Wisconsin Eastern Bankruptcy Court - Most Recent DecisionsWisconsin Eastern Bankruptcy Court - Most Recent Decisionshttps://www.wieb.uscourts.goven-usIn re HansenChief Judge S.V. KelleyNovember 2017Penalty owed to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for failure to maintain worker's compensation insurance did not fall into the exception to discharge for excise taxes or for penalties owed to and for the benefit of a governmental unit.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=459Van Eperen v. Baycare Health System, Adversary No. 16-2412Judge B.E. HananSeptember 2017The court concluded that, for purposes of an avoidance action under section 547(b), a transfer of funds garnished under the Wisconsin garnishment statute occurred at the time the funds were conveyed to the creditor, not when they were deducted from the debtor's paycheck. http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=457Ignacio Mendiola, Case No. 17-23628Judge B.H. LudwigSeptember 2017After 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.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=455In re Bethe, Case No. 11-25388Judge G.M. HalfengerSeptember 2017Section 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.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=453In re Sier, Case No. 17-20837Judge B.E. HananAugust 2017The chapter 7 debtor moved to reopen her case in order to vacate her discharge order and file reaffirmation agreements made after the discharge order was entered. The court denied the motion, questioning first whether the court could vacate the discharge order for such a purpose, and concluding that, in any event, the debtor had failed to demonstrate that she was entitled to relief under Rule 60(b). http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=452In re CarrChief Judge S.V. KelleyJuly 2017On post-confirmation dismissal of a Chapter 13 case, funds the trustee is holding are disbursed to the debtor, not the creditors.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=458In re Schmidt, Case No. 08-25973Judge B.E. HananJuly 2017The court granted the motion of the debtor's personal representative to reopen the case, file a certificate of financial management, and obtain a discharge, despite the passage of several years, outlining the factors courts consider in determining whether to grant such a motion.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=456In re Brian and Virginia Kropp, Case No. 16-29342Judge G.M. HalfengerJune 2017The 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.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=451In re Jamiela Yvonne Flournoy, Case No. 16-21984Judge G.M. HalfengerMarch 2017Credit 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). http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=450Michael A. Gral v. Estate of Margolis, Adv. Proc. No. 16-2193Judge G.M. HalfengerMarch 2017The 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. http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=449In re Luz Myriam Osorio, Case No. 13-25522Judge G.M. HalfengerMarch 2017The 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.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=447In re Lori C. Dohrmann, Case No. 14-27137Judge G.M. HalfengerMarch 2017The 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.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=446Lanser v. First Bank Financial Centre, 568 B.R. 797Chief Judge S.V. KelleyMarch 2017Trustee could avoid unperfected security interest in renewal commissions and promissory note under strong arm powers. http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=445Capital Ventures, LLC v. Estate of Margolis, Adv. Proc. No. 16-2140Judge G.M. HalfengerMarch 2017A 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. http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=448In re Angela Wright, Case No. 16-21463Judge G.M. HalfengerMarch 2017 First National Bank, a mortgage creditor in the debtor's bankruptcy case, filed an application for the approval of attorney's fees and costs pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2016. The application sought to recover fees that First National Bank had paid its own lawyers to litigate on its behalf, and associated costs. The court denied First National Bank's application as moot because First National Bank had filed a timely proof of claim and the court concluded that the fees allegedly due under the note and mortgage were properly a part of its amended proof of claim.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=444In re Olsen, 563 B.R. 899Chief Judge S.V. KelleyFebruary 2017Sale order not binding on entity that held right of first refusal but was never given notice of sale.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=442In re Nelson, Case No. 16-22089Judge B.E. HananFebruary 2017Debtor'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. http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=441In re Brah, 562 B.R. 922Chief Judge S.V. KelleyJanuary 2017Chapter 13 debtors' exempt veterans' disability benefits included in current monthly income and calculation of disposable income.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=440Johnson v. US Bank National Association (In re Johnson)Chief Judge S.V. KelleyJanuary 2017Nonrecourse mortgages securing deferred payment loans counted in determining whether equity existed for purposes of stripping lien from Debtor's property. http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=443In re Tinita Holmes, Case No. 15-31329Judge G.M. HalfengerDecember 2016The 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.http://www.wieb.uscourts.gov/opinions/?file&id=439