Recent Decisions

Below is a collection of Bankruptcy Court Decisions

Clarence Burnett (website has bad law cited) – better is 646 F. 3d 575

Debtor’s Chapter 13 plan called for prepetition child support arrears to be paid through the plan. There was additional language for any remaining arrears that remained after the plan was concluded would be paid at the same rate until the debt was satisfied in full. Language allowed the creditor to return to family court after the bankruptcy to litigate interest on the child support arrears. The creditor went to family court after debtor’s plan was concluded and obtained a judgment for past due child support with interest.

Debtor reopened his bankruptcy to ask the court to hold creditor in contempt for violating the terms of his confirmed plan. The Court of Appeals held that creditor could obtain a judgment for post-petition child and spousal support and interest on those, but was not allowed to obtain a judgment for pre-petition interest.

Charles Brown. 408 B.R. 262 2009

Debtor contributed to the purchase and maintenance of the home that he shared with his partner. Debtor later quit claimed his interest to his partner so she could refinance and obtain a better interest rate. Debtor then filed bankruptcy and claimed the home exempt. Trustee objected. The court ruled that a debtor who had lived in and maintained his home for 20 years could use the homestead exemption to protect his equitable interest even though he was not on the deed to the home.

Anne B. Lasowski.575 F.3d 815;2009 U.S

Debtor’s Chapter 13 repayment plan was partially based on a pro rata repayment of her 401(k) loan. Trustee objected to the repayment because this method underestimated debtor’s disposable income. The court ruled that a Chapter 13 payment must take into account changes in a debtor’s financial situation that are reasonably certain to occur during the plan.

Brian Carlson 394 8.R. 491, 2008 Bankr

A debtor that paid no withholding tax to which a joint income tax refund is attributable to, does not have the right to claim an ownership interest in the refund. Since they have no ownership interest, they cannot claim the refund as exempt.