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Victor Kearney v. Unsecured Creditors Committee

Summarizing by Bradley Pearce

Ross v. Garcia (In re Garcia)

Ross v. Garcia (In re Garcia), 2015 WL 3889388, --- B.R. ---- (1st Cir. B.A.P. Jun. 24, 2015)
Regarding the order denying motion for reconsideration, the BAP found the creditor-appellant "failed to show exceptional circumstances justifying Rule 60(b)(6) relief" and further found no error in the Bankruptcy Court declining to conduct an evidentiary hearing on the motion for reconsideration. Regarding the order granting the amended lien avoidance motion, the BAP found the Bankruptcy Court's conclusion of value of the property was not clearly erroneous, the Bankruptcy Court was not required to conduct an evidentiary hearing, and the Bankruptcy Court's findings and conclusions of law articulated from the bench left no doubt about the basis for the Bankruptcy Court's decisions and did not warrant reversal and remand due to a purported lack of findings and conclusions of law.
Procedural context:
Appeal of two orders issued by the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts (Hillman, J.) denying a motion for reconsideration and granting an amended motion to avoid lien. A decision to deny or grant a motion for reconsideration is reviewed for manifest abuse of discretion. Whether a lien is avoidable is a question of law reviewed de novo with questions of fact, like the valuation of the property, reviewed for clear error.
The Debtor partially avoided the judicial lien of the creditor based on a comparative market analysis prepared by a broker. A formal appraisal obtained nearly 15 months after the petition date reflected a lower property value. The Debtor moved to amend Schedule A and amend the lien avoidance motion to reflect the lower value. Without a hearing, the Bankruptcy Court granted the motions to amend. The creditor filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied. The creditor appealed. The creditor opposed the amended lien avoidance motion and a hearing was held. The creditor did not provide a current appraisal to counter that obtained by the Debtor and sought an evidentiary hearing. The Bankruptcy Court accepted the Debtor's appraisal value (further informed by a valuation obtained by the Trustee, the inability of the Trustee to sell the property, and the lack of any offers for the property) and granted the amended lien avoidance motion. The creditor appealed.
Deasy, Finkle, Cary

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