4th Circuit

Scheduling a Home with a Low Value Didn’t Protect a ‘13’ Debtor When It Was Sold

In the Fourth Circuit, creditors are compensated when there is a ‘substantial improvement’ in a chapter 13 debtor’s financial condition.

Even Without Personal Liability, a Mortgage on a Debtor’s Property Is a ‘Claim’

The ‘broad’ definition of ‘claim’ by the Supreme Court in Johnson led Judge Huennekens to hold that in rem rights against a debtor’s property give rise to a ‘claim.’

Fourth Circuit: Bankruptcy Courts Aren’t Bound by Article III’s Case or Controversy Requirements

The Fourth Circuit says that bankruptcy courts have broader jurisdiction than other federal courts and that some of their decisions are unreviewable by Article III courts.
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Fourth Circuit: State Law Claims for Discharge Violations Are Not Preempted

The Fourth Circuit declined to follow the First and Sixth Circuits on preemption of automatic stay violations by expanding the ban to redress for discharge violations.
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All Future Liability on a Lease Counted for Subchapter V Eligibility

Future liability on a lease was counted as a liquidated, noncontingent debt in calculating whether the Subchapter V debtor had more than $7.5 million in debt.

Bartenwerfer Doesn’t Apply if the Debtor Isn’t a Partner or Agent, Bankruptcy Judge Says

Bankruptcy Judge Klinette H. Kindred declined to expand Bartenwerfer by imputing fraud or larceny when the debtor wasn’t a partner or agent.

A Fourth Circuit Dissenter Opposes Mass-Tort Injunctions Protecting Non-Debtors

The Fourth Circuit majority upheld a preliminary injunction barring tort suits against a debtor’s nonbankrupt affiliates following a Texas divisional merger.
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‘13’ Debtors May Deduct their Actual Mortgage Expenses to Arrive at Disposable Income

The Fourth Circuit agreed with the Sixth and Ninth Circuits by allowing chapter 13 debtors to deduct their actual mortgage expenses, not limited by the local standard mortgage deduction.
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Bankruptcy Judges Agree: Later Developments Don’t Undo Subchapter V Eligibility

The $7.5 million debt cap for Subchapter V doesn’t include the debt of affiliates who file later.

Bifurcated Fee Arrangements Now Seem Impossible in South Carolina

Affirming the bankruptcy court, the district court found that bifurcated fees are excessive and that inadequate disclosures violated Sections 526 and 528.

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