4th Circuit

There’s Peril in Issuing a Report and Recommendation When It’s Not Necessary

Fourth Circuit opinion shows how abstention is a powerful tool that insulates an erroneous decision from appellate review.

A Lawsuit to Collect a ‘DSO’ Runs the Risk of Violating the Automatic Stay

Although collecting a ‘DSO’ from non-estate property is permitted by Section 362(b)(2)(B), a district judge says that an in personam suit against the debtor can violate the automatic stay.

‘13’ Debtors Need to Know Whether They Lose Appreciation When They Sell a Home

One of the biggest unanswered questions in chapter 13 sometimes forces debtors to keep homes they need to sell or strips away appreciation if they are forced to sell.

Another Court Won’t Permit a Structured Sale to Eradicate a Homestead Exemption

Subordinated lenders can’t take a ‘haircut,’ give a ‘tip’ to the trustee, sell a home and eradicate the debtor’s homestead exemption.

Although Interlocutory, Orders Refusing to Compel Arbitration Can Be Appealed

An appeal brewing in West Virginia may give the Fourth Circuit an opportunity to decide when or whether arbitration agreements are enforceable in bankruptcy.

Fourth Circuit Says an Insurer Has No Right to Negotiate an ‘Asbestos’ Plan

The Fourth Circuit wrote a scholarly (and dense) opinion differentiating among bankruptcy standing, bankruptcy appellate standing and constitutional standing.

Losing a Motion to Reopen a Case Can Be a Victory for the Debtor (Sometimes)

An act of Congress that waived sovereign immunity for Marines at Camp Lejeune meant that personal injury tort claims did not arise when the injury was sustained.

Stay Violator Held Liable for Debtor’s Attorneys’ Fees Incurred to Collect Damages

When a stay violator refused to reimburse debtor’s counsel for fees to stop the stay violation, Judge Rebecca Connelly awarded attorneys’ fees for time spent to collect attorneys’ fees.

Fourth and Third Circuits Give Priority to Obamacare’s Individual Mandate Penalty

The Fourth Circuit sides with the Third on the Affordable Care Act’s ‘individual mandate.’ Majority says it was a tax measured by income, thus giving the IRS a priority tax claim.

Bankruptcy Courts Disagree on Paying U.S. Trustee Fees by Liquidating Trusts

Adroitly drafting a chapter 11 plan may avoid having a liquidating trust pay quarterly fees to the U.S. Trustee.