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Showing 4 posts from July 2010.

Debtors' Counsel Take Heed: Chapter 7 Debtors Must Schedule a Good Faith Estimate of the Value of Their Anticipated Income Tax Refund

In re Trudell, Bankr. W.D. Mich., Feb. 19, 2010 (Case No. 09-00340. Hon. Jeffrey R. Hughes).

Attorneys for bankruptcy debtors have a duty under the Bankruptcy Code to ensure that the information in the debtors' schedules is accurate. A recent decision from the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan cautions debtors' attorneys that this duty extends to the disclosure of anticipated income tax refunds.

When the chapter 7 debtors filed their schedules, they indicated that they did not expect to receive an income tax refund. Several weeks later, the debtors filed their tax return, which showed that they were entitled to a $5,000 refund. The debtors subsequently amended their schedules to disclose the refund and to fully exempt it. Thereafter, the debtors spent their refund. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 7, Western District of Michigan

Michigan Constitution Does Not Create Independent Personal Property Exemption

In re Caperton, Bankr. W.D. Mich., Dec. 21, 2009 (Case No. 09-09540, Hon. Scott W. Dales).

The Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan recently rejected a debtor's attempt to exempt property based on a provision of the state constitution. The chapter 7 debtor elected to rely on state exemptions and, in addition to those statutory exemptions, claimed an exemption in $750 in personal property under Article X, ยง 3 of the Michigan Constitution ("Section 3"). Section 3 provides in part that "personal property of every resident of this state in the amount of not less than $750, as defined by law, shall be exempt from forced sale on execution or other process of any court." Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 7, Western District of Michigan

Action for Injunctive Relief is Not "Claim" Subject to Discharge For Purposes of Obtaining Relief From the Automatic Stay

In re Hillenbrand, Bankr. E.D. Mich., Feb. 4, 2010 (Case No. 09-75574, Hon. Steven Rhodes).

Although the commencement of a bankruptcy case usually stays a pending state court action against the debtor, a recent decision of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan concluded that the stay does not preclude an action seeking an injunction. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chapter 7, Western District of Michigan

Chapter 7 Trustee is Not a "Lien Creditor" as to Lien Preserved for the Benefit of the Estate

In re Neal, Bankr. E.D. Mich., Feb. 8, 2010 (Case No. 08-57254, Hon. Steven Rhodes).

In this case, the chapter 7 debtors claimed an exemption in their house, which was also subject to an unperfected mortgage. The trustee commenced an adversary proceeding, and the court set aside the mortgage. The trustee then tried to sell the house, but the debtors allegedly failed to cooperate with the trustee and refused to vacate the house. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 7, Eastern District of Michigan