2017 Judge Kaplan - Opinions

Judge Michael B. Kaplan -- Opinions signed in 2017

In re: Dots, LLC, Case No. 14-11016 - opinion dated 1/10/2017 – entered 1/11/2017>
Adv. Pro. No. 14-01818 (Dots v. Milberg Factors, Inc.)
Adv. Pro. No. 14-01826 (Dots v. Finance One)

Opinion Summary: Debtor Dots, LLC's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is Denied. A more complete record is needed for a determination as to Defendant Factors' ordinary business terms defense under 547(c)(2)(B). Defendant Factors provided new value to Debtor Dots in form of goods and, thus, are entitled to assert a new value affirmative defense under 547(c)(4).


In re: Keise, 16-22678 3/2/2017

Opinion Summary: Debtor’s Plan seeks to modify a lien on Debtor’s principal residence held by Homeowner’s Association. Homeowners Association objects to confirmation and asserts that its lien cannot be modified because it is protected under 11 U.S.C. § 1322(b)(2). The Court determines that there are two separate liens—one statutory and one consensual—which operate simultaneously to secure the Association’s single claim. Given that the claim is supported by two liens, the claim does not fall under the protections of section 1322(b)(2) and can be modified.

In re: Holzberg v. Canonico, Adv. Pro. No. 17-01211 Letter Opinion on 6/16/2017 (In re: Canonico, 16-34088)

Opinion Summary: The Court will grant Debtors’ motion seeking dismissal of the adversary complaint because it was filed minutes after the filing deadline expired. Plaintiffs were on notice of the filing deadline and cannot direct the Court to any reason for the late filing, other than attorney error. Because equitable tolling is only to be extended sparingly, and because the Court finds that the Plaintiffs were not diligent in preserving their claim, equitable tolling is not warranted. Plaintiffs’ Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.

In re: Zullo, case 17-11689 12/8/2017

Opinion Summary: At the time judgment liens were recorded against Debtor’s wife, the subject property was owned jointly by Debtor and his wife as tenants by the entireties. Shortly before the petition was filed, Debtor’s wife transferred her interest in the Property to Debtor for a consideration of one dollar. Debtor then sought to avoid the liens pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(f). The Court determines that because both judgment liens attached to the wife’s interest in the Property—and “fixed” for purposes of § 522(f)(1)—prior to the transfer which provided Debtor with the interest he now possesses, Debtor may not avoid the liens under the terms of § 522(f)(1).

In re: Trufolo, 17-18471 12/8/2017

Opinion Summary: Prior to filing his bankruptcy petition, Debtor held sole title to property and creditor obtained a judgment against Debtor. Debtor then transferred his interest in the Property for no consideration to his wife and children. Debtor then filed for bankruptcy and creditor seeks stay relief to enforce her lien and pursue execution sale. The Court determines that creditor’s judgment is not avoidable under either New Jersey law or any provision of the Bankruptcy Code; accordingly, stay relief is appropriate under 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(1).







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