge then filed an additional unsecured, nonpriority claim for it attorneys fees, pursuant to its promissory note, in the amount of 15% of the outstanding indebtness, totaling more than $300,000. The bankruptcy court disallowed this unsecured claim.

In affirming, the district court recognized the line of cases that “reasoned that claims for post-petition attorneys’ fees are contingent, unliquidated claims which are not precluded by Section 502 and are thus allowable. See In re 804 Congress, L.L.C. Read More

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E.D.N.C.: Spoor v. Barth- Denial of Sanctions and Vexatious Multiplication of Litigation

Summary:

Mr. Barth commenced an adversary proceeding seeking a declaratory judgment that various state court actions by Mr. Spoor could have been brought by the bankruptcy trustee, who had previously signed a release of such actions, and that Mr. Spoor should be required to dismiss those actions. The bankruptcy court instead dismissed Mr. Barth’s adversary proceeding on the grounds that such relief was prohibited by the Anti-Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2283. The bankruptcy court declined, however, to award the sanctions sought by Mr. Spoor pursuant to North Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 11, 28 U.S.C. § 1927, 11 U.S.C. § 105, and Bankruptcy Rule 9011, against Mr.… Read More

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W.D.N.C.: Morgen v.  Student Loan Finance Corporation- Forum Selection ClauseW.D.N.C.: Morgen v.  Student Loan Finance Corporation- Forum Selection Clause

Summary:

Ms.  Morgen brought suit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Student Loan Finance (“SLF”) moved for a change of venue to South Dakota based on a forum selection clause in the contract.
Ms.  Morgen’s initial objection that the loan applications and promissory notes proffered by SLF  had no affidavits from record keepers   denied as the court held that such would be precluded as evidence in a consideration of a motion for summary judgment, but, in part because “there is no plausible contention that these documents are inauthentic,”  allowed them for determination of venue.

In evaluating the forum selection clause,   the  court  first determined  whether it was  mandatory or permissive, with only mandatory forum selection being binding. … Read More

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E.D.N.C.: In re Clark- In Rem Relief; Stay Pending Appeal

Summary:

The bankruptcy court granted the Motion for in rem relief sought by Wells Fargo pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(4), as to Mr. Clark and his wife, further barring Mr. Clark from filing any bankruptcy in the Eastern District of North Carolina for one year.

In denying the Mr. Clark’s motion for stay pending appeal and for a writ of supersedes, the district denied such finding the Mr. Clark had not made a clear showing that he had a likelihood of success in the appeal and agreeing with the bankruptcy court that Mr. Clark would not suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a stay, as he had been in default on the mortgage for 4.5 years.… Read More

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E.D.N.C.: Myrick v.  Equifax- Duty to Investigate Credit Report Dispute and Bankruptcy Discharge

Summary:
Mr.  Myrick brought suit against Equifax under the FCRA for willfully failing to verify the discharge of a debt in his Chapter 7 bankruptcy.   In light of Daughterty v.  Ocwen Loan Servicing, the district court reconsidered its previous grant of summary judgment and instead found that Equifax had in its possession “records that would have enabled it to confirm the status of the … account through an identified source, i.e., PACER.”   Instead, there was a factual issue of “whether Equifax conducted a reasonable investigation by limiting its efforts to confirming the disputed information” with the creditor and not checking PACER or elsewhere.… 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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W.D.N.C.: Garvey v. Seterus – FDCPA Demand for Verification Limited to Statutory Requirements; Statute of Limitations for FDCPA

Summary:

Leaving aside the multiple foreclosure proceedings and subsequent appeals, Mr. Garvey eventually filed a short-lived, pro se Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Attorneys for Seterus filed a Notice of Appearance and Objection to Confirmation. Mr. Garvey then sent a demand to the attorneys, as debt collectors, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692g, provide verification under penalty of perjury to substantiate that the alleged debt was owed to Seterus and further stating that failure to comply within seven days would constitute a waiver of all claims against him.

Following the dismissal of the bankruptcy, Mr. Garvey commenced suit in federal district court, which held that, pursuant to 15 U.S.C.… Read More

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E.D.N.C.: Myrick v.  Equifax- FCRA Dispute Resolution and Bankruptcy Discharge

Summary:

Following the entry of a discharge in 2011 of his Chapter 13 case, First Federal Bank (“FFB”) continued to report on Mr.  Myrick’s credit report with Equifax that he owed an outstanding balance of $41,603 that was past due by $2,000.  In November 2014, Mr.  Myrick submitted a dispute with Equifax regarding this balance, raising his bankruptcy discharge.  Equifax sent a Automated Consumer Dispute Verification (“ACDV”) to FFB, which responded that the balance information was correct.  Later in February 2015, Mr.  Myrick again disputed the FFB trade line, this time attaching a copy of his discharge order.  As the discharge order does not specifically list discharged claims, Equifax requested additional details regarding the account names, numbers and nature of the dispute.  … Read More

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