Ludvigsen v. Osborne

Citation:
Ludvigsen v. Osborne, BAP No. MB 14-039 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. Jan. 16, 2015)
Tag(s):
Ruling:
The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel REVERSED and REMANDED the matter to the bankruptcy court as the bankruptcy court abused its discretion in declining to reopen the chapter 7 case when it declined to consider the merits of any lien avoidance motion that the Debtor could have filed after an amendment to Schedule C.
Procedural context:
John Ludvigsen (the “Debtor”) appeals from the order of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts denying his motion seeking to reopen his chapter 7 case pursuant to § 350(b)1 to avoid judicial liens, and the May 7, 2014 order denying reconsideration.
Facts:
The Debtor filed a chapter 7 petition in April 2013. On the Debtor's Schedule C, the Debtor claimed an exemption in his residence but listed the value of the exemption as $0. In June 2013, the Debtor sought to avoid certain judicial liens including the lien held by the appellee, Andrew M. Osborne ("Osborne"). The Debtor's motions to avoid the judicial liens were denied without prejudice for failure to comply with certain procedural requirements. The Debtor filed new motions to avoid the liens (including Osborne's lien) on the grounds that the liens impaired his homestead exemption of $500,000. Those motions were denied without prejudice "as the Debtor has claimed an exemption in the amount of $0 on Schedule C . . . ." The same day, the bankruptcy court entered an order discharging the Debtor and the case closed on July 31, 2013. The Debtor filed a motion to reopen the bankruptcy case to allow him to file additional motions seeking to avoid the judicial liens. The bankruptcy court denied the Debtor's motion to reopen his chapter 7 and denied a motion for reconsideration.
Judge(s):
Deasy, Kornreich, and Finkle

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