From Southern California to Hendersonville, Tennessee
Eric K. Fox is the Owner of Fox Law in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He grew up in Newport Beach, California where he graduated from Corona del Mar High School. After high school, Eric went on to attend Cal Berkeley where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Rhetoric & Peace & Conflict Studies, as well as a minor program in Music. He took advantage of prestigious graduate level course offerings at U.C. Berkeley in the Rhetoric Department, including Persuasive Discourse, the Rhetorical Tradition, and Rhetoric and Legal Theory, which had a major impact on his worldview.
Before moving on to law school, Eric had worked as a semi-professional musician, an inner city school teacher, and a contract legal assistant at various law firms, including a prestigious boutique law firm in Newport Beach (Irell & Manella). Law is a field which Eric had strongly considered since he was in junior high school student studying Constitutional Law at University of California at Irvine (through the Pegasus Program).
At Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. Eric was a research assistant for Professor Don Wallace. At Georgetown Law, Eric took advantage of graduate level (LLM) coursework in Estate Planning, which provided a foundation for his later work in Bankruptcy Estate Planning.
After graduation from Georgetown Law, Eric planned on traveling through Tennessee on his way back to California from Washington D.C. As he researched the state, Eric concluded that Middle Tennessee was an ideal region for him to pursue his goals in legal practice. Eric graduated from Georgetown Law in May of 2002; he sat for and passed the Tennessee Bar Exam that summer.
Since his time in law school, Eric had anticipated starting his own firm. To obtain experience, Eric worked for the Public Defender’s Office in Gallatin, and then a small Bankruptcy firm. He moved from Nashville to Hendersonville in June of 2003, and opened his current office as the Law Office of Eric K. Fox on January 1, 2004.
Since founding the Law Office of Eric K. Fox, now also doing business as “Fox Law,” Eric has assisted and counseled thousands of clients with Bankruptcy relief or debt negotiation; some of whom have achieved significant life change. In 2014, Eric was voted as the Best Attorney in Sumner County Tennessee, according to the Tennessean Toast of Sumner County Reader’s poll.
Eric is married to legal assistant Rachel Fox, whom he met at their local church. They live in Hendersonville with their daughter.
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).
Recommended By His Community
Eric is very involved in his community and has helped many people in the Middle Tennessee area with their legal problems. In 2014, Eric was voted as the Best Attorney in Sumner County Tennessee, according to the Tennessean Toast of Sumner County Reader’s poll.
Alberto Ordonez: (615) 537-2473
Janet Threet: (615) 824-2855
Jack Thompson: (615) 416-1948
Heather Highland Kemp: (615) 859-7991
Best Attorney for 2014, Sumner County: The Tennessean’s Reader’s Choice Toast of Sumner County
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