Exemption for Government Assistance: How Needy Is Needy?

Hanson v. Seaver (In re Hanson), 903 F.3d 793 (8th Cir. 2018) –

A chapter 7 trustee objected to a debtor’s exemption claim for a state property tax refund. The bankruptcy court sustained the objection; the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmed on appeal; and the debtor filed a further appeal to the Eighth Circuit. Continue reading

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Valuing a Secured Claim: Who Knew That Retail Price Could Be So Elusive

21st Mortgage Corp. v. Glenn (In re Glenn), 900 F.3d 187 (5th Cir. 2018) –

In valuing a mobile home for purposes of determining the amount of a secured claim for a chapter 13 plan, the bankruptcy court declined to include delivery and setup costs. The district court affirmed, and the mortgagee appealed to the Fifth Circuit. Continue reading

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Plan Enforcement: Beware of Advisory Opinions

In re Cubic Energy, Inc., 587 B.R. 849 (Bankr. D. Del. 2018) –

Two nondebtor parties sought a bankruptcy court order interpreting and enforcing provisions in a confirmed plan of reorganization that addressed certain litigation and barred further claims. The court declined to rule on the matter on the grounds that it would constitute an advisory opinion. Continue reading

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Mortgage Preference: Dilly-Dally Around with Recording and You May Lose

USAA Fed. Sav. Bank v. Hope, 589 B.R. 914 (M.D. Ga. 2018) –

A bankruptcy trustee sought to avoid a security deed granted to a refinancing lender as a preference. In defense the lender asserted that there was a substantially contemporaneous exchange of the grant of the lien for the new loan. The bankruptcy court granted the trustee’s motion for summary judgment and the lender appealed to the district court. Continue reading

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Delinquent Property Tax Sales and the Equity of Redemption: When Is Property Really, Really, Really Gone?

Reverend C.T. Walker Housing Dev. Fund Corp. v City of N.Y., 586 B.R. 534 (E.D.N.Y. 2018) –

A bankruptcy court denied a debtor’s motion to sell real property and granted a motion for relief from the automatic stay in a related case involving property that was sold at a delinquent property tax sale prior to bankruptcy. The debtor appealed both orders to the district court. Continue reading

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Disallowed Claims: Just Because a Claim Is Rejected Does Not Mean the Underlying Lien Disappears

Shoemake v. SN Servicing Corp., 586 B.R. 741 (M.D. Tenn. 2018) –

Chapter 13 debtors brought an adversary proceeding against mortgage loan servicers (1) seeking a determination that a deed of trust lien was extinguished when a proof of claim filed for the lender was disallowed and (2) seeking to recover for violations of the automatic stay and the debtors’ confirmed plan. The bankruptcy court granted the loan services’ motion to dismiss, and the debtors appealed to the district court. Continue reading

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Wraparound Mortgages: Sorting Things Out

In re Tejeda, 586 B.R. 831 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. 2018) –

In connection with acquisition of real property a debtor executed a wraparound mortgage in favor of the sellers. The original note and deed of trust executed by the sellers remained outstanding at the time the debtor filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy. The trustee objected to the proof of claim filed by the holder of the sellers’ mortgage loan. Continue reading

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