Attorney Bio

David P. Leibowitz

Practice Summary

David Leibowitz founded Lakelaw in 1999 after more than 25 years of distinguished practice in Chicago. David focuses his practice at Lakelaw on bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosure defense.  He is the only lawyer in Northern Illinois or Southern Wisconsin board certified both as a business bankruptcy lawyer and as a consumer bankruptcy lawyer. He is admitted to the bar in Illinois, Wisconsin and Arizona.  David has achieved national recognition for his work in defending against predatory mortgages. Under his leadership, Lakelaw has become the leading consumer advocacy firm in Illinois and Wisconsin. Recognized for service to the community and courts, he has been awarded the prestigious Pro Bono Service Award from the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  He also was honored by the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Lake County, Illinois with its "Liberty Bell Award" in recognition for his service in organizing the mortgage foreclosure help desk. He is the author of "Filing Chapter 13 – What you Need to Know" published by Aspartore and the editor-in-chief and a principal author of the American Bankruptcy Institute's Commercial Fraud Manual.  David has handled virtually all aspects of bankruptcy work from complex chapter 11 cases representing debtors, creditors' committees and secured creditors to consumer bankruptcy cases in chapter 7 and 13. Recognized as a national leader in the field, David has served as the co-chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute's consumer bankruptcy committee and commercial fraud committee. David is proficient in French and Spanish and regularly conducts business with his clients in the Spanish language.  
  • IFC Credit Corporation (chapter 7 liquidation of leading national leasing corporation)
  • IFC Credit Corporation, 633 F.3d 315 (7th Cir. 2011) (bankruptcy court jurisdiction)
  • IFC Credit Corporation v. First Chicago Bank and Trust, 422 B.R. 659 (Bankr. N.D. IL 2010) (Directors and Officers Insurance Injunction Litigation)
  • In re Clark (Rameker v. Clark), 714 F.3d 559 (7th Cir. 2013) (on brief for amicus NABT – certiorari granted by Supreme Court).
  • Leibowitz v. Parkway Bank & Trust Co. (In re Image Worldwide), 139 F.3d. 574 (7th Cir. 1998)
  • Leibowitz v. Parkway Bank & Trust Co. (In re Image Worldwide), 139 F.3d. 574 (7th Cir. 1998)
  • In re Carney (recovery of more than $1 million in major Ponzi scheme)
  • Leibowitz v. Parkway Bank & Trust Co. (In re Image Worldwide), 139 F.3d. 574 (7th Cir. 1998)
  • Leibowitz v. Saleh 1994 Bankr. LEXIS 29 (Bankr. ND IL)
  • Leibowitz v. Tanglis  344 B.R. 563 (Bankr. ND. IL 2006 Bankruptcy - denial of discharge after trial)
  • In re Kobus (Bankruptcy - bad faith chapter 13 conversion)
  • In re UNR Industries, Inc. 736 F.2d 1136 - 7th Circuit. 1984 legal representative appeal)
  • Gabellini v. Rega  724 F.2d 579 (7th Cir. 1984)
  • Kramer v. Exchange National Bank of Chicago, 118 Ill. 2d 277, 515 N.E. 2d 57, 113 Ill. Dec. 248 (1987);
  • In re Straight Arrow Products, Inc. (Chapter 11 creditors committee - 100% plan)
  • In re Michael Sparks (Chapter 11 Debtor - real estate development debtor plan confirmed and fully executed after contested confirmation hearing)
  • In re Wax Trax Records (Chapter 11 - independent recording company plan confirmed after negotiation)
  • In re Process Control Technologies (Chapter 11 plan - manufacturing Debtor - plan confirmed resulting in 60% to unsecured creditors and ultimate sale of company for substantial value to debtors' principals)
  • In re KMart Co. - Representation of 30 counties of the State of Georgia resulting in recovery of millions in ad valorem property taxes
  • In re Delphi Corp - Representation of LG Philips LCD in connection with their multi-million dollar post-petition contract - advised on all aspects of Debtor's reorganization case, now confirmed.
  • Selected as a member of the Leading Lawyers Network
  • Alpha Sigma Nu, Jesuit Honor Society
  • American Board of Certification Board
  • Certified Business and Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney
  • Pro Bono Service Award - United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and Federal Bar Association - 2006
  • Pro Bono Award - Volunteer Legal Program - Lake County Bar Association - 2007 Publications
  • Fiduciary Duties of Chapter 7 Trustees in Surplus Cases, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal (April 2014).
  • Pre-Petition Receiverships Can Impede Real Estate Reorganization, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal (December, 2013)
  • How many heads on Beds are in your chapter 13 household?  American Bankruptcy Institute Journal (November 2012)
  • Stern v. Marshall:  A Constitutional Conundrum, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal  October 2011 (Selected as "Best of the Year Article")
  • Current Mortgage Issues in Chapter 13 – Norton’s Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 2011 (David Leibowitz and Mark Rossi)
  • Can a Fully Unsecured Lien be Stripped in Chapter 13 without Discharge, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal (July-August, 2011)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Fraud Manual (Editor in chief and one of several authors
  • Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure:  What you need to Know (Thompson Reuters, 2010)
  • Filing Chapter 13, What you need to know (Aspartore Books, 2011)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Fraud Manual, author and editor, to be Published in 2010
  • 2009 Survey of Residential Mortgage Issues in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases - Norton's Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 2009
  • Residential Mortgage Issues in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases - Norton's Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 2008
  • Secured Debt Alone Cannot Constitute Abuse under §707(b)(3) XXVIII American Bankruptcy Institute Journal 9, 38, 39, 75, November 2009
  • Vehicle Ownership Expense Deduction: Fixed Allowance or Cap on Actual Expense? July, August 2008 - American Bankruptcy Institute Journal
  • Withdrawals from Tax-deferred Retirement Accounts: Included in Current Monthly Income - June, 2008 - American Bankruptcy Institute Journal 12
  • Bankruptcy Claims and Exemptions, IICLE
  • Bankruptcy Aspects of Divorce, IICLE
  • Bankruptcy Aspects of Asset Protection, IICLE
  • Bankruptcy Aspects of Divorce - ABA Family Advocate
  • One Lawyer's Renaissance - ABA Law Practice Management
  • Residential Mortgage Issues in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases – to be published in 2008 Norton’s Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law
  • TILA is your Friend - NABTalk (2006)
  • Arizona State Bar - Predatory Lending (2008)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Commercial Fraud Task Force - Detecting Fraud in Chapter 7 Cases (2007)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Real Estate Committee - Real estate issues in chapter 7 trustee cases (2004)
  • Chicago Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee - Discharge and Dischargeability (2008)
  • Chicago Bar Association - International Bankruptcy - (2002)
  • Commercial Law League of America - Bankruptcy Boot Camp (2008)
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago - Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority - "Wisconsin Moves Forward to Address Foreclosures" (Mortgage Foreclosure Response) (2008)
  • Lake County Bar Association
    • Bankruptcy for General Practitioner in Light of BAPCPA (2005)
    • Bankruptcy Aspects of Probate Administration (2007)
    • Truth in Lending Act and Other Defenses to Mortgage Foreclosure(2008)
  • Kenosha County Bar Association - Bankruptcy for General Practitioner (2007)
  • National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees - Thinking outside the Box (2006), Trustee Administration A-Z (2007), Trustee Claims in Predatory Lending (2008)
  • Wisconsin Bar - Predatory Lending (2008)
  • World Bank - International Law Institute - Mongolia Bankruptcy Project (1999-2000)
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Arizona Bar
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Commercial Law League of America
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Kenosha County Bar Association
  • La Crosse County Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association
  • National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • Wisconsin Bar
  • Past President Highland Park Library Board of Trustees
  • Past member and President of North Shore School District 112
  • Past member of Board of Directors of South Central Community Services, Inc.
  • Schwartz, Cooper, Kolb & Gaynor (partner)
  • Freeborn & Peters (partner, head of bankruptcy practice)
  • Upright Litigation LLC (General Counsel, national consumer litigation firm)
  • Study Group Member on Chicago RTA task force - 1971
  • Economic Analyst, Port Authority of NY and NJ - 1970

David P. Leibowitz

Practice/Industry Groups

  • Business Bankruptcy
  • Consumer Bankruptcy
  • Trials and Appeals
  • Trustee and Receivership
  • Mortgage Defense
  • Consumer Law


  • Loyola University School of Law,
    J.D. cum laude
  • Northwestern University, B.A.

State Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin

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