Mortgagee Stay Relief: Make Sure You Know the Scope of the Relief or Else

BMO Harris Bank, N.A. v. Anderson (In re Anderson), 917 F.3d 566 (7th Cir. 2019) –

After a mortgagee obtained relief from the automatic stay so that it could foreclose its mortgage in state court, it returned to the bankruptcy court to assert a deficiency claim. The debtor objected on the basis that claim splitting was prohibited. The bankruptcy court ruled against the debtor, the district court reversed, and the mortgagee appealed to the Seventh Circuit. Continue reading

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TICs: Maybe the Protection of Bankruptcy Will Be the Available If Needed, and Maybe Not

In re Fairfield TIC, LLC, 594 B.R. 852 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2018) –

The debtor and its co-owners bought a shopping center as tenants-in-common. After the debtor filed bankruptcy, the noteholder secured by a mortgage on the property and a receiver appointed to manage the property moved to dismiss the debtor’s bankruptcy for cause. Continue reading

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Joint Property Sales: To Successfully Oppose a Sale, You Have to Make Your Case

Desmond v. Francis (In re Francis), 597 B.R. 195 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2019) –

A chapter 7 trustee commenced an adversary proceeding seeking authority to sell property that the debtor co-owned with his wife as tenants by the entirety free of the interests of the wife. The trustee brought a motion for summary judgment that was opposed by the wife. Continue reading

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Avoiding Mortgages: Local Rules Rule

Oliveras v. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (In re Casanova), 595 B.R. 616 (Bankr. P.R. 2018) –

A chapter 13 trustee brought an adversary proceeding to avoid a bank’s mortgage lien using his strong arm powers as a hypothetical bona fide purchaser of real estate. The case turned on the effect of a lengthy delay in the recording process. Continue reading

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Reopening a Case: Who Can Upset the Apple Cart?

Plant Materials, LLC v. Alliance Consulting Group, LLC, 596 B.R. 851 (S.D. Miss. 2019) –

A contractor that installed a sand screen at a drying facility previously owned by the debtor that was sold “free and clear” in its bankruptcy filed a motion to reopen the bankruptcy case so that it could assert an administrative expense claim for unpaid services. The bankruptcy court denied the motion and the contractor appealed to the district court. Continue reading

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Appeals of “Sale” Orders: Sometimes They Are Moot and Sometimes They Are Not

Fenicle v. Energy Future Holdings Corp. (In re Energy Future Holding Corp.), 596 B.R. 473 (D. Del. 2019) –

Parties representing “Unmanifested Asbestos Claims” sought to appeal a bankruptcy court order confirming a plan of reorganization that included a sale of debtors free and clear of claims and interests by way of a merger. The primary issue was whether the appeal was statutorily moot under section 363(m) of the Bankruptcy Code. Continue reading

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Avoiding Mortgages: Not All Typos Are Fatal

Fuhrman v. Wilmington Sav. Fund Society FSB (In re Fuhrman), 596 B.R. 343 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2018) –

A chapter 13 debtor sought disallowance of a mortgage claim based on an error in the mortgage legal description. The lender moved to dismiss, and after that was denied, moved for summary judgment on the issue of whether it had a valid lien on and enforceable claim against the mortgaged property. Continue reading

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