Not personal property, but worth the read. In In re: Aniel, — B.R. —-, 2010 WL 1609923 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Cal.), Judge Montali did not vacate a relief from stay order, explaining that the debtor “steadfastly and repeatedly resisted motions for relief from stay, while at the same time steadfastly and repeatedly refus[ed] to make payments pending resolution of their disputes about the standing of those secured creditors to seek such relief.”
The court is sympathetic with any debtor who finds it difficult, if not sometimes seemingly impossible, to wade through the maze of transferred notes, assigned deeds of trust, ethereal beneficiaries, and information and belief allegations about what some predecessor loan servicing agent did with the original note and deed of trust. But it is equally unsympathetic with debtors shedding crocodile tears about making adequate protection payments while at the same time claiming all the benefits the bankruptcy law provides them. If you want to gamble in the casino and hope to hit the jackpot, you can’t expect to win by using house money. You’ve got to put a “little skin in the game” Because these debtors have refused to do so, relief from stay could hardly be more appropriate.
Here, Creditor has made a colorable claim that it has standing by showing that it holds the note, endorsed in blank. Debtors do not dispute that they executed the note and deed of trust which are the subject of the MRS. If Debtors wish to maintain the status quo pending resolution of matters that require more plenary proceedings than relief from stay motions (e.g., adversary proceedings for declaratory relief to determine the proper holder of a note; objections to the claim of the creditor; confirmation of a Chapter 11 reorganization plan that restructures the claim of the creditor, etc.), the conventional way to do so is to make adequate protection payments in the mean-time. ¶ Because of Debtors’ adamant refusal to make such payments the court is less tolerant than the Wilhelm, Jacobson, and Hwang courts in one material respect: whether debtors should provide adequate protection payments to the Creditor until the standing issues are fully adjudicated. They have not made any payment on this note (or the notes secured by the six other properties in which Debtors assert an ownership interest) in over a year while they have been in bank-ruptcy. They failed to make at least five prepetition payments on the note secured by the Property. They have no equity in the Property. They have used cash collateral without permission. ¶ Under such circumstances, justice dictates that Debtors make adequate protection payments pending resolution of the standing issues. The court will not continue the stay with all of the risk being borne by the creditor. In circumstances where there is no doubt that the Debtors signed the note that is the subject of the motion, (and, frankly, not much doubt that ultimately Creditor will be able to “connect the dots” by showing the chain of title of the note and deed of trust), denial of relief from stay when adequate protection payments could be made would be patently unfair to Creditor and impose on it all of the risk of further deterioration of its security without protection. Since Debtors have no inclination to make payments, it is abundantly clear that once the Creditor (and other similarly situated secured creditors on other properties of Debtors) proves its standing, Debtors will allow the Property to be foreclosed. There is simply no point in delaying the inevitable.