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Bankruptcy

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The anti-suit and other injunctions entered when Castlepoint was placed in receivership under the California Insurance Commissioner did not prevent suit by shareholders of a related entity against other related entities and their controlling officers and directors on claims of breach of contract (to which Castlepoint was not a party), tortious interference with that same contract, and breach of fiduciary… Read More

Distinguishing Law v. Siegel (2014) 134 S.Ct. 1188, this decision holds that a bankruptcy court may apply claim and issue preclusion doctrines to bar later assertion of exemptions it has already denied.  Here, Albert claimed two exemptions when she originally filed her Chapter 13 petition.  A creditor objected, and the bankruptcy court denied the exemptions.  Albert failed to appeal.  Later,… Read More

11 USC 108(c) extends time limits (such as statutes of limitation) for actions against the debtor until 30  period after the automatic stay in bankruptcy is vacated.  This decision holds that 108(c) extends the 10-year period in which a judgment creditor may apply for renewal of the judgment under CCP 683.130.  The majority opinion also disagrees with In re Lobherr… Read More

A creditor or other holder of property of the bankrupt estate does not violate the automatic stay (11 USC 362(a)(3)) by merely continuing to hold that property after the debtor files a bankruptcy petition.  Instead, 11 USC 542 governs the circumstances under which the bankruptcy court can compel a holder of property of the bankrupt estate to turn the property… Read More

Debtor abusively filed an earlier bankruptcy on behalf of a business entity, voiding a nonjudicial foreclosure sale of the entity's real property held the same day.  In debtor's later personal bankruptcy, creditor filed a claim, contending it was entitled to damages from the debtor on state law claims for abuse of process and tortious interference with business relations based on… Read More

Applying the objective standard outlined in Taggart v. Lorenzen (2019) 139 S.Ct. 1795, this decision holds that the debtor's creditors cannot be held in civil contempt for violating the discharge injunction.  They had a reasonable believe that Taggart had "returned to the fray" and thus was liable for attorney fees the creditors incurred in defeating his state court suit. Read More

Ocwen, a mortgage loan servicer, periodically reviewed credit reports of borrowers who had received bankruptcy discharges of personal liabiity on debts secured deeds of trust on their homes.  This decision holds that Ocwen did not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act by doing so.  Ocwen had a permissible pupose in trying to determine whether the borrowers qualified for an alternative… Read More

The Equal Access to Justice Act (28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)) does not authorize a fee award against the bankruptcy court that, sua sponte, refused to confirm movan't Chapter 13 plan because it did not state a definite end date for performance of the plan.  The EAJA does not treat courts as part of the "United States" for purposes of a… Read More

The bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in converting this Chapter 13 bankruptcy into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy despite the fact that the debtors had filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss their Chapter 13 case under 11 USC 1307(b).  That section gives the debtors an absolute right to leave Chapter 13, but not to leave the bankruptcy court.  And… Read More

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