Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Norgaard v. United States

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

February 22, 2018

KATHLEEN NORGAARD, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES of AMERICA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          F. DENNIS SAYLOR IV UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is an action for a tax refund and related claimed damages. Plaintiff Kathleen Norgaard is proceeding pro se.

         In 2008, Kathleen Norgaard and her husband James Norgaard opened a small marine supply store called Lynn Marine Supply, Inc. In 2010, the company secured a Small Business Administration loan in the principal amount of $85, 000. The business was not successful and was unable to make payments on the loan. To repay the company's debts, Kathleen obtained a reverse mortgage on her residence. That was insufficient to save the company, which closed in early 2012.

         Kathleen now contends that she is entitled to a “bad debt” deduction pursuant to § 166 of the Internal Revenue Code and a refund of approximately $140, 000. She also seeks money damages and injunctive relief against the United States.

         The government has moved for summary judgment in its favor. For the following reasons, the motion will be granted.

         I. Background

         The following facts are as set forth in the government's statement of material facts and accompanying exhibits. Because plaintiff has not opposed the government's statement of material facts, the Court deems those facts admitted. See Stonkus v. City of Brockton Sch. Dep't, 322 F.3d 97, 102 (1st Cir. 2003).

         A. Factual Background

         1. Acquisition and Financing of Lynn Marine Supply

         Kathleen and James Norgaard are married. On April 1, 2008, the Norgaards purchased Lynn Marine Supply, Inc. for $10, 000. (Compl. ¶ 18; Def. Ex. A ¶ 4(a)). Lynn Marine was a corporation. Kathleen owned 51 percent of the company, and James owned the remaining 49 percent. (Def. Ex. B ¶ 12). The Norgaards were the only officers and directors of Lynn Marine. (Id. ¶ 13).

         On October 1, 2009, to increase the company's business, the Norgaards began seeking federal and state government-supply contracts. (Compl. ¶ 22). To obtain those contracts, they decided additional financing was necessary. (Id.). They applied for a small-business loan for the company through Eastern Bank. (Def. Ex. D). That loan application was denied on March 4, 2010, for (1) insufficient collateral, (2) projected inability to repay principal, (3) delinquent credit history, and (4) lack of established earnings. (Id.).

         The Norgaards then applied for a Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loan through Marblehead Bank. (Compl. ¶ 22; Def. Ex. E). A loan to Lynn Marine, with a principal amount of $85, 000, was approved on April 30, 2010. (Def. Ex. E at 1). The note stated that “[a]ll individuals and entities signing this Note are jointly and severally liable.” (Id. at 6, § 9(a)). In addition, the note stated that “[b]y signing below, each individual or entity becomes obligated under this Note as Borrower.” (Id. at 8, § 11). Both Kathleen (as secretary of Lynn Marine) and James (as president of Lynn Marine) signed the note on behalf of Lynn Marine. (Id. at 8).

         At the same time, Kathleen executed a document guaranteeing the SBA loan. (Compl. ¶ 23; Def. Ex. F). The document, titled “UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE, ” stated that she promised “to pay all expenses Lender [Marblehead Bank] incurs to enforce this Guarantee, including, but not limited to, attorney's fees and costs.” (Def. Ex. F at 3, § 9(a)). As security for the guarantee, Kathleen granted Marblehead Bank a mortgage on her residence in Marblehead. (Compl. ¶¶ 25-26; Def. Ex. G at 1).

         The complaint alleges that Lynn Marine was then able to win several small government-supply contracts. (Compl. ¶ 29). However, according to the complaint, the SBA loan payments “compromise[ed] necessary purchasing requirements for the store business, ” and the business struggled. (Id. ¶ 31).

         2. Kathleen Obtains a Reverse Mortgage

         In early 2011, because Lynn Marine was facing financial difficulty, Kathleen decided to repay the SBA loan in full. To do so, she obtained a reverse mortgage on her Marblehead residence through Wells Fargo Bank. (Def. Ex. H at 1). The principal amount of the reverse mortgage was $382, 200. (Id.; Compl. ¶ 32). The $382, 200 loan was allocated as follows: $84, 164.06 went to repay the SBA loan; $280, 350.31 went to repay another loan from National Grand Bank; $12, 608.00 went to origination fees; $493.91 went to Kathleen herself; and the remainder went to other closing fees. (Def. Ex. H at 1-2). The SBA loan was repaid in full on March 31, 2011. (Def. Ex. E at 1).

         Other than the Norgaards, no person invested money in Lynn Marine. (Def. Ex. A ¶ 4(a)- (b); Ex. B ¶ 7; Ex. C ¶ 7).

         3. Lynn Marine's Closure

         In November 2011, Kathleen suffered a severe illness and stopped working. (Compl. ¶ 34). The following month, December 2011, James filed for personal bankruptcy. (Id. ¶ 35). James's bankruptcy filings indicated that neither he nor Kathleen had any income in January 2012 other than Social Security or other retirement benefits. See In re James Norgaard, No. 11-21628, Docket No. 15, at 14 (Bankr. D. Mass. Jan. 6, 2012). Lynn Marine closed at the end of first quarter 2012. (Compl. ¶ 36).

         There was no written agreement between Kathleen and Lynn Marine for the company to reimburse her for the amount she personally paid toward the SBA loan. (Def. Ex. B ¶ 1; Ex. C ¶ 1). Lynn Marine never made any such reimbursement payments, or offered any collateral in connection with the loan. (Def. Ex. B ¶¶ 2, 4-5; Ex. C ¶¶ 2, 4-5). Kathleen did not require Lynn Marine to create a “sinking fund” as a condition for her guaranteeing and later repaying the SBA loan. (Def. Ex. B ¶ 11; Ex. C ¶ 11).[1] The only way Lynn Marine could have reimbursed Kathleen was to pay her out of its future earnings. (Def. Ex. B ¶ 8; Ex. C ¶ 8).

         4. Kathleen's Tax History from 2001 to 2012

         a. Tax Year 2001

         Kathleen filed her 2001 tax return on November 5, 2003. (Def. Ex. I at 2). The only payments she made for her 2001 tax liabilities was through withholding in the amount of $31, 123. (Id.). She was credited for that amount on April 15, 2002. (Id.). Later, the IRS applied five overpayment credits to her remaining 2001 tax liabilities between 2007 and 2009. (Id. at 3-5). With the credits, Kathleen has no outstanding balance on her 2001 tax liabilities, and she has not sought a refund for that tax year. (See generally Def. Ex. I).

         b. Tax Year 2002

         Kathleen filed her 2002 tax return on November 12, 2003. (Def. Ex. J at 2). She did not make any withholding payments for 2002, although she did include a payment when she filed the return. (Id.). The IRS applied one overpayment credit to her 2002 tax liabilities on April 15, 2002, because of an overpayment for 2001. (Id.). The IRS eventually wrote off her remaining tax liability of $0.28 on December 22, 2003. (Id.). She has not sought a refund for that tax year. (See generally Def. Ex. J).

         c. Tax Year 2003

         Kathleen filed her 2003 tax return on November 2, 2005. (Def. Ex. K at 2). She only made payments for her 2003 tax liabilities through withholding in the amount of $11, 970. (Id.). She was credited for that amount on April 15, 2004. (Id.). Later, the IRS refunded $5, 916.89 from her withholding. (Id.). She has no outstanding balance on her 2003 tax liabilities, and she has not sought a refund for that tax year. (See generally Def. Ex. K).

         d. T ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.