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Opinions

Notice: Not all of the Judges Opinions will be made available on this site. Individual Judges have the option of specifying that all, some or none of their opinions be posted.

Judge Ben T. Barry

The court sustained a creditor's objection to confirmation of the debtor's amended plan because the debtor’s proposal to make a balloon payment did not satisfy the statutory requirement to make payments to the creditor in equal monthly amounts under § 1325(a)(5)(B).

In this order, the first of two in this case, the court denied the debtor's motion for contempt for violation of a discharge order against two loan servicing companies because the debtor did not prove by clear and convincing evidence the servicers had knowledge of debtor's discharge, the first of two elements required to be proven.

Considering all relevant facts and circumstances, including the debtor’s choice to only work part-time, the court found that debtor's ability to pay her student loan debt was entirely within her control. The court found the debt nondischargable under § 523(a)(8); the debtor had a budgetary surplus and agreed at trial that she could afford a payment of $30.00 a month, the current payment amount. The debtor has appealed the decision.

In this opinion, the court found that the creditor/plaintiff did not have an agricultural lien in the debtors’ 2015 Arkansas crop proceeds because the debtors did not use any products sold or delivered by plaintiff in 2015. The court also found that a separate defendant held only an unsecured claim in the debtors’ case because a statutory landlord lien on crop proceeds had expired prior to the debtors’ filing their petition.

The court sustained the trustee's objection to exemptions, finding that the debtor had only a remainder interest in the real property at issue and, therefore, could not claim a homestead exemption under Arkansas law.

The debtor asked the court to declare that the Contract for Deed between her and a homeowner was an equitable mortgage.  The court found that the contract was a contract that allowed the debtor to rent the property for one year while arranging alternative financing to purchase the property and that the sellers did not waive the forfeiture clause contained within the contract.  The debtor also wanted the court to find that the sellers had breached the contract even though the debtor has remained in the house for almost twelve years after entering into the contract, eleven of which she has been in a bankruptcy case.  The court denied all of the debtor’s requested relief.

In this opinion, the court resolved two legal issues: (1) whether a putative debtor is entitled to the protection of the automatic stay if it is later determined that such debtor was not eligible to be a debtor under § 109(h) and (2), if the stay does go into effect, should any action that is taken in violation of the stay be annulled after the Court determines that the debtor was not an eligible debtor under § 109(h).

Judge Phyllis M. Jones

Creditor’s participation in the case was insufficient to constitute an informal proof of claim. Objection to claim was sustained and claim was disallowed.

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.

Judge Richard D. Taylor

The provisions of a confirmed plan are binding on a creditor regardless of a contrary proof of claim when the confirmed plan provides for a specific treatment in derogation of the proof of claim.

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