It may only be Galentine’s Day
as we post this, but given that V-Day is imminent, The Bachelor
is in full-swing, and Fifty Shades of Gray
just came out on the big screen, we decided to find some reasonable nexus between bankruptcy, romance, and love. In this year’s edition, we learn that all bets are off when former lovers end up in court.
In Morales v. Giddens (In re Giddens)
, the plaintiff, Marta Morales, brought a complaint against her ex-husband, Christopher Giddens, seeking a finding that Giddens’ various debts to her were nondischargeable pursuant to various subsections of section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code.
The bankruptcy court’s decision includes a full recitation of the sordid details of the dissolution of Giddens’ and Morales’ relationship. In brief, in connection with their divorce, Giddens agreed to turn over to Morales a series of shared items, including cars, flat screen televisions, furniture, and cash. After Giddens continued to fail to satisfy his obligations under the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, he met a loan officer named Agnieszka Materna. Materna and Giddens dated for some time, and Materna eventually agreed to invest $20,000 with Giddens for property that Giddens intended to “flip” for a profit. The $20,000 was never repaid.