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In re Kelly Ann Wood, Case No. 08-21191 (October 2008) -- Judge McGarity

Creditor filed a motion to have its adversary complaint objecting to the dischargeability of an obligation, which was filed before the deadline to file proofs of claim in the debtor's chapter 13 case,  construed as an informal proof of claim.  The court denied the motion.  Although the complaint evidenced the creditor's intent to hold the debtor liable for the obligation, it did not express an intent to hold the chapter 13 estate liable.


In re Daniel & Eleanor Hilton, Case No. 08-25440 Published: In re Hilton, 395 B.R. 433 (October 2008) -- Judge McGarity

Chapter 13 debtors who experienced a reduction in income immediately preceding the filing of their bankruptcy petition proposed to pay unsecured creditors less than the distribution required under the means test.  The trustee opposed confirmation of the plan.  The court determined that the term "projected disposable income" should not always be based solely on a historical perspective of income from Form B22C alone, but rather other evidence could be considered when a debtor experiences a significant change in circumstances reducing income at or around the time of the bankruptcy filing.


In re Stascak, No. 08-24392 (October 2008) -- Judge Kelley
Where 401(k) loan will be paid in full before end of Chapter 13 plan, payments on loan must be pro-rated over the life of the plan in order to comply with § 1322(f)

In re James & Judith Michalek, Case No. 06-23355 Published: In re Michalek, 393 B.R. 642 (September 2008) -- Judge McGarity

After the chapter 13 debtors defaulted under the terms of their prepetition lease and the automatic stay was lifted, the vehicle was repossessed by the creditor and sold. The creditor asserted an administrative claim for the amounts remaining due under the lease. The court granted the creditor’s motion, finding the obligation was beneficial to the estate.


Neary, UST v. Debtor (In re Stacie Happel) (September 2008) -- Judge Shapiro

Neary, UST v. Debtor (In re Stacie Happel) - Prior to filing her bankruptcy petition, debtor became involved in a business relationship in which her and her “partner” would execute fraudulent loan applications in order to buy residential properties in the Milwaukee area. Title was put in the debtor’s name only, and her “partner” handled everything else. Under the scheme, she received funds from him in order to artificially inflate her bank account and obtain approval of mortgage loans. Immediately after the loans were approved, the funds were removed and returned to her partner. Neither this partnership, the subsequent sale of these various properties, nor the proceeds thereof were disclosed on the debtor’s schedules. The UST objected to a discharge being granted to the debtor based upon §§ 727(a)(3) and 727(a)(4)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code. The court concluded that in failing to include key information in her schedules, the debtor demonstrated a reckless disregard for the truth, sufficient to bar a discharge. The court also found that a denial of debtor’s discharge was warranted based on her failure to keep or preserve business records. The court concluded that while debtor may not have been sophisticated in business dealings and was taken advantage of by her partner, she was not an innocent victim.


In re Schley, 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 2214 (August 2008) -- Judge Kelley
"Special circumstances" did not exist where debtor worked as an occupational therapist for a school system, only receiving income during 9 months of the year.

In re Cruz, 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 2540 (August 2008) -- Judge Kelley
Entire bonus received in 6-month prefiling period was included in current monthly income.

In re Luedtke, 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 2118 (July 2008) -- Judge Kelley
Secured creditor's affirmative credit reporting of original debt rather than debt as modified by debtor's confirmed Chapter 13 plan was a violation of § 1327.

In re Suzanne Reinstein (July 2008) -- Judge Shapiro

Creditor objected to confirmation of debtor's amended chapter 13 plan. Creditor contended that debtor improperly calculated both her housing and transportation expenses and failed to apply all of their disposable income to the plan. The debtor's actual monthly housing expense was $640, but she deducted the entire monthly housing allowance of $712 specified in the Local Standards. The debtor's actual monthly transportation expense totaled $95, but she deducted the $471 specified in the Local Standards monthly transportation allowance. The court found that the expenses in the Local Standards are fixed expenses and apply even if a debtor's actual expenses are lower than the Local Standard allowance. Accordingly, the court overruled creditor's objection to debtor's amended plan.


In Re Johns, 08-24311 (July 2008) -- Judge Pepper

When the Court denies a serial debtor's motion to continue the stay pursuant to section 362(c)(3), the stay terminates as to the property of the estate, and not just as to the property of the debtor.


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