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Category Archives: SCOTUS

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Still Not Valid When Made

Posted in Circuit Split, Interest Rates, SCOTUS
Last year, we posted about Madden v. Midland Funding, LLC, 786 F.3d 246 (2d Cir. 2015), where the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided to ignore the “Valid When Made” doctrine.  This is the established common law doctrine that if a loan is non-usurious when made, it remains non-usurious when assigned to another creditor, even… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider “Valid When Made” Doctrine

Posted in Circuit Split, SCOTUS
Last year, the influential Second Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a troubling, and to many banking lawyers, plainly-wrong decision in Madden v. Midland Funding LLC.[i]  In that case, Midland had bought a credit card debt originated by a Delaware national bank, attempted to enforce the debt against the borrower, and apply the 27% interest… Continue Reading

Until Debt Do Us Part Redux

Posted in Circuit Split, Guaranty, SCOTUS
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore.  The Court is considering a circuit split to determine if a spousal guarantor is an “applicant” protected by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).  At issue is Regulation B which interpreted the ECOA’s definition of “applicant” to include a spouse-guarantor. … Continue Reading


Posted in Bankruptcy Trends, SCOTUS, Stern v. Marshall
In a six to three majority decision, the Supreme Court limited the impact of Stern v. Marshall, 564 U.S. 2 (2011) by holding in Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif, 575 U.S.___(2015) ( decided on May 26, 2015), that private litigants may consent to have their claims adjudicated by a Bankruptcy Court. Since the release of… Continue Reading

SCOTUS to Settle Chapter 7 Lien-Stripping Circuit Split

Posted in Circuit Split, mortgage, SCOTUS, Uncategorized
On November 17, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the consolidated cases of Bank of America v. Caulkett (Dkt. 13-1421) and Bank of America v. Toledo-Cardona (Dkt. 14-163).  At issue in these appeals is whether the Bankruptcy Code permits Chapter 7 debtors to “strip-off” wholly out-of-the-money junior mortgages using Section 506(d).  This appeal sets out to… Continue Reading

Unfinished Business: SCOTUS Grants Certiorari on More Stern v. Marshall Issues

Posted in Bankruptcy Trends, SCOTUS, Stern v. Marshall
If a time-traveler had visited me in the mid-1990s and told me that I would attend law school, I wouldn’t have believed it.  If that visitor told me that I would graduate and subsequently become a bankruptcy lawyer, I would have said “that’s an oddly-specific prediction, but I still don’t believe you.”  If the time-traveler then told me… Continue Reading

SCOTUS: Inherited IRAs Not Exempt

Posted in SCOTUS
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Clark v. Rameker, 573 U.S. __ (2014) (a .pdf of the opinion is located here) holding that inherited IRAs do not qualify for the retirement funds exemption in 11 U.S.C. 522(b)(3)(C). Section 522(b)(3)(C) permits a debtor to exempt from property of the estate the following: “retirement funds to… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Closes Statutory Gap in Bellingham

Posted in Circuit Split, SCOTUS, Stern v. Marshall
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling in Executive Benefits Ins. Agency v. Arkison, 573 U.S. __ (2014) (sometimes called “Bellingham” for the name of the debtor in the main bankruptcy case).  A .pdf of the slip opinion can be found here. Bellingham is a follow-up to its decision in Stern v. Marshall, 546 U.S __ (2011), in which… Continue Reading