The Debtors filed a contempt motion against a creditor for pursuing a deficiency claim against the male Debtor and a co-debtor despite failing to timely file a deficiency claim within the time required pursuant to a consent order granting the creditor relief from stay. The creditor failed to appear at the hearing on the motion and the Court issued a show cause order requiring the creditor to appear and show cause why an order should not be entered holding the creditor in contempt of Court. At the show cause hearing, the creditor again failed to appear.
The Court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that the creditor violated the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a), but held that damages and attorney's fees were not appropriate under Section 362(k)(1) since evidence of damages was not proven by a preponderance of the evidence. However, pursuant to Section 105(a), the Court held the creditor in civil contempt for failing to comply with the Court's previous order and thus, sanctioned the creditor in the amount of $500.00 for willful violation of the consent order payable to the male Debtor and the co-debtor and $500.00 in attorney's fees payable to Debtors' counsel.