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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

After reviewing the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the taxing entity finding that the debtor’s tax liability to the state is nondischargeable under § 523(a)(1)(B)(i). According to the code, a return must satisfy “the requirements of applicable nonbankruptcy law (including applicable filing requirements).” Because the timely filing of a return is a requirement under state law and the debtor filed each of the returns in question late, the court found that the debtor did not file a return for purposes of the bankruptcy code.

In this order, the second of two in this case, the court denied the debtor's Rule 59 motion to alter or amend the court's order denying the debtor’s motion for contempt. The court also found that the debtor appeared to raise a new legal theory to prove the first element required for a finding of contempt.

The court denied the trustee's motion for turnover of assets, finding that the debtor’s personal injury cause of action and the funds from settling that claim were not part of debtor's bankruptcy estate under § 348(f)(1) when her case converted to a chapter 7. The trustee did not allege that the conversion was in bad faith and the funds were no longer in the debtor’s possession when the case converted. The court also denied the trustee's objection to discharge, finding no fraud or other abuse by the debtor under § 727.

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.

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.

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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