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In re Ernst

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division

March 20, 2015

IN THE MATTER OF KEVIN ERNST, Debtor.
v.
MICHIGAN EDUCATIONAL CREDIT UNION, Appellee. KEVIN ERNST, Appellant, No. 09-57667

OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING ON ALTERNATE GROUNDS FEBRUARY 22, 2013 AND MAY 19, 2014 BANKRUPTCY COURT ORDERS

GERSHWIN A. DRAIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

I. INTRODUCTION

Now before the Court is an appeal from the February 22, 2013 and May 19, 2014 Orders of the Eastern District of Michigan Bankruptcy Court granting Appellee, Michigan Educational Credit Union’s (“MECU”) Motion to Vacate and Set Aside Order of May 21, 2010. The parties have waived oral argument. See Dkt. No. 10. For the reasons that follow, the Court AFFIRMS on alternate grounds the Bankruptcy Court’s Orders.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On June 4, 2009, Debtor Kevin Ernst filed for relief under Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. MECU was a holder of a second mortgage on real property owned by Debtor located in Milford, Michigan. The subject property was Debtor’s homestead at the time of confirmation.

On July 27, 2009, MECU filed its secured proof of claim related to the Milford property. On August 31, 2009, Debtor’s Chapter 13 Plan was confirmed. The Plan recognized MECU’s claim as a secured Class 2 claim and represented that payments were to be made outside of the Plan. Thereafter, Debtor filed an objection to MECU’s proof of claim on March 18, 2010. On April 14, 2010, Debtor filed his second adversary complaint to strip MECU’s lien secured by the Milford property. On May 17, 2010, a hearing was held on Debtor’s objection to Appellee’s proof of claim. At the hearing, the following exchange between Debtor’s counsel and the Bankruptcy Court occurred:

THE COURT: You’re going to end up if the adversary proceeding is successful with a – with a claim, correct?
MR. LAMKIN: Yeah. They’ll have a claim for an unsecured –
THE COURT: You’ll have an unsecured claim.
MR. LAMKIN: Correct. THE COURT: You’ll be treated as an unsecured creditor under the plan, I assume.
MS. SKELTIS: That’s what I –
THE COURT: And I guess there’s no objection to that, isn’t that right, counsel? That’s the point.
MR. LAMKIN: Yes. Yeah, that’s the relief requested. I’m just ...

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