Steven Dollman v. Philip Montoya (In re Mendoza & Armijo)

The date of the closing of a case is not a ‘specified period’ invoking Rule 9006(b)(1) and requiring a debtor to show excusable neglect before amending schedules to claim an exemption.

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Case Type:
Case Status:
Reversed and Remanded
BAP Nos. NM-18-019, NM-18-030 (10th Circuit, Feb 05,2019) Published
Bankruptcy Rule 1009(a), which permits a debtor to amend its schedules “at any time before the case is closed,” applies equally in a case that has been closed and subsequently reopened such that the debtor in a reopened case may freely amend its schedules without having to seek an enlargement of time under Bankruptcy Rule 9006(b) upon a showing of excusable neglect. The BAP remanded the cases to the bankruptcy court to consider the merits of the trustee’s objection to exemptions.
Procedural context:
Chapter 7 debtors in two unrelated cases (administered by the same trustee) neglected to disclose personal injury claims on their schedules and, accordingly, claim any applicable exemptions. After receiving a discharge and closing the case, each debtor sought to reopen its case to amend the schedules to disclose the personal injury claim, and the trustee objected. Both bankruptcy courts required the debtor to proceed under Bankruptcy Rule 9006(b) to request an enlargement of the deadline provided in Bankruptcy Rule 1009 and satisfy the accompanying “excusable neglect” standard as laid out in Pioneer v. Brunswick. By requiring the debtors to meet this heightened standard as a predicate to amending their schedules, the trustee was relieved of the burden of having to demonstrate the claimed exemptions were improper. The debtors appealed.
This is a procedural dispute. Accordingly, the relevant facts are set forth in the description of the case’s procedural context above.
Michael, Romero, and Somers

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