In re Butz

444 B.R. 301 (2011)

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In re Butz

United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
444 B.R. 301 (2011)

  • Written by Jody Stuart, JD

Facts

Freda Butz (debtor) filed for bankruptcy. Five weeks later, and four weeks after People First Federal Credit Union (People First) (creditor) had received notice of Butz’s filing, Butz received a computer-generated statement from People First. The statement included language stating that Butz’s account was past due and requesting immediate payment of the amount due. The statement also noted the dollar amount due, and there was a blank line to be filled in by the debtor, indicating the amount the debtor would be submitting as payment. The section with the noted dollar amount due and blank line was perforated to enable separation of this portion from the rest of the statement. People First’s computer system was programmed to only send the statement when Butz’s account became past due. Butz filed a complaint with the bankruptcy court alleging that People First had committed a willful violation of the automatic stay under § 362(k) of the United States Bankruptcy Code and seeking actual damages. Butz then filed a motion for summary judgment on the complaint.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Opel, J.)

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