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 Jack B. Schmetterer

12 B 48247

11 B 34774

Judge Pamela S. Hollis

In re: Renita Sheri Hall
October 22, 2013

12 B 43452
Chapter 13 Trustee objected to confirmation on the grounds that by continuing to make voluntary 401(k) contributions, the Debtor was not applying all projected disposable income to make payments to unsecured creditors in violation of section 1325(b)(1)(B).  In this order, the court first reviewed the split in case law over the interpretation of section 541(b)(7). This subsection states that certain contributions to retirement accounts "shall not constitute disposable income, as defined in section 1325(b)(2)." The court determined that the majority viewpoint was correct and section 541(b)(7) is not limited to prepetition contributions. Postpetition voluntary retirement contributions are excluded from the calculation of projected disposable income. In dicta the court noted that even if the Debtor had not been making voluntary 401(k) contributions during the six months prior to filing her case, any future contributions would still be excluded from projected disposable income.  Objection overruled.

Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

12 B 38907,  12 A 1955

Judge Janet S. Baer

In re Hector and Ana Briseno
September 25, 2013

12 B 02903

Counsel for the Debtors filed an amended fee application in this chapter 13 case, requesting fees of $3,500 pursuant to the firm’s Attorney-Client Agreement for Legal Services. The Debtors objected to the application, alleging that the firm should receive no fees because its attorneys betrayed the Debtors’ trust in the representation, particularly with respect to negotiations in two lien strip adversary proceedings. The issue before the Court was whether the fees requested were reasonable compensation for actual, necessary services rendered pursuant to section 330 of the Code or whether the fees charged exceeded the reasonable value of the services provided pursuant to section 329. The Court found that the time spent by counsel in providing legal services to the Debtors was both appropriate and necessary for the administration of the case and that the rates charged for those services were commensurate with those charged by comparably skill attorneys. The Court also found, however, that a reduction in fees was justified because of the firm’s role in a miscommunication between attorney and client in the negotiation of a settlement in the lien strip adversaries. Accordingly, the Court sustained the Debtors’ objection in part, awarded counsel fees of $3,000, and disallowed the remaining fees of $500.

Judge Eugene R. Wedoff

Judge Donald R. Cassling

13 B 05090

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