The following are summaries of the January opinions posted on the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court’s website.
Damas et al. v. U.S. (In re Damas et al.), Adv. P. No. 12-1331-FJB (January 6, 2014).
Chapter 7 debtors James Damas and Maria Kolettis brought a complaint to recover three setoffs of SSDI benefits owed to Damas by the Social Security Administration under 11 U.S.C. §§ 553(b) and 547(b), a total of $1,790. The United States, on behalf of the Social Security Administration, opposed the complaint. The parties submitted cross motions for summary judgment.
In early January of 2011, the SSA determined that Damas had been receiving greater SSDI payments than he was entitled to by a total of $21,748. As a result, Damas was indebted to the SSA for the repayment of this amount. In order to recover this total, the SSA withheld $605 from the Damas’s monthly SSDI benefits. 90 days prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition, Damas still owed $13,278 to the SSA from his overpayment. Over the next 90 days, the SSA made three payments of $1,185 to Damas, which equals Damas’s regular SSDI payment, minus the $605 being withheld for repayment to the SSA.
At issue was whether there was a decrease in insufficiency as a matter of law, enabling the debtor to recover the insufficiency related to the setoff under §553(b). In order to calculate the insufficiency, the court first noted the amount by which the claim of the creditor exceeded the debt owed to the debtor on the date of the setoff. Next, the court calculated the same figure but in relation to the 90th day prior to the bankruptcy filing. If the former figure is less than the latter, then there is a decrease in insufficiency, and the creditor is obligated to return the difference to the debtor. If there is not a decrease, then there is no recovery to be had for the debtor.
The opinion provides a chart showing that the insufficiency actually increased by a total of $1,185 per month. Because of this, there was not a decrease in insufficiency and §553(b) offers no relief to the debtor.
The plaintiffs also argued that the $1,790 may be avoided as a transfer under §547(b). However, the court rejected this argument by citing to cases that have held that setoffs are specifically excluded from the definition of “transfer,” and therefore are not avoidable under 547(b).
Chen et al. v. Huang (In re Huang), Adv. P. No. 12-01265-HJB (January 7, 2014).
The debtor filed a petition under Chapter 13 (Case No. 11-10416). On the schedules filed with the petition, the debtor disclosed her ownership of “Millennium Day Care Center” (“Millennium”), a debtor in a pending Chapter 11 case. Both the debtor’s Chapter 13 case and the Millenniun Chapter 11 case have been converted to Chapter 7 cases. In Millennium’s Chapter 7 case, employees (the “Creditor Employees”) of Millennium brought administrative claims for asserted wage claims accrued during the Chapter 11 case. The same Creditor Employees, and the plaintiffs in this adversary proceeding, also maintain that the debtor is individually liable for the unpaid wages under the Massachusetts Wage Act. The Creditor Employees filed a complaint against the debtor, objecting to the dischargeability of their wage claims under Section 523(a) on grounds that the debtor fraudulently induced them to work for Millennium postpetition, and then failed to pay their wages despite having the financial means to do so. The debtor filed an answer denying personal liability under the Massachusetts Wage Act for any unpaid wages.
Through a summary judgment motion, the Creditor Employees sought a determination that the court has subject matter jurisdiction to determine not only the dischargeability of the Massachusetts Wage Act claims against the debtor, but also to liquidate the amount of those claims and enter judgment accordingly. Acknowledging the jurisdictional split, the Creditor Employees urged the court to adopt the majority position and hold that it does possess the jurisdiction to liquidate a debt in the context of an adversary proceeding challenging the dischargeability of that debt. The debtor opposed, arguing that the court does not have subject matter jurisdiction to enter a money judgment in connection with a nondischargeability proceeding. The debtor asked the court to follow the reasoning in Cambio v. Mattera (In re Cambio), 353 B.R. 30 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. 2004), contending that, in the context of a dischargeability proceeding, the bankruptcy court has jurisdiction only to decide the discrete issue of dischargeability, and not to determine the totality of the claims, counterclaims, and defenses that could be asserted under nonbankruptcy law.
After conducting a thorough analysis of the jurisdictional split and specifying disagreements with the Cambio analysis, the court held “that a determination of the amount of a claim deemed not discharged, … is an essential element of the dischargeability proceeding – a core proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 157(b)(2)(I) and one that fundamentally alters and affects the substantive right to a discharge provided by the Bankruptcy Code.” Accordingly, among other rulings, the court ruled that the determination of the amount of the debts, as well as the debtor’s liability therefor, which underlie the Creditor Employees’ nondischargeability complaint, constitute core matters over which the court has subject matter jurisdiction.
In re Feliberty, Case No. 12-31819-HJB (January 13, 2014).
In this Chapter 7 case, the trustee asked the court to order the debtor, Yarmyn Feliberty, to turn over a portion of the proceeds she received from the prepetition settlement of a personal injury action (the “Settlement,” “Settlement Proceeds”). Because the trustee’s entitlement to the proceeds in this instance derived from his position as a lienholder pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 551, the question before the court was whether, and to what extent, the holders of the liens avoided by the trustee had a secured interest in the proceeds.
The debtor filed for Chapter 7 relief on December 13, 2012 and on the schedules indicated that two entities held liens against the proceeds of the Settlement as a result of their provision of medical services in connection with the injury (“Medical Liens,” “Medical Lienholders”). Debtor indicated on her statement of intention that she wished to avoid the liens by employing 11 U.S.C. §522(f). On April 11, 2013, the trustee filed an adversary proceeding against both Medical Lienholders and the debtor, alleging the Medical Lienholders attempt to assert liens in the Settlement Proceeds was statutorily deficient, therefore, the trustee sought a judgment avoiding the Medical Liens pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §544, but preserving them for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §551. As to the debtor, the trustee sought a judgment subordinating her exemptions in the Settlement Proceeds to the avoided liens. Neither the Medical Lienholders nor the debtor filed an answer in the adversary proceeding and a default judgment was entered as to all defendants.
On July 19, 2013, the trustee filed the Turnover Motion arguing that Settlement Proceeds previously paid to the debtor (largely prepetition) should not have been disbursed to the debtor, as it was subject to priority to the Medical Liens. According to the trustee, since pursuant to the default judgment those liens have been avoided and preserved for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate, the debtor is obliged to disgorge those amounts to the trustee. Furthermore, if the debtor failed to turn over the prepetition payments, her attorney, should be surcharged for the requested amount, since Massachusetts law imposes such liability on a person with knowledge of a medical lien who nonetheless transfers settlement proceeds to an entity other than a lienholder. Debtor objected to the motion on the grounds that the Medical Liens were never valid as to the debtor or the Settlement Proceeds, because the Medical Lienholders did not comply with the requisite statutory requirement. Moreover, neither she nor her attorney is required to disgorge the prepetition payments, because there were never any valid liens that could be preserved.
In denying the trustee’s Turnover Motion, the court concluded that neither Medical Lienholder complied with the statutory requirements for establishing a lien prescribed under §70B of the Massachusetts Medical Lien Statute, therefore, under Massachusetts law, the Medical Liens are invalid. The court highlighted the fact that the Massachusetts Medical Lien Statute does not contain separate requirements for the creation and perfection of a medical lien. The act required by the statute to effectively create and perfect a statutory Medical Lien is the sending of a written notice that complies with §70B (providing that a lien for medical services shall take effect if the requisite notice is sent prior to judgment, settlement, or compromise). Because the notices of the lien sent by the Medical Lienholders did not comply with §70B, no lien under §70A was ever created to attach to the Settlement Proceeds. Accordingly, the Default Judgment entered in the Adversary proceeding does not entitle the trustee to a turnover of funds received by the debtor prepetition, since the liens preserved for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate never existed.
In re Collymore, Case No. 11-15380-FJB (January 15, 2014).
The trustee objected to the debtor’s claim of homestead exemption. The debtor’s mother (“Mother”), who owned real property in fee simple, conveyed title to the debtor and reserved a life estate, but did not expressly reserve the homestead estate. The Massachusetts homestead statute protects both the original declarant and the declarant’s family members who have an interest in the property. Because the Mother transferred the remainder interest in the property to the debtor without reserving the homestead estate, the court ruled that the debtor’s estate of homestead had lapsed.
In reaching this decision, the court looked to M.G.L ch. 188 § 7 and completed a statutory construction analysis on the word ‘may’. The statute declares that an estate of homestead may be terminated during the lifetime of the owner by one of two methods. The first method is by conveying a deed which does not specifically reserve the previously recorded estate of homestead, and the second method is through a properly executed release of homestead. The trustee argued that the estate of homestead was terminated by the first method, and the court agreed.
The court ruled that the statute is plain and unambiguous. The absence of a specific reservation of homestead in this case is dispositive; a conveyance that does not expressly reserve the estate of homestead terminates it. The debtor’s argument that the Mother’s intent must be taken into account in deciding whether the homestead was terminated is without basis. The debtor’s proposed interpretation is inconsistent with both the statute of frauds and the recording system in the Commonwealth. For these reasons, the court sustained the trustee’s objection.
Desmond v. Green (In re Harborhouse of Gloucester, LLC), Adv. P. No. 11-1351- HJB (January 15, 2014).
Harborhouse of Gloucester (the “Debtor”) acquired certain real property in Beverly (the “Property”) in August 2004. The Property was acquired subject to a mortgage and security agreement (the “Mortgage”) executed by the seller in favor of one Phillip J. Hansbury to secure seller’s obligations under a promissory note (the “Note”) in the amount of $360,000. Hansbury lost the original Note, but purported to assign it and the Mortgage to Connect Plus International Corporation (“CPIC”) with an affidavit stating, inter alia, that Hansbury was the holder of the Note but it had been lost. CPIC then purported to assign the Note and Mortgage to Raymond Green (“Green”), the defendant in this case.
In Chapter 7, the trustee sold the Property free and clear and brought this adversary proceeding to object to the validity, extent, and priority of Green’s secured claim. The Trustee argued that Green has no enforceable secured claim against the Property because he did not possess the Note at the time of its loss. Since he could not enforce the Note, the trustee concluded, Green could not enforce the Mortgage and had no secured claim.
Mass Gen. Laws ch. 106 § 3-301 provides that a person may enforce an instrument if that person is (i) the holder of the instrument, (ii) a nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder, or (iii) a person not in possession of the instrument who is entitled to enforce the instrument pursuant to section 3-309. Section 3-309 permits a person to enforce a lost instrument if, inter alia, the person was in possession of the instrument when loss of possession occurred. The drafters of the Uniform Commercial Code have amended § 3-309 to provide that nonholders may enforce lost notes if they have acquired ownership, directly or indirectly, from a person who was entitled to enforce the note when loss of possession occurred. Massachusetts, however, has not adopted that amendment. The Court noted that “[a]ctual possession at the time of loss . . . provides an objective method to determine a party’s right to enforce a negotiable instrument and provides a reliable means to determine the parties’ rights. By setting an actual possession requirement, parties on both sides have a clear and established standard.” The court held that because the Note was lost prior to the purported transfer to Green, Green could not enforce the Note.
While an inability to enforce the Note did render Green unable to enforce the Mortgage, the Mortgage still exists, and now constitutes a security interest in the proceeds. Since Green did possess a valid legal interest in the Mortgage, he is entitled to receive some or all of the proceeds to which that secured claim attaches. “He must hold any such proceeds, however, in trust for the true holder of the Note – who is quite possibly no one other than Hansbury.” The court denied Green’s request, presumably set forth in his summary judgment motion, for leave to substitute or join Hansbury as a proper and indispensible party to the action. The court noted that this request is more properly made by way of a separate motion, which motion should explain the basis for the court’s subject matter jurisdiction over any dispute between Green and Hansbury.
In re McGuire, Case No. 13-14412-WCH (January 15, 2014).
Prepetition, the debtor and his wife acquired real property on Airline Road in Dennis, Massachusetts (the “Airline Road Property”) as joint tenants. The debtor and his wife subsequently sold the Airline Road Property. The debtor’s wife then acquired a new property on Main Street in Dennis (the “Main Street Property”), using both her and the debtor’s proceeds from the Airline Road Property sale. The debtor’s wife recorded a declaration of homestead with respect to the Main Street Property pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 188 § 1.
The debtor filed a voluntary Chapter 7 on July 24, 2013 and listed on Schedule A an “equitable homestead as spouse of title holder” in the Main Street Property. He claimed the “equitable homestead interest” as exempt on Schedule C. The trustee objected to the claim of exemption, arguing that the homestead right is not property of the estate and therefore may not be claimed as exempt. The court cited to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 235 § 34(14) which recognizes a debtor’s right to exempt from seizure “[e]states of homestead as defined in chapter 188.” Chapter 188 § 3 provides that “[a] homestead declaration shall benefit each owner making the declaration and that owner’s family members who occupy . . . the home as their principal residence.” Based on the statutory scheme, the court held that “it is abundantly clear that the debtor, as the spouse of the declaring owner, has the defined ‘homestead rights’ of a non-titled family member.” The court further held that, however limited, the homestead rights constitute and equitable interest of the debtor and thus are property of the estate. The trustee’s objection was therefore overruled.
In re Noonan, Case No. 13-15420-WCH (January 15, 2014).
The joint debtors in this case filed a motion to avoid a judicial lien on their principal residence pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 522(f) to the extent it impairs their homestead exemption. The creditor opposed, claiming that the debtors are not entitled to the exemption because they acquired it by fraud and deceit. Two years prior to the filing of the debtors’ petition, the creditor sought a real estate attachment in the Orleans District Court on the debtors’ property. The debtors requested a continuance of the hearing, which was granted and scheduled three weeks later. Three days later however, the debtors recorded the Declaration of Homestead (“Declaration”). The creditor argues that but for the continuance, she would have had a preexisting lien which, under Massachusetts law, would not have been affected by the debtors’ homestead. The court disagreed.
On Schedule A of their bankruptcy petition, debtors listed their property at $225,272. If the Declaration was filed properly, the debtors are entitled to a $500,000 exemption which would fully cover the property. If the Declaration was not filed properly, debtors are only entitled to an “automatic homestead exemption” in the amount of $125,000.
The creditor asserts that due to their alleged fraud and deceit, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(o), the debtors are not entitled to a declared homestead exemption. This provision was enacted as part of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 to limit the value of a debtor’s homestead exemption in circumstances where fraud can be shown. To apply this provision, the challenging party must establish four elements. First, the objecting party must show that the debtor disposed of property within 10 years preceding the bankruptcy filing. The analysis stopped here. The debtors did not dispose, or transfer in any way, any property within ten years of filing bankruptcy. The court ruled that a designation of property as one’s homestead is not considered a transfer of property as required by § 522(o).
Once the court determined that the homestead exemption was properly filed, the court ruled that the debtors may avoid the creditor’s lien after following the formula set forth in 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(2)(A). The debtors’ motion was granted.
Faria v. Silva (In re Silva), Adv. P. No. 12-1274-WCH (January 21, 2014).
Plaintiff, Marta Faria filed a complaint against debtor, Walmar Adriano Silva through which she sought a determination that the debt, which the debtor owed her, was excepted from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§523(a)(2)(A), (a)(4), and/or (a)(6). The Plaintiff argued that during the course of her employment for the debtor he fraudulently induced her to loan him money and intentionally failed to pay her wages.
Plaintiff alleged that while she was an employee of debtor’s company, he fraudulently solicited two loans (“May Loan” and “August Loan”) from her by falsely stating that he would pay her back. The Plaintiff, who is a native of Brazil, asserted that her reliance on the debtor’s promises to repay was justifiable given her lack of education, her gratitude to the debtor for rehiring her after having previously worked for him, and the fact that when the debtor solicited the August Loan she had not yet suffered any damages from the May Loan.
The court concluded the plaintiff successfully established the elements required in order to except debt from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C §523(a)(2)(A) with regards to the May Loan, but found the falsity of the debtor’s promise to repay the August Loan should have been evident to the plaintiff and therefore held the resulting August Loan debt should not be excepted from discharge pursuant to §523(a)(2)(A).
Plaintiff alleged debtor committed larceny by emotionally coercing her into signing over to him a check properly payable to her. Plaintiff claims debtor’s dire financial circumstances at the time of the transaction evidence his intent to permanently retain the check rather than pay it back
Despite plaintiff’s argument that her consent in signing over the check to debtor was negated by the debtor’s fraudulent promise of repayment, the court found that the plaintiff voluntarily signed the check and gave it to the debtor, therefore, prohibiting her from using the common law theory of larceny by fraud or trick to prevail under §523(a)(4).
Lastly, plaintiff claimed debtor’s failure to pay her wages from April 2007 to August 2007 was a willful and malicious injury pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(6). She argued that the frequency of the missed payments and the debtor’s failure to pay other employees prove his conduct was intentional.
The court found plaintiff’s outstanding wages for April 2007 and May 2007 were rolled into the May Loan, which was already found to be nondischargeable (See Count I). The court went on to find that the record indicated that debtor’s company, Boston Office Cleaning’s, Capital Cleaning, paid the plaintiff’s wages for July and the beginning of August. As such, the plaintiff did not suffer any injury from the debtor’s failure to pay for those months, and the first element of the §523(a)(6) test was not met. Thus, the only remaining issue was the debtor’s failure to pay the plaintiff for the month of June 2007.
The court looked to Judge Feeney’s discussion in, In re Ruhland, regarding the applicability of §523(a)(6) in determining whether debtor’s failure to pay plaintiff in June 2007 was willful. In, Ruhland, the court concluded that the debtor’s failure to pay the plaintiff was willful and took into account the debtor’s history of wage violations, the debtor’s fraudulent promises to the pay the plaintiff the wages he had missed, and the use of business revenue for personal expenses. Similarly, in this case, the number of other employees that brought wage claims against the debtor and debtor’s admission that he paid employees with checks that had insufficient funds indicate that the debtor’s failure to pay his employees extended beyond his missed payments to plaintiff. Furthermore, by June 2007, debtor’s business accounts were rapidly diminishing and debtor had already failed to pay the plaintiff for part of April and all of May. The court also found that debtor’s conduct was without just cause or excuse. The evidence presented to the court indicated that the debtor unjustifiably used company funds for his own expenses rather than paying his employees. Accordingly, the court held that to the extent the plaintiff’s debt arose from the nonpayment of her June 2007 wages, it is excepted from discharge pursuant to §523(a)(6).
In re Giannasca, Case No. 11-19499-FJB (January 22, 2014).
The matter before the court was the chapter 7 debtor’s motion to seek a determination that three liens on his real property were unsecured. The three liens at issue included one junior mortgage by one creditor, and two judgment liens by a different creditor. The court denied the motion for several reasons.
At the hearing, it became clear that the debtor wasn’t solely seeking a determination of the status of the liens pursuant to 11 U.S.C § 506(a), but was also seeking to avoid these liens pursuant to § 522(f). Not only did the motion fail to cite the correct statute for avoidance of a lien, but it also failed to articulate any demand for relief. Regardless of which type of relief was being requested, the court determined that this is a matter to be resolved in an adversary proceeding, which requires a complaint and service thereof with a summons on the holders of the liens. One creditor did not appear at the hearing, and there was no indication that the creditor was served at all. For these reasons, the court denied the debtor’s motion.
It should be noted that the Court believes there is an important issue of first impression in this Circuit that needs attention: whether § 506(d) permits a chapter 7 debtor to strip off a lien securing a wholly unsecured claim.
Ablavsky v. United States Dept. of Education and Western New England University (In re Ablavsky), Adv. P. No. 12-01267-JNF (January 23, 2014).
The Chapter 7 debtor (Case No. 12-18176) brought a complaint against the United States Department of Education (“US DOE”) and Western New England University (“WNEU”), seeking a discharge of his outstanding student loan obligations to them, totaling $82,893.57, pursuant to “undue hardship” under Section 523(a)(8). The debtor asserted that the repayment of the student loans would impose an undue hardship on him because he suffers from severe mental illnesses that prevent him from obtaining meaningful employment, now or in the future. After a review of the stipulated facts and evidence presented, including the expert testimony of a psychiatrist, the court concluded that the debtor is substantially impaired by mental illness and cognitive defects and is and will be incapable of repaying the student loans. Contrary to the US DOE’s contention that discharge would reward the debtor for bad or criminal behavior, the court was convinced that the debtor’s criminal behavior was caused by his mental illnesses. Accordingly, under either the Totality of the Circumstances or the Brunner test, the court ruled that the debtor demonstrated by a preponderance of evidence that excepting his student loans to both the US DOE and WNEU would impose on him an undue hardship under Section 523(a)(8). The court entered judgment in favor of the debtor and against the US DOE and WNEU.
In re Garajau, Case No. 10-18478-FJB (January 23, 2014).
In this Chapter 13 case, the chapter 13 trustee sought an order modifying the debtor’s confirmed plan. The trustee alleged that an increase in the value of the debtor’s real property, as a result of the post-confirmation settlement of a state court action involving a right of way that serviced the property, has led to new equity and that the resulting funds that must be distributed to general unsecured creditors. The debtor opposed the motion.
Nine months after confirmation of the debtor’s 36 month plan, the debtor entered into a settlement regarding a state court action in regards to a right of way on the debtor’s real property. This settlement was approved by the bankruptcy court the following week, resulting in the execution of an appurtenant covenant on the right-of-way in question, running with the land forever, ensuring a passageway to the real property and allowing ingress, egress and the parking of vehicles on the property. After the settlement, the trustee requested a new appraisal for the property. This appraisal showed a value of $359,000, which was significantly higher than the $275,913 value listed on the debtor’s initial filing, and provided significant equity in relation to the $281,362 owed on the property.
After the debtor did not move to modify the plan as a result of the new equity in the property, the trustee sought to have the case dismissed. This motion was denied, with the court holding that the Bankruptcy Code does not require a debtor to modify a confirmed chapter 13 plan for any reason. The court also noted that the chapter 13 trustee may herself move to modify a confirmed plan if she believes it should be modified. Accordingly, the chapter 13 trustee filed a motion to modify the confirmed plan, seeking to increase the amount paid to general unsecured creditors from $946 to $76,600 to account for the new equity.
The court denied the chapter 13 trustee’s motion to modify the plan. Citing to § 1322(a), a requirement and necessary condition of confirmation, the court points out that all funds being paid into a plan must be sufficient to both execute the plan, and fund its distributions. However, the chapter 13 trustee’s proposed increase in distributions is not matched by an increase in funding, rendering such a modification infeasible. In addition to this flaw, the court noted a procedural defect in the chapter 13 trustee’s motion in that she failed to file a plan that incorporates her proposed modification.
Ducharme Estates, Ltd. v. Kappeler (In re Kappeler), Adv. P. No. 13-1166-WCH (January 30, 2014).
In the complaint, the plaintiff asked the court to exempt an alleged debt from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) because the debt was obtained by fraud. The decision whether to grant the debtor’s motion for judgment on the pleadings turned on whether the plaintiff pled its fraud count with particularity sufficient to satisfy Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). The court determined that the complaint did not meet the Rule 9(b) standard because it failed to state the time and place of the debtor’s alleged misrepresentations. Because the filing of an amended complaint would not prejudice the debtor and an amendment would not be futile, however, the court permitted the plaintiff to file an amended complaint within twenty-eight (28) days.
According to the complaint, in June 2006, the plaintiff hired the debtor to perform electrical work at an expanding assisted living facility. The debtor represented that he was a properly licensed master electrician, that he was competent to perform the work, that he completed the work to code standards, and that all work passed inspection. Between September 2010 and February 2012, the plaintiff became aware of certain malfunctions and code violations in the electrical work and hired other electricians to uncover and correct the debtor’s work. Then, on June 25, 2013, the plaintiff filed the complaint.
To determine whether filing an amendment would be futile, the court applied Rule 12(c) standard of review. Assuming the truth of all well-pleaded facts, and drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor, the court evaluated the complaint for whether it contained facts to support the six elements of fraud. The court determined that the debtor’s representation that he was a master electrician could not support a fraud claim, however the complaint sufficiently alleged the elements of fraud for the remaining three representations. Additionally, two elements of fraud—causation of damages and justifiable reliance—were inherently factual issues not precluded by the facts alleged in the complaint, and thus were premature to evaluate on a motion for judgment on the pleadings. Here, the court denied the debtor’s motion even though the plaintiff did not attend the hearing and its written opposition was “only one stream of consciousness paragraph.”
John Joy, Boston College Law School
Devon MacWilliam, Partridge Snow & Hahn
Michael K. O’Neil, Murphy & King
Aaron S. Todrin, Sassoon & Cymrot
Christopher M. Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green