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In re Eckerstorfer (13-26186) (March 2014) -- Judge Halfenger

The court sustained, in part, the debtor's ex-wife's objection to confirmation of the debtor's chapter 13 plan and overruled the debtor's objection to his ex-wife's proof of claim, concluding that (i) the plan's proposed treatment of the maintenance arrears owed to the debtor's ex-wife did not comply with 11 U.S.C. §1322(a)(2), and (ii) the debtor did not have a right of setoff under Wisconsin law that would allow him to reduce the amount of his ex-wife's proof of claim.


In re Lawrence & Lorine Hartung, Case No. 12-21920 (March 2014) -- Judge McGarity

Court found judicial lien on chapter 13 debtors' homestead was avoidable to extent trust monies were not traceable to homestead.  Wisconsin law regarding exception to homestead exemption statute was discussed.  Additionally, Court noted that exemption by default under section 522(l) did not appy in the context of lien avoidance.  Note:  This is a Court Minutes Decision, only.


In re William R. Barnes, Case No. 11-27724 (March 2014) -- Judge McGarity

After above-median income debtor's income decreased below the applicable median income following confirmation, he sought to reduce the plan duration to a period less than 60 months without also providing for full repayment to unsecured creditors.  The trustee opposed confirmation of the modified plan. The court overruled the objection in part and sustained the objection in part.  A postconfirmation modification could reduce the applicable commitment period, provided the change in circumstances inhibited the debtor's ability to fund the plan through the end of the original term, a determination which required further evidence.


State of Wisconsin-Department of Workforce Development v. Davis (March 2014) -- Judge Kelley

The Debtor was not personally liable under Wis. Stat. § 108.22(9) for a defunct corporation's liability for unpaid unemployment contributions.


In re Tammi Bastian, Case No. 13-21240, Debtor v. Fast EFNDS LLC, et al., Adv. No. 13-2198

(February 2014) -- Judge McGarity

Defendants' motions to dismiss or, in the alternative, motion for summary judgment, were denied.  The debtor's complaint seeking damages for alleged violations of the automatic stay stated a claim upon which relief could be granted.  Additionally, the bankruptcy court had personal jurisdiction over the individual defendant and facts in dispute precluded summary judgment.


In re Jones (13-33118) (January 2014) -- Judge Halfenger

The court denied chapter 13 debtor's application to employ special counsel as unnecessary, finding that 327 applies only to trustees.


In re Christina & Bernard Uhlig, Case No. 13-25360 (January 2014) -- Judge McGarity

Chapter 13 trustee objected to confirmation of modified plan on grounds it did not provide for payment of all projected disposable income.  The Court overruled the objection, finding the cash surrender value increase of the debtors' whole life insurance policy over the life of the plan was not disposable income to be paid as an additional dividend to unsecured creditors.


In re Lawrence and Lorine Hartung, Case No. 12-21920, Universal Restoration Services v. Debtors, Adv. No. 12-2359 (January 2014) -- Judge McGarity

Plaintiff home restoration contractor filed motion for summary judgment on grounds that prior state court judgment against chapter 13 debtors for failure to pay insurance proceeds after repairs were made to their residence should be given preclusive effect.  The motion was granted because the previous trial and appellate court findings were sufficient to find the obligation nondischargeable under section 523(a)(4).


In re Brian & Kelly Vieaux, Case No. 12-36663, K&D Masonry LLC v. Debtors, Adv. No. 13-2196 (November 2013) -- Judge McGarity

Plaintiff subcontractor's motion for summary judgment on grounds that chapter 13 debtor prime contractor breached his duties under Wisconsin's theft by contractor statute and the resulting debt was nondischargeable under section 523(a)(4) was denied.  Standards established by Supreme Court required the court to make a finding regarding the debtor's state of mind while acting in a fiduciary capacity, a determination ill-suited for summary judgment.


In re Ivano DiPietrantonio, Case No. 12-33921, A-1 Services, Inc. v. Debtor, Adv. No. 12-2949, Assured Power, Inc. v. Debtor, Adv. No. 12-2950 (November 2013) -- Judge McGarity

Plaintiff subcontractors filed motions for summary judgment on the grounds that the chapter 7 debtor general contractor breached his fiduciary duties under Wisconsin's theft by contractor statute and the resulting debt was nondischargeable under section 523(a)(4).  Plaintiffs also argued a previous state court default judgment should be given preclusive effect.  The motions were denied because the matter had not been actually litigated in state court and the bankruptcy court was required to assess the debtor's state of mind while acting in a fiduciary capacity.


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