04 B 00114
Prior to the debtor filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor’s personal residence was purchased by a third party at a foreclose sale initiated by the holder of the second mortgage against the property. The debtor and the successful bidder entered into an oral agreement whereby the debtor could retain the fee simple interest in her personal residence in exchange for the purchase price paid plus interest. Both parties agreed to extend the state court order for possession, which normally accompanies a sale-confirmation order, several times between August and December of 2003. The successful bidder alleged that the debtor filed her chapter 13 case for the sole purpose of delaying or thwarting its pursuit of an order for possession that was likely to be issued by the state court in the foreclosure proceeding. The successful bidder requested relief from the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(1) or an order of dismissal with a 180-day bar against refiling pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 1307(c) and 349(a) so that it could seek to have the debtor dispossessed from the property. The court concluded that under the totality of the circumstances, dismissal under 11 U.S.C. § 1307(c) and 11 U.S.C. § 349(a) was not appropriate, as the debtor had not abused the bankruptcy process. However, the court did hold that “cause” existed to grant relief from the automatic stay because the debtor no longer held an interest in the property.