Deborah Steiner v. Wilmington Savings Fund Society

Case Type:
Consumer
Case Status:
Affirmed
Citation:
19-6027 (8th Circuit, Mar 23,2020) Published
Tag(s):
Ruling:
BAP for 8th Cir. affirmed ruling of bankruptcy court (WD Missouri-KC) dismissing couple's chapter 13 cases for serial, abusive filing. Couple had maintained possession of residence for over eight years despite paying nothing on mortgage. Couple's eight chapter 13 filings, plus chapter 7 filing after bankruptcy court issued relief from stay order, all timed to prevent and delay foreclosure, demonstrated intent to manipulate and abuse bankruptcy system in bad faith and sufficient cause for dismissal and 180 day on refiling.
Procedural context:
Bankruptcy court (WD Missouri-KC) dismissed debtors' chapter 13 cases with bar to re-filing for 180 days. Debtors appealed to BAP for 8th Cir.
Facts:
In 1996, the Steiners executed a promissory note and mortgage for residential real estate located in Blue Springs, Missouri. Steiners defaulted before loan's maturity in 2011. Steiners made no payments since that time, while maintaining possession. Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB (Wilmington), the current owner of the loan, attempted foreclosure on five separate occasions in the last two years. Steiners filed eight chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions between 2010 and 2018. Of that total, Deborah initiated seven cases and Neil filed one; each of these proceedings was dismissed. On August 16, 2019 Deborah filed yet another individual petition under chapter 13. Neil followed suit on August 22, 2019. Wilmington filed a Motion for relief from stay and dismissal in each of the Steiners’ individual chapter 13 cases. Its request for expedited hearing was granted and conducted on August 29, 2019. At the conclusion of that hearing Wilmington’s request to lift the stay was granted which allowed the pending foreclosure sale to proceed the following afternoon. The Court took the motions to dismiss the cases under advisement. Then, the Steiners filed a joint chapter 7 petition. On August 30, 2019 the Court ordered dismissal of all three of the Steiners' pending bankruptcy cases with a bar to re-filing for 180 days. The Steiners appealed the orders dismissing their individual chapter 13 cases.
Judge(s):
Saladino, Schermer, Shodeen

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