Funds from Consent Order Not Estate Property

Posted by NCBRC - July 22, 2015

Funds the debtor received through operation of a post-petition consent order between banking regulators and Bank of America were not part of the bankruptcy estate subject to turnover. MacKenzie v. Neidorf (In re Neidorf), No. 14-1496 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. July 10, 2015). Carrie Margaret Neidorf’s home was foreclosed upon while she was in bankruptcy and years later, while her bankruptcy case was still open and pursuant to a national settlement between banking regulators and Bank of America, she received $31,250 as a result of the foreclosure. The 2011 Consent Order (amended in 2013) required Bank of America to make a $1,127,453.261 cash payment to a Qualified Settlement Fund. That fund was then distributed to borrowers who had experience foreclosure within a specified period. The chapter 7 trustee sought turnover of the funds arguing that they were property of the estate. The bankruptcy court disagreed and the BAP affirmed.

The BAP stated three conditions that must be met for after-acquired property to be considered part of the estate under section 541(a)(7); “(1) It must be created with or by property of the estate; (2) acquired in the estate’s normal course of business; or (3) otherwise be traceable to or arise out of any prepetition interest included in the bankruptcy estate.” The panel found that the fact that the foreclosed residence was property of the estate was not dispositive. It found that the debtor’s entitlement to the foreclosure payment arose out of the post-petition Consent Order rather than out of her ownership of the property. The panel concluded: “Seen in this light, that the estate had an interest in Debtor’s Residence is not enough. Nowhere has Trustee shown how the estate obtained an interest in the Foreclosure Payment itself when the qualifying events giving rise to Debtor’s legal rights to the payment all occurred postpetition and were held solely by the borrowers.”

Neidorf BAP 9th opinion

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  1. By Bankruptcy News Briefs 7/22 | NACBA Now on July 22, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    […] Funds from Consent Order Not Estate Property […]

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