Chapter 7 Mortgages

News & Analysis as of

Recent Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Holds That Underwater Mortgages in a Chapter 7 Cannot be “Stripped off"

The Issue and Background - Debtors David Caulkett and Edelmiro Toledo-Cardona (“Debtors”) each filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief with “underwater” junior mortgages held by Bank of America, N.A. (“Bank”). In other...more

Supreme Court Reaffirms a Chapter 7 Debtor's Inability to Strip a Lien Against Real Property

Reaffirming its 1992 decision in Dewsnup v. Timm, on June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court in Bank of America v. Caulkett, No. 13-1421, once again ruled that a chapter 7 debtor may not void a junior lien under Bankruptcy Code...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

SEC Provides Additional Analysis Related to Proposed Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules - On June 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission provided additional analysis related to its proposed rules for pay ratio disclosure. The...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Out of the Money Mortgages Cannot be Stripped Off in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court held that a secured creditor in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case is protected from having its lien “stripped off” even if the collateral securing its claim is worth less than the claims asserted by a senior...more

Supreme Court Update: Elonis V. United States (13-983), Taylor V. Barkes (14-939) And Bank Of America V. Caulkett (13-1421)

The Court handed down four opinions and a summary reversal to kick off the busiest month of the term. This update will cover Elonis v. United States (13-983), the much anticipated "Facebook threats" case, along with Taylor v....more

The Supreme Court Continues Stability In The Secondary Mortgage Market

On Monday, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle that junior “underwater” residential mortgage liens can “pass through” a bankruptcy case unaffected. In Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett, the Supreme Court held...more

Wholly Underwater Junior Liens May Not Be Stripped Off in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Proceedings

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien when the debt owed on a senior mortgage lien exceeds the current value of the collateral, provided that...more

Supreme Court Rejects Lien Stripping in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases

On June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett, in which all nine Justices joined in an opinion that reversed an Eleventh Circuit ruling that chapter 7 debtors may...more

The Supreme Court Prohibits Chapter 7 Debtors From Stripping Off Wholly Underwater Liens in Bankruptcy

On June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court in Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett, 575 U.S. ____ (2015), unanimously held that a Chapter 7 debtor cannot strip off wholly “underwater” liens secured by the debtor’s...more

Supreme Court Decides Bank of America v. Caulkett and Bank of America v. Toledo-Cardona

On June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Bank of America v. Caulkett, No. 13-1421, together with Bank of America v. Toledo-Cardona, No. 14-163, holding that a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may...more

Chapter 7 Debtors Cannot Strip Off Junior Liens on Underwater Home Loans, United States Supreme Court Rules

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that debtors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases cannot “strip off,” or completely void, junior mortgages that—based on the value of the property and the amount of claims secured by...more

Payments to Investors in a Securitization Structure Protected from Avoidance

In what appears to be a matter of first impression, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently held that payments made to investors in a two tiered securitization structure commonly employed in...more

Stripping of Unsecured Second Mortgages in Chapter 7 Bankruptcies in the Crosshairs

Since its 1989 opinion in Folendore v. Small Business Admin., the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed debtors to completely strip off and void wholly unsecured junior liens in Chapter 7 bankruptcies under Section...more

Should Underwater Junior Liens Survive Bankruptcy?

On March 24th, the Supreme Court heard oral argument on the consolidated appeals of two decisions from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Bank of America v. Caulkett and Bank of America v. Toledo-Cardona. The appeals...more

Lost Mortgage Notes: Those Pesky State UCC Variations

Desmond v Raymond C. Green, Inc. (In re Harborhouse of Gloucester, LLC), 523 B.R. 749 (1st Cir. BAP 2014) – A Chapter 7 trustee objected to the proof of claim filed by a downstream assignee of a lost mortgage note. ...more

Blog: The Ninth Circuit Rejects the “Dominion and Control Test” for Determining the Initial Transferee in Fraudulent Conveyance...

Under section 550(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, a trustee or debtor in possession may recover property (or its value) that has been fraudulently transferred “from the initial transferee or the entity for whose benefit the...more

Ms. McNeal Goes to Washington

For those of you who have followed our blog since its inception, you will know that one of our most discussed opinions is that of In re McNeal, in which the Eleventh Circuit held that a debtor may strip a wholly unsecured...more

Mortgage Recording: What Happens When There Is An Extra “E”?

Weiss v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (In re Thibault), 518 B.R. 635 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a mortgage using his “strong-arm” powers on the basis that it was not properly recorded...more

Mortgage Recording Requirements: Tiny Technical Defect Strikes Again

Rogan v. U.S. Bank, N.A. (In re Partin), 517 B.R. 770 (Bankr. E.D. Ky. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid mortgages on three properties using his “strong arm” powers, arguing that they were improperly recorded...more

BofA Underwater Mortgage Cases Hit Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by Bank of America regarding whether a second mortgage on an underwater property can be voided during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Both cases involve Florida homeowners who sued to...more

Strong Arm Powers: What Can Be Done With An Avoided Lien?

DeGiacomo v. Traverse (In re Traverse), 753 F.3d 19 (1st Cir. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid an unrecorded first mortgage and to preserve the lien for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. In response, the...more

Delayed Recording: Sometimes Late Is No Better Than Never

Collins v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (In re Flannery), 513 B.R. 1 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid as a preference a mortgage that was recorded within 90 days before a bankruptcy filing....more

Improperly Indexed Mortgage: How Far Does Your Record Review Need to Go to Be Safe?

Albert v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC (In re El Erian), 512 B.R. 391 (Bankr. D. D.C. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid the lien of a recorded deed of trust because (1) it contained both correct and incorrect...more

Even a Tax Authority May Sometimes Have to Pay

In Clinton County Treasurer v. Wolinsky, 511 B.R. 34 (N.D.N.Y. 2014), a Chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a property tax foreclosure as a fraudulent transfer and then to recover damages from the foreclosing county. The...more

Eleventh Circuit Doubles Down on Lien Stripping

When the Fourth Circuit handed down its opinion in the case of In re Davis, which permitted lien stripping in “Chapter 20” proceedings, the stage was set for the Eleventh Circuit to expand debtor’s ability to escape from...more

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