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Opinions


    In re Foley, Case No. 18-29998 (August 2019) -- Judge B.H. Ludwig
    The debtors' proposed chapter 13 plans contained lien-retention language in the non-standard provisions which deviated from the lien-retention requirements in 11 U.S.C. §1325(a)(5)(B). The court found the language in the non-standard provisions was not a barrier to confirmation because the affected secured creditors had accepted the plans, concluding that a properly served secured creditor that declines to object to confirmation has accepted the proposed plan for purposes of §1325(a)(5)(A). Nevertheless, because the issue was not ripe, the court declined to interpret the non-standard provisions.


    In re Morgan, 18-24459 (February 2019) -- Judge B.H. Ludwig
    The confirmed chapter 13 plan provided for payment to a secured creditor even though that creditor failed to file a proof of claim. The court denied the debtors’ motion to enlarge time to file a proof of claim on behalf of the creditor and sustained the trustee’s claim objection. The court rejected the debtors’ arguments that the plan should be deemed an informal proof of claim; the confirmed plan obviated the creditor’s need to file a proof of claim; and the time for the debtors to file a proof of claim on behalf of the creditors should be enlarged. The district’s local plan form specifically stated that “a timely proof of claim must be filed in order to receive payments from the trustee under the plan,” binding the debtors and the creditor to that requirement.


    In re Wulff, Case No. 17-31982 (February 2019) -- Judge B.H. Ludwig
    The confirmed chapter 12 plan provided for payments to a secured creditor even though that creditor filed untimely proofs of claim. The court denied the motions filed by the creditor and the debtor to extend time to file proofs of claim as moot and overruled the trustee's objection to the creditor’s late-filed proofs of claim. The creditor could not establish grounds for an extension of the Rule 3001(c) proof of claim deadline, and the debtor could not show excusable neglect necessary to enlarge the Rule 3004 deadline under Rule 9006(b)(1). Nevertheless, the chapter 12 trustee was bound by the confirmation order and could not re-litigate the plan's treatment of the claims.


    Heinrich v. Bagg, Adv. No. 17-2247 (August 2018) -- Judge B.H. Ludwig
    Court found debts based on state court civil judgment for tortious interference with contract and unlawful harvesting of timber dischargeable. Creditor failed to establish at trial that debts were for willful and malicious injury under section 523(a)(6).


    In re Bernhard, Case No. 17-27843 (August 2018) -- Judge B.H. Ludwig
    Court granted creditor and chapter 13 trustee's motions to dismiss because the debtor's total noncontingent, liquidated unsecured debts exceeded the chapter 13 debt limits. The debtor had scheduled a substantial debt as "unliquidated" because she had several affirmative defenses to it. Nevertheless, since it was readily ascertained by reference to an agreement and through simple mathematics, it was a liquidated debt and counted toward the §109(e) debt limits.


    In re Poivey, Case No. 17-26408 (May 2018) -- Judge B.H. Ludwig
    Because royalty income derived from individual property of debtor-wife was marital property, debtor-husband was entitled to exempt his interest in the royalties.


    In re Poivey, Case No. 17-26408 (January 2018) -- Judge B.H. Ludwig
    The court concluded that the debtors' interest in certain mineral rights is property of the estate not subject to exclusion under 11 U.S.C. §541(b)(4).


    Ignacio Mendiola, Case No. 17-23628 (September 2017) -- Judge B.H. Ludwig
    After the Chapter 13 debtor filed his sixth petition in six years, secured creditor was granted in rem relief from stay and debtor was barred from filing another case for 180 days.