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In re Ramos

United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the First Circuit

October 22, 2013

Carmen Ines Rosado RAMOS, a/k/a Carmen I. Rosado Ramos, Debtor.
v.
Rafael A. Ortiz Negron, Appellee. Carmen Ines Rosado Ramos, Appellant, Bankruptcy No. 12-00327-BKT.

Page 402

Carlos C. Alsina-Batista, Esq., on brief for Appellant.

Roberto Figueroa Carrasquillo, Esq., on brief for Appellee.

Before DEASY, KORNREICH, and BAILEY, United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Judges.

KORNREICH, Bankruptcy Judge.

The sole issue on appeal is whether the trustee's abandonment of the debtor's residence deprived the bankruptcy court of jurisdiction to determine the debtor's motion to avoid a judgment lien under 11 U.S.C. § 522(f). [1] The bankruptcy court ruled that the abandonment deprived it of jurisdiction. The debtor appeals that order and the order denying her request for reconsideration. We VACATE both orders and REMAND the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

BACKGROUND

In 2007, Rafael A. Ortiz Negron recorded a judgment lien in the amount of $105,502.17 in the Puerto Rico land registry against Carmen Ines Rosado Ramos. Sometime later, pursuant to a state court

Page 403

order annulling the lien, a release of lien was recorded in the land registry. In November 2011, the state court restored Ortiz Negron's lien.

Rosado commenced a voluntary chapter 7 case in January 2012, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico. She listed her residence on her bankruptcy schedules with a current value of $280,000.00, subject to a mortgage in the amount of $425,130.50 and an exemption in the amount of $21,625.00. She also listed Ortiz Negron as the holder of an unsecured claim in the amount of $105,502.17. The trustee saw no value for the estate in the residence and abandoned it. Thereafter, Ortiz Negron asked the bankruptcy court for relief from stay to re-record his restored lien as if it had not been annulled. Rosado objected to his request, and coupled her objection with her request under § 522(f) to avoid Ortiz Negron's lien. Concluding that it lacked jurisdiction of the residence because it was no longer property of the estate, the bankruptcy court determined that both Ortiz Negron's motion for relief from stay and Rosado's opposition were moot. [2]

A short time later, Rosado filed her second request for lien avoidance under § 522(f). Ortiz Negron asserted lack of jurisdiction and res judicata as defenses. The bankruptcy court denied Rosado's second request for lack of jurisdiction. She asked for reconsideration under Fed. R. Bankr.P. 9023 (which incorporates Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e)), arguing that the bankruptcy court's decision was based upon an error of law. Concluding that Rosado had failed to show either a manifest error of law or newly discovered evidence, the bankruptcy court denied her request.

Rosado appeals the order denying her second § 522(f) request and the order denying reconsideration.

JURISDICTION

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1) and (b) we are authorized to hear appeals from final orders. See Fleet Data Processing Corp. v. Branch (In re Bank of New England Corp.),218 B.R. 643, 645 (1st Cir. BAP 1998). Both the § 522(f) order and the order denying reconsideration are final because neither leaves anything open for subsequent determination. See Garcia Matos v. Oliveras Rivera (In re Garcia Matos), 478 B.R. 506, 511 (1st Cir. BAP 2012); Snyder v. Rockland Trust Co. (In re Snyder), 279 B.R. 1, 2 (1st Cir. BAP 2002). The appeal of each ...


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