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One more ticked off bk judge


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Love that last sentence!

Punitive Damages of $18K Imposed for Stay Violation

Where a mortgagee willfully violated the automatic stay by repeatedly dunning the Chapter 7 debtor-mortgagors concerning their nonexistent mortgage delinquency, including telephoning the debtors some 60 times at their home or place of employment and sending three letters, punitive damages in the amount of $18,000.00, or double the award of actual damages, plus disgorgement of the $2,944.77 that had been paid on the mortgagee's claim, were appropriate. The mortgagee did not violate the stay just once, but engaged in a pattern of conduct. Furthermore, the mortgagee quite aggressively, but properly, used the facilities of the bankruptcy court in an effort to collect what it was due, but, when it served its purposes, quite brazenly ignored both the automatic stay and well-settled federal law, with which it was quite familiar. "From time to time, the Court will experience a creditor who chooses to ignore the bankruptcy filing and proceeds as if the bankruptcy case does not exist," the Alabama bankruptcy court commented. "However, this Court has never before experienced a creditor who files a motion for relief from the automatic stay, negotiates an adequate protection order, which leaves the automatic stay in place, and then wilfully violates the automatic stay whose existence was carefully negotiated in the adequate protection order." In re Hildreth, 2006 WL 3690177 (Bkrtcy.M.D.Ala., Judge Sawyer).

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