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Judge Jacqueline P. Cox

04 B 48014, 05 A 01624

Plaintiff Trustee and the Defendant filed cross-motions for summary judgment on the Trustee's adversary complaint. The adversary complaint sought avoidance under 11 U.S.C. § 544(b) and § 5 of the Illinois Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act of the Debtor's pre-peition transfer of real estate to his wife, the Defendant. Prior to the transfer, the Debtor and his wife held the real estate as tenants by the entirety. The Trustee's adversary complaint also sought authority under 11 U.S.C. § 363(h) to sell the real estate. The Defendant argued that avoidance of the transfer will restore the property to the tenancy by the entirety estate that existed prior to the transfer being made and operate to keep the real estate beyond the reach of the Trustee's avoidance power. The Trustee argued that the tenancy by the entirety estate will not be revived once the transfer is avoided because whatever “entirety” existed prior to the transfer was voluntarily extinguished by the Debtor once the transfer was made. Moreover, even if the tenancy by the entirety comes back into existence after avoidance, 11 U.S.C. § 522(g) prohibits an exemption from being claimed in the real estate. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the Trustee and against the Defendant on all counts of adversary complaint.

In re Enyedi, et al.
July 12, 2007

06 B 08771

Debtors filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy case and obtained a discharge. The chapter 7 trustee filed a No Asset Report and the case was closed. Approximately 7 months later, the debtors’ case was re-opened for the purpose of disclosing 2 pre-petition causes of actions that were omitted from their bankruptcy schedules. The chapter 7 trustee previously assigned to the case was re-appointed as trustee. After the case was re-opened, the defendants involved in the one matter pending in state court (the other matter is a workers compensation claim) obtained an order dismissing the law suit with prejudice because the debtors failed to properly list it in the bankruptcy case. The chapter 7 trustee moved for an order of contempt against the defendants for violating the automatic stay. The court held that (1) the unscheduled lawsuit was never abandoned by the trustee and is still property of the estate protected by the automatic stay; (2) the trustee, not the debtors, hold the exclusive right to pursue the cause of action in state court; (3) the defendants violated the automatic stay and the state court order of dismissal is void ab initio; and (4) neither an order of contempt nor an award of damages were warranted based on the circumstances of the case.

Judge Jack B. Schmetterer

Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

07 B 01134