Buescher v. First United Bank & Trust, No. 14-40361 (5th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
The bankruptcy court declined to grant a discharge to defendant-appellant Dean Buescher and defendant-appellant Sherry Buescher. Dean operated a home-building business through Buescher Interests, L.P. (“BIL”). Sherry, Dean’s spouse and a Texas-licensed attorney, often served as the closing officer for BIL’s real estate transactions. Plaintiff-appellee First United Bank & Trust Co. loaned BIL approximately $19 million. Dean personally guaranteed the loans First United made to BIL. The Bueschers filed a joint Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. First United filed an adversary complaint arguing, inter alia, that the bankruptcy court should refuse to discharge both Dean and Sherry from the bankruptcy action. Sherry argued on appeal that First United did not have standing to object to her discharge, because it was not her creditor (she never personally guaranteed the First United loans). Because Texas is a community property state, and because Sherry and Dean own jointly-held community property, the Fifth Circuit concluded that First United could satisfy a claim against Sherry through an in rem suit. The Fifth Circuit found no reversible error in the bankruptcy court's judgment, and affirmed in all respects.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on April 15, 2015.