The Journal of The DuPage County Bar Association

Back Issues > Vol. 12 (1999-00)

Meet The New Trustee
By Glenn Stearns, J.D.

The new Office of the Standing Trustee in Lisle was created to service the collar counties. I am that Standing Trustee. Effective October 1, all new or existing cases outside of Cook County in the Eastern District are being administered by the Stearns office. Section 341 meetings will continue to be held in Waukegan, Wheaton and Joliet.

About 20% of Chapter 13 Trustees nationwide are not attorneys and that includes me. I have a Bachelor’s in Management and Master’s in Finance. For the last twelve years I was a credit manager in the wholesale electrical distribution industry. I handled a territory that included the Chicago area, Northwestern Indiana, Southern Michigan, Georgia and South Carolina. I managed receivables for 13 stores with sales of $17 Million. I got to travel to exotic places like Coldwater, Michigan and Gainesville, Georgia.

I had the opportunity to serve as chairman of two creditor’s committees in Chapter 11 cases, and found it to be a great (and very expensive) experience.

The approach my office will take is that we are a neutral third party. We are here to make a deal that works for both debtors and creditors and meets all the requirements of the statute. There is no question that we want to get cases confirmed. There is also no question that we will review petitions and schedules very thoroughly for accuracy and compliance with the statute.

The more complete and accurate the schedules are the easier the 341 meetings will be, here are a few things you can do to help.

Please have your clients bring picture ID and social security number verification to 341 meetings. We are now required to verify social security numbers of debtors.

We also require detailed information on payroll deductions. Please have the debtors provide pay stubs so this information is available.

We prefer to receive your fee applications and orders at the 341 meetings.

We strongly encourage the use of payroll deduction for debtor payments. Please contact Shelly at my office is you need the form.

I will be out in the field on a regular basis. I plan on conducting most of the 341 meetings and I will be handling the Waukegan court call myself on a permanent basis.

I have a great staff, many of them have prior bankruptcy experience and they are all hard working, dedicated and charming.

I am very fortunate to have Jerry Mylander as my Senior Attorney, most of you know Jerry from his years with the McCullough office downtown. He will handle court calls in Geneva and Joliet on a regular basis as well as Wheaton when there are 341’s in Joliet. Jerry will get out for 341 meetings on occasion too, just for fun.

Carolyn Suzzi works part time for our office, she will be a regular at 341 meetings and attend court in Wheaton. I’m sure she’ll have an opportunity to handle the Joliet court call from time to time as well.

Jeannine Laushot is our office manager; she has almost 30 years Chapter 13 experience (she started when she was eight) and she does it all. She manages the case administration and claims departments and handles payoffs and closings. Ask her about her Monte Carlo or her Camaro.

My Controller is Carol Burknap, she makes sure everybody gets paid so be nice to her.

I have three case administrators.

Angela Rossi was my very first employee; she helped me finish up the final details of setting up the office. Angela does the initial petition analysis and sets up 341 meetings for DuPage and Kane counties.

Kathy Bosch has nearly ten years Chapter 13 experience, she does the initial analysis and sets 341 meetings for Joliet cases.

Bette Carline has about eight years of bankruptcy experience, she does the initial analysis and sets 341 meetings for Lake County cases.

Mary Ann Johnson checks and enters all the proofs of claim; she had about two years of prior bankruptcy experience.

Kelly Davis works for Carol and posts all the debtor payments to their cases.

Tijuan Hamblin organizes and sets up the court calls for Joliet, Wheaton and Geneva. She’s training to hear 341 meetings too. She worked for Craig Phelps and Tom Vaughn; I’m her third Trustee in less than one year!

Shelly Sykes gets me ready for court in Waukegan, you’ll see her directing traffic at 341 meetings too.

Margaret Skalecki and Allison Maxwell work part time, Margaret is likely to be the first person you talk to if you jump out of voice mail.

Many of you have asked when we will have information available on the web. Our tentative date is now December 9 at; you will have to obtain a login and password from my office. For now send your request via fax, I expect to have our own website within a couple of weeks at

Our bank is in Memphis; they handle our receipts via lockbox. They FedEx our receipts to us every day and the average mail time from Chicago to Memphis is about two days so the time to receive and post a payment is no different than with a Chicago bank. Memphis appears to be the center of bankruptcy services for the country. National Bank of Commerce has a division dedicated to Trustee business and they handle about 70 of the 200 or so Chapter 13 Trustees. Our software provider is in Memphis too. Chase Bankruptcy Information Systems provides financial and operating software to about half of the Chapter 13 Trustees.

Our office does not accept personal checks. Please tell your clients not to send checks to our office; we just send them to the lockbox. We cannot post them unless they come to us in a batch from the bank. Our lockbox address is Trustee Glenn Stearns, PO Box 2368, Memphis, TN 38101-2368.

An office directory follows:

Office of Glenn Stearns

Bankruptcy 13 Trustee 4343 Commerce Court, Suite 120 Lisle, Illinois 60532-3614

Name Extension

Glenn Stearns, Trustee 222

Jerry Mylander, Attorney 229

Carolyn Suzzi, Attorney 224

Jeannine Laushot, Office Manager 230

Carol Burknap, Controller 223

Angela Rossi, Case Analyst 228

Kathy Bosh, Case Analyst 225

Bette Carline, Case Analyst 227

Mary Ann Johnson,

Claims Specialist 234

Kelly Davis, Accounting Asst 232

Tjuan Hamblin, Legal Department 231

Shelly Sykes, Legal Department 233

We are making our creditor and attorney disbursements at the end of each month, on the 29th or 30th.

I want to thank you all for your patience as we get our operation up to full speed. We are almost there. I look forward to working with you all for the next twenty-nine years. Happy Holidays.

DCBA Brief