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Category Archives: Eleventh Circuit Cases

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11th Circuit: Non-Filing Spouse’s Income And Expenses Can Be Used To Find Abuse Under Section 707(b)(3)(B).

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
In In re Kulakowski, No. 12-15294, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23110 (11th Cir. Nov. 15, 2013) (click here for .pdf of opinion), the issue was the extent to the Court could consider the income and expenses of the non-filing spouse in determining whether a Chapter 7 case could be dismissed for “substantial abuse” under 11 … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Finds Law Firm Did Not Ghostwrite Or Commit Fraud On Court By Assisting Debtor With Pro Se Petition

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
It is not uncommon for Bankruptcy lawyers to get requests from individuals to just help them fill out the Bankruptcy paperwork, or act as the occasional sounding board behind the scenes, without actually representing the debtor in the Bankruptcy Court.  This often happens when the client either does not have the money for fees or … Continue Reading

In Case Of First Impression, Eleventh Circuit Holds Pre-Petition Bad Faith Can Constitute “Cause” For Disimssal Under §707(a).

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
Creditors and other parties in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases filed in the Eleventh Circuit just got more ammunition from the Court of Appeals to seek dismissal of cases in which the debtor filed only to avoid a single, large debt, even in the absence of fraud or misconduct. In In re Piazza, 719, F.3d 1253, … Continue Reading

Single Premium Annuity Exempt In Bankruptcy, Says Georgia Supreme Court.

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases, Georgia State Cases, Northern District Cases
The Georgia Supreme Court recently answered certified questions from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals regarding whether a single premium annuity was exempt in a Chapter 7 case, where the annuity was purchased a year before filing with $220,000 in inherited funds.  A debtor’s transfer of $220,000 a year before filing Chapter 7 is certainly … Continue Reading

Security Deed Lacking Signature of Additional Witness and Improperly Identifying Property Was Invalid in Georgia, says Eleventh Circuit

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases, Northern District Cases
In National City Mortgage v. Gordon (In re Bennett), No. 12-13239, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10765 (11th Cir. May 29, 2013) (click here for .pdf), the issue was the validity of a Security Deed that did not contain the signature of “one additional witness,” as required by O.C.G.A. § 44-14-33 and identified a larger tract of … Continue Reading

Georgia Supreme Court Issues Significant Opinion That Could Invalidate Many Deeds In Georgia

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases, Georgia State Cases
On February 18, 2013, the Georgia Supreme Court issued its opinion in Wells Fargo Bank. N.A. v. Gordon, No. S12Q2067, 2013 Ga. LEXIS 158 (Feb 18, 2013).  The case was certified to the Georgia Supreme Court by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in In re Codrington, 691 F3d 1336 (11th Cir. 2012) (click here … Continue Reading

11th Circuit: Court May Consider Chapter 7 Debtor’s Ability To Pay In “Totality Of Circumstances” And Consideration Of Abuse

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
In In re Witcher,  No. 11-15883 (11th Cir. December 13, 2012) (click here for opinion), the issue before the Court was… whether a court may take into account a debtor’s ability to pay his or her debts in determining whether "the totality of the circumstances . . . of the debtor’s financial situation demonstrates abuse" … Continue Reading

11th Circuit: Bankruptcy Court Has No Jurisdiction To Determine Whether Debt Was Discharged In Case Litigated In A Bankruptcy Court In Another District

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
Alderwood Group, Inc., et al v. Garcia, et al., No. 10-14726 (11th Cir. May 30, 2012) (click here for .pdf of opinion).  The Creditor/Plaintiffs asserted class action tort claims in 2008 against the Debtor/Defendants in Florida state court for damages due to Debtors’ operation of a cemetery known as Graceland.  The claims included inadequate record … Continue Reading

11th Circuit – Debtors Can Strip Wholly Unsecured Second Lien In Chapter 7 Case

Posted in Consumer Bankruptcy Guide, Eleventh Circuit Cases, Northern District Cases
In McNeal v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC, et al, No. 11-11352 (11th Cir. May 11, 2012) (click here for .pdf) the issue before the Court was whether a debtor in a Chapter 7 case can strip a second priority, unsecured lien from her residence.  At least in the Eleventh Circuit, a debtor can strip the unsecured second … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Affirms Availability Of “Value” Defense For Recipients Of Fraudulent Transfers Who Were Equity Holders Of Debtor

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases, Northern District Cases
In Perkins v. Haines, et al, No. 10-10683 (11th Cir. October 27, 2011) (click here for .pdf of opinion), the 11th Circuit took a direct appeal of the Bankruptcy Court’s order concerning the "value" defense in fraudulent transfer proceedings. The basic facts are as follows.  International Management Associates, LLC and related entities were operated as a … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Private Employer’s Right to Deny Employment Because Of Bankruptcy Filing

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has followed other courts (notably, the Fifth Circuit, as discussed here) in affirming the right of a private employer to deny employment based upon the applicant’s filing of a bankruptcy petition.  In Myers v. TooJay’s Management Corp., No. 10-10774 (11th Cir. May 17, 2011) (click here for the .pdf … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Confirms That Potential Claims And Lawsuits Must Be Diclosed Or A Debtor Will Be Judicially Estopped From Pursuing Them.

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
There have been several cases over the years dismissing lawsuits by Debtors who failed to list the claim as an asset in their Bankruptcy schedules.  As the opinion below confirms, the same duty applies where the claim arose after the filing of a Chapter 13 case and even where the Debtor proposed to pay, and … Continue Reading

11th Cir: Debtor Cannot File Suit Against Trustee Or Professionals In District Court Without Leave Of Bankruptcy Court

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
Lawrence v. Goldberg, et al., 08- 11034 (11th Cir. July 10, 2009) (click here for .pdf opinion).  Debtor file suit against the Chapter 7 trustee, professionals employed by the trustee, and creditors in District Court..  The District Court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  The Eleventh Circuit affirmed. In [Barton v. Barbour, 104 U.S. … Continue Reading

11th Cir. – Trustee Can’t Avoid Security Deed When BFP On Inquiry Notice Prior To 90-Day Reachback

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
Watts, Ch. 7 Trustee v. Argent Mortgage Company, LLC, No. 07-14615, 2008 WL 5257157 (11th Cir. December 18, 2008).  The facts are as follows: On July 8, 2004, debtor Santrice Hunt purchased a house from Bellwood Homes. At closing, Bellwood gave her a warranty deed to the property, and she, in turn, executed and gave Argent … Continue Reading

11th Circuit En Banc Reverses Panel : 11 U.S.C. §303 Is Not Subject Matter Jurisdictional And Can Be Waived

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
Trusted Net Media Holdings, LLC v. The Morrison Agency, Inc. (In re Trusted Net Media Holdings, LLC), No. 07-13429 (11th Cir. Dec. 2008) (click here for .pdf opinion).  The issue in this case is "whether the requirements in 11 U.S.C. § 303(b) for commencing an involuntary bankruptcy petition are elements of subject matter jurisdiction."  In … Continue Reading

11th Cir. – Secured Creditor May Still Pursue Deficiency After Surrender of “910 Vehicle”

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
In re Barrett, Nos. 07-14796, 07-14797 (11th Cir. Sep. 29, 2008) (download opinion here). The issue  raised on appeal concerned a pure question of law: "whether a Chapter 13 debtor’s surrender of a “910 vehicle” (i.e., a vehicle purchased for personal use within 910 days before filing for bankruptcy) fully satisfies a creditor’s claim secured … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Rules Again On The Hanging Paragraph And 910 Vehicles; Full Claim Treated As Secured

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
The 11th Circuit apparently wants to make a firm stand on the "hanging paragraph" after 11 U.S.C. §1325(a)(9), with two published opinions in two days (see the first case).  Nuvell Credit Company, LLC v. Dean (In re Dean), No. 07-14163 (11th Cir. August 7, 2008) (click here for link to pdf. of opinion).  The issue … Continue Reading

11th Circuit First To Rule On “Hanging Paragraph” Of Section 1325(a); Negative Equity In “910 Vehicles” Constitutes “Purchase Money Security Interest” That Prohibits Bifurcation Of Claim

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
Graupner v. Nuvell Credit Corp. (In re Graupner), No. 07-13657 (11th Cir. August 6, 2008) (click here for opinion).  In a case of first impression at the Circuit level, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals examined the "hanging paragraph" that comes after 11 U.S.C. §1325(a)(9). The basic facts of this case are as follows: Debtor purchased a … Continue Reading

11th Circuit: Causes Of Action Arising After Confirmation Of Chapter 13 Plan Are Property Of The Estate

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
Waldron v. Brown (In re Waldron), No. 15081 (11th Cir. August 4, 2008) (click here to download opinion). Debtors were in an auto accident after the confirmation of their Chapter 13 plan, but before they had completed payments.  Debtors settled a claim against the other driver for $25,000, which was deemed as exempt.  They also … Continue Reading

11th Circuit – In A Case Of First Impression, Order Denying Motion To Dismiss Chapter 7 Case Not Final Appealable Order

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
Barben v. Donovan (In re Donovan), No. 07-13915 (11th Cir. July 2, 2008). Donovan filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition on February 17, 2004, prior to the passage of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. … Donovan became unable to make the payments under the plan as they came due. Accordingly, Donovan—apparently at … Continue Reading

11th Cir. Bankruptcy Court Has Jurisdiction Over Dispute Between Two Non-Debtors Where It Could Conceivably Have Effect On Estate

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
In re Ryan, No. 07-10845, 2008 WL 1969593 (11th Cir. May 8, 2008) (click for pdf). Ryan filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy in early 2002. At the time, he owned 100% of the stock in a number of corporate entities (“the Entities”), including Riverside Capital Advisors, Inc. On August 7, 2002, the bankruptcy trustee … Continue Reading

11th Circuit – In A Case Of First Impression, Court Rules On Proportionate Liability In Private Securities Litigation Reform Act Of 1995

Posted in Eleventh Circuit Cases
Not a Bankruptcy case, but relevant to corporate and shareholder litigation: KITTIE LAPERRIERE, Class certification, to consist of all persons who acquired the publicly traded equity securities of Vesta Insurance Group, Inc., between June 2, 1995, and June 28, 1998, inclusive (the “Class Period”). Excluded from the class, ISRAEL BURGER, RICHARD SULLIVAN, POINTERS, THE CLEANERS … Continue Reading