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Opinions


    In re Ali, Case No. 18-25548 (July 2018) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The debtor filed an application to waive the filing fee. The debtor filed a detailed affidavit showing he met 28 U.S.C. §1931(f)(1)’s waiver requirements, including stating facts showing that he faced special circumstances that make a discharge extraordinarily beneficial. The court waived the debtor’s filing fee and commended debtor’s pro bono counsel.


    In re Patrick and Angela Sabec, Case No. 17-23264 (January 2018) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The chapter 13 debtors filed a motion to limit notice of their request to amend their unconfirmed chapter 13 plan contending that the amended plan did not adversely affect any other parties in interest. The court denied the motion. The court's order explains that Interim Local Rule 3015(c)(3) requires debtors to serve all plan amendments on all creditors in order to reduce substantially the administrative cost in determining whether the debtor properly served the plan. The order states that the court "will reserve orders limiting notice to those rare instances in which some final amendment that likely has no detrimental effect on creditors is needed to achieve confirmation."


    Adv. Proc. No. 17-2187, George v. Novoselsky (October 2017) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The defendant filed a motion for recusal, abstention, dismissal and a request for trial by jury. The court denied the requests for recusal, dismissal and abstention. The court struck the defendant’s jury demand because the plaintiff’s claim under 11 U.S.C. sec. 549 is not one for which the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution preserves the right to a jury trial.


    In re Bethe, Case No. 11-25388 (September 2017) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    Section 1328(a) of title 11 provides that the court shall grant a debtor a discharge when, among other requirements, the debtor has completed “all payments under the plan”. Direct-pay maintenance payments on long-term debt provided for in a chapter 13 plan are “payments under the plan” for purposes of section 1328(a). Debtors who fail to make such payments are not entitled to a discharge.


    In re Brian and Virginia Kropp, Case No. 16-29342 (June 2017) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The court denied the debtors' third request to delay the grant of the discharge because Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 4004(c)(2) does not authorize a debtor to obtain a delay of the discharge after an initial 30-day period of deferment expiries.


    In re Jamiela Yvonne Flournoy, Case No. 16-21984 (March 2017) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    Credit Acceptance Corp., a creditor with a security interest in the debtor's vehicle, objected to confirmation because the debtor's plan proposed to eliminate its lien on a non-filing co-debtor's interest in the collateral. The court concluded that the creditor's right to collect the debt from the non-filing co-debtor's interest in the vehicle could not be eliminated under 11 U.S.C. sec. 1322(b)(2).


    Michael A. Gral v. Estate of Margolis, Adv. Proc. No. 16-2193 (March 2017) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The court concluded that property transferred from a revocable trust to the debtor's non-filing spouse constituted individual property of the non-filing spouse and not property of the debtor's bankruptcy estate.


    In re Luz Myriam Osorio, Case No. 13-25522 (March 2017) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The debtor filed a motion for contempt and for sanctions against a creditor for violation of the discharge injunction. The court concluded (1) the Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not bar the court from exercising jurisdiction over the debtor's motion because the court retained original jurisdiction to enforce the discharge injunction; (2) an Illinois State Court's denial of the debtor's motion to vacate its orders based on the debtor's discharge did not preclude the bankruptcy court from reviewing the debtor's motion for contempt and for sanctions; and (3) the actions taken by the creditor did not violate the discharge injunction.


    In re Lori C. Dohrmann, Case No. 14-27137 (March 2017) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The debtor filed a motion to reconsider the court's order dismissing her case because she did not file her chapter 13 plan in good faith but, rather, filed the plan and chapter 13 case in an attempt to re-litigate a state-court judgment with a creditor. The court denied the debtor's motion to reconsider because she did not clearly establish that there was newly discovered evidence or that the court committed a legal or factual error.


    Capital Ventures, LLC v. Estate of Margolis, Adv. Proc. No. 16-2140 (March 2017) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    A mortgage that debtor Capital Ventures, LLC executed to secure debt owed only by debtor Michael Gral was a valid and enforceable mortgage under Wisconsin law.