By Rosemary K. Otzman
According to a report filed Friday by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Trustee Wendy Turner Lewis, those wishing to file financial claims against disbarred Belleville attorney Thomas A. White have until Dec. 26 to do so.
White filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 19.
Her report lists all of White’s reported available assets as of Friday, which amount to about $40,024 in value, including $1 as the value of his dog and $2,000 for half of his household goods, with his wife getting the other half since she is not a part of the bankruptcy. Lewis also lists White’s Belleville Industrial Company, LLC, that has a Jani-King franchise as having a market value of $5,250.
A “proceeds from a preference” payment received by the estate from Clos, Russell & Wirth PC law firm on Sept. 25, was listed as $2,500, the only income. No payments to creditors are listed between the filing of bankruptcy on July 19 and Sept. 27.
Lewis said affecting the closing of the case is the court’s continued investigation of the Debtor’s Assets and Avoidable Transfers. The case is now estimated to be closed Sept. 30, 2015.
On Sept. 12, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas J. Tucker received a motion with evidence from attorney Walter H. Czeizler on behalf of Robert and Gloria Coppock, owners of the house at 41305 Savage, Van Buren Township, in which White lives. They ask to have the home removed from the bankruptcy proceedings so they can reclaim their property.
It was a Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay and Entry of Order Waiving the Provision of FRBP 4001(a)(3).
According to the filing, White hasn’t paid his monthly land contract payments of $2,128.97 to them since May, leaving him owing more than $10,644 to the Coppocks. White also is $12,484.14 behind in property taxes, having not paid the taxes for summer and winter in 2011 and 2012, nor the summer 2013 tax. The property is listed with a “foreclosure” designation.
The land contract agreement was created by White and signed by him and his wife Heather and the Coppocks on Oct. 10, 2006. The agreement says the property returns to the Coppocks if the payments aren’t made, the taxes aren’t paid, or the house insurance isn’t kept up.
The agreed cost of the house was $360,000, but its market value now is $260,000, according to Czeizle. White’s current debt on the house is about $306,688, which includes the property taxes and the Coppocks’ attorney bill.
The Coppocks ask the court to allow them to shorten the foreclosure/forfeiture redemption period to get their house back so it can be sold, with any amount over the current debt being turned over to the court.
Judge Tucker has yet to rule on the request.
In addition to his disbarment as an attorney in July, White also is facing five criminal charges for the alleged defrauding of the late Leland Jordan and his wife Judith of Belleville.
He has yet to plead to the charges, since his preliminary exam that was scheduled for Sept. 18 was adjourned until Oct. 16 because more criminal charges are being prepared by the Michigan State Police.
34th District Court Judge David Parrott gave White’s criminal defense attorney Michael Vincent four more weeks before the preliminary exam based on “judicial economy” so all the cases can be packaged together for the preliminary hearing and proceed through the courts together.
White also has hired a bankruptcy attorney Stuart Gold (with another attorney from Gold’s firm, John C. Lange, named in the paperwork).
By Rosemary K. Otzman