Miller v. Reaves (in re Miller)

Miller v. Reaves (in re Miller), BAP No. AZ-13-1307-JuKiD (B.A.P. 9th Cir. Dec. 5, 2014)
The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit VACATED the bankruptcy court's order granting the chapter 7 trustee's motion seeking to revoke the section 554(c) technical abandonment of debtor's income tax refund and REMANDED the matter so that the bankruptcy court could make appropriate findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Panel's review was hampered by the bankruptcy court's lack of findings.
Procedural context:
The chapter 7 trustee filed a motion in debtor's reopened case, seeking to revoke the technical abandonment of debtor's income tax refund under section 554(c) of the Bankruptcy Code. The bankruptcy court granted the motion. Debtor appealed.
Debtor's Schedule B disclosed "[a]pproximately 60% of Potential 2012 Tax Refund" and stated the value as "[u]nknown." Debtor's Schedule F disclosed $52,752.00 in unsecured debt. The chapter 7 trustee filed a report of no distribution, debtor received a discharge, and the case was closed. Subsequently, the chapter 7 trustee received debtor's 2012 income tax refund in the amount of $3,259.00 from the IRS. The trustee proceeded to withdraw his report of no distribution and moved to reopen the case to administer the asset. Accordingly, the trustee filed his motion seeking to revoke technical abandonment of the tax refund. Debtor opposed the motion. The bankruptcy court granted the motion without making any findings of fact or conclusions of law.

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