New Judge Appointed

Appeals Court Names Erie Lawyer as Newest Bankruptcy JudgeJohn C. Melaragno has been named the new judge for the Erie Division of U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

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October 20, 2019
By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired) Claimant in proof of claim lacking prima facie validity was sanctioned. The proof of claim secured by the debtor’s residence failed to satisfy Rule 3001(c)(2)(C) requirements, including incomplete Form B 410A with no payment history. The claimant’s attempt to amend the claim on the eve of the contested objection to claim would defeat...
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March 21, 2021
By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired) For modification purposes, best interests test remains at petition date. In an examination of post-confirmation sale of the debtor’s home that yielded excess of homestead exemption, the Court concluded that the best-interests of creditors’ calculation was performed as of the petition date, rather than time of modification. Section 1329 does not provide a...
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Copy of Hildebrand-2016
August 14, 2022
Where a stipulation of a settlement of an objection to confirmation provided that a creditor’s claim would be “excepted from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6)”, the stipulation would not prevent the discharge of the claim based upon a breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with business relations, unfair competition, defamation, and conversion which resulted in a state jury...
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April 5, 2020
By Robert (Bob) Schuman, Owner/Managing Broker, Network Financial Group Is it 2008 again? For us in the mortgage industry, we woke up this week feeling as if during the night, we were transported back to 2008 when the mortgage industry basically collapsed. Then, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHA were the exceptions. As of March 25, 2020, like everything...
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September 18, 2022
Appendix A 1994 Revised Text of 11 U.S.C. § 330(a), with 2005's Minor Changes Highlighted(1994 version highlighted to show additions and deletions in 2005) (a)(1) After notice to the parties in interest and the United States Trustee and a hearing, and subject to sections 326, 328, and 329, the court may award to a trustee, a consumer privacy ombudsman appointed...
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June 13, 2021
By Kara L. West, CPA, Chapter 12/13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of Tennessee (Chattanooga); Successor Trustee to C. Kenneth Still C. Kenneth Still was a legend. “Always with Barbara at this side, he epitomized qualities I think we all seek—honesty, diligence, kindness, and patience. He was a great mentor and a quick wit, and I miss him already....
March 31, 2019
By Wm. Houston Brown, United States Bankruptcy Judge (Retired) Debtor’s Attorney - Chapter 13 debtors not required to seek approval to employ special counsel. The Chapter 13 debtors moved to employ special counsel for representation in state-court litigation, but § 327(e) did not apply to Chapter 13 debtors when no request was being made to pay the special counsel from...
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March 7, 2021
By Chris Hawkins, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP (Birmingham, AL) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its debt collection final rule in the Federal Register on November 30, 2020, revamping the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) for the first time since its enactment in 1977. Despite written comments submitted by several industry groups requesting clarity in areas where...
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June 23, 2019
Nearly 2 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) are set to expire at the end of 2019 as the IRS continues to urge affected taxpayers to submit their renewal applications early to avoid refund delays next year. “We urge taxpayers with expiring ITINs to take action and renew the number as soon as possible. Renewing before the end of the...
June 16, 2019
By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN) Introduction – The Taggart Ruling Last year, the Ninth Circuit in In re Taggart1 ruled that an act in violation of the discharge injunction did not empower a court to find a creditor in contempt, if the creditor believed in good faith that the discharge injunction did not apply—even if...
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