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06/02/87 Wolf Furniture House, Inc. v. Wolf Furniture House

June 2, 1987

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION ILLINOIS BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

WOLF FURNITURE HOUSE, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



509 N.E.2d 1289, 157 Ill. App. 3d 190, 109 Ill. Dec. 277 1987.IL.731

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Glynn Elliot, Jr., Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE SCARIANO delivered the opinion of the court. BILANDIC and HARTMAN, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCARIANO

In order to satisfy a judgment obtained against Wolf Furniture House, Inc. (Wolf Furniture), Illinois Bell Telephone Company brought this action seeking a turnover of funds held in a money market account at Mid-City National Bank of Chicago (Mid-City) in the name of James E. Carmel (Carmel), as trustee for Wolf. The trial court denied IBT's petition. We reverse.

Because it was experiencing financial difficulties, in May 1982 Wolf Furniture decided to cease doing business and convened several meetings of its creditors regarding the best method of liquidating and distributing its assets. Attending these meetings were Gilbert Wolf, the president of Wolf Furniture, Sherwin Winer (Winer), attorney for Wolf Furniture, representatives of Exchange National Bank of Chicago (Exchange), a secured creditor, and Carmel, representing several of the unsecured creditors. As a result of these meetings, the parties agreed that a liquidation sale would be conducted by Sales Results, Inc., and that the proceeds from the sale would go towards satisfying the secured debt owed to Exchange. After the sale, the only remaining assets would be Wolf Furniture's accounts receivable, consisting primarily of installment payments due to it from its customers. Carmel and Gilbert Wolf agreed orally that the accounts receivable would be transferred to Carmel for collection and that Carmel would then use the proceeds to extinguish Wolf Furniture's secured and tax debts and distribute the remainder on a pro-rata basis to all of its unsecured creditors.

Sales Results, Inc., conducted the liquidation sale in August l982, and Wolf Furniture terminated business officially on August 30. The balance of Wolf Furniture's assets, consisting of "customer account cards" to be used for collection of the accounts receivable and $2,873.63 in installment payments received, was transferred to Carmel on October 15, 1982, along with a letter from Winer, which stated:

"Dear Jim [Carmel],

I am forwarding to you, along with the letter, the following items:

*fn1. Copies of letter forwarded to customers of Wolf Furniture House, Inc.

2. Envelope containing $2,873.63 being payments received to date.

3. List of customers accounting for those payments; said list reflects the balance due on each account.

4. Packet of all customer account cards set forth in that list. (The payments accounted for herein have already been ...


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