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In re Countrywide Home Loans

United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

April 1, 2008, Decided

Misc. No. 07-00204 TPA, Chapter 13, Related to Document Nos. 12, 13

Opinion

 [*377]  MEMORANDUM OPINION

This case concerns the power of the office of the United States Trustee ("UST") to obtain information from a secured creditor in a number of bankruptcy cases pursuant to Notices of Examination under Fed.R.Bankr.P. 2004 and Subpoenas Duces Tecum. The creditor, Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. ("Countrywide"), has filed an objection to the Notices of Examination and Subpoenas and seeks to have them quashed. For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny Countrywide the relief it seeks and permit the requested examination to go forward under the parameters as set forth herein. 1 

BACKGROUND

Procedural history of the case

Several months ago the Chapter  [**2] 13 Trustee for this District filed substantially identical motions entitled Trustee's Motion to Compel Countrywide Home Loans, Inc./f/k/a Countrywide Funding Corp. to Provide Loan Histories and for Sanctions in 293 separate cases in which Countrywide was a creditor. On October 18, 2007, the Court entered a consolidation order which consolidated all of these separate motions for administrative purposes at Misc. No. 07-00203. Subsequently, in 10 of those 293 cases 2 the UST ("context cases") filed substantially identical documents entitled Notice of Examination Under Fed.R.Bankr.P. 2004 and Service of Subpoena (Duces Tecum) ("Notice of Examination"). 3 In each of these 10 cases,  [*378]  the UST identified actions engaged in by Countrywide that she claims were questionable or raised issues going to the integrity of the bankruptcy system.

On November 2, 2007, the Court entered another consolidation order, this one consolidating the 10 cases in which the UST had filed the Notices of Examination under Misc. No. 07-00204. Since the 10 Notices of Examination were substantially identical, the Court further ordered the UST to file a single Notice of Examination (with an attached Subpoena Duces Tecum ("Subpoena")) by November 7, 2007, with such single Notice of Examination to then have effect in all of the context cases. 4 

The UST timely filed the single Notice of Examination, Document No. 6. On November 9, 2007, Countrywide filed an Objection to Notices of Examination, Document No. 12, and a Motion to Quash Notices of Examination, Document No. 13. On November 13, 2007, the UST filed a Response to Objection to Notice of Examination, Document No. 15, and an Objection to Motion to Quash, Document No. 16. On November 15, 2007, the Court convened a status conference to discuss all pending matters in this consolidated proceeding. The Court issued an Order on November 20, 2007, which stayed Countrywide's obligation to respond to the Notice of Examination and Subpoenas, set a briefing schedule, and directed the Parties to address a number of pertinent issues in their briefs.

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384 B.R. 373 *; 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 1023 **; 49 Bankr. Ct. Dec. 215

In Re: COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, INC., f/k/a COUNTRYWIDE FUNDING CORP.,

CORE TERMS

cases, documents, Notice, Subpoena, good cause, bankruptcy case, discovery, provisions, matters, res judicata, examinations, purposes, argues, powers, consolidated, calculation, confirmation, Parties, bankruptcy court, exam, policies and procedures, contested matter, evidencing, proceedings, proof of claim, requests, objects, moot, private business, pilot program

Bankruptcy Law, Case Administration, Examiners, Officers & Trustees, United States Trustee, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, General Overview, Bankruptcy, Examinations of Debtors, Procedural Matters, Evidence, Judicial Notice, Adjudicative Facts, Judicial Records, Civil Procedure, Judgments, Preclusion of Judgments, Res Judicata