California Bankruptcy Court Says Debtor Barred From Challenging State Court Fraud Judgment Void – Finance & Banking


United States: California Bankruptcy Court Says Debtor Barred From Challenging State Court Fraud Judgment Void

To print this article, all you need to do is be registered or log in to

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California recently ruled that a debtor cannot challenge the discharge of a judgment obtained by a title insurer for an underlying fraud claim. See Title guarantor of Stewart. Co. v. Park (In re Park), 2021 Banker. LEXIS 3539 (Bankr. CD Cal. 29 Dec. 2021). In 2013, the legal predecessor of the title company obtained a default judgment in the amount of $278,052.60 against the debtor. The judgment stemmed from a 2011 real estate investment in which the debtor arranged for the predecessor to make a loan in exchange for a deed of trust on real estate. When the owners of the building brought an action alleging that their signatures were forged, the predecessor filed counterclaims against the debtor for fraud, among other things. The debtor defaulted and the predecessor obtained judgment by default. In 2020, the debtor filed for bankruptcy and the title company filed an action for release under Sections 523(a)(2) and (a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code. Under Section 523(a)(2), “[a] discharge under section 727 . . . of this title does not release an individual debtor from an indebtedness of money, goods, services or extension, renewal or refinancing of credit, insofar as it has been obtained by false pretences, misrepresentation or actual fraud, other than a statement regarding the financial condition of the debtor or an insider.” moved for summary judgment.

The Court granted the petition, holding that the doctrine of prohibition of issuance prohibits the debtor from contesting the exigibility of the debt here. First, the Court found that the state court’s default judgment for fraud related to claims identical to those referred to in Sections 523(a)(2) and (a)(6). Second, it held that the debtor had been served in this action and therefore had “actual knowledge of the existence of the dispute”, whether he responded or appeared. The Court also found that the issues were necessarily decided and were final and substantive for the above reasons, which satisfies the third and fourth elements of the issue exclusion. Finally, it was undisputed that the party against whom foreclosure was sought here (the debtor) is the same as the party in the state lawsuit. Accordingly, the Court granted the title company’s motion for summary judgment.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Finance and Banking of the United States

FinCEN Crypto & Ransomware Advice: Will 2022 Bring More Changes?

Torres Law, LLC

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) has made it clear that companies engaged in certain activities involving virtual currencies are subject to registration, reporting, record keeping and other anti-money laundering measures (“AML” requirements) under the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations.

This is the end of LIBOR as we know it

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

In global markets, the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve began long before revelers flocked to Times Square.


Comments are closed.