Georgia Court Denies Trustee’s Motion For Summary Judgment; Rules That Factual Disputes Must Be Heard For Evidence
March 8, 2022, Northern District of Georgia – Tamara Miles Ogier, in her capacity as the Chapter 7 Trustee for the estate of Debtor BLS Contracting, LLC, filed a motion for summary judgment in connection with her complaint against Defendant Superior Distribution Roofing &Building Materials (“SRS”) to avoid and recover a preferential transfer under Section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code. SRS argued that the alleged transfers were made according to the ordinary course of business dealings between SRS and Debtor. SRS claimed that during its relationship with Debtor, SRS accepted late payments from Debtor, and in the six months preceding Debtor’s filing, SRS received payments on average of 180 days after the receipt of goods. Accordingly, SRS contended that there was not a significant shift in the average time of repayment during the preference period as compared to the pre-preference period.
The Trustee objected to SRS’s attempts to draw a baseline and argued that SRS offers an exhibit that “neglects dozens and dozens of other relevant preference period transfers, rending the proposed baseline inaccurate.” The Court found that even if the exhibit is missing pre-preference transactions, the Court cannot assume that such missing transfers would render the sworn-to baseline inaccurate. The Court held that such dispute over the facts calls for the Court to hear evidence as to whether payments made to the defendant during the preference period were in keeping with the defendant’s ordinary business dealings with Debtor. Accordingly, the Court denied the Trustee’s motion for summary judgment.
Ogier v. Superior Distrib. Roofing & Bldg. Materials (In re BLS General Contr., LLC), 2022 Bankr. LEXIS 602