By Rosemary K. Otzman
Disbarred Belleville attorney Thomas A. White, 45, was scheduled to appear before Judge David Parrott in 34th District Court on Oct. 16 so his preliminary exam on five felony charges could be held.
But the day before the session, his criminal defense attorney Michael Vincent asked the court to adjourn that session for another month and the court agreed.
The preliminary exam is now set for 9 a.m. Nov. 13 before 34th District Court Chief Judge Tina Brooks Green.
Five felony charges were filed against White in September, but on the request of attorney Vincent, Judge Parrott delayed White’s preliminary exam on those charges until Oct. 16 because the Michigan State Police said more charges were pending.
Although at least two of White’s former clients have case numbers with the Michigan State Police and are waiting for their charges to bring warrants against White, so far no new warrants have been approved by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.
In the charges pending at 34th District Court , White is accused of defrauding the late Leland Jordan and his wife Judith A. Jordan of Belleville.
Conviction on those charges could bring him 44 years in prison if sentenced to the maximum.
34th District Court Brian Oakley said on Oct. 16 that he expects the case will be adjourned again on Nov. 13.
Vincent said he wanted to handle all the cases against his client in one package and Judge Parrott agreed, citing “judicial efficiency.”
Meanwhile, White is out on bond after paying 10% of the $20,000 set by Judge Parrott. Since he has yet to have a preliminary exam, White has yet to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the charges concerning the Jordans.
Bankruptcy Court ruling
Also on Oct. 16, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas J. Tucker signed an order granting relief to Robert and Gloria Coppock so they can move forward with getting back the house they own at 41305 Savage Road, Van Buren Township.
The order terminates the automatic stay of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceedings of former attorney White, who was disbarred on July 15 and filed bankruptcy on July 19.
The house on Savage is where White lives with his family, but he stopped paying land contract payments to the Coppocks and also stopped paying property taxes. White is still in possession of the house.
According to the Wayne County Delinquent Tax Office, the status of that property is “Forfeited” with total taxes of $10,866.52 owed.
The judge’s order states the approximate market value of the property as $260,000 and the current debt owing is about $306,688, which includes the unpaid property taxes and the Coppocks’ attorney fees and costs for filing their motion.
When the Coppocks sell the property, if they get any more than what is owed they will give the extra back to the court and if it is less than owed, that amount will be treated as an unsecured debt.
Judge Tucker’s order allows the Coppocks to move forward on reclaiming their property, sold to the Whites on land contract in 2006. They were prevented from claiming their property by White’s bankruptcy proceedings.
At their option, the Coppocks now may call the Whites by telephone or contact them in writing to enter into a potential forbearance agreement (delaying foreclosure by allowing White to catch up on payments), land contract modification, refinance agreement or other loan agreement.
The judge’s order is binding and is immediately in effect.
By Rosemary K. Otzman