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Victor Kearney v. Unsecured Creditors Committee

Summarizing by Bradley Pearce


Case Type:
Case Status:
Case No. 18,8004, 2018 WL 5295879 (6th Circuit, Oct 24,2018) Published
Rule 60(b) Motion for Relief From Order for excusable neglect denied
Procedural context:
Debtor filed Motion to Avoid Lien as impairing exemptions. Creditor did not respond to Motion and Court Granted Motion and avoided lien. Creditor sought reconsideration under Rule 60(b). Bankruptcy court denied relief. BAP affirmed.
Debtor filed a Motion to Avoid Lien as impairing exemptions. Creditor contacted Debtor's counsel and engaged in negotiations regarding value. Creditor assumed that ongoing negotiations would eliminate need for hearing and that if negotiations were not successful, Court would set hearing. Deadline for Creditor to respond to Motion passed with no resolution as to value and no hearing set. Court entered Order Avoiding Lien as unopposed. Creditor filed Rule 60 Motion asserting mistake or excusable neglect. Bankrupt Court concluded that error was not excusable neglect as Creditor knew as of deadline to respond that matter had not been resolved and no hearing had been set. Out-and-out lawyer blunders, strategic miscalculations or misinterpretations of law do not qualify as “mistake” or “excusable neglect”. Once Court concluded that there was no excusable neglect, Court did not need to consider whether Creditor had meritorious defense or whether Debtor would be prejudice by granting relief.
Buchanan, Dales, Humphrey

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