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In re Koch

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

May 13, 2019

In re VICTORIA KOCH

          RULING AND ORDER ON BANKRUPTCY APPEAL

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Paul Koch (“Appellant”), pro se, appeals three orders of the United States Bankruptcy Court (“Bankruptcy Court”) and the United States Bankruptcy Trustee's report of July 27, 2018. Notice of Appeal, ECF No. 1; Order Granting Motion For Relief From Stay Filed by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, In re Koch, 18-bk-50325 (JAM), Dkt. 10; Order Granting Mot. for Permission to Obtain an Electronic Case Filing, et. al., id., Dkt. 16; Chapter 7 Trustee's Report of No. Distribution (July 27, 2018); Order Denying Mot. to Vacate, id., Dkt. 25.

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court AFFIRMS the Bankruptcy Court's orders.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         On June 29, 2005, Victoria Koch allegedly “executed a note in favor of Washington Mutual Bank FA in the original principal amount of $2, 593, 750.00 . . . ” for 2 Random Road, Greenwich, Connecticut. Mot. for Relief, In re Koch, 18-bk-50325, Dkt. 9, at 3. Ms. Koch allegedly stopped making payments on the note in early 2009. Id.

         On May 22, 2009, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as trustee for Washington Mutual Bank, filed a foreclosure action against the property in Connecticut Superior Court, Stamford Judicial District. Obj. to Paul Koch's Mot. to Vacate Order on Movant's Mot. For Relief from Stay, Ex. Foreclosure Docket, id., Dkt. 21 at 10-20; see Deutsche Bank v. Koch, FST-CV09-6001371-S (Conn. Super. Ct., Stamford Judicial District Mar. 9, 2017, May 22, 2009).

         On April 29, 2014, Ms. Koch moved to name Mr. Koch as an in-party Defendant on the basis of a quitclaim deed. see Deutsche Bank, FST-CV09-6001371-S, Dkt. 205. On July 11, 2014, the Superior Court denied the motion. Id., Dkt. 206.87. On December 10, 2014, the Superior Court issued a judgment of strict foreclosure against 2 Random Road. Id., Dkt. 266.55.

         On March 21, 2018, Ms. Koch filed an individual petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Voluntary Pet. for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy (“Chapter 7 Pet.”), In re Koch, 18-bk-50325. She listed herself as the only party in interest to the 2 Random Road property, although she also reported her marriage to Mr. Koch. Chapter 7 Pet. at 45.

         On May 3, 2018, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as trustee for WaMu Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2005-AR11 Trust, filed a motion for relief from a stay on foreclosure of the 2 Random Road property. Mot. for Relief, id. Deutsche Bank claimed that a recent appraisal of the property showed a fair market value of $1.9 million, that Ms. Koch owed $2.6 million, that Ms. Koch was surrendering the property as part of her petition, and that the property's negative equity meant that the bank had no adequate protection and would suffer irreparable harm absent relief. Id. at 9. Deutsche Bank proposed a response date of May 24, 2018. Id. at 1.

         Ms. Koch did not object to the lifting of the stay.

         On May 30, 2018, the Bankruptcy Court granted Deutsche Bank's motion for relief from the stay. Order Granting Motion For Relief From Stay, In re Koch, 18-bk-50325 (JAM), Dkt. 10.

         B. Procedural Background

         On May 31, 2018, Mr. Koch filed an appearance in the bankruptcy action and asserted an interest in the 2 Random Road property. Special Appear. of a Necessary Party in Interest in Adjudication of the Fraudulent Pet., id., Dkt. 11. He also moved for permission to obtain an electronic case filing login and password. Mot. for Permission, id., Dkt. 12.

         Less than two weeks later, the Bankruptcy Court granted Mr. Koch's request for a filing login and password “for the limited purpose of filing a Proof of Claim, Transfer of Claim or Withdrawal of Claim ...


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