Monday, October 03, 2011

Supreme Court Preview: No Blockbusters Scheduled Yet

Today is the first Tuesday in October which marks the start of the Supreme Court's October Term 2011. So far the Court has granted cert in forty-eight cases, only one of which involves bankruptcy. There are a few interesting petitions pending but no bombshells like last term's Stern v. Marshall.

Cert Granted:

No. 10-875, Hall v. United States. This case concerns whether post-petition capital gains in a chapter 12 case constitute a claim against the estate. The case arises because chapter 7 and chapter 11 cases give rise to a separate taxable estate while chapter 12 and chapter 13 cases do not. The Ninth Circuit found that because a chapter 12 estate is not a taxable entity, it could not "incur" a tax. Because the estate did not incur the tax, the tax could not be treated under the debtor's plan. The Ninth Circuit position conflicts with opinions from the Eighth Circuit and the Tenth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.

You can read the docket here.

Petitions Pending:

No. 11-166, RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC v. Amalgamated Bank. This case raises the Philadelphia Newspapers issue of whether a plan can propose a sale of property without allowing the lender to credit bid. The Seventh Circuit ruled that it could not. The Third Circuit has allowed a sale without credit bidding as the "indubitable equivalent" of the creditor's claim.

You can read the docket here.

No. 10-1285, Countrywide Mortgages v. Rodriquez. This case has to do with the troublesome issue of how to calculate escrow payments on a mortgage claim in chapter 13. The Third Circuit held that, notwithstanding RESPA, the lender could not factor pre-petition escrow shortgages into the debtor's post-petition payment. The Fifth Circuit has ruled consistently with the Third Circuit.

You can read the docket here.

Cert Denied:

No. 10-1443, AmeriCredit Financial Services v. Penrod. This case involved whether a creditor who financed negative equity still had a purchase money security interest under the hanging paragraph of Section 1325(a). The Ninth Circuit said that it did not, while the other eight circuits to consider the issue ruled in favor of the purchase money status. The Supreme Court denied cert today. This means that the circuit split is not resolved.

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