Debtor's counsel filed an application for compensation seeking allowance of $6,654.43 for services rendered in a relatively straightforward chapter 13 case that lasted only eight months. The court allowed $5,679.43 in compensation because it concluded that the application impermissibly sought compensation for noncompensable clerical tasks and several services that seemed duplicative. The court's decision discuses best practices that counsel should follow when filing fee applications, and highlights the interplay between the district's no-look fees, the local rules, the bankruptcy rules, and pertinent case law on fee applications.
In re Brah, 562 B.R. 922 (January 2017) -- Judge S.V. Kelley
Chapter 13 debtors' exempt veterans' disability benefits included in current monthly income and calculation of disposable income.
Johnson v. US Bank National Association (In re Johnson) (January 2017) -- Judge S.V. Kelley
Nonrecourse mortgages securing deferred payment loans counted in determining whether equity existed for purposes of stripping lien from Debtor's property.
In re Tinita Holmes, Case No. 15-31329 (December 2016) -- Chief Judge G.M. Halfenger
The chapter 13 trustee objected to plan confirmation because the debtor had not demonstrated that she devoted all of her projected disposable income to pay general unsecured creditors. See 11 U.S.C. §1325(b). Specifically, the trustee argued that the debtor failed to account for contributions to the debtor's household made by the debtor's mother when calculating the debtor's projected disposable income. The debtor, relying on 11 U.S.C. §101(10A), contended that because her mother's only income was social security, she did not have to account for her mother's contributions. The court sustained the trustee's objection.
In re Olsen, 559 B.R. 879 (November 2016) -- Judge S.V. Kelley
Court had ancillary jurisdiction to enforce Chapter 11 plan in closed case; lack of notice to affected party may render sale free and clear void as to that party.
In re Toczek, Case No. 13-33214 (November 2016) -- Chief Judge G.M. Halfenger
The court held that objections to claims and related notices must be mailed or otherwise delivered to the person and at the address specified by the creditor in the proof of claim.
In re Green Box NA Green Bay, LLC, Case No. 16-24179 (October 2016) -- Judge B.E. Hanan
The United States trustee moved to dismiss the chapter 11 debtor-in-possession's case for cause under 11 U.S.C. section 1112(b). The motion was later joined by three secured creditors. The court examined six different grounds for cause, and concluded that the movants had not met their burden to show that there was cause to dismiss the case, so it denied the motion. The court also ordered the debtor to file amended monthly operating reports and disclosures relating to its previous legal proceedings by a date certain.
In re Lucia Vargas, Case No 16-23199 (September 2016) -- Judge B.E. Hanan
The court sustained the creditor's objection to the debtor's motion for referral to the MMM Program based on the creditor's inability to modify a loan on which the debtor was not the borrower (and without the participation of the borrower), but explained the purpose of this district's MMM Program, and noted the limited circumstances in which the court will consider sustaining such an objection.
In re Reinhart, Case No. 16-21042, 559 B.R. 217, 559 B.R. 217 (September 2016) -- Judge B.E. Hanan
The chapter 13 trustee objected to plan confirmation contending that the debtor's chapter 13 plan failed to pay all disposable income under 11 U.S.C. section 1325(b). The trustee contended that the debtor's reimbursements from his employer for mileage and meal expenses, but not the corresponding expenses, constituted income which must be factored into the debtor's calculation of current monthly income. The court agreed with the trustee and sustained her objection, concluding that the broad language defining current monthly income under 11 U.S.C. section 110(10A) encompassed reimbursements, without regard to their corresponding expenses. The court also concluded that the debtor's corresponding expenses in association with the reimbursement income are properly deducted when calculating the debtor's disposable income on Form 122C-2 of the Means Test.
World’s Foremost Bank v. Del Aguila (In re Del Aguila), 556 B.R. 917 (September 2016) -- Judge S.V. Kelley
Summary judgment denied for credit card nondischargeability claim where questions of fact existed about whether items were luxury goods and whether debtor incurred charges with intent not to repay them.