In re Johnson (Aug. 27, 2012)
Issue: In an objection to exemptions, is expert testimony from the creditor’s husband, a former CPA with experience in “forensic accounting reconstructions,” sufficient to grant the objection?
Holding: “Regardless of expert’s potential bias, expert testimony was largely speculative. In objecting to exemption valuations, the movant must present evidence that affirmatively demonstrates a fair market value of the property; merely impeaching Debtor’s valuation is not sufficient. Objection to value of claimed exemption denied.”
In re Woerner (Sept. 26, 2012)
Issue: Upon amendment of a debtor’s schedules, does Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 4003(b)(1) allow a party in interest 30 days to object to any claimed exemption, or does the rule only allow objections to exemptions changed by the amendment? If Rule 4003(b)(1) is interpreted to allow a party in interest to object to any claimed exemption, did the movant meet its burden of proof?
Holding: “The plain language of Rule 4003(b)(1), the nature of exemption schemes, and the lack of compelling policy arguments to the contrary, suggest that, upon amendment to the schedules, a party in interest may to object to any claimed exemption. Further, the movant did not meet its burden of proof. Although the movant implied that some of Debtor’s valuations were too low, merely impeaching Debtor’s testimony is not enough. Objection denied.”