Articles Posted in Bankruptcy

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In 2008, Richard and Suzan Collins were divorced. In 2009, the court issued an amended judgment that contained an order of enforcement. In 2014, the court held Richard in contempt for failing to comply with the payment obligations created by the 2009 order. Two months after the court issued the contempt order, Richard filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Later that year, the Bankruptcy Court issued a discharge in bankruptcy. Suzan then filed a request for a show cause hearing, asserting that Richard had not made the payments required by the 2014 contempt order. Richard moved to dismiss Suzan’s request for the show cause hearing on the grounds that, aside from his child support debt, all of his financial obligations had been discharged in the bankruptcy action. After a show cause hearing, the district court denied Richard’s motion to dismiss and confirmed his payment obligations as ordered in the contempt order. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that Richard’s obligations under the divorce judgment were statutorily insulated from a post-judgment bankruptcy discharge, and Richard remained liable to Suzan and for payments to a third-party creditor. Therefore, the district court did not err by enforcing the contempt order that pre-dated the bankruptcy discharge. View "Collins v. Collins" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy, Family Law

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In 2012, Plaintiff, a church located in Portland, filed a complaint seeking a state court judgment based on a bankruptcy court judgment that it obtained in 1985, under a former name, against Defendant. During the pendency of the state court action, Plaintiff also moved for a writ of execution on the original bankruptcy judgment. Defendant counterclaimed against Plaintiff and its pastor. The district court issued an order directing the issuance of a writ and then granted judgment on the pleadings in favor of Plaintiff on both its complaint and Defendant’s counterclaim. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the execution order and the judgment, holding (1) the district court correctly denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint seeking a judgment on the bankruptcy court judgment; but (2) the district court erred by ordering that an execution issue, granting judgment on the pleadings, and dismissing Defendant’s claims against Plaintiff’s pastor. View "Faith Temple v. DiPietro" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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In this bankruptcy case, Bank of America obtained a junior foreclosure judgment and received the Debtor’s equity of redemption for a senior mortgage. Bank of America did not sell this interest within the specified time period, nor did it appear in the senior foreclosure to assert its interest in redeeming the senior mortgage within the redemption period. Peoples United Bank, the holder of the senior mortgage, then filed a foreclosure complaint. Bank of America and the Debtor failed to appear in the action and were defaulted. Thereafter, Peoples United was granted a foreclosure judgment. Bank of America was not named as a distributee in the resulting judgment. Bank of America subsequently purchased Peoples United’s interest in the Debtor’s senior mortgage debt, and Peoples United postponed the foreclosure sale. Bank of America successfully moved to substitute itself in place of Peoples United as the plaintiff in the senior foreclosure. The Trustee then moved to sell the premises free of liens, interests, and encumbrances. Bank of America objected. The bankruptcy court entered judgment in favor of Bank of America. The federal district court disagreed with the bankruptcy court and certified an unsettled state law question to the Maine Supreme Court. The Court answered that Bank of America, who failed to appear in the senior foreclosure and was not named as a distributee in the resulting judgment, did not have any rights to the excess proceeds from that foreclosure sale. View "Bankruptcy Estate of Everest v. Bank of Am., N.A." on Justia Law

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In 2008, the Public Utilities Commission approved a merger between FairPoint Communications-NNE (FairPoint) and Verizon Maine (Verizon). The merger order committed FairPoint to expanding DSL availability in Maine to certain percentages within certain periods of time. The merger order incorporated an amended stipulation presented by FairPoint and other parties. Approximately twenty months later, FairPoint filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Commission agreed to reduce FairPoint's ultimate broadband buildout obligations from ninety percent addressability to eighty-seven percent. Fairpoint subsequently notified the Commission that it had expanded broadband buildout to the level of eighty-three percent. The Commission disagreed, concluding that FairPoint had used the wrong measure of addressability and therefore overstated its results. At issue on appeal was how "addressability" would be measured when calculating FairPoint's broadband buildout commitments in Maine. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the merger order was an order of the Commission and not a consent decree, and therefore, the Commission did not err by failing to interpret the merger order in a manner consistent with the intent and understanding of the parties to the stipulation; and (2) the Commission did not err in its definition of "addressability." View "N. New England Tel. Operations LLC v. Pub. Utils. Comm'n" on Justia Law