In re Cline

In re: Santana Cline, Case No. 11-8075 (6th Cir. BAP June 1, 2012)
The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court’s order dismissing the Debtor’s Chapter 13 case and imposing a two-year filing bar. Such a bar is permissible to prevent abuse of the bankruptcy system in situations such as this one, where repeated bankruptcy filings appear to be designed to undermine mortgage holders' efforts to pursue their non-bankruptcy remedies.
Procedural context:
Appeal from the order of the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of Ohio finding the Debtor in contempt of court, granting default judgment in favor of the Trustee on Trustee’s motion, and imposing a two-year filing bar. Reviewed on an abuse of discretion standard.
The Debtor filed three Chapter 13 cases and one Chapter 7 in three years. For almost five years she did not make any mortgage payments on her substantial house. The first two Chapter 13 cases were dismissed for cause. The Chapter 7 filing was successful, and the Debtor received a discharge. This appeal arises out of the third Chapter 13 case. The Debtor filed four plans, all of which faced objections. The Trustee moved to dismiss the case and sought discovery. A deposition was scheduled. The court warned the Debtor that she was compelled to attend. She did not, nor did she attend the later hearing to show cause why she should not be held in contempt. The court granted the Trustee’s motion, dismissed the case, and imposed a two-year bar on bankruptcy filings by the Debtor.
Harris, Emerson, and Shea-Stonum

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