In re Makowka

No. 13-3469, Slip Op. (3rd Cir. June 9, 2014)
- District Court's judgment vacated and case remanded for further proceedings. - Under applicable Pennsylvania law, an action in debt does not constitute the proper method to enforce a statutory lien under the Pennsylvania Uniform Planned Community Act. - The Court of Appeals declines to adopt a Pennsylvania state-law case it finds unpersuasive.
Procedural context:
- On a motion to dismiss claims.
- Debtor Kelly Makowa owns a home in a planned community in Pennsylvania. She defaulted on homeowners association dues. The Association won two default judgments in state-court actions in debt. - Shortly thereafter, Makowa filed a chapter 13 petition. She moved to avoid the Association's claims under section 522(f), which releases a debtor from obligations under certain liens. - She acknowledged that the Association had a statutory lien under the Pennsylvania Uniform Planned Community Act, but said the lien had been extinguished by law because the Association had not foreclosed on the lien within the statutory period. - The Bankruptcy Court denied her motion, citing Pennsylvania state court precedent. The District Court affirmed.
Hardiman, Sloviter, Barry

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