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In re Raynor

United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Eighth Circuit

July 25, 2019

In re: John Patrick Raynor Debtor
v.
Dennis P. Walker Defendant-Appellee John Patrick Raynor Plaintiff - Appellant

          Submitted: June 27, 2019

          Appeal from United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska - Omaha

          Before SCHERMER, DOW and SANBERG, Bankruptcy Judges.

          SCHERMER, BANKRUPTCY JUDGE

         John Patrick Raynor (Debtor) appeals the bankruptcy court's[1] orders: (1) dismissing his adversary proceeding; and (2) denying his post-dismissal motion. We have jurisdiction over this appeal from the final orders of the bankruptcy court. See 28 U.S.C. § 158(b). For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         ISSUES

         The issues on appeal are whether the bankruptcy court properly dismissed the Debtor's adversary proceeding as a collateral attack on prior rulings, and denied the Debtor's post-dismissal motion.[2] We hold that since the Debtor's adversary proceeding attempting to re-litigate the dischargeability of a 2008 loan obligation was a collateral attack on prior court orders, the bankruptcy court acted properly.

         BACKGROUND

         In 2004, the Debtor filed a petition for relief under Chapter 11. The Debtor's Chapter 11 case was converted to a case under Chapter 7 and the Debtor received his Chapter 7 discharge in 2005.

         Prior to the Debtor's filing of his bankruptcy petition, he was a member of A&G Precision Parts Finance L.L.C. and A&G Precision Parts L.L.C. The Debtor listed in his bankruptcy schedules his guaranty of a loan from Five Points Bank. In 2006, the Debtor signed another guaranty of the Five Points Bank debt. About two years after the Debtor received his Chapter 7 discharge, the A&G entities and their members refinanced the Five Points loan by borrowing funds from First State Bank (2008 Loan). The Debtor personally obligated himself on the 2008 Loan.

         A year following the loan, First State Bank filed a lawsuit in Nebraska state court against the A&G entities and the Debtor to recover the balance due on the 2008 Loan.

         The A&G entities, and Dennis Walker, as an individual and as a member of the A&G entities, then filed an adversary proceeding (Adversary 1) in the Debtor's bankruptcy case, alleging the non-dischargeability of debt. Several months later, the bankruptcy court dismissed Adversary 1.

         In October 2009, the Debtor filed an adversary proceeding (Adversary 2) against First State Bank, seeking a declaratory judgment that his liability on the 2008 Loan was discharged in his bankruptcy case. In January 2010, the bankruptcy court granted First State Bank's motion to dismiss Adversary 2, stating:

[T]he facts alleged in the complaint allege only that First State Bank, a postdischarge lender, is attempting to collect on a loan co-signed by the debtor. The statutory injunction against post-discharge collection efforts applies only to debts that arose before the date of discharge, so it is inapplicable here. 11 U.S.C. ยง 524(a)(2). The 2008 loan agreement with First State Bank was a new and separate financing transaction. It stands alone. The debtor entered into that financing arrangement well after receiving his bankruptcy discharge. The debt is not subject to bankruptcy laws simply by virtue of the debtor's previous bankruptcy filing. He took on this debt after his ...

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