United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
L. Miller, Jr. Judge
Hollowell appeals from the bankruptcy court's July 13,
2016 order granting JP Morgan Chase's motion for relief
from stay and to abandon real estate. The only issue before
the court is whether the bankruptcy court abused its
discretion when it granted the motion. For the following
reasons, this court AFFRIMS the bankruptcy court's
decision, and DENIES the motions to stay pending appeal.
filed a foreclosure action against Mr. Hollowell in April
2012, after he defaulted on his mortgage, and a default
judgment was entered against him. Chase's efforts to
execute on that judgment were stayed when Mr. Hollowell filed
a Chapter 13 petition in bankruptcy in 2015, so Chase filed a
motion for relief from the automatic stay and to abandon the
real estate. Based on the evidence presented at a hearing,
the bankruptcy court granted the motion, finding that:
• Mr. Hollowell hadn't made a mortgage payment for
at least the past four years;
• the amount owed exceeded the value of the property;
• Mr. Hollowell had no equity in the real estate;
• the property wasn't necessary to an effective
• cause existed to lift the stay; and
• 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(2) required the court to grant
Chase relief from the automatic stay.
Hollowell appeals from that order, contending that JP Morgan
Chase perpetrated a fraud on the court by submitting a false
document - a copy of the promissory note - as proof of its
claim, and that the bankruptcy judge wasn't impartial and
should have recused himself. He also filed motions to stay
the Sheriff's sale pending appeal.
court has jurisdiction to hear appeals from final judgments,
orders, and decrees by the bankruptcy court under 28 U.S.C.
§ 158(a)(1). An order granting relief from an automatic
stay is final and appealable. In re Boomgarden, 780
F.2d 657, 659-60 (7th Cir. 1985).
isn't the first time Mr. Hollowell has made
unsubstantiated allegations of fraud against Chase. He raised
the same argument in 2013 in Hollowell et al. v. JP
Morgan Chase Bank, et al, Cause No. 3:13-CV-490 JVB.
That case was dismissed, as were the appeals from Judge
VanBokkelen's order. See [Doc. Nos. 30, 38 and
52]. Mr. Hollowell reasserted his allegations of fraud in
September 2015, when he filed an adversary proceeding in the
bankruptcy court. The claim was dismissed, as was his appeal
to the district court, see Hollowell v. ChaseHome Finance, Cause No. 3:16-CV-134 PPS [Doc. No.
6], and the court of appeals affirmed the ...