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May 04, 2015

Supreme Court rules against man's bankruptcy plan

Unanimous vote, even though major bank and Obama backed the former homeowner

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled against a Massachusetts man battling his mortgage lender over a bankruptcy plan in a case in which the Obama administration and even Bank of America Corp had backed the homeowner.

On a 9-0 vote, the court said Louis Bullard, who owes community bank Blue Hills Bancorp Inc $387,000 for the mortgage on a property in the town of Randolph, cannot appeal a bankruptcy judge's rejection of his proposed bankruptcy plan.
Blue Hills, formerly known as Hyde Park Savings Bank, had no support from the business community.
Both the U.S. government and Bank of America Corp, one of the nation’s largest lenders, backed Bullard in the case, which was argued before the high court on April 1.
Bank of America's friend-of-the-court brief said allowing appeals when bankruptcy plans are rejected would assist with "the orderly and uniform development of bankruptcy law," which would benefit creditors as well as homeowners like Bullard.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing on behalf of the court, noted that there are occasions in which appeals could be allowed, including cases similar to Bullard's.
"Sometimes, of course, a question will be important enough that it should be addressed immediately," he wrote.    
The case is Bullard v. Hyde Park Savings Bank, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-116