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Debtor v. Creative Loans, LLC, Et Al (In re Eradean Walker) (April 2009) -- Judge Shapiro

The debtor, after filing a bankruptcy petition under chapter 13 and without obtaining court approval, entered into agreements, in which she believed she was refinancing the mortgages on her two residential properties. In reality, it was a scam and the agreements transferred her ownership interest in both properties, giving her only the right to occupy the properties as a tenant for a period of 1 year, with no option to re-purchase. The debtor, an elderly widow with a 9th grade education, commenced an adversary proceeding against defendants, seeking the return of her ownership interest in the properties. The court concluded that the debtor never understood what she was signing and found the transactions to have violated § 362(a)(3), as acts to obtain possession of property of the estate, and § 549(a), as a post-petition transfer not authorized by the court.


In re Dionne, 402 B.R. 883 (April 2009) -- Judge Kelley
In calculating disposable income, Chapter 13 debtors could deduct secured payments that were contractually due on the date of the petition, even though they intended to surrender the collateral.

In re Landry, No. 08-C-947 (April 2009) -- Judge Kelley
District Court opinion affirming the decision of the bankruptcy court. Credit card debt was dischargeable, given that creditor failed to prove fraud or false representation on the part of the debtor.

In Re Gwaltney, 07-29919 (March 2009) -- Judge Pepper

Debtor who obtained homestead property in violation of a due-on-sale clause does not impermissibly modify creditor's rights in violation of 11 U.S.C. section 1322(b)(2) in proposing to pay the arrearages on the mortgage debt through a Chapter 13 plan.


In re Thongta, 401 B.R. 363 (March 2009) -- Judge Kelley
Creditor's pursuit of Chapter 13 debtor's non-debtor spouse for auto accident claim violated stay when creditor docketed judgment that became a lien on property of the estate.

In re Robert & Sandra Ecker, Case No. 07-29439, Fischer Construction, et al. v. Robert Ecker, Adv. No. 08-2059 Published: In re Ecker, 400 B.R. 669 (January 2009) -- Judge McGarity

The plaintiffs in theft by contractor cause of action were entitled to judgment of nondischargeability under sec. 523(a)(4).  The court found the services performed for the debtor's construction company fell within the provisions of both the old and new versions of Wis. Stat. sec. 779.02(5).


In re Christine C. Bermann, Case No. 08-28387 Published: In re Bermann, 399 B.R. 213 (January 2009) -- Judge McGarity

The chapter 13 trustee opposed confirmation of the debtor's plan because she included non-escrow homeowners' insurance and real estate taxes on Line 47 of Form 22C.  The court overruled the trustee's objection as it related to the deduction for insurance and property taxes because, even though those expenses were not paid into an escrow account, such payments were required by the contract that created the security interest.


In re Charles & Mary Kay Becker, Case No. 07-26001 Published: In re Becker, 400 B.R. 221 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2009), rev'd in part, 09-C-170 (W.D. Wis. 2009) (January 2009) -- Judge McGarity

Creditor opposed the chapter 11 debtors' proposed disclosure statement on the grounds that it did not adequately describe the cross-collateralization of the debtors' obligations to it. The court determined the debtors' original mortgage on their homestead did not secure the subsequent business notes.


In re David Michael Larsen, Case No. 08-33993 Published: In re Larsen, 399 B.R. 634 (January 2009) -- Judge McGarity

Debtor who was currently incarcerated in a prison that was experiencing difficulties with its telephone service moved for at least a temporary waiver of the prepetition credit counseling requirement. Prisoner's motion for exemption from credit counseling was denied by the court because no "exigent circumstances" existed, of a kind entitling the debtor to a temporary waiver of the requirement.  Furthermore, the debtor's incarceration did not rise to the level of "disability," of a kind warranting a permanent waiver of the credit counseling requirement.


Neary, UST v. Debtor (In re Ricky Leech) (January 2009) -- Judge Shapiro

When the UST discovered at the 341 meeting of creditors that debtor had failed to list some jewelry on his schedules, he commenced an adversary proceeding, seeking denial of debtor’s discharge under §§ 727(a)(40(A) and 727(a)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code. The court concluded that in failing to list substantial assets on his schedules, the debtor did intend to actually defraud the trustee and his creditors, or at least acted with reckless disregard for the truth, and should be denied a discharge. The fact that he later amended his schedules to include the omitted assets did not expunge the falsity of his prior oath. The court also rejected debtor’s attempt to shift blame onto his bankruptcy attorney, declaring that debtor has an independent responsibility to verify the information given to his counsel. The court also sustained the chapter 7 trustee’s objection to debtor’s claims of exemption.


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