Reinbold v. Thorpe (In re Thorpe)

(7th Cir. Jan. 31, 2018)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court, holding that the bankruptcy estate took the debtor’s half interest in the real property subject to the debtor’s ex-spouse’s contingent interest in the property. The court applies the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and concludes that the divorce court divested the estate of all rights to the marital home when it awarded the property to the debtor’s ex-spouse pre-petition. Opinion below.

Judge: Sykes

Attorneys for the Trustee: Jeana K. Reinbold; Pollick & Schmahl, LLC, Michael Mario Schmahl, John Franklin Pollick

Attorney for Appellee: Katz, Huntoon & Fieweger, Dale G. Haake

2018-01-31 – in re thorpe

Author: Matt Lindblom


Loventhal v. Edelson

(7th Cir. Dec. 21, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s judgment that certain real property of the debtor was exempt because it was held in a tenancy by the entirety under Illinois law. The creditor argued that the tenancy by the entirety was severed when the real property had been transferred to a trust prepetition. The Seventh Circuit examines applicable Illinois statutes and concludes that the transfer did not sever the tenancy by the entirety. Opinion below

Judge: Posner

Attorney for Debtor: Kofkin Law, Scott J. Kofkin

Attorneys for Creditor: Schwartz & Kanyock, Andrew R. Schwartz, Karen Irene Jeffreys Bridges


Author: Matt Lindblom

Siragusa v. Collazo (In re Collazo)

(7th Cir. Apr. 5, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the decision of the bankruptcy court dismissing some of the creditors’ nondischargeability claims because the claims were based on alleged fraud occurring outside the applicable Illinois five-year limitations period. The court reverses the dismissal of one of the claims because it was not clear that the creditor had notice of the fraud to start the limitations period. The court also remands so that a money judgment can be entered, as the bankruptcy court’s concerns that it did not have jurisdiction to do so were addressed in the Supreme Court’s Wellness and Arkison decisions. Opinion below.

Judge: Posner

Attorney for Debtor: David Robert Herzog

Attorney for Creditors: Patrick Gerard Cooke

2016-04-05 – in re collazo

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Robinson

(7th Cir. Feb. 4, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit affirms the district court’s reversal of the bankruptcy court. The debtor claimed an exemption for a rare first edition Book of Mormon under Illinois’s exemption statutes, which permit an exemption for “a bible.” The trustee argued that the debtor should be permitted only to exempt one of the debtor’s other copies, because the rare copy was worth approximately $10,000 and, the trustee argued, the statute was being misused in this case. The court holds that the plain wording of the statute permitted the claimed exemption. Opinion below.

2016-02-04 – in re robinson

Author: Matt Lindblom

Smith v. SIPI, LLC (In re Smith)

(7th Cir. Jan. 20, 2016)

The Seventh Circuit reverses the district court and affirms the bankruptcy court, holding that a tax sale under Illinois’s interest rate auction system does not necessarily establish a transfer for reasonably equivalent value under 11 U.S.C. § 548(a)(1)(B). Thus, property sold under such system can still be considered fraudulently conveyed. Under this Illinois system, the winning bid amount bears no relationship to the value of the underlying real estate because the lowest bid wins (i.e., bidders bid how little money they are willing to accept in return for payment of the owner’s delinquent taxes). Opinion below.

2016-01-20 – in re smith

Author: Matt Lindblom


JJPM, Inc. v. Keen Exploration, LLC (In re JJPM, Inc.)

(Bankr. W.D Ky. Nov. 12, 2015)

The bankruptcy court finds that the defendant’s mechanic’s lien is void for being untimely filed. Applying Illinois’s mechanic’s lien statute, the court finds that the last work that could give rise to a lien occurred in May 2014, more than 90 days prior to the recording of the lien in January 2015 (Illinois requires notice of a mechanic’s lien within 90 days of the last date service was provided). The defendant’s alleged work in October 2014, consisting of reviewing reports about the project and conveying such information, did not add value to the real property. Thus, that date could not be used as the last date of service under the statute. Original and amended opinions below.

2015-11-12 – jjpm v keen exploration

2015-11-13 – jjpm v keen exploration amended

Author: Matt Lindblom