Case Summaries: the October 2015 Bankruptcy Court Opinions

The following are summaries of the October 2015 opinions posted on the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court’s website.

Baldiga v. Golemo (In re Golemo), A.P. No. 12-04017 (Bankr. D. Mass. Oct. 23, 2015) (Boroff, J.)

Well before the involuntary bankruptcy case commenced, a 1998 divorce decree ordered the Debtor to transfer his interest in four (4) properties to Ms. Golemo.  The properties were the sole form of alimony and child support for Ms. Golemo and their children.  Because the transfer of the property was never recorded, however, the Bankruptcy Court avoided the transfers and Ms. Golemo filed a $1 million claim against the estate.  In this opinion, the Bankruptcy Court held that a claim arising under § 502(h) retains the characteristics of the underlying claim against the debtor that gave rise to the avoided transfer; accordingly, Ms. Golemo’s § 502(h) claim constituted a priority domestic support obligation.  Further, the Bankruptcy Court found that the properties should be valued as of the petition date and not the date of the divorce decree.

In re Daniel P. Corbett, Case No. 11-13667-JNF (October 26, 2015)

Goodwill Enterprises, Inc. (“Goodwill”) filed a motion to modify a sale order pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) that authorized and approved the private sale of the Chapter 7 trustee’s interest in Debtor’s LLC and a realty trust of which the LLC was the sole beneficiary.  Goodwill asserted that that sale cannot be free and clear of all interests and encumbrances because, as agreed in its lease, it had an enforceable right of first refusal.  Goodwill’s motion came almost three years after the Bankruptcy Court’s order because it never received notice, nor was the lease disclosed to the Bankruptcy Court.  To seek redress, Goodwill filed a Land Court complaint against the buyer contemporaneously with this motion to enforce its alleged rights.  In a detailed discussion regarding the supporting facts and Rule 60(b), the Bankruptcy Court abstains from ruling on the issues at hand, and instead defers to the Land Court to determine the outcome.

 

Contributions by:

Devon MacWilliam, Esq., Partridge Snow & Hahn

Aaron Todrin, Esq., Sassoon & Cymrot, LLP