Judge Shodeen - Decision Index

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Entry DateFile NameDecision Summary
10/02/2012 als-20121002-12-01273.pdf

Richard J. Cobb, Celeste L. Cobb (Case No. 12-01273-als7)

The Court overruled the trustee's objection to the debtors' claim of exemption in a tractor. The debtors claimed that the tractor was exempt as a household good. The Court allowed the exemption because the tractor was not used for any commercial purpose and it allowed them to maintain their long driveway, access their property and reach their jobs. The tractor was necessary to the debtors' fresh start.

09/25/2012 als-20120925-11-30083.pdf

Lehm's Omaha LLC v. Thomas J. Stanley (Case No. 11-30083), Thomas J. Stanley and Kristen R. Stanley (Case No. 11-02508-als7)

The defendant sold a skid loader and trailer to the plaintiff. The skid loader was subject to a purchase money lien, and the defendant did not inform the plaintiff of the lien or pay the lien off from the proceeds of the sale. The plaintiff was forced to make a payment to the lien-holder in order to keep the equipment that he purchased. The Court held that the amount that the plaintiff was forced to pay to the lien-holder was a non-dischargeable debt in the defendant's bankruptcy pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 523(a)(2)(A). The Court held that the defendant's silence as to the existence of a lien met the element of misrepresentation under the statute, which resulted in the defendant knowing that the representation was false at the time he made it and making it with the intent to deceive. The plaintiff justifiably relied on the defendant's misrepresentation, and as a result, sustained damages.

09/13/2012 als-20120913-12-00829.pdf

High Plains Investment, Inc. (Case No. 12-00829-als7)

The Court overruled the trustee's objection to the debtors' claim of exemption in a tractor. The debtors claimed that the tractor was exempt as a household good. The Court allowed the exemption because the tractor was not used for any commercial purpose and it allowed them to maintain their long driveway, access their property and reach their jobs. The tractor was necessary to the debtors' fresh start.

07/18/2012 als-20120718-10-30170.pdf

Julilath Kouangvan, Minh Kouangvan (Case No. 10-05009-als), United States Trustee v. Julilath Kouangvan (Case No. 10-30170-als)

The debtor's discharge was denied pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 727(a)(3) and 727(a)(5) for her failure to keep records and failure to explain the dissipation of substantial amounts of money. She took out many sizable loans, dealt primarily in cash and kept minimal records. Her insufficient records were not justified under the circumstances. Additionally, the debtor offered only vague explanations about how she used the loan amounts that she received from her lenders.

06/15/2012 als-20120615-10-30073.pdf

Julie O. Waterman (Case No. 10-01849-als), Waterman v. IRS (Case No. 10-30073-als)

Debtor's tax debt was discharged because the IRS failed to prove that the Debtor willfully evaded paying her taxes. While Debtor was aware that she had the obligation to pay the taxes, she did not have the wherewithal to pay them and her use of divorce settlement funds on discretionary expenses was not sufficient to show that she took steps to avoid paying the taxes.

04/16/2012 als-20120416-11-04187.pdf

Jerry R. McKeever (Case No. 11-04187-als)

The Court denied creditor's motion to reconsider the ruling denying approval of a reaffirmation agreement. The Court held that the reaffirmation agreement was made after the debtor's discharge had entered and was, therefore, untimely and could not meet the requirements of 11 U.S.C. section 524(c).

03/30/2012 als-20120330-10-30090.pdf

Jasper vs. Hussain (Case No. 10-30090-als)

The debt owed to Plaintiff by the Debtor under a state court judgment for the intentional tort of wrongful discharge from employment in violation of public policy was held to be nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 523(a)(6). The Court found that collateral estoppel applied to the Plaintiff's claim because the state court's decision had already determined that the Debtor's conduct was both willful and malicious sufficient to satisfy the requirements under the Bankruptcy Code.

03/09/2012 als-20120309-11-03226-Gates.pdf

In re: Steven Robert Gates (Case No. 11-03226-als7)

Trustee's Objection to Debtor's claimed exemption in life insurance policies was overruled because the $10,000 limit on interest acquired within two years found in Iowa Code § 627.10 applied to the increase in the net cash value of the policies rather than the gross cash value.

11/09/2011 als-20111103-10-30071.pdf

Bank Iowa v. Villalobos (Case No. 10-30071-als7)

Plaintiff filed an adversary proceeding objecting to the dischargeability of a debt pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2)(A) and (B). Defendant had ownership interests in several businesses and had signed personal guaranties for loans taken out by many of these businesses. Plaintiff argued that the Defendant was responsible for the amounts due on two separate loans and that these loans were not dischargeable because Defendant has fraudulently failed to disclose his other personal guaranties when filling out two financial statements he submitted before obtaining the loans. The Court held that the debts were not excepted from discharge because Plaintiff failed to prove that Defendant intended to deceive in making the representation and that Plaintiff reasonably relied on the representation under the reliance standard for either subsection.

09/14/2011 als-20110914-11-00168.pdf

In re Dunkin, (Case No. 11-00168-als7)

Trustee filed an objection to Debtor's claim of exemptions of accrued wages, garnished funds and bank accounts pursuant to Iowa Code sections 642.21 and 537.5105. Debtor argued that she was entitled to a percentage of pre-petition garnished funds as disposable earnings pursuant to Iowa Code sections 642.21 and 537.5105. The Court held that this expansion of In re Irish was not permissible, and the amounts she received after her garnished wages were taken out represented the amount available to her under these Iowa Code provisions. The Court applied In re Irish to the accrued wages that were not subject to the pre-petition garnishment.

08/29/2011 als-20110829-10-30088.pdf

In re: Brown v. Iowa Department of Revenue (Adv. Pro. 10-30088-als, Case No. 10-03083-als7)

The Court held that Debtor's tax debts were not discharged pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(1)(C) because Debtor willfully evaded his tax obligation. In so finding, the Court relied on the Debtor's consistent late filing of tax returns, which often contained inaccurate information, the Debtor's failure to keep records of his business expenses, Debtor's failure to cooperate in reducing his tax obligation, and Debtor's apparent ability to pay at least some amount to reduce his tax obligation.

08/29/2011 als-20110829-10-03083.pdf

In re: Chay Linette Williams (Case No. 10-03620-als7, Adv. Pro. 10-30088-als)

The Court granted United States Trustee's motion to dismiss pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(3). The Court held that the totality of the circumstances demonstrated abuse and the petition was filed in bad faith because of inflated expenses listed on schedule B.

06/07/2011 als-20110607-10-00856.pdf

In re: Chambers (Case No. 10-00856-als7)

The Court granted the United States Trustee's motion to dismiss pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b) because the presumption of abuse arose under the Means Test and Debtors failed to show special circumstances. Further, the totality of the circumstances demonstrated abuse.

05/26/2011 als-20110526-10-30106.pdf

In re: Vest v. United States Department of Education (Adv. Pro. 10-30106-als, Case No. 10-01950-als7)

The Court granted Defendant's unopposed motion for summary judgment because Defendant met its burden to show that no genuine issue of material fact existed for trial and because Plaintiff had not demonstrated any ability to sustain her burden of proof related to the discharge of her student loan obligation.

05/13/2011 als-20110513-10-00428.pdf

In re: Riverbend Leasing LLC (Case No. 10-00428-als11)

The Court denied confirmation of Debtor's second amended plan for failure to satisfy the factors set forth at 11 U.S.C. § 1129(a).

04/04/2011 als-20110404-10-30048.pdf

In re: Bank Iowa v. Torres (Adv. Pro. 10-30048-als, Case No. 09-06195-als7)

The Court held that part of the debt owed by Defendant to Plaintiff was excepted from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) because Defendant intentionally misrepresented the purpose of the draw requests he made on a line of credit and because Plaintiff justifiably relied on Defendant's misrepresentations. The remainder of the amounts owed to Plaintiff were not excepted from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(B) because Plaintiff failed to prove that Defendant intended to deceive and that Plaintiff reasonably relied. None of the claims were excepted from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) because Plaintiff did not act willfully and maliciously.

10/18/2010 als-20101118-10-02659.pdf

In re: MP Investments, L.L.C, dba Vito's on the Plaza (Case No. 10-02659-als7)

The Court denied Debtor in Possession's Motion to Assume Executory Contract seeking to assume a lease pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 365. The Court held that notwithstanding the importance of the Lease to DIP's reorganization, because of DIP's failure to meet the standards in § 365, the Motion to Assume was denied.

02/11/2011 als-20110211-Tritch.pdf

In re: Randy Dean Tritch, Debora Jean Tritch (Case No. 10-02695-als7),
Randy and Debora Tritch vs. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, fka Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP (Case No. 10-30097-als)

Court held that Debtor/Defendant could not strip down a fully unsecured lien on real property in a chapter 7 proceeding using 11 U.S.C. sections 506(a) and 506(d).

02/11/2011 als-20110211-Mayfield.pdf

In re: Phillip L. Vlieger, fdba Byblos Coporation, dba PineApple Homes (Case No. 09-03290-lmj7),
Louis and Peggy Mayfield vs. Phillip L. Vlieger (Case No. 09-30111-als)

The court granted Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. Pro se Defendant did not attend the hearing nor did he file a response to Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. Defendant filed a post-hearing response which did not raise genuine issues of material fact for trial. Based on the undisputed facts in Plaintiff's motion, summary judgment was granted for the claims asserted pursuant to 11 U.S.C. sections 523(a)(2)(A), 523(a)(4) and 523(a)(6).

01/12/2011 als-20110112-dittmer.pdf

In re: John A. Dittmer (Case No. 09-04669-als7), Bonny K. Dittmer (Case No. 09-04862-als7)

Objection to Debtors' claims of homestead exemption was overruled. Although Debtors sold their home and the land adjacent to it on two different dates, Debtors sold their entire homestead to one purchaser and intended to apply the proceeds to a new homestead. The funds were segregated and properly used to purchase exempt homestead.

10/20/2010 als-20101020-arthur.pdf

In re: Sharon A. Arthur (Case No. 10-00463-als7), Corey L. McKillip and Jamie L. McKillip (Case No. 09-04332-als7)

Trustee objected to Debtor's claims of exemption in tax refunds and tax credits. The Court ruled that tax refunds do not qualify for the protections afforded by the garnishment provisions identified in Iowa Code section 627.6(10). The Making Work Pay and the Hope Scholarship tax credits are not exempt as public assistance benefits under Iowa Code section 627.6(8)(a).

10/01/2010 als-20101001-Walters.pdf

In re: Jody May Walters (Case No. 10-00003, Filed 01/03/2010)

Objection to homestead exemption by antecedent claim holder sustained. Under Iowa Code sections 561.16, 561.20 and 561.21, the debtor's current property was not acquired with proceeds of a prior homestead and is liable for those debts contracted prior to its acquisition.

04/28/2010 als-20100430-Lobdell-vs-Rodruck.pdf

In re: Kathleen Lobdell vs. Todd A. Rodruck (Case No. 07-30134, Filed 09/21/2007)

Creditor failed to sustain its burden under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(6) for damages based upon allegations of improper construction of a home. Creditor did, however, sustain its burden for payment of costs arising after the initial contract which were personally guaranteed by Debtor, and the Court found that those debts were nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A).

04/13/2010 als-20100413-anderson.pdf

In re: Richard Timothy Anderson and Ethel M Anderson (Case No. 09-04486, Filed 09/16/2009)

The Court granted Debtors' Motion for Sanctions for violation of 11 U.S.C. section 362(a). The Court found that Creditor violated the automatic stay by continuing contact directly with the Debtor in an attempt to collect on a credit card account despite having received notice of Debtor's bankruptcy filing and correspondence from his counsel. In awarding punitive damages, the Court took into consideration the nature of Creditor's actions, Creditor's size and Creditor's sophistication in the credit industry.

03/10/2010 als-20100310-larsen.pdf

In re: Michael Dean Larsen and Kimberly Kay Larsen (Case No. 09-00219, Filed 01/26/2009)
Farmers & Merchants State Bank v. Larsen, et al (Case No. 09-30054, Filed 04/24/2009)

Creditor's security interest was not superior to the interest of the chapter 7 trustee. The court found that one loan was unsecured, a second loan was not properly perfected because no financing statement was filed under the name of the borrower or the individual executing the note, and a third loan was secured, but the financing statement was seriously misleading under Iowa Code §554.9506.