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New Mexico Lawyers Serving New Mexico's Legal Needs Since 1997

August 2014 Archives

The Non-Dischargeability of Certain Types of Debt

The primary reasons most debtors file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection are to rid themselves of debts which hinder their ability to get back on their feet financially. But individuals considering whether to take such an avenue need to recognize that many types of debt – or certain claims they owe – are not permitted under law to be discharged. In other words, the following types of claims will not be deemed by a bankruptcy court to be legally extinguished by filing a bankruptcy claim:

Battle of Appraisers May Shape Key Decision in Bankruptcy Case

In a variety of bankruptcy settings, the value of certain property, particularly real estate, may dominate the outcome of the case. These valuation disputes occur in Chapter 7 liquidations, Chapter 13 bankruptcies and Chapter 11 corporate reorganizations. Frequently, the question of the value of a secured or unsecured claim involving real property will affect the total value of assets the bankruptcy debtor’s estate may possess and the relative allocations of available funds to creditors vying often against each other for their “piece of the pie.”

Old Domestic Dispute Resumes in Bankruptcy Case

Approximately ten years after these New Mexico residents concluded their divorce, and years of intervening enforcement battles in a New Mexico District Court, two former spouses continued their fight in federal bankruptcy court after the ex-wife filed for bankruptcy protection. When the two parties got their divorce in September 2004, the final order adjudged that each ex-spouse could claim only one of their two children as dependents for tax purposes each year. Over the next six years, the ex-husband (“Plaintiff”) took his ex-wife (“Defendant”) to court on 3 separate occasions to seek relief for unpaid medical expenses for the children in violation of their divorce decree, Defendant’s refusal to allow an inventory of her personal property and violation of the agreement on claiming one dependent only.

Goldman Sachs Settles with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over Mortgages

In the wake of the Justice Department’s record-breaking settlement with Bank of America requiring the mammoth institution to pay a settlement of approximately $17 billion for fraud related to mortgage practices, now investment banking firm Goldman Sachs is entering in to a civil settlement as well. It agreed to pay  $3.15 billion to resolve claims that it misled U.S. mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities it sold them before the housing market collapsed in 2007.        

The Reaffirmation of Debts in Bankruptcy Cases

When individuals decide to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy action, they are generally commencing a process in which they will be liquidating most of their assets so that they can use the proceeds derived from that liquidation to achieve two goals; (1) pay off creditors to the extent required by the bankruptcy court and (2) correspondingly, and in conjunction with the first goal, secure legal discharge of their debts.  The basic process seeks to give debtors with financial difficulties stemming from insolvency a method by which they can legally rid themselves of their overwhelming financial obligations and get a fresh start.

Imputing Fraud to a Spouse in a Bankruptcy Case

A dispute which began over the manner in which a Tennessee horse farm owner charged his clients who kept their horses at his farm eventually became an argument over whether that owner’s wife should bear some of the financial consequences of what appeared to be fraudulent behavior on his part. A group of creditors of the owner, John Shart, sued Shart, his wife and others for making multiple misrepresentations to creditors regarding the acquisition and sale of horses, and that there were disputed expenses for trade shows, construction costs, real estate, personal property acquisitions, and other related matters. All of the claims, except one for unjust enrichment focusing on Shart’s wife as well as himself, applied exclusively to Mr. Shart.  Eventually that Tennessee state court entered an order granting the creditors possession of the horses, their request for injunctive relief, and authorization to inspect the Greystone premises but never got to the point of rendering a monetary award.

Statute of Limitations Bars Suit Against Home Lender Which Foreclosed

In a recent case against their former real estate lender, two New Mexico residents failed in District Court to successfully bring claims against that lender because they waited too long to file their case. These homeowners alleged that, in March 2007 when they signed their loan documents with Countryside Home Loans (“Countrywide”) securing funds to buy their house, Countrywide fraudulently and/or negligently made misrepresentations to the borrowers concerning their own ability to afford a loan of that size. While the United States District Court relied on the plaintiffs’ failure to meet the statute of limitations as reasons for dismissing the case, it also noted that the plaintiffs had the opportunity before closing on the home to review loan disclosures which would have shown that the Countrywide was misstating their income. 

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