Opinions/Orders for
Judge Phyllis M. Jones


Date Entered Last Name Description
8/28/2017 Tankersley Trustee's objection to exemptions sustained. Real property could not be exempted as a residence used by the Debtors under Section 522(d)(1) where Debtors did not live on the property, the dwelling on property was uninhabitable, and where Debtors were neither physically nor financially able to repair the house or prepare the property to accommodate a travel trailer. In addition, Debtor and Joint Debtor could not exempt personal property owned solely by the other spouse. However, Debtor was found to have an inchoate curtesy interest in real property owned by Joint Debtor and may amend his exemptions to include the present value of that interest.
5/23/2017 Turner Grain: Trustee Fee Based on the facts of this case, the Former Chapter 7 Trustee’s Application for Compensation calculated using the highest rates allowed by Section 326(a) is denied. Trustee compensation for the Former Trustee and Successor Trustee shall be calculated under Section 326(a) based on total distributions made in the case, but will be divided pro rata at the end of the case by dividing each trustee’s distributions by the total amount disbursed.
3/21/2017 Ivey Following Supreme Court precedent in Harris v. Viegelahn, upon conversion of a case from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, including conversion pre-confirmation, all undistributed funds on hand with the Chapter 13 Trustee paid from the Debtor’s postpetition wages must be returned to the Debtor. Motion for Allowance of Administrative Claim filed by former counsel for the Debtor after conversion was denied.
9/15/2016 Wallace Student loan debt incurred by Debtor to obtain two associate degrees determined to be an undue hardship and therefore dischargeable under Section 523(a)(8) where debtor was sixty-three years old, had been unable to maintain steady employment in the past, had been unsuccessful in obtaining new employment despite her numerous attempts, and where her reasonably reliable future financial resources consisted of only her social security benefits, which were insufficient to meet her meager monthly expenses.
8/17/2016 Wertz Objection to confirmation of chapter 13 debtor’s plan overruled. Although Debtor’s confirmed plan in a prior case valued creditor’s collateral at a higher amount than in the current case, where the prior case was dismissed before completion and without the Debtor receiving a discharge, and under the particular facts and circumstances of the current case, the Court found: (1) the Debtor’s current plan was proposed in good faith; (2) res judicata did not apply to the valuation given the collateral in the prior case; (3) the Debtor was not barred by the doctrines of equitable estoppel, judicial estoppel, or the doctrine of inconsistent positions from proposing a different valuation in the current case from the prior case; and (4) the Court would not use its powers under Section 105(a) of the Bankruptcy Code to deny confirmation.
4/20/2016 Hampton Debt owed to Bank determined dischargeable under Section 523(a)(2)(A). Although Debtor acquiesced in the use of a false address at the suggestion of his relative who owned a car dealership, Bank that provided financing for the purchase of a vehicle that the Debtor never received, failed to prove that Debtor intended to deceive Bank, that the Bank justifiably relied on any misrepresentation made by the Debtor, and that any misrepresentation made by the Debtor proximately caused the Bank damages.
4/19/2016 Richardson Debtor’s objections to proofs of claim filed by credit card creditors overruled where proofs of claim were prima facie evidence of the validity and amount of each claim, the creditors were not required to attach writings to their claims, and the claims were subject to the five-year statute of limitation period.
2/2/2016 Turner Grain: HNB Chapter 7 Trustee moved for summary judgment in action requesting turnover of funds held by Bank in bank account maintained by Debtor. The Trustee moved for summary judgment under Section 542(a) of the Bankruptcy Code; the Court, however, found that turnover was warranted under Section 542(b) because turnover was requested from a banking institution. Because Section 542(b) was not raised by the Trustee, the Court gave notice and a reasonable opportunity for the parties to respond before granting summary judgment in the Trustee’s favor pursuant to Rule 56(f)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
1/27/2016 Knight Court found that debtor voluntarily liquidated collateral, and, therefore, the creditor holding a security interest in the collateral was not required to comply with the provisions of Article 9 of the UCC governing notice requirements for a commercially reasonable sale. Debtors’ objections to creditor’s claims based on lack of commercially reasonable sale were overruled.
1/19/2016 Turner Grain: LTD Farms Granting Plaintiffs’ motion for severance of claims against non-debtor defendants and abstaining from and remanding severed claims to state court, where lawsuit originated prior to removal.
10/23/2015 Shorter Granting hardship discharge on motion filed on behalf of deceased debtor and authorized by deceased debtor’s surviving spouse, and finding deceased debtor should be exempt from completing the financial management course required by Section 1328(g) of the Bankruptcy Code.
10/21/2015 Welsh Pre-confirmation modifications of Chapter 13 plans must be noticed pursuant to both Rule 2002(a)(5) and Rule 2002(b)(2). Accordingly, all creditors must receive notice of a pre-confirmation plan modification.
10/2/2015 Yarbrough In ruling on creditors’ Third Motion for Relief from Stay, the Court determined the law of the case doctrine applied to prior orders of the Court denying the relief sought; however, changed circumstances existed to allow the Court to revisit the prior orders and grant creditors’ request for relief to pursue their state law remedies as to a note and mortgage, but the Court did not find changed circumstances sufficient to allow collection of a $400,000 judgment. A five acre tract of land was also abandoned from the bankruptcy estate.
9/4/2015 Turner Grain Abstaining from and remanding lawsuit to Lonoke County Circuit Court, where it originated prior to removal by debtor/defendant.
8/14/2015 Wells Relief from stay to pursue eviction proceedings against the Debtor is denied where, although the subject property was not property of the Debtor’s bankruptcy estate due to the completion pre-petition of a foreclosure action against the Debtor and property, the Debtor provided treatment for the creditor’s claim in its plan and the plan was confirmed without objection from the creditor. The Debtor may continue to reside on the property not as owner, but as lessee.
3/27/2015 Roussell Upon remand from the District Court to determine dischargeability of attorneys' fees and costs awarded to two plaintiffs in a state court judgment against the debtor, the Court found that the fees incurred to prove the underlying fiduciary fraud were fully nondischargeable as to one plaintiff but only partially nondischargeable as to the other, who also prevailed in a second, dischargeable cause of action.