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In re Fansteel Foundry Corporation

Summarizing by Bradley Pearce

Hindra v. Duetsche Bank National Trust Co. (In re Hindra)

Case Type:
Case Status:
BAP No. CC-18-1132-KuTaF (9th Circuit, Jan 29,2019) Not Published
The BAP affirmed the bankruptcy court's decision denying the erstwhile debtor's motions to vacate dismissal of, and to reopen, her chapter 13 case.
Procedural context:
The procedural context of this case is the same as the factual context of the case, and is discussed there.
In January 2016, Etta Hindra, our erstwhile debtor, filed an incomplete chapter 13 petition with the help of some unfortunate attorney. A few weeks later Hindra filed her plan and missing documents. She subsequently appeared in the case pro se (the opinion is silent as to what happened to the attorney). Two mortgage lender servicers objected to confirmation of Hindra's plan because the plan (1) failed to provide for payment of significant mortgage arrearages and (2) was not feasible because Hindra reported a monthly disposable income of $405. The chapter 13 trustee also objected to confirmation because Hindra failed to (1) disclose numerous claims, including claims disclosed in a prior bankruptcy case, (2) provide information regarding her prior bankruptcy cases, and (3) provide evidence of plan payments. The bankruptcy court dismissed Hindra's chapter 13 case and imposed a 180-day bar. Hindra filed a motion to vacate the bankruptcy court's dismissal, which the bankruptcy court denied. The bankruptcy court also dismissed an adversary proceeding. Hindra appealed these orders to the BAP. The BAP dismissed these appeals due to Hindra's failure to prosecute the appeals. Hindra appealed the dismissals to the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit dismissed these appeals. Failing to find satisfaction, Hindra filed a motion in April 2017 (more than a year after she originally filed her chapter 13 petition) in the bankruptcy court to have her chapter 13 case reopened. The bankruptcy court granted this motion, and Hindra filed a request to vacate the dismissal of her chapter 13 case. Hindra did not notice the request, and her case was again closed in March 2018, 25 months after it was originally filed. Hindra, once again, filed a motion to vacate the dismissal and reopen the chapter 13 case. Her grounds for reopening the case were: (1) in the 21st Century equivalent of "the dog ate my homework," she was prevented from filing her motion to vacate and reopen sooner because someone stole her computer, (2) she had filed a motion to reinstate the appeals in the 9th Circuit, and (3) the bankruptcy court could reverse its own judgment. The bankruptcy court, and the BAP, found Ms. Hindra's arguments unpersuasive and precluded by 11 U.S.C. § 350.
KURTZ, TAYLOR, and FARIS, Bankruptcy Judges

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