Opinions

The District of Northern Illinois offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to 2013, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

Subscribe to All Opinions

Judge Jack B. Schmetterer

Judge Jacqueline P. Cox

In re Tiffany Armstrong
November 7, 2014

14 B 18107
In this unpublished decision, the Court denied the Motion of Oasis Legal Finance, LLC (“Oasis”) to Alter or Amend portions of its Order disapproving a reaffirmation agreement where (1) Oasis appeared to tie enforcement of its claim to the Debtor’s receipt of a workers compensation award when Illinois law prohibits liens on such awards; (2) Oasis failed to answer in the Reaffirmation Cover sheet whether the subject debt was nondischargeable and 3) the reaffirmation agreement required the Debtor to repay Oasis $4,125 when only $1,025 of the debt was potentially nondischargeable under section 523(a)(2)(C)(i)(II) - cash advances made within 70 days of filing for bankruptcy relief.

The Court concluded that Oasis failed to present any newly discovered evidence and failed to show that the Court made a manifest error of law in reaching its decision.

In re Luis Medina, Jr.
November 7, 2014

14 B 27755
In this Chapter 11 proceeding, the Debtor’s sixth bankruptcy filing in four years, the Court dismissed Debtor’s case for cause under 11 U.S.C. § 1112(b)(1), finding that the Debtor’s financial circumstances made it clear that he would be unable to propose a confirmable plan of reorganization without modifying the rights of a secured creditor, in violation of 11 U.S.C. § 1123(b)(5) .

The Court also imposed a one-year bar to refiling under 11 U.S.C. § 349(a), finding that the successive filings were an intentional abuse of the protections afforded debtors under the Bankruptcy Code.

11 B 19428 (jointly administered)
In this post-confirmation Chapter 11 proceeding, the Reorganized Debtor filed a Motion to Enforce Confirmation Order and For the Imposition for Sanctions, arguing that notwithstanding the modified mortgage terms set forth in its Confirmed Plans, Everhome Mortgage continued to bill the Reorganized Debtor for prepetition mortgage debt without making changes to the principal amount, new interest rate, new amortization period or new borrower name.

    The Court granted the Motion, finding that Everhome’s refusal to conform its payment coupons and loan files to the economic terms of the Confirmed Plans some 15 months after confirmation, were done in blatant disregard of bankruptcy law and the terms of the Reorganized Debtor’s Plans.  The Court determined that Everhome’s conduct warranted the imposition of sanctions in the amount of $100,000 and ordered that Everhome pay the Reorganized Debtor $35,839 in attorneys' fees.

Judge Eugene R. Wedoff

Judge Janet S. Baer

09 B 30029
Debtors’ financial advisor filed an application for compensation that included a request for a “restructuring fee” based on the percentage of indebtedness involved in any restructuring. Plan transferee objected to the restructuring fee because the restructuring that took place in the case was based on a third party’s plan. Plan transferee argued that the agreement regarding the restructuring fee was unclear and that parol evidence explained that the financial advisor was not entitled to the restructuring fee because the plan confirmed was neither the debtors’ plan nor the result of the financial advisor’s efforts. The District Court (who originally reviewed this matter on appeal after Summary Judgment ) found that the Retention Order, which was modified by the parties after the Engagement Letter was signed and submitted, made the agreement ambiguous and remanded for trial. The Court found the agreement as such was ambiguous and allowed the parties to introduce parol evidence. The Court found, however, that the parol evidence was confusing and unhelpful. It did nothing to clarify the ambiguity in the revised Retention Order regarding the terms under which the financial advisor would be entitled to the restructuring fee. Ultimately, the Court construed the ambiguity against the party responsible for creating the ambiguity - the plan transferee. The Court therefore found that the financial advisor was entitled to the restructuring fee.

12 B 35492, 12 A 01889
Pro se debtor Gabriela Carter commenced an adversary proceeding seeking to discharge her educational loan debt owed to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and Educational Credit Management Corporation pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).  The issue addressed by the Court was whether the Debtor met the three-pronged Brunner test requiring her to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that paying the loans would cause “undue hardship.”  The Court found that the evidence demonstrated that the Debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a minimal standard of living if forced to repay the student loans, thus satisfying the first prong of the test.  The Court also found, however, that the Debtor failed to present evidence of additional, exceptional circumstances indicating that the state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period.  Because the Debtor was not able to satisfy this second prong, the Court found that she did not meet her burden to prove that repayment of the loans would constitute an undue hardship under the statutory exception and held that the student loan debt is nondischargeable under § 523(a)(8).

Judge Timothy A. Barnes

11 B 00701, 11 A 00966
Upon the Creditor’s commenced adversary complaint against Debtor seeking a determination that a debt allegedly owed by the Debtor to the Creditor is nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(6), wherein the Creditor alleged that the debtor obtained title insurance policies through false pretenses, false representation and/or actual fraud, and that the underlying loan from the bank, which debt was assigned to the Creditor, was also obtained through false pretenses, false representation and/or actual fraud, held: The Debtor is obligated on both debts to the Creditor, and the Creditor proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the debts were incurred by false pretenses, false representations and actual fraud. As a result, the debts are nondischargeable.

Judge Donald R. Cassling

Pages