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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.


In re Sonya D. Simpson, Case No. 08-21251 (July 2008) -- Judge McGarity

Below-median income chapter 13 debtor's plan, which proposed to limit contribution of one half of debtor's tax refunds to the first three years of the plan and use the funds to shorten the length of the plan, was not proposed in good faith.


In re Price, No. 08-24090 (June 2008) -- Judge Kelley
Utility deposit for above-poverty guideline Chapter 7 debtor was reduced based on debtor's motion under § 366(b).

In re Cannon, 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 1870 (June 2008) -- Judge Kelley
No § 366 utility deposit required when Chapter 7 debtor's income was below poverty guidelines, and deposit could not be required under applicable Public Service Regulations.

In re Stephanie Schauer, Case No. 07-26758, State of Wisconsin v. Debtor, Adv. No. 07-2317 Published: In re Schauer, 391 B.R. 430 (June 2008) -- Judge McGarity

The state brought an adversary proceeding against the debtor, seeking a determination that an obligation for child care overpayments was nondischargeable. The court granted summary judgment to the state, finding Wisconsin Works (W2) Child Care Subsidy overpayments to chapter 7 debtor were domestic support obligations within the meaning of sec. 101(14A) and thus nondischargeable pursuant to sec. 523(a)(5).


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