Selected Bankruptcy, Asset Protection, Succession & Homestead Decisions

English cases

Re a Debtor (No 544/SD/98), [2000] 1 BCLC 103 (C.A. 13 Oct. 1999) (Lloyd’s statutory demand set aside; question of “pay now sue later” clause and opportunity to pursue fraud claims by Lloyd’s investors who did not accept Reconstruction and Renewal offer)

— same case below, Re a Debtor, Ch. Div., 10 June 1999.

Anthony Gibbs and Son v. La Société Industrielle et Commerciale des Metaux, (1890) 25 Q.B.D. 399 (C.A.) (party to English contract is not discharged from liability by bankruptcy discharge in his foreign country of domicile)

Felixstowe Dock & Ry Lines v. US Lines Inc, [1989] QB 360 (refusal of English court to honour automatic stay in US Chapt. 11 case; Mareva injunction; compare In re McLean Industries, Inc., below)

Jones & Standen v. Lloyd’s, Ch.D., 16 Dec. 1999 (unreported) (statutory demands: Lloyd’s can deny discounts and allowances to investors who did not pay R&R settlement liabilities on time)

Re Landau (a bankrupt), [1997] 3 All E.R. 322, [1997] 2 F.L.R. 660 (personal pension subject to seizure by trustee in bankruptcy)

In the matter of Landau (committal proceedings in respect of insolvent former solicitor)

In the matter of Landau (hearing regarding purported power of attorney from daughter exercised by vexatious litigant)

Krasner v Dennison & Lawrence v Lesser, [2000] 3 All E.R. 234 (another case turning over private pension to bankruptcy trustee)

Rooney v. Cardona, [1999] F.L.R. 1236, [1999] 1 W.L.R. 1388 (undischarged bankrupt, entitlement to life insurance proceeds)

Canadian case

In re Morgan, [1999] Man. D.J. 185, [1999] ACWSJ 28613 (issues: conditional discharge based on future increases in income; discharge of Canadian tax debts; application of cross-border collection assistance provision of US-Canada treaty)

United States cases

Federal Trade Commn. v. Affordable Media LLC & Anderson, 179 F.3d 1228 (9th Cir. 1999) (civil contempt over failure to repatriate assets from Cook Islands trust)

Sturge v. Smouha (In re BCCI Holdings (Luxembourg) S.A.), 136 B.R. 921 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1992) (Lloyd’s underwriters appeal of Bankruptcy Court order in ancillary proceeding, seeking restraining order against plea agreement and forfeiture in BCCI case)

In re Boone, 134 B.R. 979 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1991) (debtor denied Florida homestead exemption; entitlement to E-2 visa lapsed upon divorce)

Bullen v. Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom, 553 So.2d 1344 (Fla. App. 4th Dist. 1989), (aff’d 567 So.2d 434 (S.Ct. Fla. 1990)) (Florida real property of British national deemed vested in receiver in English criminal bankruptcy)

Cooke v. Uranksy (In re Cooke), 412 So.2d 340 (Fla. 1982) (Certification to the Fla. Supreme Court on the issue of whether an alien without permanent visa status in the USA is entitled to Florida homestead exemption in bankruptcy)

Cooke v. Uranksy (In re Cooke), 643 F.2d 277 (5th Cir. 1981) (further proceeding denying exemption, same case)

Cutler v. Cutler, 2007 WL 601866 (Fla.App. 3 Dist.), 32 Fla. L. Weekly D583 (homestead laws; abatement of devise for payment of estate expenses)

Dequervain v. Desguin, 927 So.2d 232 (2d Dist.2006) (nonresident alien ineligible for homestead tax exemption)

Movitz v. Fiesta Investments, LLC (In re Ehmann), 319 B.R. 200 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 2005) (Asset protection limits of membership in Limited Liability Company)

Ruben v. Pringle (In re Focus Media, Inc.), 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 22713 (9th Cir. 2004) (Foreign-based defendant, service of process on U.S. counsel as “implied agent” allowed.)

In re Fodor, 339 B.R. 519 (M.D. Fla. 2006) (Fla. homestead issue)

In re Gibson, Bankr. N.D. N.Y. (Chapt. 13 case dismissed upon motion by Lloyd’s: held 2-party dispute; debtor had failed to modify his lifestyle. Jurisdiction and venue approved for Canadian resident with U.S. property.)

In re Gilbride, 32 B.R. 75 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1983) ((1) judgment debt for conversion nondischargeable; (2) insufficiency of debtor’s records made it impossible to determine whether debtor was concealing assets; discharge denied.)

In re Oscar Gilman, 68 B.R. 374 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1986) (Florida homestead exemption in bankruptcy denied to alien with tourist status and without “permanent visa”)

Havoco of America, Ltd. v. Hill, 790 So.2d 1018 (Fla. 2001), answering (in the affirmative) question certified by the Federal Cour of Appeals on the exempt status of a Florida homestead alleged to be a fraudulent conveyance or otherwise established in fraud of creditors, 197 F.3d 1135 (11th Cir. 1999)

Juarrero v. McNayr 157 So.2d 79 (1963) (Florida homestead exemption denied to Cuban refugee)

In re Lawrence, 238 B.R. 498 (Bankr. S.D.Fla. 1999) (debtor held in civil contempt for failure to turn over to bankruptcy trustee assets held in offshore asset protection trust)

— same case, In re Lawrence, 227 B.R. 907 (Bankr. S.D.Fla. 1998) (Mauritius asset protection trust. Debtor’s repeated failure to truthfully answer trustee’s questions regarding debtor’s formation and continuing interest in offshore trust constituted a "willful and bad faith" failure to obey discovery orders of bankruptcy court, of kind which warranted bankruptcy court’s acceptance of allegations in trustee’s complaint and entry of default judgment against debtor.)

In re Marco Levy, 238 B.R. 498 (Bankr. S.D.Fla. 1999) (Attorney General of Quebec objection to discharge and to exemptions; Canadian in US on temporary visa held not entitled to any exemptions)

In re Lowry, SA98-12113-JR, Ch. 11, Bankr., C.D. Cal. (Judgment of dismissal on motion by Lloyd’s, issued July 20, 1998, on grounds that underlying issue was two-party dispute, that debtor was indisputably solvent, and that motivation for case was forum-shopping)

In re McLean Industries, Inc. (United States Lines v. GAC Marine Fuels Ltd.), 68 B.R. 690 (Bankr. S.D. N.Y. 1986) (civil contempt order against GAC Marine Fuels, which had violated the automatic stay by bringing in rem admiralty action in Hong Kong against the debtor, notwithstanding the automatic stay of Chapter 11 filing; compare Felixstowe Dock and Ry. Lines, above)

Nakash v. Zur, 190 B.R. 763 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1996) (Israeli receiver sanctioned for failure to respect automatic stay)

In re Ondrey, 227 B.R. 211 (Bankr. W.D.N.Y. 1998) (Canadian RRSP is not exempt in US bankruptcy under New York State exemption law, as equivalent of IRA; Canadian company pension held partially exempt)

— same case on appeal, In re Ondrey, 1999 WL 409497 (99-CV-0011E(H), 97-BK-16356K) (affirming non-exemption of RRSP; holding company pension plan fully exempt as the judge below had failed to notice an amendment to NY Debtor & Creditor Law deleted the “reasonably necessary” standard).

Phillips v. Hirshon, 958 So.2d 425, 32 Fla. L. Weekly D1151 (3d Dist. 2007) (Homestead law as applied to cooperative apartment) (Review granted: 963 So.2d 227 (Fla. 2007))

Marine Midland Bank v. Portnoy (In re Portnoy), 201 B.R. 685 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1996) (offshore trust)

In re Schultz, 101 B.R. 301 (Bankr. N.D. Fla. 1989) (debtor who, for want of residency qualification is not entitled to Florida state exemptions in bankruptcy can claim federal exemptions, despite state pre-emption)

In re Simon, 153 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 1998) (foreign creditor is subject to bankruptcy court sanctions for pursuing foreign collection of a debt discharged in a US bankruptcy)

Synder v. Davis, 699 So.2d 999, 22 Fla. L. Weekly S564 (Fla. 1997) (“ the homestead provision must be given a broad and liberal construction. In the context of this case, we reject the narrow entitlement definition of the term “heirs” that includes only those people who would inherit under the intestacy statute at the death of the decedent.”)

In re States, 237 B.R. 847 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1999) (debtor’s failure to raise claim of exemption under Florida law in annuity proceeds, in prior litigation regarding annuity in New York state court, did not bar debtor, upon commencement of his bankruptcy case, from asserting Florida state law exemption in annuity.)

Walker v. Harris, 398 So.2d 955 (C.A. Fla. 4th Dist. 1981) (definition of what constitues “legal residence” in Florida)

French case (forced heirship)

Caron v. Odell, Cassation civile, 1st Chamber, March 20, 1985 (US corporation or trust established to hold title in French land contrary to French ordre public. Similar rules may be applied in creditor cases, piercing a foreign corporate veil.)

Commentary, articles and links

Hans Christian Beyer, “Recovering Assets from Offshore Jurisdictions Through the Use of Mareva [Inj]unctions [freezing orders] and Anton Piller Relief Orders [document discovery and seizure]”, American Bankruptcy Institute Newsletter of Insolvency Issues, May 21, 1999,

Financial Times, Sept. 27, 2004: Jonathan Birchall, “The full force of contempt” (lengthy prison confinement for failure to turn over assets in civil contempt case)

Los Angeles Times, Sept. 7, 2005: Peter G. Gosselin, “New Bankruptcy Law Could Exact a Toll on Storm Victims”


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