§ 64.2     Other Cause for Relief
Cite as:    Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 64.2, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).
[1]

Lack of adequate protection is not the only cause for relief from the stay under § 362(d)(1) in Chapter 13 cases. Reported decisions have granted stay relief for cause prior to confirmation when the debtor filed the Chapter 13 case in bad faith or for a purpose other than adjustment of debts.1 Relief from the stay for cause is appropriate when it appears that the debtor has no likelihood of successfully confirming a plan.2 When the Chapter 13 case is an effort by the debtor to resolve in the bankruptcy court matters that are more appropriately resolved in other state or federal courts—especially domestic relations litigation3—cause has been found for relief from the stay.4 When the stay will cause great harm to a creditor and/or will produce little benefit for the debtor, relief from the stay for cause may be appropriate.5 Unscheduled creditors are sometimes granted relief from the stay when the creditor discovers the case too late to participate in plan confirmation or to have an allowable claim.6

[2]

Perhaps the most common cause for relief from the stay in reported Chapter 13 cases is that a prepetition foreclosure sale or tax sale has stripped the debtor of any property interest sufficient to support rehabilitation through a plan and relief is necessary to permit a purchaser or foreclosing creditor to document its title and gain possession of the property.7 Relief from the stay for cause is granted in other reported Chapter 13 decisions when the debtor has no interest in the property with respect to which a creditor seeks stay relief.8 A pattern of successive bankruptcy cases or repeated inattention to the debtor’s responsibilities can constitute cause for relief from the stay or cause for conversion or dismissal.9


 

1  See, e.g., In re Gimelson, No. Civ.A. 00-4983, 2001 WL 336988 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 3, 2001) (Bankruptcy court appropriately granted relief from the stay for cause to mortgage holder with respect to property that the debtor acquired by a fraudulent conveyance from her mother.); In re Lippolis, 228 B.R. 106, 112–13 (E.D. Pa. 1998) (Cause for relief from the stay that bankruptcy petition was filed in bad faith to stop foreclosure sale. Truitt, debtor’s mother, owned a house in Pennsylvania. Truitt moved to New Jersey. The debtor lived in the Pennsylvania house. The debtor defaulted on the mortgage and Truitt filed a Chapter 13 case in New Jersey. Mortgage holder was granted relief from the stay by the New Jersey bankruptcy court. Foreclosure sale was scheduled for November 14. On November 12, Truitt dismissed her case in New Jersey and transferred the Pennsylvania property to her son for $1.00. The next day, the son filed a Chapter 13 case in Pennsylvania. “In this case Christine Lippolis testified unequivocally that the sole purpose of the transfer from Truitt and subsequent bankruptcy filing was to protect the property from foreclosure. . . . Several courts have held that ‘a petition in bankruptcy is filed in bad faith when the relief sought by the filing is exclusively the operation of an automatic stay in order to prevent a foreclosure.’ . . . It is undisputed that the sole reason for Debtors[’] bankruptcy was to invoke the automatic stay and prevent the scheduled Sheriff’s Sale. This is an abuse of the bankruptcy process which will not be tolerated. Appellant’s Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay should have been granted on this basis alone. It was an abuse of discretion for the Bankruptcy Court to find otherwise.”); In re Allen, 300 B.R. 105 (Bankr. D.D.C.) (Cause for relief from the stay that debtor acquired an interest in real property from her son three days before Chapter 13 petition and petition was an abuse of the bankruptcy process.), stay denied pending appeal, 300 B.R. 127 (Bankr. D.D.C. 2003); In re Syed, 238 B.R. 126, 132–33 (Bankr. N.D. Ill.) (Cause for annulment of automatic stay to validate postpetition foreclosure sale that debtor caused wholly owned corporation to deed single asset real estate to herself to stop foreclosure sale and debtor was without prospects of rehabilitation. Debtor took title to a dilapidated 10-story, 77 unit residential rental building on the eve of a foreclosure sale by the City of Chicago. “The premises is single asset real estate under 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(3) and as defined by 11 U.S.C. § 101(51B). The Debtor has not filed a plan of reorganization that has a reasonable possibility of being confirmed within a reasonable time. Nor has Debtor commenced payments to each creditor whose claims are secured by the premises, as required by 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(3)(A) and (B). . . . The cost of rehabilitation of the premises clearly exceeds $2 million, and the Debtor’s evidence only indicated the availability of $292,000.00 to rehabilitate the project. Therefore, there is not and has not during the bankruptcy proceedings been a reasonable possibility of a successful reorganization within a reasonable amount of time under the Debtor’s Chapter 13 reorganization plan.”), on reconsideration, 238 B.R. 133, 139–40 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 1999) (“It is beyond doubt that the Premises consists of a single residential real estate property having far more than 4 residential units. The only business ever attempted or contemplated by Debtor for the future was in operation of the Premises as residential real estate. Moreover, the Debtor does not claim that her aggregate noncontingent, liquidated secured debts total more than $4,000,000. . . . ‘[S]ingle asset real estate’ includes property formerly used and intended to be used in the future as income producing property. . . . The stay was not annulled here merely because Debtor filed a single asset real estate case. Rather, it was annulled primarily because it was found that Debtor had not (as required by section 362(d)(3)) filed a plan of reorganization with a reasonable possibility of being confirmed within a reasonable time. . . . The stay was also annulled because it was found that Debtor transferred title to her property literally on the eve of her bankruptcy filing and had filed her bankruptcy in bad faith . . . thus providing ‘cause’ under 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(1).”); In re Hyde, 227 B.R. 170, 172 (Bankr. W.D. Ark. 1998) (Cause for relief from stay that debtor filed Chapter 13 in bad faith to stop repossession of truck that was previously tangled up in a related Chapter 11 case. Debtor is a paralegal in his own lawyer’s office, and debtor’s counsel failed to promptly comply with the payroll deduction order. “[T]he failure to remit the payments is not only the fault of the debtor, it is evidence of delay and bad faith. In this instance, the employer who was withholding the funds but not remitting them is debtor’s own counsel. It is scandalous that counsel, who has a substantial bankruptcy practice, not only failed to comply with the Order required transmission of the payments to the chapter 13 trustee, but held the funds deducted from the debtor’s paycheck. . . . [T]he debtor cannot be held blameless as he is the paralegal in counsel’s office.”); In re Green, 214 B.R. 503 (Bankr. N.D. Ala. 1997) (Cause for relief from the stay in present and any future case that debtor filed seven bankruptcy cases between 1990 and 1997 to prevent collection of child support, support is only debt listed, and debtor’s conduct is “contemptible.”); In re Burrell, 186 B.R. 230 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1995) (Cause was for “extraordinary” remedy of retroactive annulment of the stay where IRS levy after Chapter 13 petition violated the stay but filing was in bad faith. Debtor was a tax protester imprisoned for multiple counts of rape, sexual battery, and coercion of witnesses, with sentences totaling 24 years. Pro se plan proposed to pay $159.63 for 36 months toward an IRS priority claim of at least $25,600.); In re Maurice, 167 B.R. 114 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 1994) (Court found cause for relief from the stay where the debtor filed a second Chapter 13 case to avoid bonding the appeal of a judgment of nondischargeability in a prior case; the debtor failed to timely file a plan, statements, and schedules; the second filing was “not particularly fair” to the holder of the nondischargeable judgment; the debtor filed papers in the clerk’s office for the wrong division of the bankruptcy court as a “dilatory tactic”; and the only purpose of the second filing was “to delay.” Court ordered sanctions, including a bar to refiling and a requirement that debtor’s counsel undertake continuing legal education.); In re Nelson, 66 B.R. 231 (Bankr. D.N.J. 1986) (There was cause for relief when real property was transferred to debtor on eve of Chapter 13 and the debtor immediately filed bankruptcy.). But see In re Rouse, 301 B.R. 86, 88, 90 (Bankr. D. Colo. 2003) (Not cause for relief from the stay that debtors used false social security numbers on credit application when there is equity to protect the mortgage holder and the debtors are “utterly typical of chapter 13 debtors generally.” “It would be a curious result indeed for Congress to offer a chapter 13 discharge to those who had engaged in pre-petition fraudulent conduct with one hand, but take that opportunity away with the other hand by granting relief from stay based upon the same conduct.”); In re Garcia, 276 B.R. 627, 630 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 2002) (That the debtor violated the due-on-sale clause in a mortgage does not entitle the mortgage holder to relief from the stay. “[N]either the Bank’s motion nor the case law demonstrates that a violation of a due on sale clause by itself conclusively establishes either that the lender is not adequately protected or that the property is not necessary to an effective reorganization. . . . [T]he violation of the Bank’s due on sale clause does not per se entitle the Bank to stay relief.”).

 

2  See, e.g., Alfaro v. Vazquez (In re Alfaro), 221 B.R. 927 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. 1998) (Bankruptcy court did not err in granting relief from the stay for cause based on finding that debtor had no ability to confirm plan. Debtor’s plan called for a $520,000 contribution over a five-year period from the debtor’s sister. Payments from the sister were “speculative at best,” and plan was “not feasible based on the evidence.”); Ewald v. National City Mortgage Co. (In re Ewald), 298 B.R. 76 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2002) (Cause for relief from the stay that debtor litigated unsuccessfully for three years in state court and proposed plan is dependent upon success in that litigation.); In re Easley, Nos. 01-10151DWS, 00-33236DWS, 2001 WL 755460, at *3 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. June 26, 2001) (unpublished) (Cause for annulment of the stay to validate mortgage foreclosure when debtor’s counsel “admitted that Debtor was unable to reorganize” and denying relief from the stay would “compel the Bank to needlessly repeat the foreclosure action.”).

 

3  See also § 69.1 [ Alimony and Support Exception ] § 58.5  Alimony and Support Exception. See, e.g., Busch v. Busch (In re Busch), 294 B.R. 137 (B.A.P. 10th Cir. 2003) (Applying factors from In re Curtis, 40 B.R. 795 (Bankr. D. Utah 1984), cause for relief from the stay in debtor’s third Chapter 13 case that state domestic relations court is best situated to clarify extent and nature of debtor’s interest in marital residence.); In re Arnal, No. 03-40429, 2003 WL 21911212 (Bankr. S.D. Ga. June 10, 2003) (unpublished) (Broad domestic relations exception to the exercise of bankruptcy jurisdiction recognized by the Eleventh Circuit in Carver v. Carver, 954 F.2d 1573 (11th Cir. 1992), applies when former spouse seeks relief from the stay to enforce support orders and debtor concedes that Chapter 13 case was motivated solely to interrupt enforcement proceedings in state court.); In re Bamman, 239 B.R. 560, 562–63 (Bankr. W.D. Mo. 1999) (Relief from the stay is appropriate to let domestic relations court dissolve marriage and determine property rights, but bankruptcy court retains jurisdiction to ultimately decide the distribution of assets between the debtors and creditors. “Clearly, the automatic stay in this case must be modified so that Karen Bamman can proceed to obtain a dissolution of her marriage to the debtor and a determination regarding maintenance or support. . . . [T]he Court will modify the stay so as to permit the Circuit Court of Jackson County to determine the nature of Mr. and Mrs. Bamman’s property and debts as being separate or joint. Karen Bamman’s separate property and debts are extraneous to this bankruptcy case. However, all of Michael Bamman’s separate property and all of the jointly owned property became property of Michael’s bankruptcy estate pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 541 when he filed his petition in bankruptcy. Under Eighth Circuit precedent applicable in this case, joint debts must be paid from the joint assets before the non-debtor spouse is to receive any part of those joint assets. Van Der Heide v. LaBarge (In re Van Der Heide), 164 F.3d 1183 (8th Cir. 1999). . . . [T]his Court specifically retains its jurisdiction over the distribution and treatment of Michael’s separate property as well as any joint property of Mr. and Mrs. Bamman so that the bankruptcy trustee can administer the assets for the benefit of the appropriate creditors through the bankruptcy estate. . . . [T]his may present some difficulties for the Circuit Court in dividing property or awarding maintenance . . . . This Court feels this result is appropriate under the Eighth Circuit’s Van Der Heide opinion which plainly mandates that this Court is required to treat the joint property and creditors in a specific manner which is, arguably, contrary to Missouri law.”). But see In re Allen, 241 B.R. 710, 718–20 (Bankr. D. Mont. 1999) (Court denies relief from the stay to permit ex-spouse to appeal state court divorce decree and to seek modification of the decree. Acknowledging that “bankruptcy courts should ordinarily avoid intrusions into family law matters,” this is the extraordinary case in which an outrageously litigious ex-spouse threatens to destroy the Chapter 13 plan by continuing divorce litigation. “[T]he Debtor simply cannot afford any further divorce litigation since such cost would clearly impair Debtor’s ability to complete payments under the Chapter 13 Plan . . . . The parties can live with the present Decree, and Jacqueline has not shown by any evidence why the appeal is so critical to her continued livelihood. . . . [T]o preserve the assets of Debtor’s estate for the benefit of all creditors, including Jacqueline, the needless cost to continue the appeal must stop. . . . Debtor must be free to bring his life into financial focus and satisfy his creditors through his Chapter 13 Plan. . . . It is clear that all of Jacqueline’s actions to seek modification post-bankruptcy petition, continue to appeal, try the tort action, actively resist confirmation of the Chapter 13 Plan and seek two reliefs from the automatic stay is overkill and must be brought to a halt. Nothing else will satisfy the real purpose of a Chapter 13 case.”).

 

4  See, e.g., Wiley v. Hartzler (In re Wiley), 288 B.R. 818, 823 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2003) (Cause for relief from the stay to allow litigation to continue that home construction lawsuit is complex, discovery has proceeded in the district court and a related corporation is a party; the cost of defense is “ordinarily considered an insufficient basis for denying relief from the stay.”); Tapia v. Schmitt (In re Tapia), Nos. KS-00-015, 99-42142, 2000 WL 1707254 (B.A.P. 10th Cir. Nov. 15, 2000) (unpublished) (Cause for relief from the stay that state court was considering whether to forfeit a bond posted for the appeal of a judgment against the debtor, the state court litigation was almost concluded and the issues with respect to the bond were questions of Kansas law.); Beguelin v. Volcano Vision, Inc. (In re Beguelin), 220 B.R. 94 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 1998) (Bankruptcy court appropriately exercised discretion to grant relief from the stay to permit state court jury to render a judgment that included punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs where Chapter 13 petition was filed after jury found the debtor guilty of fraud and negligence but before jury could determine punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.); Belmonte v. Belmonte (In re Belmonte), 279 B.R. 812 (E.D. Pa. 2001) (Bankruptcy court correctly granted relief from the stay to allow state court to decide motions challenging prepetition verdict that debtor had no interest in property.); Weiss v. United States, No. CIV. A. 00-1672, 2000 WL 1052983 (E.D. Pa. July 31, 2000) (Bankruptcy court abused its discretion by not granting relief from the stay to permit government’s appeal of adversary proceeding pending in debtor’s prior Chapter 7 case in which some tax claims were declared dischargeable and others were not. Appeal of the dischargeability proceeding will determine whether the debtor is eligible for Chapter 13, and government should not be forced to appeal both confirmation of the plan and the bankruptcy court’s decision in the adversary proceeding.); In re Deep, 279 B.R. 653 (Bankr. N.D.N.Y. 2002) (Cause for relief from the stay that copyright holders seek injunctive relief in pending multidistrict litigation involving corporations owned or used by the debtor as an “infringing system” known as Aimster/Madster.); In re Fowler, 259 B.R. 856 (Bankr. E.D. Tex. 2001) (Cause for relief from the stay that personal injury lawsuit against the debtor cannot be liquidated in the bankruptcy court and must go forward either in state court or after withdrawal of the reference to federal district court.); Blue v. Town of Lake Bldg. Corp. (In re Blue), 247 B.R. 748 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2000) (Cause for relief from the stay that state court is appropriate forum to decide entitlement of purchaser at prepetition Illinois tax delinquent sale.); In re Hughes, 166 B.R. 103 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 1994) (Relief from the stay is granted to permit state court to determine whether to issue an injunction enforcing noncompete and confidentiality provisions of an employment contract that was terminated by the debtor before the filing of a Chapter 13 case. The issue whether the covenant not to compete is a “debt” is not altogether clear, but state court is the more appropriate forum to interpret the employment agreement, to determine whether breaches have occurred, and to determine whether an injunction should issue against the debtor.); In re Udell, 149 B.R. 898 (Bankr. N.D. Ind. 1992) (Former employer with state court preliminary injunction enforcing noncompete clause against debtor is entitled to relief from the stay for cause to proceed in state court to seek permanent injunction because, applying Indiana law, injunction to enforce noncompete clause does not constitute a debt or a claim and cannot be discharged in the Chapter 13 case.), aff’d in part, 18 F.3d 403 (7th Cir. 1994) (Bankruptcy court correctly determined that covenant not to compete and preliminary injunction issued by state court before the filing of the Chapter 13 case were not “claims” for purposes of the Chapter 13 case. Bankruptcy court’s decision to grant relief from the stay remanded to district court for further consideration.); In re Kaufman, 98 B.R. 214 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1989) (Cause for relief from the stay found when petition was filed on the eve of the resolution of pending prepetition litigation. Relief granted for the limited purpose of determining the validity of a default judgment. Plaintiff agreed not to execute on the judgment if upheld.); In re Hawes, 73 B.R. 584 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 1987) (Cause was found when other party to personal services contract sought to enforce restrictive covenants in a state court injunctive action.); Mills v. Gellert, 55 B.R. 970 (Bankr. D.N.H. 1985); In re Turner, 55 B.R. 498 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 1985). But see In re Grogg, 295 B.R. 297 (Bankr. C.D. Ill. 2003) (Insurance company is not entitled to relief from the stay to file an interpleader in district court to determine competing claims to life insurance proceeds because debtor was the beneficiary at the death of the insured and the proceeds became property of the Chapter 13 estate, making bankruptcy court the proper forum for the litigation.); In re Musaelian, 286 B.R. 781, 782 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. 2002) (Motion for relief from the stay to enforce state court contempt orders for obstruction of discovery is denied because contempt matter is private not public. “Contempt proceedings brought for a public purpose are not subject to the automatic stay. . . . In order for contempt proceedings to go forward after bankruptcy, there must be a direct, unattenuated need for them in order to deter wrongful conduct and not just collect money. . . . In this case, however, the court gets the uneasy feeling that Reiter is attempting to clothe his private action against Musaelian in the mantle of public policy. The exception to the automatic stay applies to the court only. To the extent that Reiter or his attorneys participate in any way other than pursuant to direct and unsolicited order of the state court, they risk liability for violation of the automatic stay. . . . For the foregoing reasons, Reiter’s motion will be denied, without prejudice to state court contempt proceedings brought by the court alone in order to further public policy.”); In re Montgomery, 285 B.R. 345 (Bankr. D.R.I. 2002) (Mortgage servicer is denied relief from the stay to file an action in state court to reform its mortgage to add a power of sale clause that it claims is absent as a result of mutual mistake.); In re Barksdale, 281 B.R. 548 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2002) (Former live-in romantic companion denied stay relief to seek partition in state court because real property became property of the Chapter 13 estate and value in excess of exemption remains protected by the automatic stay.); In re Lincoln, 264 B.R. 370, 374–75 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 2001) (Not cause for relief from the stay that former live-in girlfriend wants to seek contempt against the debtor for the loss of personal property 15 months before the Chapter 13 petition. “If the underlying purpose of continuing the contempt action in the State Court Proceeding is to ‘uphold the dignity of the court’ . . . then ‘cause’ may exist for relief from the stay . . . . On the other hand, if the underlying purpose in continuing the contempt action is ‘calculated to enforce a money judgment, pursue a “collection motive,” or to harass a defendant,’ then relief from the stay is not appropriate. . . . Movant’s request to return to state court to pursue a contempt action against the debtor is more akin to an attempt to collect a debt (or harass the debtor), than to uphold the dignity of the court.”).

 

5  See Milne v. Johnson (In re Milne), 185 B.R. 280, 284 (N.D. Ill. 1995) (It is cause for relief from the stay that purchaser at Illinois tax sale holds a “certificate of purchase,” the redemption period has expired and the purchaser must obtain a tax deed in state court within one year. “The automatic stay was not intended by Congress to toll the running of a redemption period. . . . Where the tax sale has occurred and the successful bidder now possesses a certificate of purchase, then, the lien has ‘ripened.’ This is what has happened in the present case. . . . [A]ppellee possessed a full expectation of ownership of the property but appellants had no further right to the property. . . . [T]he owners have already been provided all the relief to which they are entitled by bankruptcy, which is any delay section 108(b) would offer. The holder of the certificate of purchase, on the other hand, faces great harm. If the tax deed is not acquired within one year, then the certificate of purchase would . . . ‘be absolutely null and void.’”); In re Easley, Nos. 01-10151DWS, 00-33236DWS, 2001 WL 755460, at *3 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. June 26, 2001) (unpublished) (Cause for annulment of the stay retroactively to validate a foreclosure sale when debtor’s counsel admitted that debtor could not reorganize and denying relief from the stay would “compel the Bank to needlessly repeat the foreclosure action.”); In re McPherson, 225 B.R. 203 (Bankr. D. Idaho 1998) (Cause for relief from the stay to junior mortgage holder that there is no equity in the property, the passage of time is eating into the second mortgage, budget is so tight that adequate protection of the second mortgage holder is difficult or not possible, and holder of second mortgage is an individual who relies upon the income stream and cannot easily absorb the loss.); In re Watts, 181 B.R. 109 (Bankr. N.D. Ala. 1994) (That assumption of a year-to-year tenancy would only entitle the debtor to occupy her apartment for approximately two additional weeks is cause for relief from the stay to permit the lessor to file an unlawful detainer action.).

 

6  See §§ 260.1 [ To “Add” Prepetition Creditors ] § 127.3  To “Add” Prepetition Creditors and 283.1 [ Unscheduled Creditors ] § 133.2  Unscheduled Creditors before BAPCPA. See, e.g., In re Wright, 300 B.R. 453, 466 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2003) (Arguably in dicta, relief from the stay is one remedy that alleviates due process concerns when unscheduled creditor is disabled to file a timely claim. “Whether relief from the automatic stay is appropriate . . . will depend on . . . the debtor’s reason for listing the wrong address . . . the care with which she attempted to complete her lists and schedules, the point in time and manner in which [the creditor] learned of the case’s existence, and the possibility that . . . collection of the debt in state court will interfere with the debtor’s plan payments.”).

 

7  See Montgomery v. Dennis Joslin Co., II, LLC (In re Montgomery), 262 B.R. 772 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2001) (Cause for relief from the stay that successful bidder at foreclosure sale has a “colorable” claim to real property when foreclosure sale was conducted at 2:00 p.m. and debtor filed Chapter 13 at 3:42 p.m.); Bebensee-Wong v. Federal Nat’l Mortgage Ass’n (In re Bebensee-Wong), 248 B.R. 820 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2000) (Fannie Mae is entitled to relief from the stay to seek possession of real property when foreclosure sale was conducted 12 days before the petition and trustee’s deed was recorded two days after the petition but within the 15-day provision of California law that relates back the perfection of a trustee’s deed to the date of the foreclosure sale.); Walker v. PNC Bank, N.A., No. 01-3235, 2001 WL 1417712 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 9, 2001) (unpublished) (Cause for relief from stay that sheriff’s sale occurred before Chapter 13 petition; stay should be lifted to permit purchasing bank to obtain legal title from the debtor.); Galasso v. Bank of N.Y. (In re Galasso), 249 B.R. 54, 54 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (Purchaser at prepetition foreclosure sale is entitled to relief from the stay to take possession of property because foreclosure sale extinguished all of the debtor’s rights in the property and debtor “who is no more than a tenant at will, has no standing to invoke the automatic stay of the Bankruptcy Code to forestall the Bank’s gaining possession of what is now its property.”); Bell v. Alden Owners, Inc. (In re Bell), 199 B.R. 451 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (Bankruptcy court appropriately granted relief from stay to allow cooperative corporation to cancel share certificates and resell shares for debtor’s apartment where state court judgment terminating the debtor’s interest in the apartment and evicting the debtor was final before the petition, no lease remained to be assumed, and debtor was not providing adequate protection to the association.); Stevens v. Baas (In re Stevens), 197 B.R. 57 (N.D. Ohio 1995) (Affirms grant of relief from the stay to permit purchaser at tax sale to complete transfer of property. Chapter 13 was filed after tax sale but before expiration of 180-day redemption period. Debtor failed to redeem.); In re Harvey, No. 03-32997, 2003 WL 22794549 (Bankr. E.D. Va. Aug. 20, 2003) (unpublished) (Second mortgage holder has cause for relief from the stay when second lienholder was high bidder at foreclosure sale that was interrupted by Chapter 13 filing.); In re St. Pierre, 295 B.R. 692 (Bankr. D. Conn. 2003) (Cause for relief from stay that judgment of strict foreclosure was entered before Chapter 13 petition and relief from that judgment is “completely speculative and highly doubtful.”); In re Murray, 276 B.R. 869 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2002) (Declining to follow In re Bates, 270 B.R. 455 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2001), cause for relief from the stay that redemption period after Illinois tax sale expired and expired before confirmation and that debtor cannot use § 1322(b)(2) to pay delinquent taxes over the life of the Chapter 13 plan.); In re Moore, 267 B.R. 111, 118 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 2001) (Cause for relief from the stay that sheriff’s sale was completed between 10:00 a.m. and noon and Chapter 13 petition was filed at 4:37 p.m. “[A]s of the filing of the petition, the debtor retained legal title to, but no equitable interest in, the Property. . . . [T]hese circumstances establish ‘cause’ for relief from the stay so that a purchaser holding an equitable interest in a property can receive the deed.”); In re Easley, Nos. 01-10151DWS, 00-33236DWS, 2001 WL 755460, at *3 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. June 26, 2001) (unpublished) (Cause for annulment of the stay retroactively to debtor’s prior Chapter 13 case when mortgage holder conducted foreclosure sale without notice or knowledge of the prior case and “[t]he consequence . . . of denying the relief would be to compel the Bank to needlessly repeat the foreclosure action.”); In re Danaskos, 254 B.R. 416 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2000) (Because the debtor’s right to cure default under § 1322(c)(1) was cut off by completion of the foreclosure sale before the petition, buyer is entitled to relief from the stay to seek confirmation of sale in state court.); In re Mangano, 253 B.R. 339 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2000) (Cause for relief from the stay that foreclosure sale occurred before the petition, debtor filed Chapter 13 during the redemption period but debtor failed to redeem within the redemption period as extended by the Code. Debtor’s right to cure default under § 1322(c)(1) ended at the prepetition auction.); In re Cook, 253 B.R. 249 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2000) (Under 1999 amendments to Arkansas law, nonjudicial foreclosure sale was complete prior to the petition; creditor is entitled to relief from the stay to evict the debtor.); In re Steiner, 251 B.R. 137 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 2000) (Cause for relief from the stay that prepetition foreclosure sale divested the debtor of all interest in the property; although debtor could use § 544 to protect an exemption under § 522(h), § 544 is not available to the debtor.); Blue v. Town of Lake Bldg. Corp. (In re Blue), 247 B.R. 748 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2000) (Purchaser at prepetition Illinois delinquent tax sale is entitled to relief from the stay for cause because there is no debtor-creditor relationship between the purchaser and the debtor.); In re Williams, 247 B.R. 449 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2000) (Purchaser at foreclosure sale is entitled to relief from the stay because residence did not become property of the Chapter 13 estate when foreclosure sale was conducted two days before the petition and a trustee’s deed was executed an hour or two before petition.); In re Bobo, 246 B.R. 453 (Bankr. D.D.C. 2000) (Cause for relief from the stay that foreclosure sale was completed before the Chapter 13 petition was filed.); In re Hernandez, 244 B.R. 549 (Bankr. D.P.R. 2000) (Cause for relief from the stay that foreclosure sale was completed under Commonwealth law prior to the Chapter 13 petition and debtor has no interest remaining in the property.); In re Denny, 242 B.R. 593 (Bankr. D. Md. 1999) (Cause for relief from the stay that prepetition foreclosure sale took place before the petition divesting debtor of all legal or equitable title under Maryland law; relief from the stay is necessary and appropriate to permit the purchaser to seek ratification of the sale under Maryland law.); In re Belmonte, 240 B.R. 843 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1999) (Cause for relief from the stay that state court declared before the petition that the debtor had no legal or equitable interest in an installment contract for the purchase of real property and thus debtor’s right to cure defaults under § 1322(c)(1) expired.); Washington v. County of King William (In re Washington), 232 B.R. 340 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 1999) (Court grants sua sponte relief from the stay to permit county to confirm tax sale that was interrupted by Chapter 13 petition because tax sale was not subject to attack under § 548.); In re Crawford, 232 B.R. 92 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 1999) (Cause for relief from the stay that foreclosure sale was completed before the petition and the debtor cannot cure defaults under § 1322(c)(1).); In re Johnson, 215 B.R. 988 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 1997) (Mortgage holder entitled to relief from the stay where nonjudicial foreclosure sale was conducted before the petition, mortgage holder credit bid for property, and substitute trustee’s deed was prepared and notarized although not recorded before the petition. Debtor ceased to have an interest in the property when foreclosure sale was conducted, consideration passed, and the statute of frauds was satisfied.); Davisson v. Engles (In re Engles), 193 B.R. 23 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. 1996) (Cause for stay relief that Chapter 13 petition was filed four minutes after nonjudicial foreclosure sale, and relief would permit the purchaser to unite legal and equitable title.); Golden v. Mercer County Tax Claim Bureau (In re Golden), 190 B.R. 52 (Bankr. W.D. Pa. 1995) (Cause for stay relief that property was sold at prepetition tax sale and debtor owned only legal title at the petition. Lifting stay will allow the equitable owner to gain legal title.). See also Court v. Nasir (In re Nasir), 217 B.R. 995 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 1997) (Possessory interest in restaurant lease is protected by automatic stay, but cause for relief that state court judgment terminated lease before the petition and debtor is a tenant at will or sufferance only.). But see In re Atkins, 237 B.R. 816, 820–21 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1999) (Landlord for government subsidized apartment is not entitled to relief from the stay to complete eviction because debtors propose to assume lease through plan and debtors are entitled to prove the conditions in § 365. “Relief from the automatic stay is not warranted under these circumstances, provided Debtors successfully assume their lease with WPHA. Equity exists in Debtors’ lease that inures to the benefit of the estate. Debtors receive a government subsidy in the form of rental assistance, based upon their income eligibility. This subsidy continues as long as Debtors remain in their current apartment. This is a direct benefit to the estate. The government subsidy enables Debtors to satisfy their obligations to other creditors, including WPHA. Debtors would not be able to effectively reorganize without the lease and its accompanying government subsidy. . . . The Motion for Relief from Stay will be denied if Debtors can fulfill the requirements to successfully assume the lease.”); In re Fitzgerald, 237 B.R. 252 (Bankr. D. Conn. 1999) (Not cause for relief from the stay that mortgage holder has prepetition judgment of strict foreclosure and an execution of ejectment against the debtor. Debtor filed adversary proceeding alleging that forced transfer of property worth $157,000 for satisfaction of mortgage debt of $135,000 was avoidable under § 548. Relief from the stay was denied pending resolution of the adversary proceeding and conditioned that the debtor make payments on account of the mortgage into an escrow account.).

 

8  See, e.g., McDaniel v. Metropolis Towers Apartment Corp. (In re McDaniel), No. 01-Civ.-4138 (WGB), 2002 WL 1065874 (D.N.J. Feb. 26, 2002) (unpublished) (Relief from the stay was appropriate because debtor’s realty interest and stock ownership in a cooperative housing development were terminated prepetition.); Belmonte v. Belmonte (In re Belmonte), 279 B.R. 812 (E.D. Pa. 2001) (Bankruptcy court appropriately granted relief from the stay when prepetition state court “verdict” determined that the debtor’s mother owned real property in which the debtor claimed an interest.), aff’g in part and rev’g in part 240 B.R. 843 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1999); In re Foote, 277 B.R. 393 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2002) (Sublessor did not need relief from the stay because service of notice to quit five months before Chapter 13 petition terminated the sublease and debtor had no interest protected by the stay.); In re Giberson, 260 B.R. 78 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2001) (Relief from the stay granted because state domestic relations court adjudicated that movant, not debtor, was owner of real property and movant should be free to pursue enforcement of the state court order.); In re Rodio, 257 B.R. 699, 701 (Bankr. D. Conn. 2001) (A creditor with security interest in tractor is entitled to relief from the stay because ownership of the tractor is in a limited liability corporation and the tractor itself is not property of the Chapter 13 estate. That the debtor has possession of the tractor does not change this result because “such possession is only on behalf of” the limited liability company.); In re Ragin, 249 B.R. 118 (Bankr. D.S.C. 2000) (Cause for relief from the stay that nonfiling codebtor owns real property that secures a debt on which the debtor is also liable and debtor filed four Chapter 13 cases in an effort to shield the nonfiling codebtor from foreclosure.).

 

9  See §§ 312.1 [ Cause for Conversion ] § 141.3  Cause for Conversion and 334.1 [ Cause for Dismissal, Including Bad-Faith, Multiple and Abusive Filings ] § 152.4  Cause for Dismissal, Including Bad-Faith, Multiple and Abusive Filings. See, e.g., In re Dulisse, No. CIV.A. 01-1385, 2001 WL 769994, at *2 (E.D. Pa. July 5, 2001) (Cause for relief from the stay and for dismissal with prejudice to refiling for 180 days that debtor filed third Chapter 13 petition to delay foreclosure sale.); In re Cody, 297 B.R. 906, 908 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2003) (Cause for relief from the stay in fourth Chapter 13 case that order dismissing third case enjoined refiling for 180 days and provided that “any attempt to invoke the automatic stay . . . is hereby annulled until June 16, 2003”; fourth case was filed on March 24, 2003.); In re Robinson, No. 02-16940DWS, 2002 WL 31685731 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. Nov. 7, 2002) (unpublished) (Cause for relief from the stay in sixth bankruptcy case that debtor has enjoyed bankruptcy protection for six years without making mortgage payments and debtor failed to prove any ability to fund a Chapter 13 plan even if prepetition foreclosure was a preference.); In re Foster, 283 B.R. 917, 920 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2002) (“[T]his case presents a fact situation of abuse, after considering the debtor’s appalling record of ten bankruptcy case filings over a 19-year period and the history of increasing unpaid real estate taxes due and owing to the City. To deny the City relief on its motion under these circumstances would be an abuse of the bankruptcy system.”); In re Merchant, 256 B.R. 572 (Bankr. W.D. Pa. 2000) (Cause for relief from the stay that debtor and related entities filed seven bankruptcy cases since 1996 in a bad-faith effort to manipulate and abuse the bankruptcy system.); In re Ragin, 249 B.R. 118 (Bankr. D.S.C. 2000) (Cause for relief from the stay that nonfiling codebtor owns real property that secures a debt on which the debtor is also liable and debtor filed four Chapter 13 cases in an effort to shield the nonfiling codebtor from foreclosure.); Finizie v. Bridgeport (In re Finizie), 184 B.R. 415 (Bankr. D. Conn. 1995) (Relief from the stay for cause is appropriate where the debtor filed three bankruptcy cases, was unable to propose a plan, failed to make a good-faith effort to pay real estate taxes, cannot propose a plan that will pay real estate taxes, and has demonstrated a history of filing on the eve of a foreclosure sale.); In re Ashton, 63 B.R. 244 (Bankr. D.N.D. 1986) (Cause was found when sole reason for filing was to stop a foreclosure sale and debtor has not satisfied obligations to file statements, to fully disclose debts, and so forth.); In re Marter, 61 B.R. 271 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1986) (Modification of stay is appropriate upon third motion for relief from stay.); In re Graves, 59 B.R. 928 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1986) (Relief from the stay for cause was ordered where debtor filed third Chapter 13 case on eve of sheriff’s sale.); In re Black, 58 B.R. 60 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1986) (Relief for cause is warranted when debtor continuously fails to tender periodic payments to real estate-secured claim holder.).