In his spare time, Mr. Stockdale enjoys fishing, table-top gaming and finding and restoring antiques and automobiles.

John J. Stockdale, Jr.


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John J. Stockdale, Jr. practices in the areas of bankruptcy, debtor/creditor, real estate, business transactions and related litigation. Mr. Stockdale has represented clients in personal and business bankruptcies, business and commercial transactions and workouts; real estate transactions and foreclosures; and debt collection and defense. Mr. Stockdale has represented clients in a variety of industries including, without limitation, building trades, food service and retail.


Mr. Stockdale focuses his practice on small and mid-size businesses. He understands and has special insight into the issues affecting those businesses because, for the twelve years prior to joining Schafer and Weiner, he owned and operated a publishing company providing business valuation and lost profits case law reports to attorneys and accountants. Mr. Stockdale is member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and a member of Michigan State Bar, Business Law Section.


Mr. Stockdale has represented clients with cases in the following jurisdictions:


Chapter 11 Bankruptcies

In re BCDG, LP (Bankr. S.D. Iowa 2016) (Counsel for Unsecured Creditors Committee), John represented the unsecured creditors committee in this chapter 11 case involving the quick sale of six McDonalds franchises in Des Moines, Iowa. First, John successfully negotiated a $170,000 contribution to the unsecured creditors from the purchaser of the franchises. Then, John negotiated with the various creditor consistencies to craft and confirm a consensual plan of liquidation that brought in an additional $183,000 from the senior secured lender and reduced the claim pool from $12 million to $4.1 million.  John’s efforts ensured that the unsecured creditors received a meaningful distribution where the debtor did not contemplate any distribution to the unsecured creditors in this bankruptcy case.

In re St. James Nursing & Physical Rehab. Ctr., Inc. (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2016) (Counsel for Debtor)  John successfully represented the debtor throughout the chapter 11 reorganization case of this nursing home through a contested confirmation hearing involving nine objections to confirmation.

In re Associated Community Services, Inc. (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2014) (counsel for Debtor) John represented a telephone call center having more than 800 employees throughout the chapter 11 process from preparing first day motions through confirmation of a plan of reorganization.  This case involved significant corporate restructuring including relocating the business operations during the bankruptcy case.  Additionally, the case involved millions of alleged unpaid withholding tax liabilities which were successfully negotiated to permit secured and priority tax payments to exceed the five-year maximum set by the bankruptcy code.  Moreover, John successfully opposed a class action claim reducing the unsecured creditors pool by $10,000,000.

In re Acme Acres (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2013) (Counsel for Debtor) John represented four related corporate debtors in these administratively consolidated chapter 11 cases. The debtors sought bankruptcy to resolve $1 million in pension fund withdrawal and contribution claims asserted by the Central States Southeast and Southwest Pension Fund arising after the debtors’ collective bargaining agreement expired. Prior to filing, John negotiated the terms of the plan of reorganizations with the debtors’ secured lender, which was memorialized in a plan support agreement.  After extensive litigation with the Pension Fund, including an evidentiary hearing on confirmation of the plan of reorganization, the debtors’ plan of reorganization was confirmed that provided a 13% payment to the Pension Fund.

In re Small Plates Detroit, LLC (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2011) (Counsel for Debtor). John represented a local restaurant throughout its bankruptcy process.  In addition to working with its creditors, John successfully prepared and argued sale procedures and sale motions, which resulted in the sale of the restaurant business to an unrelated company free and clear of liens, claims and encumbrances. This case was resolved through a structured dismissal that resulted in payments to certain prepetition secured creditors after a surcharge for payment of certain Chapter 11 expenses.

In re Bing Construction Company (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2011) (Counsel for Debtor) John assisted an Oakland County residential builder wind down its operations through a liquidating Chapter 11 after its principal’s death. John assisted the debtor with shedding its unprofitable building contracts and worked with the building trades and property owners to complete other construction projects. John worked with the debtor, its financial adviser and the unsecured creditors committee to propose and confirm a liquidating plan over the objections of materialmen and subcontractors, which included allegations of fraud and breach of the Michigan Builders Trust Fund Act.

In re Metals in Time, Inc., (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2010), (Counsel for Debtor). John represented a high-end retail jeweler throughout its bankruptcy process from drafting first day motions to successfully implementing Chapter 11 liquidating plan, which sold the debtor’s business to a related party for the assumption of heavily discounted bank debt. This representation also involved appearing in the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in connection with efforts to remove a California state court lawsuit to the Michigan bankruptcy court. 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcies

In re Residential Builder, (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2012) (Counsel for Debtor). John represented a residential builder in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The case involved consideration of the builder’s divorce as well as negotiation with building subcontractors and materialmen over alleged violations of the Michigan Builders Trust Fund Act. As a result of extensive planning and negotiation with certain contractors and the Chapter 7 trustee, the debtor received his Chapter 7 discharge, allowing this builder the breathing room to restart his business.

Corporation v Former Shareholder (In re Former Shareholder) (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2011) (Counsel for Creditor). John successfully prosecuted a nondischargeability action against a corporation’s former shareholder for various frauds, breaches of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets.  These claims were being litigated in a California federal court when the debtor filed her bankruptcy petition.  John successfully lifted the automatic stay to allow the California litigation to continue.  In 2014, John obtained a written opinion granting summary judgment to against the debtor, which determined that the obligations were nondischargeable on the basis that the California court’s decision collaterally estopped the debtor from arguing that the claims were dischargeable in her bankruptcy case.

In re Oil Change Business Owner, (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2011) (Counsel for Debtor).  John represented a debtor-business owner in an adversary proceeding brought by an equipment creditor to deny the debtor a Chapter 7 discharge on the basis that the debtor undervalued several business interests in his bankruptcy petition. John vigorously challenged the creditor, including filing a motion to dismiss the complaint, and, as a result, the creditor agreed to voluntarily dismiss its nondischargeability lawsuit against the debtor. John then acted as replacement general counsel for the debtor, negotiating a resolution of a revocation of discharge claim based on the same undervaluation as well as an alleged failure to disclose an expensive sports car.

In re Small Business Owner, (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2011), (Counsel for Debtor).  John obtained a Chapter 7 discharge for a small business owner in this complex bankruptcy case involving allegations of bank fraud. John negotiated a resolution of the business lender’s nondischargeability claim against the debtor, allowing the debtor to receive a discharge and avoid a FRBP 2004 examination. John also negotiated the debtor’s exemptions with the Chapter 7 trustee, which allowed the debtor to retain many of his non-exempt assets, including an extensive sports memorabilia collection and fishing boat.

In re Real Estate Partner, (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2010), (Counsel for Debtor). A 50% member in a limited liability company filed a motion to lift the automatic stay to continue a state court lawsuit and separately filed a nondischargeability lawsuit against the debtor, the other 50% member. John defeated the motion to lift the automatic stay, prohibiting continuation of the state court litigation. The Bankruptcy Court also granted John’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing the nondischargeability lawsuit against the debtor. As a result of these victories, the Bankruptcy Court entered an order discharging the debtor of more than $1 million in pre-petition liabilities, including those owed to the 50% Member.