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PERSONAL, ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
Eric Kendall Fox was born and raised in Newport Beach, California. He graduated from Corona del Mar High School in 1989. During his senior year, he was accepted to University of California flagship campus at Berkeley. Eric completed a double major program at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in the Spring of 1994.
Immediately after college, Mr. Fox served as a teacher in inner city public schools for one year (at Oakland and other East Bay Schools). After completing some challenging long term assignments, he then moved back to Southern California in the Summer of 1995.
In the late 1990's, Mr. Fox worked for various law firms and corporations in Orange County, California, including the engineering firm Fluor Daniel Corporation (now Fluor Corporation) via a contractor. He was accepted to Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. and graduated with a Juris Doctorate degree in the Spring of 2002.
Eric Fox moved to Nashville following graduation. He was attracted to Nashville, Tennessee because of his background in music (Nashville being both a Country and Christian Music Center), his interest in the culture, the people, and the values of Tennessee. He passed the bar in the Summer of 2002. Following the admission to the Bar, Mr. Fox worked briefly on Music Row (Entertainment Law Firm), then the Sumner County Public Defenders Office, and then a brief stint at a high volume Bankruptcy Law Firm.
Since starting his own practice at the end of 2003, Mr. Fox has successfully litigated numerous bench trials and motion hearings in both Tennessee State Court and Federal Bankruptcy Court (e.g., Child Custody, Divorce, Consumer Protection, and Bankruptcy). The Law Office of Eric K. Fox now focuses exclusively on Consumer Bankruptcy and Personal Injury cases.
His hobbies and other interests include Theology, Bible Study, music, movies, books, travel, cooking, and cats.
REPRESENTATIVE CASES AND EXPERIENCE
Disclaimer: every case involves a different set of facts and issues; prior results do not guarantee future results.
2010: In re Barbutes, 436 B.R. 518 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 2010). This is a published case wherein attorney Eric Fox successfully argued and presented evidence before Chief Judge George C. Paine, II, in the bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. In this case, Mr. Fox proposed a Chapter 13 plan paying approximately a 60% dividend (or about $60,000 over 5 years) to the unsecured creditors. Standing Chapter 13 Trustee, Henry Hildebrand, III objected to this proposed plan, arguing the debtors should pay approximately a 100% dividend (or approximately $100,000 over 5 years) to the unsecured creditors. The Judge found that the plan proposed by Eric Fox and his clients was acceptable; but added that based on the evidence presented, debtors' should also pay their tax refunds (if any) into the Chapter 13 plan over 5 years.
Judge Paine found Special Circumstances warranted overruling the objections of Middle Tennessee Standing Chapter 13 Trustee, Henry Hildebrand, III with respect to several monthly expense deductions taken by the debtors. The crux of the dispute involved whether debtors should be allowed to deduct expenses which went beyond the standard deductions per the IRS guidelines. Many of these expenses related to the family home, which had higher than average utility and maintenance expenses.
In response to the Trustee's arguments, the Judge asked whether the revised Bankruptcy Statute (BAPCPA) basically delegated the bankruptcy courts to number crunching automation, when he asked, "Are we automatons?" In his memorandum opinion, Judge Paine answered his own question with a resounding "NO".
The Judge looked at the fact that Debtors were working three jobs between them, the nature of their employment, their age, and their housing situation. Since the Debtor was a private pilot, the Judge accepted the debtors' argument that a gym membership expense of $65 per month should be allowed because as a pilot, physical fitness is crucial for the debtor in carrying out his duties which affect public safety (something Congress obviously did not intend to jeopardize, for the sake of a higher unsecured dividend). The Court considered petitioners to be "model debtors" utilizing all the resources at their disposal, and Judge Paine observed they were already being stretched to the limit. Some of the debt arose from business ventures of their adult children, and they were housing their daughter and their son in law, a disabled veteran. The unusually high maintenance expenses on the home were well documented and proven. Congress had placed special considerations in the code for disabled veterans, so the fact that debtors were housing a disabled veteran, was a factor which weighed against up-rooting this family; especially a family that was helping one of its members recover from injuries sustained in defense of the country. The Judge found that these expenses were justified under the Code and the Special Circumstances exemption. The home was not an especially luxurious home, and surrendering the home in the Bankruptcy would have achieved little for the benefit of the creditors.
The Judge was prophetic in his observation that the debtors' were stretched to the limit, and unfortunately, the joint debtor lost her job a few weeks after the Chapter 13 hearing on the case. With the loss of the job, debtors qualified for Chapter 7 relief, and the case was converted to a Chapter 7 after the decision was rendered, but prior to confirmation.
2008-2009: ANTHONY MAURICE GIBBS AND JANICE EVE GIBBS VS. OPTION ONE MORTGAGE CORP, AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., AS SERVICER FOR DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, ET AL.; U.S BANKRUPTCY COURT FOR MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENN.; JUDGE KEITH LUNDIN; ERIC FOX ACTED DEBTORS’ COUNSEL IN BANKRUPTCY CASE NO. 08-04547 (IN RE GIBBS); ERIC FOX AS LEAD SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR DEBTORS IN ADVERSARY CASE A.P. NO. 09-0049; Mr. Fox (with co-Counsel Larry Crain) filed and litigated claims against mortgage companies for various violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Real Estate Settlement Protection Act (Respa), Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Fraud, and Unjust Enrichment. Debtors obtained a standard Chapter 7 Discharge in the bankruptcy case of all their unsecured debt. In the Adversary Case, Eric Fox negotiated a settlement with one of the defendants which gave his clients a home mortgage modification which had a net present value (at the time of settlement) of approximately $58,000.00 (with the resulting lower interest rate and payment amount).; Mr. Fox also negotiated a cash settlement from two of the defendants in the total amount of approximately $33,000.00 (Public Record on U.S. Bankruptcy Court Pacer Website).
2008: JANET AND JIMMIE THREET VS. ANGELETA H. HACKETT and ROBERT T. HACKETT, D.B.A.VICTORIAN PASTIMES, ET AL.; IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR DAVIDSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE; No. O8C-4248; Mr. Fox acted as plaintiffs’ counsel in a slip and fall case and successfully obtained a confidential settlement for his clients.
2005-2006: NANCY LITTLE VS. COLONZO HAYNES; IN THE SECOND CIRCUIT COURT FOR DAVIDSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE AT NASHVILLE; NO. 05C-1885; Mr. Fox acted as plaintiffs’ counsel in car accident case and successfully obtained a confidential settlement for his clients.
2004-2005: DAVID SCOTT VS. ABN AMRO MORTGAGE GROUP and FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION; U.S BANKRUPTCY COURT FOR MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENN.; Chief Judge George C. Paine, II; ERIC FOX ACTED DEBTORS’ COUNSEL IN BANKRUPTCY CASE NO. 304-07731 (IN RE SCOTT); ERIC FOX AS CO-COUNSEL FOR DEBTORS (WITH LARRY CRAIN) IN ADVERSARY CASE No. 304-0626A; Mr. Fox assisted debtors in obtaining standard Chapter 7 Discharge and worked with Larry Crain in adversarial litigation which resulted in a settlement for benefit of Bankruptcy Estate in the amount of $30,000.00 (Public Record on U.S. Bankruptcy Court Pacer Website).
Areas of Practice
- Consumer Bankruptcy
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 7
- Personal Injury
- Motor Vehicle Accidents -- Plaintiff
- Premises Liability - Plaintiff
- 30% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Tennessee, 2002
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee, 2003
- Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia
- J.D. - 2002
- University of California, Berkeley, California
- B.A. - 1994
- Major: Rhetoric
- Minor: Music
- Alberto Ordonez, 615 537-2473
- Janet Threet, 615-824-2855
- Jack Thompson, 615-416-1948
- Heather Highland Kemp, 615-859-7991
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Middle Tennessee Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, 2007 - Present
- Christian Legal Society, Law School, 1999 - Present
- National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustee’s (NACTT), Member, 2011 - Present
- Sumner County Bar Association, Member, 2005 - Present
- Academy for Consumer Bankruptcy Education, Inc. , 2009 - Present
Pro Bono Activities
- Nashville Flood Relief, 2010