Judge Jacqueline P. Cox - Opinions

Judge Jacqueline P. Cox

17 B 22517
The movants sought dismissal of this Chapter 11 case for cause alleging that the Debtor is an instrumentality of the Village of Lombard, and as such is not allowed to seek bankruptcy relief as a governmental unit.  The Debtor was incorporated by Lombard to construct and operate a hotel and convention center which has been managed under the Westin flag for several years. The court denied the motions to dismiss finding that Lombard did not control the Debtor and that the Debtor did not perform municipal functions, relying in part on an Illinois Appellate Court ruling denying the Debtor’s efforts seeking a tax exemption as a governmental body.

In re Demetrius Adger
September 20, 2017

17 B 20163
The issue was whether Debtor Adger's filing of a Chapter 13 case on July 5, 2017 at 6:26 p.m., rather than before 5 p.m. when the Cook County Clerk's office closed was filed timely  for purposes of allowing the debtor to treat a tax purchaser's claim over the life of a Chapter 13 plan.   The court analyzed  the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the Illinois Supreme Court's Electronic Filing Standards and Principles and our local Bankruptcy Court's Administrative Procedures for CM/ECF  that govern electronic filing. Generally those Rules and Standards provide that a document filed on the due date before midnight is timely filed.  The Amended Motion to Modify Automatic Stay was denied.

09 B 49112, 17 A 00280
The Debtor sued Wells Fargo Home Mortgage alleging that it violated the discharge injunction when it sent her three informational letters concerning its lien. The court found that the creditor did no more than what Bankruptcy Code Section 524(j) allows mortgagees to do post-discharge: communicate with debtors to maintain periodic payments on residential property in lieu of the creditor pursuing in rem relief to enforce the lien.

16 B 8776, 16 A 00356
Debtor Erin V. McDougal defaulted on rent payments under an apartment lease.  Her lessor asked that the debt owed be found to be non-dischargeable due to representations made by the Debtor alleged to be false. During the period the representations were being made the Debtor paid $35,000 to the lessor in an effort to satisfy her obligations.  The court found (1) that the representations were promises to become current, not false representations made with intent to deceive and  (2) that her failure to become current  was a contract breach because the statements could not be held to be false representations where the creditor can not prove that a debtor never intended to make payments.

In re EHC, LCC
April 25, 2017

15 B 40866
In this ruling the court sanctioned an attorney pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9011 for pursuing a bankruptcy case solely to delay a foreclosure case, to avoid the lawful appointment of a receiver and to needlessly increase a secured creditor's legal fees and costs.

In re Richard Sharif
February 16, 2017

09 B 5868
The Court sanctioned Attorney Maurice James Salem and his clients Ragda Sharifeh and Haifa Sharifeh for violating Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9011 for filing several motions and pleadings in an attempt to gain access to trust assets held to be property of the Debtor's bankruptcy estate in 2010.  The 2010 Order where the trust assets were found to be the Debtor's alter ego and thus property of the bankruptcy estate as of February 24, 2009 was affirmed by the District Court in 2012.  The Seventh Circuit affirmed the District Court in 2015 after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Seventh Circuit's earlier ruling limiting the bankruptcy court's jurisdiction.
Mr. Salem has been ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. He and his clients have been ordered to never again file pleadings in this bankruptcy case and its related adversary proceedings.
Should Mr. Salem need to file something in these cases in the future he has to first obtain leave of this Court to do so.

14 B 02696, 15 B 17314
The court found that it has post-confirmation jurisdiction to enforce and interpret its confirmation order in a chapter 11 case  where all transactions described therein have not been completed and a final decree has yet to be entered.

In re Jerome Sims, Jr.
January 10, 2017

16 B 04589
The court found that the purchaser of the Debtor's unpaid real estate taxes was adequately protected by the "sale in error" program and potential Plan payments.

In re EHC, LLC
January 6, 2017

15 B 40866
An attorney has been found to have violated Rule 9011 by delaying a creditor's efforts to enforce its rights.

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.