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.

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Judge Timothy A. Barnes

15 B 18583, 15 A 00826
Upon a creditor’s amended complaint seeking to deny discharge for the debtor on two counts under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2)(A) and (a)(4)(A), wherein the creditor alleged that the debtor made prohibited prepetition transfers and failed to disclose certain assets on his bankruptcy petition, held: In regard to the 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2)(A) count, the creditor has not proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the debtor acted with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors with respect to the alleged prepetition transfers. In regard to the 11 U.S.C § 727(a)(4)(A) count, the creditor has not proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the debtor acted with fraudulent intent when failing to disclose certain assets on his bankruptcy petition. As a result, the debtor will not be denied a discharge on the grounds alleged. Judgment is entered in favor of the debtor on all counts.

Judge Donald R. Cassling

Judge Jacqueline P. Cox

14 B 11526
In this matter an attorney retained under a Court-Approved Retention Agreement ("CARA") in a Chapter 13 case initially failed to seek fees for pursuing a Motion for Damages for a violation of the automatic stay and instead decided that she was entitled to $3000 in fees in addition to the $4000 flat fee.
This court ruled that the CARA requires attorneys to pursue damages and injunctions for violations of the automatic stay and the discharge. The opinion covers attorneys' duties under Section 329 of the Bankruptcy Code  and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017  to disclose initial and subsequent fee agreements.

Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

In re Rade Petrovic
November 16, 2016

16 B 18969

Judge Janet S. Baer

15 B 19829, 15 A 00550
The Plaintiff filed an adversary complaint against the Debtor seeking a determination that the debt owed to the Plaintiff by the Debtor in connection with an unsecured loan is not dischargeable pursuant to §§ 523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(2)(B).  The Plaintiff argued that the loan was procured by false pretenses with respect to the purpose of the loan and through actual fraud because the Debtor had not intended to repay the loan.  The Plaintiff also argued that the Debtor misrepresented her financial condition by failing to disclose a new mortgage obligation when the loan was made.  The Court found that the Plaintiff failed to meet its burden to demonstrate fraud under any of its arguments.  Accordingly, the Court held that the debt at issue is not excepted from discharge under §§ 523(a)(2)(A) or (a)(2)(B).

13 B 43900, 15 A 00140
The chapter 7 trustee (the “Trustee”) filed a six-count adversary complaint against American Express Centurion Bank, Inc. (“American Express”), seeking to avoid and recover from American Express an allegedly preferential or fraudulent transfer made by Katina Callas, the Debtor’s non-filing spouse (“Katina”), to American Express pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 547(b), 548(a)(1), and 550(a).  American Express did not challenge the avoidability of the transfer; rather, it sought summary judgment only on Counts II and V, the recovery claims of the complaint.  Asserting an affirmative defense under § 550(b)(1), American Express contended that the Trustee could not recover the transfer from American Express as an immediate or subsequent transferee of Katina.  The Court concluded that there were no genuine issues of material fact in dispute and that the uncontested facts demonstrated that American Express took the transfer for value, in good faith, and without knowledge of the voidability of the transfer.  Accordingly, the Court found that American Express established a valid affirmative defense to liability under § 550(b)(1).  As such, the Court granted American Express’s motion for partial summary judgment and entered judgment on Counts II and V of the complaint in favor of American Express.

Judge Jack B. Schmetterer

14 A 00403 and 15 A 00198 (Consolidated for trial), 14 B 10105

In re Spiro Lempesis
September 28, 2016

13 B 38994

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