Author Archives: NCBRC

Med School Loans Partially Discharged after Debtor Fails to Match for Residency

Finding that the debtor’s string of very bad luck unrelieved by his concerted efforts to increase his earnings, satisfied the Brunner test, a bankruptcy court granted him a partial discharge of his student loan, reducing the debt from $440,000 to $8,291.67. Koeut v. U.S. Dept. of Ed., No. 12-7242, Adv. Proc. No. 18-90130 (Bankr. S.D. […]

9th Circuit Limits Walls, Permits FDCPA Action for Post-D/C Collection

Declining to extend its 2002 holding in Walls, the Ninth Circuit found that a chapter 13 debtor who fully paid the creditor’s claim prior to completion of his plan was not precluded from pursuing an FDCPA claim based on the creditor’s post-discharge collection efforts. Manikan v. Peters & Freedman, L.L.P., No. 19-55393 (9th Cir. Nov. […]

Ninth Circuit Applies Scotus Standard in Discharge Injunction Case

On remand from the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit found that, under the Supreme Court’s objective standard, the debtor’s active post-bankruptcy litigation in state court of the terms of his separation from his business partnership established sufficient cause for his business partner creditors to have a reasonable belief that he had “returned to the fray” […]

California Clarifies Marital Property Presumptions

Relying on the answer to a certified question propounded to the California Supreme Court regarding presumptions attached to marital property, the Ninth Circuit found that one of two properties owned by the individual debtor and his wife was community property despite its being designated a joint tenancy. Brace v. Speier (In re Brace), No. 17-60032 […]

ACA’s Shared Responsibility Payment Debt Not Entitled to Priority

The shared responsibility payment under the Affordable Care Act is not an “excise tax,” within the meaning of section 507(a)(8) and, therefore, the IRS’s claim for unpaid SRP was not entitled to priority in bankruptcy. IRS v. Huenerberg, No. 18-1617 (E.D. Wisc. Oct. 22, 2020). When the debtors filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy, the IRS […]

Local Standards Apply but Trustee Need Not Be a Sumpsimus

Despite higher actual vehicle operating costs, when calculating disposable income on the means test, above-median debtors must use the exact numerical values for expenses that are specified in the IRS’s National and Local Standards. Rodriguez v. Bronitsky (In re Rodriguez), No. 20-1085 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. Oct. 16, 2020).

The Case of the Vanishing Homestead Exemption

When the debtor failed to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of his exempt homestead within the period required by state homestead exemption law, the exemption vanished. McCallister v. Wells (In re Wells), No. 20-86 (D. Idaho Oct. 14, 2020). The debtor filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy and listed the equity in his home as […]

Complete Snapshot Rule Applies to Debtor’s Homestead Exemption

The First Circuit found that a debtor with a legitimate homestead exemption at the time of filing chapter 13 bankruptcy retains that exemption despite post-petition sale of the property, conversion to chapter 7, and failure to reinvest in a new homestead within six months as required by state homestead exemption law. Rockwell v. Hull (In […]

Debt Paid by Mother Pre-Bankruptcy Not Preferential Transfer

When the debtor’s mother made a direct payment to one of the debtor’s creditors from an account over which the debtor had no interest or control, the transfer was not an avoidable preferential transfer under section 547(b). Walters v. Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp and Weinberg, LLC. (In re Wagenknecht), No. 19-1206 (10th Cir. Aug. 24, […]

Sanctions Against Student Loan Servicer

A student loan servicing company’s failure, over the course of five years, to respond to an adversary complaint and multiple court orders, justified a finding of contempt and sanctions against the servicer requiring it to pay off the debtor’s student loans to the DOE in the amount of $354,629.62, and pay damages to the debtor […]