Brace v. Speier (In re Brace)

Case Type:
Case Status:
Affirmed in part and Reversed in part
No. CC-18-1172-LSTa, 2019 WL 167783 (9th Circuit, Jan 11,2019) Not Published
Bankruptcy court correctly found debtor in contempt for a willful stay violation because debtor knew of the automatic stay and acted intentionally to violate it.
Procedural context:
Debtor filed a chapter 7 case. Trustee sought to avoid debtor's transfer of the properties into the trust. Trustee won. Years later, trustee filed a motion for an order determining violation of the automatic stay. Also, trustee filed a motion for turnover of the properties and for an accounting and turnover of rents. Debtor did not appeal either motion. Later, trustee filed an emergency motion for violations of the automatic stay and adjudications of contempt. Next, the bankruptcy court issued an order to show cause finding that cause had been shown for finding that debtor was in contempt. Debtor failed to appear at the show cause hearing. Bankruptcy court granted the contempt motion.
Debtor purported to transfer interests in real estate into a trust. Later, debtor executed deeds of trust encumbering the properties. The deeds purported to secure debts owed by the debtor's mother. Years later, debtor recorded notices of default and elections to sell against the properties.
Lafferty, Spraker, Taylor

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