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In Re Hanley, 09-21220 (October 2010) -- Judge Pepper

While the fact that a debt is "disputed" does not make it "unliquidated" for the purposes of determining whether a debtor has exceeded the Chapter 13 debt limit, a dispute over whether the debt ever existed or will exist can render the nature of the debt "unliquidated."  Even applying that test, however, the Court found that the particular debt in question was "liquidated," and needed to be included in the calculation of the debt limits.


In Re Smith 06-20127 (October 2010) -- Judge Pepper

When a creditor files its proof of claim pre-petition and the debtor (a) proposes a plan that specifically articulates how it will treat that creditor's claim, (2) that treatment is different than the treatment in the proof of claim, and (3) the debtor serves the plan on that creditor, the treatment in the confirmed plan controls over the proof of claim if the creditor does not object to its treatment pre-confirmation.


Ganther Construction, Inc. v. Ward, 08-2242 (October 2010) -- Judge Pepper

In a nondischargeability action under §523(a)(4), the plaintiff failed to prove the element of defalcation in a fiduciary capacity, because it failed to prove that the defendant's violation of Wisconsin's theft-by-contractor (Wis. Stat. §779.02(5)) law involved more than mere negligence.


Starfire v. Dolata, 09-2056 (September 2010) -- Judge Pepper

The defendant committed theft by contractor when he used trust funds to pay himself and to pay the overhead expenses of his business.  Accordingly, his debt to the materials supplier was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 523(a)(4).  The defendant's attempt to argue that he paid the materials supplier "proportionally" was not successful; the evidence did not demonstrate either that he paid the material supplier proportionally to himself, or that he paid the supplier proportionally to what he received from the project owners.  Nor was the fact that he used the funds to pay his overhead, and thus, to enable him to complete the jobs, a defense to the theft-by-contractor claims.  The plaintiff, however, did not prove the necessary intent to justify treble damages.


In re Thomas William Reimann, Case No. 09-37695 Published: In re Reimann, 436 B.R. 564 (September 2010) -- Judge McGarity

State Department of Corrections did not violate the automatic stay when it deducted funds from chapter 7 debtor's prisoner trust account postpetition and applied them against an obligation to pay for medical services received while he was in prison. The obligation was a nondischargeable penalty, as well.


Estate of Sustache v. Mathews, 433 B.R. 732 (August 2010) -- Judge Kelley

Debtor proved his affirmative defense of self-defense to willful and malicious injury claim under Bankruptcy Code § 523(a)(6).


In re Dwight & Robecca Glaubitz, Case No. 09-38348 Published: In re Glaubitz, 436 B.R. 99 (August 2010) -- Judge McGarity

Debtors were not eligible for chapter 13 because their unsecured debts exceeded cap set forth in section 109(e).  The debtors' liabilities relating to their personal guarantees of corporate debt were not contingent.


In re Scott & Annabelle Wettstein, Case No. 09-36498, Tammy Montonati v. Scott Wettstein, Adv. No. 10-2124 (July 2010) -- Judge McGarity

Under doctrine of judicial estoppel, chapter 13 debtor was prohibited from arguing his conduct did not result in a willful and/or malicious injury pursuant to sec. 1328(a)(4), due to his previous state court stipulation that obligation was nondischargeable based on the willful and malicious injury to plaintiff.


In re Valley Petroleum, LLC, Case No. 09-28869, Debtor v. Garrow Oil Corp., Adv. No. 09-2328 (July 2010) -- Judge McGarity

Certain electronic fund transfers and credit card receivables received prepetition by the chapter 11 debtor's fuel supplier were avoidable preferences.  Because payment terms for new fuel shipments changed from being due 10 days after delivery to cash-in-advance, the additional payments on the balance owed the supplier were neither contemporaneous exchanges for new value nor made in the ordinary course of the parties' business.


In re Meyers, 431 B.R. 823 (July 2010) -- Judge Kelley
Debtors who inadvertently omitted tax refund from Schedules could amend Schedules and claim refund as exempt, when Trustee could not prove by clear and convincing evidence that refund was concealed or creditors were prejudiced.

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