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Showing 2 posts from July 2015.

Open Case or Re-Opened Case: A Distinction Without a Difference

Sixth Circuit Affirms Bankruptcy Court Order Allowing Amended Exemptions Following Re-Opening of Case

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, a debtor is required to file a schedule listing all of the debtor’s property. This includes cash, hard assets such as furniture and cars, as well as intangibles such as causes of action or potential causes of action. The Bankruptcy Code allows debtors to “exempt” certain types of property from the estate, enabling them to retain exempted assets post-bankruptcy.

In a recent opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit analyzed the limits of a bankruptcy court’s authority to disallow claimed exemptions.  Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chapter 13, Chapter 7

No Stripping Allowed: Supreme Court Rules that Chapter 7 Debtor Cannot Strip Off a Junior Lien

On June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Bank of America v. Caulkett, No. 13-1421, together with Bank of America v. Toledo-Cardona, No. 14-163, holding unanimously that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor cannot “strip off” a junior lien.

Lien stripping takes place when there are two or more liens on a property, and the senior lien is “underwater” in that the amount owed on the senior lien is greater than the value of the property. In a Chapter 13 case a property owner can strip off the junior lien, resulting in it being treated as unsecured debt in the bankruptcy.

In these cases, the Court held that a Chapter 7 debtor may not void a junior lien under 11 U.S.C. § 506(d) when the debt owed on a senior lien exceeds the current value of the collateral if the junior creditor’s claim is both secured by a lien and allowed under § 502 of the Bankruptcy Code. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 13, Chapter 7, U.S. Supreme Court