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Opinions

Notice: Not all of the Judges Opinions will be made available on this site. Individual Judges have the option of specifying that all, some or none of their opinions be posted.

Judge Ben T. Barry

The court revoked the debtor’s discharge under § 727(d) because she failed to turn over life insurance proceeds she received within 180 days of filing her chapter 7 petition in accordance with § 541(a)(5). Instead, the debtor placed the proceeds in an overseas account, moved out of state, and bought a house out of state. The debtor turned over the balance of the proceeds (the house) only after the trustee filed an adversary proceeding.

The debtor and creditor attempted to reaffirm a debt of $22,000 on a car valued at $16,000. Because the debtor’s attorney did not sign the attorney certification, the court scheduled a hearing on the reaffirmation agreement. In addition to informing the debtor of the consequences of entering into the agreement, the court also had to determine whether the agreement was in the best interest of the debtor. After discussing the four possible scenarios a reaffirmation agreement presents to a court, the court did not approve the reaffirmation agreement. The debtor was current in her payments to the creditor and had complied with § 521; therefore, the court could conceive of no benefit to the debtor to enter into the reaffirmation agreement and obligate herself to $6000 of unsecured debt.

In this short order, the court distinguishes between criminal and civil contempt and finds that the state court order that sentenced the debtor to spend time in jail was criminal contempt because it carried an unconditional penalty and the jail time could not be purged.

James G. Mixon

The Court dismissed the Plaintiffs' complaint to except from discharge those obligations owed to them by the Debtor, who was their financial advisor; the Court ruled that the Plaintiffs did not carry their burden of proof with regard to their allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, willful and malicious injury, and securities violations.

First Security's motion for relief from the stay was granted pursuant to section 362(b)(2) because the Debtor failed to show any reasonable possibility of a confirmable plan

The Plaintiffs' objection to the dischargeability of the debts pursuant to 11 USC 523(a)(2) was denied because they could not prove by a preponderance all of the necessary elements regarding each allegation. However, the Debtor's discharge was denied pursuant to 11 USC 727(a)(2)(A) because the Plaintiffs proved by a preponderance that the transfer of the Debtors ownership interest in his company was made with the fraudulent intent to defraud the Plaintiffs within one year of the petition date.

Audrey R. Evans

In a noncore proceeding, the Court entered a proposed order for the District Court’s review finding that the Defendants violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), breached a contract with the Plaintiff, and committed the torts of fraud and misrepresentation. Subsequently, the District Court entered an order adopting the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. Humes v. LVNV Funding, L.C.C. (In re Humes), 496 B.R. 557 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2013).

Addendum to: Order Granting Motions to Appoint Trustee. This Addendum, to be read in conjunction with the Order Granting Motions to Appoint Trustee, contains facts and testimony regarding the various individuals and entities involved, the Debtor, the Debtor’s Chapter 11 filing, and the series of events that led to the Motions to Appoint a Trustee. Although the Court does not repeat its reasoning for finding that the appointment of a trustee was necessary and appropriate in this case, additional findings are made.

The Court denied the defendant’s request for a jury trial in the debtors’ § 362(k)(1) action for a willful violation of the automatic stay. The Court applied the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury analysis set forth by the Supreme Court in Granfinanciera, S.A. v. Nordberg and concluded that the defendant was not constitutionally entitled to a jury trial because a § 362(k)(1) action asserts a “public right.” Calderon v. Bank of Am. Corp. (In re Calderon), 497 B.R. 558 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2013).

Judge Richard D. Taylor

Coercive application for contempt to collect a prepetition judgment constitutes a willful violation of the stay. Further, the debtor did not propose a plan consistent with the Code's treatment of domestic support obligations.

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