Articles Posted in Bankruptcy

by
Appellants and the company they own filed suit against David Fisher and other defendants, alleging claims arising from an unfulfilled real estate purchase agreement. Fisher filed an answer and counterclaim. Three years later, Fisher filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Appellants filed an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy case, requesting a determination that their claims against Fisher were not dischargeable in bankruptcy. The district court subsequently dismissed Appellants’ claims. Thereafter, the bankruptcy court ruled that Appellants’ claims against Fisher were dischargeable in bankruptcy. Appellants then filed a motion to modify the district court’s order dismissing the action and a renewed motion for summary judgment. The district court denied both post-dismissal motions, noting that the matter had already been dismissed. On appeal, the Supreme Court treated Appellants’ motions as motions for relief from the dismissal order pursuant to Wyo. R. Civ. P. 60(b) and affirmed, holding that, under the circumstances of this case, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Appellants’ motions. View "Bartel v. West" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy, Contracts

by
In 2005, the Wyo Central Federal Credit Union (Credit Union) filed an action in state district court against Mark Broderick (Broderick) seeking judgment and foreclosure on a note and mortgage on which Broderick had defaulted. Broderick immediately filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, which stayed the Credit Union’s state court action. Following the conclusion of the bankruptcy proceedings, which cured Broderick’s original default under the note and mortgage but did not discharge the debt, Broderick again defaulted on the note. In 2010, the Credit Union amended its original complaint and again sought judgment and foreclosure on its note and mortgage. The district court granted the Credit Union summary judgment both on the amount the Credit Union demanded as due and owing under the note and on the attorney fees and costs it requested pursuant to the mortgage enforcement terms. Broderick raised the following issues on appeal, all of them relating to the award of attorney fees and costs: (1) whether the determination by a state court of an oversecured creditor’s attorney fees incurred in a bankruptcy proceeding is subject to the Preemption Doctrine; (2) whether the Credit Union should be denied its attorney fees by its failure to submit these fees to the Bankruptcy Court for approval; and (3) whether the Credit Union proved its damages with a reasonable degree of certainty. Upon review, the Supreme Court determined that the district court acted within its discretion in its award of fees and costs to the Credit Union, and its order did not violate bankruptcy law or procedure. View "Broderick v. Wyo Central Fed. Credit Union" on Justia Law

by
Black Diamond Energy Partners (BDE Partners) were Nevada limited partnerships which owned interests in coal bed methane wells located in Wyoming. Black Diamond Energy, Inc. (BDE Inc.) was a Wyoming corporation and the managing general partner of several of the BDE Partners. Black Diamond Energy, Inc. of Delaware (BDE Del) was a Delaware corporation and the managing general partner of two of the BDE Partners. BDE Inc. and BDE Del were wholly owned subsidiaries of Koval Resources, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company. Koval entered in a loan agreement in Pennsylvania with S&T Bank, a regional state bank with offices only in Pennsylvania. Koval ultimately defaulted on the loan. BDE Partners filed a complaint in Wyoming against S&T alleging negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and other claims. The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that BDE Partners presented sufficient undisputed evidence that S&T's activities in Wyoming were such that, as a matter of law, Wyoming courts had personal jurisdiction to decide their claims. View "Black Diamond Energy Partners Ltd. v. S&T Bank" on Justia Law

by
Earl and Nawana Wallace (the Senior Wallaces) borrowed $15,789 from Pinnacle Bank - Wyoming to finance a vehicle the Senior Wallaces purchased for their son and his wife (the Junior Wallaces). The collateral for the loan was the vehicle the Senior Wallaces bought for and titled in the Junior Wallaces' names. To that end, the Junior Wallaces signed a third party security agreement pledging the vehicle as collateral. The Junior Wallaces subsequently filed a bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy trustees eventually sold the vehicle to benefit the bankruptcy estate. The Senior Wallaces thereafter stopped making payments on the loan. Pinnacle then filed a complaint seeking damages in the amount of the principal due on the note. The district court granted Pinnacle's motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that none of the Senior Wallaces' asserted defenses excused them from meeting their loan obligation. View "Wallace v. Pinnacle Bank - Wyo." on Justia Law