Odes Ho purchased and took title in his name to a home in Irving, Texas where he and his wife Chong Ann Kim resided at all times pertinent to this case. The purchase price of the home was $1,048,028.36. At the time of the purchase, litigation was pending between Mr. Kim and Appellee Dome Entertainment Center, Inc. (Dome) in California, and approximately two years after Mr. Kim had purchased the residence, judgment was entered against him for more than $5,000,000. Less than 1,215 days after the residence was acquired by Mr. Kim, Dome instituted the underlying bankruptcy proceedings by filing an involuntary petition for relief against Mr. Kim. Following a trial, the bankruptcy court entered an order for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Mr. Kim subsequently converted the case to a Chapter 11 proceeding and now operates as a debtor-in-possession.
Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(A), Mr. Kim claimed an unlimited homestead exemption under Texas law for the residence. Dome objected, asserting that, pursuant to § 522(p), the exemption should be limited to a $136,875. The bankruptcy court sustained the objection.
Mr. Kim then instituted the underlying adversary proceeding, seeking a declaratory judgment “to determine the extent of the interest of the Debtor’s bankruptcy estate in and to the Property pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 541,” and to determine Mrs. Kim’s rights and claims to the residence by virtue of her claim that it constitutes her homestead under Texas law. Dome intervened, and Dome and Mrs. Kim filed cross motions for summary judgment seeking a determination of whether Mrs. Kim retained an exempt homestead interest in the residence and, if so, whether that interest precluded a trustee or debtor-in- possession from forcing a sale of the property or, alternatively, required Mrs. Kim to be compensated in the event of a forced sale.
Judge(s): Priscilla R. Owen
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
Related Categories: Bankruptcy , Constitutional Law , Construction , Contracts , Damages , Domestic Relations , Entertainment , Finance / Banking , Property , Shareholder , Taxation , Veterans , Wills / Trusts / Estates
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