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In re Jenkins

2016 WL 3574081 (2016)

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In re Jenkins

United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

2016 WL 3574081 (2016)

Facts

In 2007, Kenneth Harlan Jenkins (debtor) signed a promissory note with Heritage Banking Group (Heritage) (creditor) for a loan of $100,000. Indicated on the note as security were (1) a leaf/debris management system, (2) concrete-curbing machinery, (3) a golf cart, (4) a John Deere mule, (5) a lawn trailer, and (6) a portable generator/welder. The proceeds of the loan were to be used to purchase the listed collateral. The security agreement included the same description of collateral. Jenkins later admitted that he never bought the leaf/debris system or the concrete-curbing equipment, which had a total value of $76,475. In 2009, Jenkins’s landscaping business had slowed, and Jenkins asked Heritage to modify the terms of the note to lower his payment. Heritage did so. Jenkins, meanwhile, sold the lawn trailer in 2008, the mule in 2009, and the golf cart in 2010, with the three items obtaining about $3,100. Heritage’s security interest was later assigned to Trustmark National Bank (Trustmark). On May 8, 2014, Jenkins filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Trustmark filed an adversary proceeding, objecting to discharge for Jenkins and to the dischargeability of Jenkins’s debt to Trustmark. Trustmark argued that Jenkins’s failure to purchase some items and his disposal of other items constituted willful and malicious injury by Jenkins to Trustmark or its property. The matter was tried before the court, which made the question of the discharge of Jenkins’s debt to Trustmark ripe for ruling.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ellington, J.)

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