Articles Posted in Bankruptcy

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Almost three years after her involvement in a motor vehicle accident with Petitioner, Respondent brought a personal injury action against Petitioner and his employer (together, Petitioners). Between the time of the accident and the filing of this action, Respondent filed personal bankruptcy and was discharged from her debts. By operation of bankruptcy law, Respondent’s claim became the property of her bankruptcy estate. Issues regarding the claim were litigated in both the circuit court and the bankruptcy court. Eventually, the bankruptcy court granted Respondent’s request to re-open and re-vested her with the claim as of the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Meanwhile, the circuit court awarded summary judgment to Petitioners, ruling that Respondent lacked standing. The court of special appeals reversed, concluding that, because of the bankruptcy court’s ruling, Respondent was an appropriate plaintiff on a timely-filed complaint. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) summary judgment was inappropriate where the circuit court failed to take into account the legal effect of the bankruptcy court’s decision to re-vest Respondent with her claim against Petitioners; and (2) as a result of the bankruptcy court’s decision, Respondent had standing to prosecute the complaint. View "Morton v. Schlotzhauer" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy, Injury Law

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After Petitioner sold certain properties, he used the proceeds to purchase fractional interests in commercial office buildings. The fractional interests were called Tenants in Common Interests (TICs), and each of the TICs was promoted by a company called DBSI, Inc. DBSI later filed a petition for bankruptcy, and the properties underlying Petitioner's TICs became the subject of foreclosure proceedings. The bankruptcy court determined that many of DBSI's transactions were fraudulent. Petitioner filed a complaint against Cassidy Turley Maryland (Defendant), under whose advice Petitioner acted in purchasing the TICs, alleging that Defendant failed to disclose material facts regarding the investment. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Defendant. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) Petitioner's investment in this case was a "security" for purposes of the Maryland Securities Act; (2) the circuit court erred in determining that Petitioner's claims under the Act relating to fraud and misrepresentation by Defendant were barred by limitations; (3) the court erred in concluding that Petitioner's common law tort claims were time-barred as a matter of law; and (4) the court did not err in deciding to reserve judgment on the admissibility of a bankruptcy examiner's report until it had further information. View "Mathews v. Cassidy Turley Md., Inc." on Justia Law

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In this action, secured parties, as creditors in bankruptcy proceedings and appellees here, attempted in separate cases before the bankruptcy court to execute on four deeds of trust whose affidavits of considerations were missing or improper. Appellants, four trustees in bankruptcy, argued that those defects rendered the deeds of trust invalid such that the trustees possessed the properties free and clear of the creditor's interests. The creditors countered that Md. Code Ann. Real Prop. 4-109 cured the defects at issue. The Court of Appeals accepted certified questions regarding the statute and answered them in the affirmative, holding that Section 4-109 is unambiguous, and pursuant to the plain language of the statute and as confirmed by legislative history, cures the type of defects identified by the trustees, including missing or improper affidavits or acknowledgments, unless a timely judicial challenge is mounted. View "Guttman v. Wells Fargo Bank" on Justia Law

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Debtor Maureen Roberson filed a petition under Chapter 13 of Title 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, alleging that Ford Motor Credit Company wrongfully repossessed her car in the wake of her prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy charge and seeking to recover damages from Ford. During the proceedings, Ford filed a motion for summary judgment. Before the court could rule on the motion, Roberson filed a motion seeking certification of the question of whether a secured creditor is permitted under Maryland law to repossess in a car in which it maintains a security interest when the debtor has filed a bankruptcy petition and has failed to reaffirm the indebtedness, but has otherwise made timely payments before, during, and after bankruptcy proceedings. The Bankruptcy Court granted the motion. The Supreme Court answered the certified question in the positive because the parties agreed that Ford elected Section 12-1023(b) of the Credit Grantor Closed End Credit Provisions, Commercial Law Article, Maryland Code, to govern the retail installment contract in the present case. View "Ford Motor Credit Co., L.L.C. v. Roberson" on Justia Law