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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.

Judge LaShonda A. Hunt

Debtors moved to determine the value of their principal residence pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1) and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3012. The junior mortgage holder valued the property higher than the amount presented by the debtors. After an evidentiary hearing, the court valued the property at the amount proposed by the debtors and found that the junior mortgage holder had a fully unsecured claim.

16bk29693, 16ap00657
Pro se debtor/plaintiff seeks a new trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(d) following the court’s ruling that she failed to present sufficient evidence to establish undue hardship under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).  The court concludes that there is no basis to grant a new trial or to reconsider its prior decision finding that her student loan debts are non-dischargeable.

Judge Janet S. Baer

16 B 29319, 17 A 00176
Mark Simon filed an adversary complaint against Constantino Joseph Boccarsi and Cari Ann Coglianese (the “Debtors”), seeking a determination that a debt owed to him by the Debtors by virtue of the entry of a state court default judgment was not dischargeable pursuant to §§ 523(a)(2)(A), (a)(4), and (a)(19).  Simon subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment on his securities fraud claim under § 523(a)(19).  He argued that the state court judgment was for securities fraud and that, thus, collateral estoppel barred the relitigation of his claim.  The Debtors contended that neither element required under § 523(a)(19) had been satisfied.  According to the Debtors, they did not commit securities fraud and the fact that the state court judgment was entered in default insulated the judgment from a finding of nondischargeability.  Based on the plain language of the statutory exception, the legislative history, and the reasoning in Meyer v. Rigdon, 36 F.3d 1375 (7th Cir. 1994), the Court found that the default judgment had preclusive effect in the nondischargeability action, because § 523(a)(19) preempted common law collateral estoppel.  The Court further found that the undisputed facts demonstrated that the two requirements of § 523(a)(19) had been satisfied through the entry of the judgment in the state judicial proceeding.  As such, the Court granted Simon’s motion for summary judgment and entered judgment in his favor.

Judge Jack B. Schmetterer

In re Charnette Walker
December 12, 2017

17 B 33957

In re Frank Villasenor
December 5, 2017

17 B 15830

17 B 18090

Judge Timothy A. Barnes

In re Jennifer Robinson
December 4, 2017

17 B 12405
Upon a tax purchaser’s motion for relief from stay in a chapter 13 case, arguing that the expiration of the state-law period for redeeming taxes prior to the debtor filing for bankruptcy case gives cause to modify the stay, held: The tax purchaser has not established the necessary elements of section 362(d)(1) or (d)(2) to be granted relief from stay. Because the tax purchaser has not obtained a tax deed, under Illinois law, the debtor remains the owner of the underlying real property even though the redemption period has expired prior to the commencement of the debtor’s case. The debtor therefore has the right to attempt to treat the tax purchaser’s claim and the debtor’s property in a chapter 13 plan. The existence of that right, under the facts at bar, trumps the tax purchaser’s desire to bolster its claim postpetition by acts proscribed by the automatic stay. The motion for relief from stay is, therefore, DENIED.

Judge Deborah L. Thorne

16 B 39654