The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s decision that found debts based on state court civil judgment for tortious interference with contract and unlawful harvesting of timber dischargeable.
In re Java Berry, Case No. 22-22162 (March 2023) -- Chief Judge G.M. Halfenger
The debtor's mother, who passed away prepetition, borrowed money and promised to repay it on a non-recourse basis from the sale of her home after her death, a transaction commonly known as a "reverse mortgage." The debtor's mother's probate estate has not been administrated. The debtor, who lived in the home for many years with his mother and continues to reside there, filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and a plan proposing to pay the mortgage creditor an amount equal to the home's value. The mortgage creditor, which timely filed a proof of claim alleging it to be secured in full, objected to confirmation, arguing that the debtor did not have an interest in the property that could be provided for in his chapter 13 plan and that the legal owner of the property could not be determined until his mother's probate estate was administered.
The court partially overruled the objection, reserving for an evidentiary hearing the mortgage creditor's contention that the plan understates the property's value. The court concluded that the debtor's plan could, consistent with the plan confirmation requirements of §1325, provide for the creditor's claim against the bankruptcy estate by affording the creditor the value of the property, which is all that the creditor could recover under nonbankruptcy law.
In re Gerstner, No. 19-31628 (March 2023) -- Chief Judge G.M. Halfenger
The debtors moved to reopen this chapter 7 case and amend the schedules to disclose a pre-petition personal-injury claim and exempt a portion of the net proceeds they received in a post-discharge settlement. The court concluded that after a case is closed, even if the case is reopened, a debtor may amend the schedules only if the court enlarges the time to do so, specified by Bankruptcy Rule 1009(a), which the court may do only if the debtor proves that the failure to amend the schedules before the case was closed was the result of excusable neglect, as required by Bankruptcy Rule 9006(b)(1).
In re Charmoli, No. 22-24358 (January 2023) -- Chief Judge G.M. Halfenger
After chapter 11 debtor Scott Charmoli removed state-court litigation to this court, the defendants moved to remand and abstain exercising jurisdiction over claims by and against a non-debtor LLC wholly owned by the debtor. Weeks before the deadline to file proofs of claim expired, two creditors who are parties to the removed litigation also filed a motion to extend the deadline to file proofs of claim until 14 days after they obtained a state-court judgment against the debtor. The creditors sought to postpone filing a proof of claim, recognizing that doing so would waive their right to a jury trial against the debtor. The court denied the motion to extend the deadline, ruling that the loss of a jury trial right that results from filing a proof of claim is not cause to extend the proof of claim filing deadline.
Bach v. Office of Lawyer Regulation, No. 22-cv-0866-BHL, 2023 WL 372203 (E.D. Wis. January 24, 2023) (January 2023) -- District Court
The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court's order granting Defendant Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation's motion for summary judgment.
Bach v. Milwaukee County, et al., No. 22-cv-0806-BHL, 2023 WL 372201 (E.D. Wis. January 24, 2023) (January 2023) -- District Court
The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court's decision and order denying appellant's request for contempt sanctions against Milwaukee County, Sandra Butts, Jeaneen Mardak, Geri Lyday, and Kevin Madison.
Bach v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, No. 21-cv-1394-BHL, WL 2023 315684 (E.D. Wis. January 19, 2023) (January 2023) -- District Court
The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court's decision and order dismissing appellant's adversary claims against JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and Federal National Mortgage Association.
WiscTex, LLC v. Galesky, Adv. Proc. No. 20-02146 (December 2022) -- Chief Judge G.M. Halfenger
WiscTex, LLC, objected to Michael Galesky's discharge in his underlying chapter 7 case under 11 U.S.C.§727(a)(2), (3), (4) & (5). After a bench trial, based on the facts shown by the evidence presented, and considering the arguments for relief that WiscTex properly raised and developed in its post-trial briefs, the court concluded that WiscTex failed to prove that it is entitled to denial of Galesky's discharge under any of the cited paragraphs of §727(a).
Ryan v. Branko Prpa MD, LCC, 55 F.4th 1108 (7th Cir. 2022) (December 2022) -- Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Rodney Ryan signed a worker's compensation settlement with his employer that set aside $400,000 for disbursement to the doctors who treated him for his workplace injury. Ryan then filed for bankruptcy and tried to keep those funds for himself while having his debt to his doctors eliminated. The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court's orders sustaining the creditor's objection to the exemption and granting the creditor's motion for summary judgment. Affirmed.
Ramos v. Lieske, No. 22-cv-1266-BHL, 2022 WL 17581830 (E.D. Wis. December 12, 2022) (December 2022) -- District Court
The debtor sought the bankruptcy court's permission to modify the monthly payment amount of a chapter 13 repayment plan while maintaining the extended repayment period previously approved under the now-repealed Section 1329(d). The district certified the matter for direct appeal to the Seventh Circuit.