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Showing 11 posts in 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sixth Circuit Affirms Holding That “Carve Out” Recovered By Chapter 7 Trustee Did Not Constitute Equity in the Debtors’ Property Subject to Debtors’ Exemptions

Baldridge v. Douglas Stanley Ellmann (In re Baldridge), Appeal No. 13-1700 (6th Cir., Feb. 3, 2014).

On appeal from the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Sixth Circuit held that a $28,000 “carve out” recovered by the Chapter 7 Trustee pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 506(c) after closing a sale on the debtors’ property was not property of the estate that could be subject to the debtors’ exemption because the property was over encumbered by two mortgages, leaving no equity for the debtors to exempt. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chapter 7

Sixth Circuit: Rejection of Chapter 11 Plan not a “Final Appealable Order” for Purposes of Appellate Jurisdiction

Lindsey v. Pinnacle Nat’l Bank (In re Lindsey), Appeal No. 12-6362 (6th Cir., Aug. 13, 2013)

The Sixth Circuit held this week in a published opinion that a bankruptcy court’s denial of confirmation of a Chapter 11 plan is not a final appealable order. In so holding, the Sixth Circuit joins four other circuits, while three other circuits have held to the contrary. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chapter 11

Sixth Circuit Holds That Right to Article III “Judicial Power” is Not a Waivable Right

In a recent opinion, the Sixth Circuit has provided clarification of Stern v. Marshall's1 holding by analyzing Article III “judicial power,” the pubic rights doctrine, and the bankruptcy court's authority.

In Waldman, the Western District of Kentucky Bankruptcy Court entered a judgment against the principal creditor after finding that the creditor had defrauded the debtor and had acquired nearly all of the debtor’s assets by means of fraud.  The Bankruptcy Court entered a judgment discharging the debts the debtor owed the creditor and awarded the debtor a judgment of more than $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages.  The creditor appealed the Bankruptcy Court’s entry of a final judgment based upon three challenges:  (1) the debtor’s state law fraud claims are beyond the jurisdiction of the federal court; (2) the judgment entered was beyond the statutory authority of the bankruptcy court; and (3) the judgment was beyond the bankruptcy court’s power pursuant to Article III of the Constitution. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court

Only trustee, not debtor, can bring lawsuit on pre-petition cause of action

Auday v. Wet Seal Retail, Inc., Case No. 12-5057 (6th Cir., Oct. 25, 2012) (recommended for full-text publication). 

As most bankruptcy practitioners know, a debtor’s pre-petition cause of action – whether for personal injury, breach of contract, or other claim – is property of the bankruptcy estate.  Now, the Sixth Circuit has clarified that only the trustee can file suit in connection with a Chapter 7 debtor’s pre-petition cause of action, unless the action is abandoned. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chapter 7

6th Circuit: Michigan Bankruptcy-Specific Exemption Statute is Constitutional

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that Michigan's bankruptcy-specific exemption statute is constitutional under the Bankruptcy Clause and Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.

Historically, Michigan has allowed bankruptcy debtors to use the federal exemptions under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d), the general state exemptions under M.C.L. § 600.6023, or the state exemptions pursuant to M.C.L. § 600.5451 that are specific to debtors in bankruptcy (prior to it being declared unconstitutional).

Michigan is one of a few states that has a bankruptcy-specific exemption statute available to bankruptcy debtors only.  In the Western District of Michigan, the constitutionality of the bankruptcy-specific scheme was called into doubt by the Hon. James D. Gregg in In re Pontius, 421 B.R. 814 (Bankr. W.D. Mich. 2009) and the Hon. Jeffrey R. Hughes in In re Wallace, 347 B.R. 626 (Bankr. W.D. Mich. 2006).  Contrarily, the Hon. Scott W. Dales, held that the bankruptcy-scheme was constitutional in In re Schafer, 428 B.R. 720 (Bankr. W.D. Mich. 2010), pursuant to Sixth Circuit precedent and Congress' delegation of power to the states pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(b) to create bankruptcy exemptions. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Automatic Stay Does Not Bar Injunctive Relief Relative to Debtors' Commission of a Tort

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio based upon the District Court's holding that the automatic stay does not prevent the issuance of injunctive relief. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

In re Seafort, Case No. 10-6248, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, February 15, 2012

On an issue of first impression before the Sixth Circuit, the Court held that post-petition income that becomes available after a debtor completes repayment of a 401(k) loan is projected disposable income that must be turned over to the Trustee for distribution to unsecured creditors pursuant to Section 1325(b)(1)(B) and may not be used to fund voluntary 401(k) plans.

In this case, both debtors (on consolidated appeal) were making payments to a 401(k) loan, which would be paid off during the life of the Chapter 13 plan.  Neither debtor was making contributions to their 401(k) retirement accounts at the time the petitions were filed.  The debtors proposed to use the income (available after full repayment of the 401(k) loan) to start making contributions to their 401(k) retirement accounts.  The Trustee objected on the issue of whether the debtors must include the income resulting from the payoff of the 401(k) loans to their respective plans considering neither debtor was making 401(k) contributions at the time the petitions were filed. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chapter 13

BAP: Chapter 7 trustee cannot avoid erroneously discharged mortgage if discharge is rescinded pre-petition

Richardson v. Citimortgage, Inc. (In re Emerson), unpublished opinion, BAP No. 11-8015 (Oct. 7, 2011).

The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit ("BAP") has rejected a trustee's efforts to avoid a mortgage that was mistakenly discharged because the discharge was rescinded before the debtor's bankruptcy filing. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chapter 7

Inherited IRAs can be exempted under § 522(d)(12)

The Eastern District of Michigan Bankruptcy Court recently held that a debtor can exempt an inherited IRA under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(12).

The Eastern District Bankruptcy Court denied the Trustee's objection to an exemption claimed pursuant to § 522(d)(12) by a debtor in IRAs that she had inherited from her father.  The Court further rejected the Trustee's argument that inherited IRA funds cannot be considered "retirement funds" under § 522(d)(12) because the funds were not contributed to the IRA by the debtor.  Rather, the Court adopted the debtor's reasoning that the explicit language of § 522(d)(12) does not make a distinction between "inherited IRAs" and IRAs to which the debtor made the contributions. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Eastern District of Michigan

6th Circuit B.A.P.: Michigan's bankruptcy-specific exemption statute is unconstitutional.

In re Schafer, 6th Cir. B.A.P., Feb. 17, 2011 (2011 WL 534752, authored by Hon. Marci B. McIvor).

Under the Bankruptcy Code, debtors may choose between the federal exemptions listed in 11 U.S.C. § 522(d) or exemptions available under state law, unless their state has "opted out" of the federal exemption scheme. Michigan has not opted out, so debtors may choose between federal and state exemptions. Since 2005, Michigan law has provided two alternative state-law exemption schemes: Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Western District of Michigan