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Judge Richard D. Taylor

Application of the Sunday Rule to contractual "on or before" language.

An otherwise valid arbitration clause may not be enforceable in bankruptcy when the underlying purposes of the bankruptcy code inherently conflict with arbitration in the context of the specific dispute presented.

Judge Ben T. Barry

The court denied the debtor’s discharge based on the debtor’s deficient and inaccurate schedules and his clear attempt to not pay one of his secured creditors. Between the order for relief in the debtor’s initial skeletal chapter 13 filing and his subsequent conversion of the case to chapter 7, the debtor apparently paid many of his creditors and then failed to list those payments on his later-filed schedules because “they were no longer creditors.” The debtor also failed to disclose his business, the judgment obtained by the creditor that he attempted not to pay (despite this creditor garnishing the debtor’s bank one week prior to filing), and money in two bank accounts that he characterized as “customers’ money.” Of note, the attorney that represented the debtor in the state court action is the same attorney that filed the deficient and inaccurate schedules on behalf of the debtor.

The Court enforced the parties’ agreement to arbitrate and held the adversary proceeding in abeyance. The Court found that the parties’ agreement to arbitrate did not inherently conflict with or jeopardize the objectives of the bankruptcy code.

The Court denied the trustee’s motion for turnover of a post-petition bonus payment the debtor acquired approximately one month after filing a voluntary chapter 7 petition. The Court found that the expectation of a bonus was not enough to bring the post-petition bonus into the debtor’s estate under § 541(a)(1) because the debtor’s employer retained the discretion to pay the bonus up to the time the bonus was paid.

The Court denied the debtor’s motion to reopen his chapter 7 bankruptcy case for the purpose of scheduling an omitted creditor. The Court found that the dischargeability of a debt under § 523(a)(3) is not affected by the debtor’s subsequent listing of the debt on his schedules; reopening the case to schedule the debt is a “useless gesture.”

In this order, the third in this case, the Court granted the creditors’ motion to strike the debtor’s second motion for contempt based on the doctrine of res judicata.  The Court found that the debtor’s second motion for contempt was substantially the same as his first motion with the exception of the named defendants–the debtor now named the principals as defendants rather than the agents.  All three elements of res judicata were met precluding the Court from hearing the debtor’s “second bite at the apple.”

Chief Judge Phyllis M. Jones

Hill and Hill’s motion for summary judgment was denied as to its contemporaneous exchange for new value defense under Section 547(c)(1) (which the parties referred to as the Veldedefense). Notices did not strictly comply with the Food Security Act and therefore the Debtor purchased grain free of the Bank’s security interest, even though the Bank held an otherwise properly perfected security interest under Arkansas law. Summary judgment was granted as to the first element of Hill and Hill’s ordinary course of business defense under Section 547(c)(2), but denied as to the remaining elements under either Section 547(c)(2)(A) or (B). Summary judgment was also granted in part and denied in part as to Hill and Hill’s subsequent new value defense under Section 547(c)(4).

Debtors’ discharge denied pursuant to Sections 727(a)(2)(A), (a)(3), and (a)(4). Debtors concealed the purchase and transfer of a vehicle with intent to defraud the trustee and creditors, failed to keep and preserve records from which their financial condition could be ascertained, and knowingly and fraudulently made material false oaths in connection with the bankruptcy case.

Transfer found to be preferential transfer pursuant to Section 547(b). Court found in favor of Trustee on all affirmative defenses raised by Defendant.