Author Archives: NCBRC

Fourth Circuit Overturns Anti-Modification Precedent Witt v. United Cos. Lending Corp.

The en banc fourth circuit panel overturned a twenty-two-year-old precedent to join the majority of courts finding that section 1322(c)(2) “authorizes modification of covered homestead mortgage claims, not just payments, including bifurcation of undersecured homestead mortgages into secured and unsecured components.” Hurlburt v. Black, No. 17-2449 (4th Cir. May 24, 2019) (en banc). NACBA and NCBRC […]

Court Has Discretion to Reimburse Expenses Not Included in No-Look Fee Order

Under the bankruptcy court’s no-look fee standing order, debtor’s counsel could not obtain reimbursement for advancing pre-petition costs including filing fees and credit counseling, but the court had discretion to allow those expenses as part of counsel’s compensation. McBride v. Riley (In re Riley), No. 18-30535 (5th Cir. May 13, 2019). Under its “no money […]

State May Reasonably Rely on Public Assistance Application

When providing public assistance benefits, the State may reasonably rely upon the applicant’s assertions in the application form, despite access to an independent source of information concerning the applicant’s financial condition. Maxwell v. State of Oregon, No. 18-1286 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. March 27, 2019) (unpublished). Antionette Maxwell was employed at Oregon Health and Science University, […]

Malpractice Action against Bankruptcy Attorneys Not Part of Estate

Where the only injury alleged was the denial of discharge, the debtors’ legal malpractice cause of action against their bankruptcy attorneys did not arise pre-petition and, therefore, was not part of the bankruptcy estate. Church Joint Venture v. Blasingame, No. 18-8017 (B.A.P. 6th Cir. April 5, 2019). The debtors’ bankruptcy attorneys committed malpractice prior to […]

Asset Technically Abandoned Despite Not Being Listed on Schedule B

The chapter 7 debtor’s cause of action was technically abandoned even though he failed to list it on Schedule B, where the trustee knew of the asset and indicated his intention to abandon it though he never sought a court order to that effect, and the trustee also listed all unadministered assets “known and unknown” […]

Accrued Interest on Student Loan Discharged as Undue Hardship

A Kansas bankruptcy court did not err in granting the debtor a discharge of the accrued interest on her student loans where she met the Tenth Circuit’s flexible version of the Brunner test, and the court has equitable power to grant less than a complete discharge. ECMC v. Metz, No. 18-1281 (May 2, 2019). The […]

Navient Solutions, LLC v. McDaniel, No. 18-1445 (10th Cir.)

Type: Amicus Date: April 18, 2019 Description: Whether the bankruptcy court erred in ruling that the expression “an obligation to repay funds received as an educational benefit, scholarship or stipend” in 523(a)(8)(A)(ii) does not include a loan, so that the Chapter 13 debtors’ $107,467 debt for six Sallie Mae “Tuition Answer Loans” was discharged. Result: Pending […]

Henry v. Educational Financial Service, No. 18-20809 (5th Cir.)

Type: Amicus Date: April 12, 2019 Description: Denial of creditor’s motion to compel arbitration in dishargeability proceeding. Result: Pending Henry Amicus April 2019  

Ambush at State Trial Costs Creditor and Her Counsel over $200,000 for Discharge Injunction Violation

Creditor and her counsel were found liable for violation of the discharge injunction to the tune of over $200,000, after the creditor and her counsel blindsided the debtor during closing arguments in their state court litigation by grossly expanding the scope of the creditor’s claimed damages to encompass discharged debts. In re Renfrow, No. 17-1027 […]

SCOTUS Hears Arguments on Discharge Violation Sanctions

Addressing the reach of a bankruptcy court’s contempt powers in the context of a violation of the discharge injunction, the Supreme Court heard arguments on April 24, in the case of Taggart v. Lorenzen, No. 18-489. Daniel Geyser appeared for the debtor, Bradley Taggart. Nicole Saharsky represented the creditor, Shelley Lorenzen, executor. Sopan Joshi, from […]