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Patterson v. Shumate, 504 U.S. 753, 112 S.Ct. 2242, 119 L.Ed. 2d 519 (1992) (Blackmun, J. )(9:0)


certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit

ERISA benefits are not property of the estate. An anti alienation provision in an ERISA qualified pension plan constitutes a restriction on transfer enforceable under "applicable nonbankruptcy law" for purposes of the 11 U.S.C. 541(c)(2) exclusion of property from the debtor's chapter 7 bankruptcy estate. The Court held "applicable nonbankruptcy law" language of 11 U.S.C. 541(c)(2) included federal as well as state law.

Chiu v. Wong, 16 F.3d 306 (8th Cir. 1994)


Under Minnesota law, the former partner of a chapter 13 debtor's husband sufficiently traced the proceeds of his converted partnership property into the debtor's homestead. Thus, he was entitled to a constructive trust on the homestead to the extent that funds for the purchase of the home came from the partnership assets.

Security State Bank v. Nieman, 1 F.3d 687 (8th Cir. 1993).

In a chapter 13 the bankruptcy estate continues to exist post confirmation. This case appears to be in disagreement with the majority opinion of Laughlin v. Internal Revenue Service, 912 F.2d 197 (8th Cir. 1990) as to the issue of property of the estate.

Laughlin v. Internal Revenue Service, 912 F.2d 197 (8th Cir. 1990)

The Internal Revenue Service did not violate the automatic stay by serving a chapter 13 trustee with a notice of levy upon funds owed to taxpayers from chapter 13 debtors. The debtors, estate, and creditors were unaffected by the levy. The strong, well-reasoned dissent, was filed and is usually the version quoted. The property of the estate issue was decided differently by another panel of the 8th Circuit in Security State Bank v. Nieman, 1 F.3d 687 (8th Cir. 1993).

In Re Rutt, 98 B.R. 490 (Bankr. D. Neb. 1988), aff'd sum nom, Laughlin v. Internal Revenue Service, 98 B.R. 494 (D. Neb. 1989), Laughlin v. Internal Revenue Service, 912 F.2d 197 (8th Cir. 1990)

After confirmation, undistributed and future payments to the chapter 13 trustee do not constitute property of the estate and are not protected from an IRS levy by the automatic stay. The words "except as otherwise provided in the plan or order confirming the plan" . . . "simply accommodates those debtors who utilize the option of vesting title to specific property to an entity other than himself or herself as part of the plan." IRS permitted to levy upon payments by debtor chapter 13 trustee to collect taxes owed by debtor's counsel. But see Security State Bank v. Nieman, 1 F.3d 687 (8th Cir. 1993).

Koch v. Myrvold, 784 F.2d 862 (8th Cir. 1986). 

Property inherited more than 180 days after the original Chapter 11 petition was filed was not property of the estate notwithstanding subsequent conversion of case to Chapter 7.

Resendez v. Lindquist, 691 F.2d 397 (8th Cir. 1982)

Funds held by the trustee in a confirmed chapter 13 case become property of the chapter 7 estate upon conversion of the chapter 13 case to a chapter 7 case, and the funds are not subject to exemption.

In Re John & Sandra Chavez, Bk. No. 94-40020 (Bankr. D. Neb. September 27, 1994) (Chapter 13) (Judge John C. Minahan, Jr.)

Child support arrearages are property of the bankruptcy estate.

In Re Tworek, 107 B.R. 666 (Bankr. D. Neb. 1989) Neb. Bkr. 89:610 (Judge Minahan)

An inheritance received by a debtor more than 180 days after the commencement of a chapter 13 bankruptcy case was property of the chapter 13 estate and became property of the chapter 7 estate upon conversion to the chapter 7 case. Therefore, the inheritance could be claimed by the subsequent chapter 7 trustee.


In Re Cudabeck, 22 B.R. 914 (Bankr. D. Neb. 1982), Neb. Bkr. 82:126 (Judge Crawford)



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