Burch v. Freedom Mortgage, et al

Case Type:
Case Status:
No. 20-10498 (5th Circuit, Jan 08,2021) Not Published
Two of the appellant's appeals were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the lower court had not yet entered a final, appealable order. The remaining appeals were denied, and the district court's decisions, affirmed. The appellant failed to comply with the procedures and the district court's warnings regarding proceeding in forma pauperis. Appellant's failure to pay the filing fee was sufficient to warrant dismissal of the appeals.
Procedural context:
The appellant, who was the debtor in two sequential chapter 11 cases, filed six state court actions against mortgage lenders alleging that their mortgage loans were void because the mortgage lenders failed to supply new notes and mortgage instruments as required by the first chapter 11 plan. The defendants removed the cases, which all wound up before the bankruptcy court in which the appellant was the debtor. The bankruptcy court denied appellant's motion to remand and, in some cases, dismissed appellant's complaints under Rules 12(b)(6) or 12(c). Appellant appealed to the district court and moved to proceed in forma pauperis. The district court denied appellant's motion to proceed in forma pauperis, and dismissed the appeals when the filing fees were not paid.
William Paul Burch, the appellant, and his spouse owned and mortgaged properties in 2006 and 2007. In late 2008, the Burches filed a chapter 11 (the "First Bankruptcy Case") to stay foreclosure. About a year later, the Burch's chapter 11 plan was confirmed. The plan called for the mortgage lenders to issue new notes and mortgage instruments. Three years later, Burch filed an individual chapter 13 bankruptcy case (the "Second Bankruptcy Case"). After one year, the Second Bankruptcy Case was converted to a chapter 11 case. A chapter 11 plan was filed and confirmed in the Second Bankruptcy Case (the "Second Chapter 11 Plan"). The Second Chapter 11 Plan did not challenge the validity of the mortgage lenders' mortgages. The Second Bankruptcy Case, however, was converted to a chapter 7 proceeding in January 2018 due to Burch's defaults under the Second Chapter 11 Plan. The Second Bankruptcy Case is still pending. Although the Second Bankruptcy Case was still open, Burch filed six state court actions against the mortgage lenders in 2018. In each action, Burch alleged that the mortgages were void because the mortgage lenders had never submitted new notes and mortgage instruments to Burch, as required by the confirmed chapter 11 plan in the First Bankruptcy Case.
Jolly, Elrod, and Graves

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