Articles Posted in Bankruptcy

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Mark and Tammy Davis owned property that secured a credit line deed of trust held by Huntington National Bank. The Davises failed to pay their 2005 and 2006 real property taxes, resulting in a notice of delinquency being published. The Davises subsequently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A second notice of delinquency was then published announcing that the tax lien would be sold. A notice of the tax lien sale was mailed to the Davises but was returned undeliverable. The Davises received a discharge in bankruptcy, after which the tax lien was sold. No party redeemed the property, and the tax deed was issued to Rebuild America, Inc. The Davises then filed this action seeking to set aside the tax sale. The circuit court granted relief, finding that the issuance of the two statutory notices of delinquency while the Davises were under the protection of a bankruptcy stay voided the tax deed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the bankruptcy stay rendered the statutory notices void ab initio, and therefore, the tax lien sale did not comply with the required statutory procedure. Accordingly, the tax deed issued in this matter must be set aside. View "Rebuild America v. Davis" on Justia Law

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Respondent obtained a home mortgage loan from Lender. Lender obtained a mortgage lender bond from Petitioner and later filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Code. Respondent subsequently filed a complaint naming Petitioner as defendant solely as surety for Lender. At the time this suit was filed, Lender was bankrupt and judgment proof. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the bond conditions had not been satisfied because Respondent had not obtained a judgment against the bond principal, Lender. The circuit court certified a question of law to the Supreme Court, which answered that the bond at issue was a judgment bond and that the unambiguous bond language requires an aggrieved party to obtain a judgment against the principal before maintaining an action against the surety of the bond. View "Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Md. v. James" on Justia Law

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Elgene Phillips was driving his truck when the truck hydroplaned, ran off the road, and rolled over. Phillips died as a result of the accident. As administratrix of the decedent's estate, petitioner Shelia Haynes filed a wrongful death action, alleging that the seatbelt in the decedent's trunk was defective. Chrysler, the manufacturer of the decedent's truck, and Autoliv, the manufacturer of the seatbelt, were named as defendants. The parties settled for $150,000, but the agreement did not contain an apportionment between the two defendants regarding who was responsible for that amount. After Chrysler declared bankruptcy, petitioner filed a motion to sever claims against Chrysler and a motion to compel Autoliv to pay the entire amount of the settlement. The circuit court denied petitioner's motions, and as a result petitioner received only $65,000 in settlement proceeds. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that (1) the terms of the contract were unambiguous, and Autolive was bound by the underlying agreement; and (2) by cashing Autolive's check for $65,000, the petitioner and Autolive did not reach an accord and satisfaction under the facts of the case. View "Haynes v. DaimlerChrysler Corp." on Justia Law