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In re Roger & Roberta Clark, Case No. 07-23390 (February 2008) -- Judge McGarity

Chapter 13 debtors were allowed to take a vehicle ownership expense deduction for a vehicle they owned free and clear.


In re Dunlap (January 2008) -- Judge Shapiro

The court held that the use of negative equity financing by the parties in connection with the purchase of a new car and trade-in of an another vehicle did not destroy the purchase money nature of Nissan’s PMSI. The court found that there was a close nexus between the debtors’ acquisition of the new car and the entire secured obligation, which included the negative equity financing. Therefore, pursuant to the hanging paragraph contained in 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a), the debtors could not cram down the secured lender’s claim into a secured claim and an unsecured claim under 11 U.S.C. § 506.


In re Boehlke, 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 235 (January 2008) -- Judge Kelley
Debtors' vehicle lease payments are not payments on secured claim and cannot be deducted as secured claim payments on Line 42 or 23(b) of Form B22A. Debtor can deduct ownership/lease expenses on Line 23(a).

In re Wetzel, 381 B.R. 247 (January 2008) -- Judge Kelley
Debtors' post-confirmation inheritance and business income is property of the Chapter 13 estate, and proper subject of Trustee's modification of plan to increase payments.

In Re Smith, 07-30540. (Bankr.S.D. Il June, 2008) (January 2008) -- Judge Pepper

The debtor purchased a vehicle within 910 days of filing her Chapter 13 petition. The financing for this purchase included funds loaned to pay taxes, administrative fees, service fees, gap insurance, a service contract and the negative equity on the debtor's trade-in vehicle. The Court held that the fact that the debtor's obligation to the creditor included these components did not deprive the creditor of its purchase money security interest in the collateral, and therefore that, pursuant to the hanging paragraph of 11 U.S.C. section 1325(a), the debtor could not cram down the creditor's interest.


In Re Lackowski, 08-21496 (January 2008) -- Judge Pepper

Pursuant to the Wisconsin exemption statutes, debtor who lives part-time in rented apartment in Milwaukee and part-time in a mobile home she owns in Adams County can claim the homestead exemption for the Adams County property. She can do so in spite of the fact that all of the evidence presented at the evidentiary hearing on the matter indicated that the debtor considered the Milwaukee County apartment her legal residence. The Court found that the debtor "occupied" the Adams County residence for the purpose of the exemption, albeit on a part-time basis.


In Re Action Transit, 07-27904 (January 2008) -- Judge Pepper

Contract between debtor-in-possession and creditor was not a true lease, but was a security interest as defined in Wis. Stat. section 401.201(37), and therefore the debtor was not required to pay the creditor according to the terms of the contract.  Rather, it could make adequate protection payments sufficient to protect the creditor's interest in the collateral.


Swanson v. Green (In re Green), 2007 WL 4570590 (December 2007) -- Judge Kelley

Debtors' discharge was denied based on § 727(a)(2) and (a)(4), when debtors failed to list personal property (Beanie Babies and Disney memorabilia) collected over many years and which debtors believed did not have value to anyone else. Court held that debtors should have listed property in general terms and given its value as unknown.


In re Muth Mirror Systems, LLC, et al., Case No. 06-25609, Muth Mirror Systems, LLC, et al. v. Gentex Corp. v. Muth Mirror Systems, LLC, et al., Adv. No. 06-2470 Published: In re Muth Mirror Systems, LLC, 379 B.R. 805 (December 2007) -- Judge McGarity

Chapter 11 debtor, the holder of patent for a non-dichroic signal mirror, brought an adversary proceeding against a competitor that had filed a proof of claim against the estate for the competitor's alleged infringement of its patent, alleged breach of alliance agreement between the parties, and tortious interference with its contractual relations, and the competitor counterclaimed against the debtor. The court  held the debtors' patent was invalid and the competitor's product did not infringe that patent.  The competitor did, however, breach the parties' alliance agreement, causing the debtor to suffer damages.


In Re Stoltz, 07-22864 (October 2007) -- Judge Pepper

Chapter 13 plan which relied on the language of the Eastern District model plan could not be confirmed in the face of objections that it did not clearly direct the trustee to distribute the amount listed in the creditor's proof of claim rather than the amount listed in the plan, and that it did not clearly indicate when the debtors intended the property of the estate to revest in the debtors. 


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