In re Doyne

Case No. 14-8004 (6th Cir. BAP 2014)
Bankruptcy Court did not abuse discretion in denying creditor's Motion for Extenstion of Time to file Complaint to object to Discharge under Section 523.
Procedural context:
Debtors filed for relief under Chapter 7. One day after expiration of deadline to object to dischargeability under section 523, creditor filed a Motion for Extension of Time. Bankruptcy Court denied the Motion and creditor appealed. On appeal the BAP affirmed the Bankruptcy Court.
Debtors filed for relief under Chapter 7. The first date set for the meeting of creditors was August 29, 2013, such that the deadline for objecting to discharge under Sectoin 523 ran on October 28, 2013. On October 29, the creditor filed a Motion for Extension of the deadline to object to discharge, alleging that creditor's attorney suffered a serious car accident in early Septmber which caused his extended absence from the office, and that he hired a new paralegal who started in the week before the deadline, the combination of the two events caused counsel to overlook the deadline. Equity will allow a post-expiration extenstion of the deadline only where the creditor lacked either actual or constructive notice of the deadline; creditor was diligent in pursuing its rights; that extending the deadline would not prejudice the debtor; and creditor's ignorance of the deadline was reasonable. Creditor presented no evidence in support of the motion other than concusoury statements that counsel's health issues prevented the filing of the adversary complaint. Even if creditor's counsel's health issues impacted creditor's ability to file the adversary, there was no evidence that the inability was in any way chargeable to debtor or debtor's counsel. Debtor did not prevent creditor from meeting the deadline. Creditor also failed to address any prejudice that debtor would suffer if the deadline was extended. Absent competent evidence to support allegations contained in motion, Court correctly denied Motion to Extend.
Harrison, Humphrey & LLoyd

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