Pro se creditor filed an adversary proceeding objecting to the dischargeability of a debt owed by the Debtor and alleging that the Debtor made false oaths on his bankruptcy schedules and tax returns. At issue is whether damages arising from an alleged breach of contract and costs of repair of damages to property are excepted from discharge under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2)(A) and 523(a)(6) and whether the Debtor made false statements pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727(a)(4)(A) thereby justifying a denial of discharge. The Court held that the creditor failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence that any of the Debtor’s actions justify denial of discharge related to the allegations that the debt was “obtained by false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud.” The Court also denied the creditor’s claim that the debts were “for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity.” The Court found that the Debtor acted neither maliciously nor with willful intent to damage structures and items in the residence. Minor damages were a result of mere wear and tear or negligent upkeep and other damage did not meet the test to be declared non-dischargeable. Finally, the Court held that the Debtor’s failure to disclose certain income on his schedules was an inadvertent omission of non-material issues that did not meet the standard to deny the Debtor a discharge under Section 727(a)(4)(A).
Monday, June 17, 2019
Burden of Proof