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

In re Angela M. Ezell
August 7, 2013

04 B 41448

Chief Judge Bruce W. Black

In re Timothy Liou
August 8, 2013

12 MP 90002
503 B.R. 56

Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

Judge Timothy A. Barnes

In re Victoria C. Quade
August 8, 2013

12 B 26779
Secured judgment creditor brought motion for stay pending appeal of prior court order avoiding its judicial lien on debtor’s exempt retirement accounts and denying creditor’s motion for relief from stay. The Bankruptcy Court held that pursuant to the four factors balanced in analyzing a motion for stay pending appeal under Rule 8005 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure: (i) creditor failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits by not raising a new issue or case law supporting its position not already addressed in the court’s previous opinion; (ii) creditor showed irreparable injury absent a stay due to lack of clarity as to the value of debtor’s assets and possibility that creditor might not be able to recover the full value of its judgment; (iii) substantial harm to other parties in the litigation existed where debtor’s pending motion to convert from chapter 7 to chapter 11 would not be possible without access to the retirement accounts in question; and (iv) harm to the public interest existed where prolonged litigation goes against the bankruptcy public policy of distribution to creditors within a reasonable time. Pursuant to its discretion to fashion an equitable remedy under Rule 8005 for the benefit of all parties in interest, the court granted the motion with instruction to debtor that the stay would be lifted upon its specific request to the court to use the exempt funds, as, until the court’s previous order became final, the funds were still property of the bankruptcy estate.

12 B 48031
Mortgagee bank brought a motion to dismiss for bad faith and a motion for relief from stay on three investment properties of the Debtor. Bank contended the infeasibility of the Debtor’s proposed plan, along with the Debtor’s conduct, including filing three bankruptcies within a year, established sufficient grounds to warrant cause for dismissal. In regards to the relief for stay, the bank alleged that the Debtor’s failure to pay delinquent taxes and the pending expiration of tax redemption period demonstrated that the bank inadequately protected. The bank also reasoned that with respect to two of the properties, grounds exists to grant relief from the stay because there was no equity in the properties and the Debtor did not have a reasonable possibility of confirming a reorganization plan. The Bankruptcy Court held that: (i) the Debtor’s conduct, while troubling, did not warrant cause for dismissal under section 1112(b); and (ii) the failure of the Debtor to confirm a plan that proposes to pay all delinquent taxes in full prior to expiration of the tax redemption period will result in the bank being inadequate protected and thus failure to do so will cause sufficient grounds to arise to grant relief from stay on the three investment properties.

Judge Janet S. Baer

12 B 02903, 12 A 00440, 12 A 00441
Pro se debtors commenced two adversary proceedings to determine the value of two pieces of real property and to strip down the unsecured portions of the first mortgage liens on those properties pursuant to §§ 506(a) and 1322(b)(2).  The debtors also filed a motion to strip off the creditor’s second mortgage lien from one of the properties under § 506(d).  Based on the evidence presented and the credibility of the witnesses who testified at trial, the Court valued each property and gave the debtors permission to file an amended plan consistent with the Court’s ruling stripping down the first mortgages.  As for the debtors’ motion to strip off the second mortgage lien under § 506(d), the Court denied the motion without prejudice, finding that the statute cited does not provide the vehicle for lien stripping in chapter 13 cases in the wake of the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Ryan

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