ABI Blog Exchange

Oregon student loan debtors breathed a sigh of relief this week when the Department of Education announced that it was finally firing five debt collection agencies that had been giving inaccurate information to student borrowers. I say finally firing these agencies because the department had been under fire for years for its partnership with these agencies and its insistence on paying them roughly a billion a year to harass student loan borrowers. The Department of Education ultimately found that Pioneer Credit, one of their largest collection partners, and four others had been regularly doling out inaccurate information about the department’s loan forgiveness program.  Due to incentive-pay structures, the debt collectors had little incentive to rout student loan debtors into loan forgiveness programs and often misinformed debtors to keep them outside the loan forgiveness programs. The original post is titled Good News for Oregon Student Loan Debtors , and it came from Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief .

Read More from: Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

4 hours 43 min ago
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that retirement funds rolled over from an Individual Retirement Account to purchase an annuity are exempt from the bankruptcy estate.  In re Miller (No. 13-3682).  Prior to filing bankruptcy, Joseph Miller, rolled over $267,319 from his IRA account to purchase an annuity contract from Minnesota Life Insurance Company.  The annuity was to pay the debtor $40,497.95 for the next 8 years.  Although it is clear that funds held in IRA accounts are exempt, the trustee argued that the funds lost that protected status when the annuity was purchased because the annuity did not meet the tax qualification rules of Internal Revenue  Code Section 408. Section 522(b)(3)(C) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that funds which are exempt from federal taxation are thereby made exempt from the claims of creditors.  Such funds are not part of the “bankruptcy estate.”
5 hours 31 min ago
A recap of the informed opinions (and the discussions they generated) on BankThink this week, including Dodd-Frank's impact on small institutions, Fed chair Janet Yellen's handling of attacks on her staff and Bitcoin's public but pseudonymous ledger.

Read More from: BankThink

21 hours 35 min ago
Twenty-five years ago, the Supreme Court held that a Bankruptcy Court had the authority to order the IRS to allocate payments made "voluntarily" by a Debtor when necessary to effectuate a successful reorganization.    United States v. Energy Resources Co., 495 U.S. 545 (1990).   Left to its own devices, the IRS will generally allocate payments to the oldest taxes first, or, in the case of payroll taxes, to non-trust funds taxes first.   If the Debtor can require the IRS to allocate payments differently, it can greatly impact the overall amount the Debtor will be required to pay.   A recent decision out of Fort Worth illustrates how Energy Resources continues to provide a valuable tool for Debtors with tax obligations.    In re Fielding, 522 B.R. 888 (Bankr. N.D. Tex.
22 hours 13 min ago
Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends:Twenty-six years is a long time in one place. While there is sadness in parting, the partners of Seder & Chandler, LLP and I have mutually agreed to separate our practices. Effective March 1, 2015, I will leave the firm and join my wife, Marina R. Matuzek, at her law offices located at 5 Austin Street, Worcester, MA 01609. As for my practice, I will continue to offer my services to present and future clients and represent them in consumer bankruptcy, business bankruptcy, and bankruptcy litigation in Massachusetts courts. As I have often said in my  “elevator speech”, it does not matter whether you are a debtor or creditor, consumer or business, owner or claimant, plaintiff or defendant—if you plan to be involved or are already involved in a bankruptcy case or an adversary proceeding, I can assist you. I offer my experience and knowledge in business and consumer Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 cases, on all sides of a bankruptcy case and on all sides of an adversary proceeding. My twenty-six years in bankruptcy practice have also provided me with experience and knowledge in commercial litigation, loan transactions, corporate matters, mortgage foreclosure, and secured party sales. If you have a problem or need representation in any of these areas, I will be willing to sit down with you and explore your options. Seder & Chandler, LLP and I plan to continue our amicable relationship.
22 hours 40 min ago
When filing bankruptcy, it is very, very important to tell your attorney about ANY and ALL possible or potential claims that you have or may have against anyone. If you don’t list these claims in your bankruptcy filing, then it is quite likely that you will be prevented from pursing them later. In a recent opinion in the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Judge Stosberg ruled that an individuals employment law claim could not be pursued by her as she did not list the potential claim in her previous bankruptcy filing, even thought she had not yet hired an attorney to pursue the claim at the time she filed bankruptcy. For the full case, click here. Always disclose all claims to your bankruptcy attorney !
1 day 43 min ago
United States District Court, District of Arizona PLEA AGREEMENT BY RICHARD S. BERRY, WHY PAY A LAWYER Case 2:14-cr-00322-SRB Document 47 Filed 01/27/15 BANKRUPTCY FRAUD USA v Richard Sylvester Berry                 CR14-0322-PHX-SRB (SPL) 03/05/2014 Excerpt from Plea Agreement: 9. From April, 2010 through March, 2014, in the District of Arizona: 1. The defendant devised a scheme or plan to defraud 2. The defendant acted with the intent to defraud; 3. The defendant filed or caused to be filed a document in a proceeding under a Title 11 bankruptcy proceeding to carry out or attempt to carry out an essential part of the scheme. 4. The defendant’s act was material; that is, it had a natural tendency to influence, or was capable of influencing the acts of an identifiable person, entity, or group. 10. FACTUAL BASIS a. The defendant admits that the following facts are true and that if this matter were to proceed to trial the United States could prove the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt:
1 day 1 hour ago
Keith Bedford for The Wall Street Journal
Small-town shopkeepers who have been peddling RadioShack products out of their hardware or appliance or general electronics or corner drug stores across America have been waiting to hear where they stand in the plan for the retailer’s future. This week, RadioShack’s independent dealers and franchisees finally heard from the company. RadioShack cut them off from credit and demanded cash in advance from small-business owners who have been selling its goods for decades if they want inventory now. The small business owners are worried, said Richard Mikels, the Boston lawyer who spoke for them in court this week. What if they send their money in and get no inventory from RadioShack, which is on its last legs? Worse, what if the small-town dealers are the last folks standing at RadioShack counters when it finally dawns on consumers it’s time to cash in roughly $20 million worth of gift cards outstanding before they become worthless? “It’s going to be very awkward for the dealers if RadioShack is not going to be standing behind them,” Mr. Mikels told Judge Brendan Shannon at a hearing Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 2 hours ago
Keith Bedford for The Wall Street Journal
Small-town shopkeepers who have been peddling RadioShack products out of their hardware or appliance or general electronics or corner drug stores across America have been waiting to hear where they stand in the plan for the retailer’s future. This week, RadioShack’s independent dealers and franchisees finally heard from the company. RadioShack cut them off from credit and demanded cash in advance from small-business owners who have been selling its goods for decades if they want inventory now. The small business owners are worried, said Richard Mikels, the Boston lawyer who spoke for them in court this week. What if they send their money in and get no inventory from RadioShack, which is on its last legs? Worse, what if the small-town dealers are the last folks standing at RadioShack counters when it finally dawns on consumers it’s time to cash in roughly $20 million worth of gift cards outstanding before they become worthless? “It’s going to be very awkward for the dealers if RadioShack is not going to be standing behind them,” Mr. Mikels told Judge Brendan Shannon at a hearing Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 2 hours ago
Gary Holtzer, co-chair of Weil’s Business Finance & Restructuring Department, was interviewed by The Dealon what PE firms should consider when their portfolio companies become stressed or distressed. The interview, which took place at the 2015 TMA Distressed Investing Conference in Las Vegas on February 12, was conducted by The Deal’s Senior Editor of Out-of-Court Restructuring, Jamie Mason. In addition to discussing what PE firms should consider, other topics covered include:
  • The techniques private equity firms can use to manage the liabilities of their portfolio companies’ balance sheets
  • How private equity funds can proactively seek opportunities in situations which do not involve their own portfolio companies
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1 day 3 hours ago
On Wednesday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena will seek a bankruptcy judge’s permission to proceed with a plan to pay $16.4 million to compensate hundreds of people who allege they were sexually abused by the diocese’s clergy. The plan, which was largely put in place during mediation that preceded the Montana diocese’s bankruptcy filing in January 2014, calls for about 360 victims to receive a minimum payment of $2,500 each. An abuse-claims reviewer will determine the actual payment based on the severity and long-term effects of the abuse. Any future abuse claims also will be paid out of the trust. If approved by Judge Terry Myers, the diocese’s insurance companies would contribute $14.4 million to the trust, and the diocese itself would contribute $2 million. The plan also includes another $4.45 million from the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province to settle a lawsuit filed by 45 Native Americans who alleged they were abused at the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatius. In total, 11 other Catholic dioceses have turned to chapter 11 to address waves of litigation related to alleged sexual abuse by priests and others, the vast majority of which allegedly took place decades ago.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 3 hours ago
On Wednesday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena will seek a bankruptcy judge’s permission to proceed with a plan to pay $16.4 million to compensate hundreds of people who allege they were sexually abused by the diocese’s clergy. The plan, which was largely put in place during mediation that preceded the Montana diocese’s bankruptcy filing in January 2014, calls for about 360 victims to receive a minimum payment of $2,500 each. An abuse-claims reviewer will determine the actual payment based on the severity and long-term effects of the abuse. Any future abuse claims also will be paid out of the trust. If approved by Judge Terry Myers, the diocese’s insurance companies would contribute $14.4 million to the trust, and the diocese itself would contribute $2 million. The plan also includes another $4.45 million from the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province to settle a lawsuit filed by 45 Native Americans who alleged they were abused at the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatius. In total, 11 other Catholic dioceses have turned to chapter 11 to address waves of litigation related to alleged sexual abuse by priests and others, the vast majority of which allegedly took place decades ago.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 3 hours ago
Big banks are making critical risk management decisions with data that is old, incomplete or even inaccurate. This endangers the safety of the global financial system in more ways than one.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 3 hours ago
Michael E. Wiles
New York’s bankruptcy bench is expanding again, this time with the appointment of a longtime corporate bankruptcy lawyer in New York. Michael Wiles, until recently a partner at New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, will be sworn in Tuesday as the newest judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, a federal appellate court announced Friday. The appointment comes two weeks after the court brought Judge James Garrity back to the nine-member bench after a hiatus of more than 15 years in private practice. Mr. Wiles replaces Judge James Peck, who retired in 2014 and joined the law firm Morrison & Foerster.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 4 hours ago
Michael E. Wiles
New York’s bankruptcy bench is expanding again, this time with the appointment of a longtime corporate bankruptcy lawyer in New York. Michael Wiles, until recently a partner at New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, will be sworn in Tuesday as the newest judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, a federal appellate court announced Friday. The appointment comes two weeks after the court brought Judge James Garrity back to the nine-member bench after a hiatus of more than 15 years in private practice. Mr. Wiles replaces Judge James Peck, who retired in 2014 and joined the law firm Morrison & Foerster.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 4 hours ago
Caesars Palace casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, is seen in a file picture taken July 14, 2004.
Reuters
The bankrupt main operating unit of Caesars Entertainment Corp. has asked that an outsider be summoned to probe alleged insider-led looting of the gambling operation, a request slated for court review next week. The Wall Street Journal has the Daily Bankruptcy Review article here. (Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit http://on.wsj.com/DJBankruptcyNews, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) Aereo Inc., the defunct TV-streaming service that once promised to revolutionize the way consumers watch network television, was sold for parts this week to TiVo Inc. and other buyers at a bankruptcy auction. Read the DBR article in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 5 hours ago
Caesars Palace casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, is seen in a file picture taken July 14, 2004.
Reuters
The bankrupt main operating unit of Caesars Entertainment Corp. has asked that an outsider be summoned to probe alleged insider-led looting of the gambling operation, a request slated for court review next week. The Wall Street Journal has the Daily Bankruptcy Review article here. (Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit http://on.wsj.com/DJBankruptcyNews, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) Aereo Inc., the defunct TV-streaming service that once promised to revolutionize the way consumers watch network television, was sold for parts this week to TiVo Inc. and other buyers at a bankruptcy auction. Read the DBR article in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 5 hours ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... CIT, Censures and Selfies: Bank chiefs don't often find themselves defending their business decisions to community members in a public hearing, but then again the $3.4 billion proposed merger between CIT Group and OneWest is a pretty big deal in more ways than one. CIT chief executive John Thain and OneWest CEO Joseph Otting told a panel of banking regulators in Los Angeles Thursday that their plan to create a $70 billion...

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 6 hours ago
Several shareholder proposals this season ask boards to adopt clawback policies that would be triggered by any misconduct resulting in a violation of law or policy that causes significant financial or reputational harm, where a senior executive either committed the misconduct or failed to supervise subordinates.  The proposals also ask those companies to disclose to shareholders the circumstances of any recoupment and any board decision not to pursue recoupment.
1 day 7 hours ago
Bombart v. The Family Center at Sunrise, LLC, 520 B.R. 300 (S.D. Fla. 2014) – The owner of assets purchased in a bankruptcy sale sought to reopen a closed bankruptcy case to obtain an order enjoining the owner of the debtor … Continue reading →
1 day 8 hours ago

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