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Bar News - November 19, 2014

US Bankruptcy Court Opinion Summaries

Note: The full text of the opinions below will be available on the Bankruptcy Court’s website.

Ruma v. Kehaias (In re Kehaias), 2014 BNH 012, issued September 30, 2014 (Harwood, J.) (unpublished) Granting creditor’s motion for summary judgment and so determining that damages awarded by a New Hampshire state court per RSA 540-A, a landlord-tenant statute, were nondischargeable as a willful and malicious injury, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6); both issue preclusion—stemming from the state court judgment—and the facts independently established by the summary judgment record required the court to enter summary judgment against the debtor.

In re Iodice, 2014 BNH 013, issued September 30, 2014 (Harwood, J.) (unpublished) Denying creditor’s objection to the debtor’s homestead exemption pursuant to New Hampshire RSA 480:1: the debtor owned two parcels of contiguous real property, one of which was undisputed homestead property; the debtor was able to exempt the disputed parcel, despite not having actively used that parcel during his bankruptcy case, because he had previously used it in connection with the undisputed homestead property, and because the creditor did not present sufficient evidence that the debtor intended to permanently abandon it.

In re Taal, 2014 BNH 014, issued October 14, 2014 (Deasy, J.) (for publication) Denying creditor’s motion to dismiss pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1307(c) and for in rem relief under 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(4); despite three prior filings by non-debtor spouse, two of which affected the creditor’s collateral, the evidence in the record did not warrant dismissal or provide a basis for in rem relief from the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) in this debtor’s first bankruptcy case of record.

Gordon v. Vilela (In re Vilela), 2014 BNH 015, issued Nov. 10, 2014 (Deasy, J.) (unpublished) (avoiding the debtor’s transfer of her half of the proceeds, from the sale of her home, to her former father-in-law as a constructively fraudulent transfer under 11 U.S.C. § 548(a)(1)(B) and permitting recovery from the defendant as the initial transferee in accordance with 11 U.S.C. § 550(a)(1)).

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