Commercial Real Estate Case
I filed a subchapter V Chapter 11 case to stay a foreclosure sale for the debtor who owned a vehicle repair shop in Chicago, Illinois. The Debtor-in-possession hired a commercial real estate broker pursuant to a court order. The broker quickly found a cash purchaser that wanted to build condominium buildings on the 3 parcels. We could not close the sale because the Alderman wanted an apartment building on the property containing a statutory percentage of low-income housing.
Lien Avoidance in a Chapter 7 Case.
I was retained by a client to reopen her chapter 7 bankruptcy case, which was closed approximately 12 years ago, to avoid a judgment lien that was filed with the Recorder of Deeds Office before her chapter 7 case was filed. Over the strenuous objections of the judgment creditor, the Bankruptcy Judge reopened the case and avoided the judgment lien to enable my client to refinance her homestead real estate. The Judge also held that a debtor can value their real estate without the need of an expert witness. This was important because generally the value of the homestead must be less than the aggregate mortgages plus prior liens at the date of filing the bankruptcy case to avoid the judgment lien on the debtor’s residence.
Case Against Storage Facility for Selling Stored Property for Not Following Giving Proper Notice and not Following Legal Procedures.
I recently filed a case against a storage facility that destroyed my client’s personal property without giving proper notice or following statutory sale procedures. We sought compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney's fees including a count under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. We settled the case for substantially more money than the value of the destroyed property resulting in the recovery of punitive damages and attorney’s fees. The Judge also held that a party may appraise their own property without the need of an expert witness. The issue in a case where a person appraises their own property without an expert is how much evidentiary weight should be given to the appraisal of the owner.