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The summaries on this website are summaries of the opinions issued by the judges of the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia from October 2004 to date. The opinions may be searched by year, judge, category and chapter. For a more detailed search, enter a keyword in the search box above. This opinion bank, however, is not an exhaustive list of opinions issued by the judges of the Western District. These summaries are not intended to replace other research methods, but may be used as a starting point for your research. These summaries do not contain information as to whether an opinion has been published, appealed or the disposition of any such appeal, or otherwise overruled or affected by subsequent case law or statute. These summaries have been prepared for the convenience of the researcher and in no way constitute an interpretation by the Court of the opinion summarized. Please rely on the opinion not the summary. Please contact Judge Connelly's chambers or Judge Black's chambers regarding any questions or errors.

In re O'Dell (Case No. 04-03415) 3/8/2005

The Court granted the debtor's motion to avoid lien and for turnover of garnished wages because the debtor is entitled to avoid the lien of writ of fieri facias pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(f) because it impaired an exemption to which the debtor would otherwise be entitled.  Virginia’s homestead exemption can “trump” the lien from the writ of fieri facias because before the Court orders the garnishee to make payment to the judgment creditor or the garnishee pays the withheld funds to the Court, the debtor still maintains an interest in the garnished wages withheld by the garnishee.  Accordingly, the Court ordered that the garnished wages be returned to the debtor as property exempted from the bankruptcy estate under the homestead exemption pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 34-4.

In re Hairston (Case No. 04-00415) 01/11/2005

Automatic stay does not apply to the collection of any support from property that is not property of the estate.  Property of the estate for Chapter 13 purposes includes post-petition earnings of the debtor only to the extent paid to Trustee or directly to creditors, as provided for in the plan or confirmation order.  11 U.S.C. section 1327(b) (excluding remaining earnings from estate).  Vacated order quashing support garnishment not provided for in Chapter 13 plan.