Foreclosure Procedure: Very Small Details Can Make A Very Big Difference

HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Crum, 907 F.3d 199 (8th Cir. 2018) –

A mortgagee brought an action in district court seeking to foreclose its mortgage. It filed a summary judgment motion that was granted by the district court. The debtor appealed, arguing among other things that the lawsuit was untimely. Continue reading

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Construction Payments: Can A Debtor Grab the Money?

Insite Corp. v. Walsh Constr. Co. Puerto Rico, 906 F.3d 139 (1st Cir. 2018) –

A debtor subcontractor sought to recover progress payments it claimed were due from a general contractor. The general contractor argued that the debtor did not have any interest in the withheld funds. The bankruptcy court agreed with the general contractor, the district court affirmed, and the debtor appealed to the First Circuit. Continue reading

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Disclosing Assets: You Cannot Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Fornesa v. Fifth Third Mtg. Co., 897 F.3d 624 (5th Cir. 2018) –

A debtor and his son sued a bank for foreclosing on property that the debtor acquired from his son postpetition while the automatic stay was in effect. Litigation that began in state court and the bankruptcy court were removed, withdrawn and consolidated in the district court. After the district court ruled in favor of the bank, the debtor and his son appealed to the Fifth Circuit. Continue reading

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Strong Arm Powers: Watch out for That Hypothetical Bona Fide Purchaser – It Can Do More Than Void Transfers and Obligations

Fallon Family, L.P. v. Goodrich Petroleum Corp. (In re Goodrich Petroleum Corp.), 894 F.3d 192 (5th Cir. 2018) –

A non-debtor party filed a motion to either (1) compel the debtor to assume or reject a settlement agreement, or (2) “dissolve” the settlement agreement based on the debtor’s nonpayment, thus stripping the bankruptcy estate of rights to a mineral lease. The bankruptcy court denied the motion, finding that the debtor’s strong arm powers protected it from the challenge to the lease. The district court affirmed and the non-debtor party appealed to the Fifth Circuit. Continue reading

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Automatic Stay Relief: Where Best to Untangle Joint Ownership Interests?

In re Guy, 587 B.R. 475 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. 2018) –

A chapter 7 debtor and his sister jointly owned real property as tenants-in-common. The sister moved for relief from the automatic stay in order to commence a state court action for partition by forced judicial sale. Continue reading

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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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