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SEC, et al v. Stanford International Bank, et a

Summarizing by Paul Stewart

Sandoval v. Taylor

Case Type:
Case Status:
Reversed and Remanded
17-1241 (10th Circuit, Aug 14,2018) Published
10th Cir. (D. Colo.) reversed and remanded ruling of bankruptcy court (D. Colo.) on direct appeal finding that proper calculation for lien avoidance under 11 USC 522(f) for jointly owned property with non-debtor required discounting liens to debtor's percentage of ownership (i.e., 50%), rather than full amount of liens. "[A]ll other liens on property" in 522(f) refers to the total lien amounts corresponding to debtor's half ownership interest in the property, because it better effectuates the plain language of 522(f), the structure of the Bankruptcy Code, and Congressional intent.
Procedural context:
Bankruptcy court granted debtor's motion to avoid liens under 522(f). Creditor appealed directly to Tenth Circuit.
Debtor filed chapter 13 bankruptcy; his wife did not. Debtor scheduled value of residence as $560,000, and his interest in it as $280,000. Judgment creditor filed 11 USC 523 complaint seeking to except judgment liens from discharge. Debtor converted case to chapter 7 and moved to avoid the creditor's liens under 11 USC 522(f), arguing that the sum of the liens on the residence and his homestead exemption exceeded the value of his interest. The parties agreed that debtor was entitled to a homestead exemption of $37,500, i.e., half of the homestead exemption for the jointly owned property. The residence was encumbered by a mortgage, an HOA lien, and tax liens. Debtor did not divide the amount of the liens. The creditor argued that the liens should be divided.
Lucero, Phillips, Moritz

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