Bryan v. Clark, No. 16-1172 (10th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) concluded the bankruptcy court correctly declined to apply the doctrine of marshaling in favor of a secured creditor, because the common debtor requirement imposed by Colorado law was not satisfied. This appeal arose out of an adversary proceeding brought by the trustee of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy estate to determine how to divide the proceeds from the sale of the debtor’s real property. The BAP concluded the bankruptcy court did not err in determining the bankruptcy estate was entitled to retain the proceeds from the sale of the property subject to a home equity line of credit lien, or in determining the amount due under that lien. But the BAP found the bankruptcy court erred under 11 U.S.C. 506(c) by surcharging the secured collateral (and thereby reducing a secured creditor’s share) for expenses incurred contesting the validity of that secured creditor’s lien. The Tenth Circuit conducted a complete and independent review, and with several caveats, affirmed the BAP’s judgment and formally adopted its opinion.