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Category Archives: Eleventh Circuit Cases

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The Expansion of the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine is Over, and Far Fewer Cases Will Be Barred, says Eleventh Circuit Panel.

Apologies in advance for the lengthy post and quotes, but my goal was to provide a meaningful summary of the change-of-course for the Eleventh Circuit and scaling back the application of the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine. The Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, in general, is a “narrow jurisdictional doctrine” that “simply establishes that a party who loses a case in… Continue Reading

11th Circuit – Creditor Cannot Pursue Pre-Petition Fraudulent Transfer Claims Against Debtor for Non-Dischargeable Debt; Establishes Standard of Review for In re Jet Florida.

In SuVicMon Development, Inc. v. Morrison, __ F.3d __, 2021 WL 1136546 (11th Cir. March 25, 2021) (click here for .pdf), the plaintiffs are three corporations that sued the Debtor for fraud and securities violations in state court. Plaintiffs subsequently amended the complaint to include fraudulent transfer claims against Debtor and his two sons. Debtor… Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Allows Individual Chapter 11 Debtor To Argue Appointment Of Trustee Violated Thirteenth Amendment

In In re Breland, __ F.3d __ , 2021 WL 910657 (11th Cir., March 10, 2021) (click here for .pdf) the individual Debtor filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition.  After it was determined that he was transferring assets and defrauding his creditors a Chapter 11 Trustee was appointed. [Debtor] protested that the trustee’s appointment violated… Continue Reading

11th Circuit Addresses Split Of Authority: Oral Statement Respecting Single Asset Falls Within Scope Of §523(a)(2)(A) Rather Than §523(a)(2)(A)

In In re Appling (Appling v. Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP), No. 16-11911, 2017 WL 603833 (11th Cir. February 15, 2017) (click here for .pdf), the Court addressed a question that has divided several other courts – Can a statement about a single asset be a “statement respecting the debtor’s … financial condition” for purposes… Continue Reading

11th Circuit: District Court Must Use Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Not Civil Procedure, When Trying Case “Arising Under” Title 11.

In a published opinion entered on April 8, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that District Courts are obliged to use and apply the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure rather than the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when trying a case that “arises under” Title 11 (28 U.S.C. §1334).  In Rosenberg v. DVI… Continue Reading

11th Circuit Issues Important Opinion On What Constitutes A “Return” For Purposes Of Determining What Taxes Are Dischargeable Pursuant to §523(a)(1).

The question of what constitutes a tax “return” for purposes of 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(1) has been the subject of conflicting Circuit Court cases the last several years.   The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the issue in In re Justice, No. 15-10273, 2016 WL 1237766 (11th Cir. March 30, 2016) (click for .pdf of opinion). … Continue Reading

11th Circuit: FDCPA Requirements Apply Equally To Communications with Debtor’s Lawyer

The Eleventh Circuit recently addressed three issues of first impression in the Circuit regarding the application of the  Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to letters to consumers’ lawyers.  Not surprisingly, the court ruled in favor of the consumer although the arguments made by the collector did seem somewhat weak.  In Bishop v. Ross Earle… Continue Reading

Filing Proof Of Claim For Time Barred Debt Violates FDCPA, Says Eleventh Circuit, But They Leave An Escape Hatch.

In the last couple of years, claims against creditors for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) have become a hot item in Bankruptcy Courts.  One such question is whether the filing of a proof of claim for a stale debt (i.e., one that has become unenforceable pursuant to the applicable statute… Continue Reading

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

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).

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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