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ABI Blog Exchange

Written By: Daniel Hart

Edited By: Salene Kraemer

                   From time to time, we have clients buy into a franchise or occasionally want to franchise his or her own business concept.

                 Franchising is a business model that combines aspects of working for yourself and working for someone else.  It is an efficient system for an individual who wants to own/run a business but lacks the experience to do so.  Within the United States, there are about 3,000 established franchise brands operating in over 200 different lines of business.  A franchise is a legal and commercial relationship between the owner of a trademark, trade name, and business system (franchisor) and an individual or group wishing to use that identification in a business (franchisee).  The most common form of franchising is product/trade name franchising in which a franchisor owns the right to a trade name and/or trademark and licenses the rights to use those.

1 day 23 hours ago

Attorney Ed WoodsOne very powerful remedy that financially strapped consumers have is a discharge pursuant to Chapter 13 of the federal Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is so named because it is Chapter 13 of Title 11 of the United States Code. Title 11 of the United States Code is commonly known as the “Bankruptcy Code”. The other types of relief under Title 11 include Chapter 7 (liquidation), Chapter 9 (municipal bankruptcy), Chapter 11 (commercial bankruptcy), and Chapter 12 (family farmer and fisherman bankruptcy). The relief available through Chapter 13 is broad and can be positively life changing for individuals and families who might otherwise struggle with debts for years and not see the end of the tunnel. In many instances, Chapter 13 is the best help I can provide to the clients I represent.

Read More from: Bonds & Botes, P.C.

2 days 2 hours ago

Authored by Courtney Gaver

In a case that will have a direct impact on creditors, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal involving the City of Miami’s claims in three related cases that it suffered damages through alleged discriminatory lending practices of residential mortgage lenders including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. The Court’s final decision in this appeal will likely define the reach of the Fair Housing Act.

In Bank of America Corp. et al. v. City of Miami, the City of Miami (the “City”) alleged that the banks engaged in a pattern of discriminatory lending in the residential housing market which resulted in the City suffering economic harm. The City brought suit under the Fair Housing Act (the “FHA”) which outlaws discrimination in housing. The FHA, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., makes it unlawful to refuse to sell or to rent a dwelling to any person, or to refuse to engage in a residential real estate transaction with any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Read More from: Florida Banking Law Blog

2 days 19 hours ago

State unemployment benefits are paid pursuant to a system that relies on trust. Benefits are paid based on representations made by claimants that they are out of work and that they continue to seek out full-time work. If a claimant finds part-time work, then benefits are reduced accordingly.

A recent opinion from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan (the “Court”) addresses a Chapter 7 debtor’s attempt to discharge a debt owed to the State of Michigan for overpaid unemployment benefits, and penalties and interest stemming from the overpayment.  Read More ›

Read More from: Michigan Bankruptcy Blog

3 days 46 min ago

bankruptcy reaffirmation

Decisions, decisions.

Your bankruptcy filing requires that you state your intentions about reaffirmation right up front.

Translated, that means what are you going to do about the car after bankruptcy.  The car on which you still owe money and need to get to work.

In the midst of all the other information needed to file a Chapter 7, it’s hard to get your head around reaffirmation.

Particularly since reaffirmation got a lot more complicated and unpredictable thanks to Congress and bankruptcy “reform” in 2005.

With my apologies for being dull and dense, here’s my attempt at explaining the issues and the options when deciding whether to reaffirm a car loan.

3 days 1 hour ago

Don Lawson KnoxvilleThis is one of the most common questions that we get asked.  Inevitably, financial problems very often lead to marital problems.  And a large percentage of our clients are either separated or in the process of divorcing.  While every situation is unique, it is always wise to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney prior to finalizing and signing your divorce documents.

Hold Harmless

One main reason is a very common provision in most divorce documents called “Hold Harmless”.  Amy Tanner in our Huntsville office wrote a wonderful article on Hold Harmless, which can be found here.  In a nut shell, Hold Harmless language means that you are agreeing not to “harm” your soon-to-be ex-spouse for debts that you agree to pay in the divorce.  This is a very important concept to understand.  If you agree to take responsibility for certain joint debts as part of your divorce and then later file bankruptcy on those debts, your ex-spouse could sue you in Divorce Court to make you pay those very same debts.

Read More from: Bonds & Botes, P.C.

3 days 2 hours ago

Scientist analyze the water of a riverIn the recent case of BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana SA & others [2016] EWHC 1686, the High Court has held for the first time that a dividend can be challenged as a transaction entered into at an undervalue within the meaning of section 423(1) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (the “IA”).

The Facts 

The facts of the case are long and complex but for present purposes the pertinent facts are as follows.

Arjo Wiggins Appleton Limited (now Windward Prospects Limited) (“AWA”) was a wholly owned subsidiary of Sequana SA (“SSA”).

Through a series of corporate acquisitions and asset transfers since the 1950s, BAT Industries PLC (“BAT”), the claimant in this case, became liable to pay for part of the costs of an environmental clean-up relating to the pollution of the Lower Fox River in Wisconsin, USA (the “Lower Fox River Liability”). AWA was liable to indemnify BAT for part of the monies BAT so paid (the “Indemnity”).

Read More from: eSQUIRE Global Crossings

3 days 4 hours ago

Bankruptcy Mediation-FINAL-SMBy: Donald L. Swanson 

When a mediating party and counsel say to the mediator:

Just give us your evaluation!

What they are actually saying is:

Just confirm that you agree with my side.”

Prof. Elayne E. Greenberg of St. John’s University School of Law 

This observation appears in the “Bankruptcy Mediation” book recently published by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

I laughed out loud upon reading this observation, because I’ve always sensed it to be true — but I’d never be able to articulate it.

I can think of a possible exception or two — maybe. But, otherwise, this observation is dead-on.

Read More from: Mediatbankry

3 days 6 hours ago

The pari passu litigation against Argentina—discussed extensively here on Credit Slips, on FT Alphaville, and elsewhere—caused many people to worry that future government debt restructurings would become more difficult. Some have their eye on Venezuela as the next to default, though the country and its troubled state-owned oil producer PDVSA stubbornly continue to pay external creditors despite dire economic and humanitarian circumstances. Wherever the next crisis occurs, there will be interest in devising ways to avoid the fate that befell Argentina.

Read More from: Credit Slips

3 days 14 hours ago

Attorney Suzanne ShinnThis writing may be a bit premature for the Thanksgiving season, but several things have happened within the last seven to ten days and the above statement “gratitude costs you nothing” is a phrase that kept coming up in my mind over and over again. I wish I could take credit for that phrase but it is not my own, however, this phrase reminds me of a writer in the Bible that wrote:

“Be thankful, IN ALL THINGS” (emphasis mine); and

“I have learned how to abased (be lacking) and I how to abound (be increasing), and in ALL things I have learned how to be content in whatever state I am in.” (emphasis mine)

Read More from: Bonds & Botes, P.C.

3 days 23 hours ago

Discussions around reinstating the Depression-era law are headline-grabbing, but Glass-Steagall has no merit in our current financial environment.

Read More from: BankThink

3 days 23 hours ago


Focus on the AB InBev and SABMiller merger

Having received the sanction of antitrust regulators in Europe, the U.S., China and South Africa, the planned merger of brewing giants AB InBev and SABMiller was scrutinised this week by the High Court in London on a topic very familiar to those acquainted with English law restructurings: class composition. The outcome of the hearing, that not all members of SABMiller should be considered to be in the same class for scheme voting purposes, raises some interesting questions around class composition because of the unusual circumstances of the proposed merger.


The merger, valued at a British record of £79 billion, is set to be carried out by an English law scheme of arrangement. Similar to their use in the restructuring market, schemes are frequently used in mergers because of their ability to force dissenting members to sell their shares whether or not they vote in favour of a scheme, thereby offering certainty of acquisition of 100% of the target for the bidder.

4 days 1 hour ago

man-316917_1280_optWill the judge approve my bankruptcy case?

Do I have to explain to the judge why I’m in bankruptcy?

What if the judge makes a plan I can’t pay?

When you’re considering bankruptcy, you start to think about your upcoming encounter with a federal bankruptcy judge.

Black robes.  Sober face.  Gobs of power over your finances.

It can be unnerving.

Relax. Chances are, you’ll never even meet a bankruptcy judge in the flesh.

You’ll collect the judge’s signature on the important orders in your case, but you’ll never come face to face.

Job of a bankruptcy judge

Think of the bankruptcy judge as an umpire.  He enforces the rules of the game and decides disputes.  Safe?  Out?

4 days 1 hour ago

Screen scraping is an out-of-date way to share transaction data with mobile apps and services. It's high time for banks to invest in OAuth, a protocol that lets customers access their financial data in a portal of their choosing and is secure.

Read More from: BankThink

4 days 2 hours ago

Wall Street Journal

Arbitration rule comments: The CFPB received nearly 13,000 comments on its proposed rule that would restrict the use of mandatory arbitration clauses and make it easier for consumers to sue banks. The rule would prohibit financial services companies from using the clauses to block class-action suits, although consumers would still be required to use arbitration to resolve individual disputes. The agency is expected to issue a final rule next year after it reviews...

Read More from: BankThink

4 days 2 hours ago

bankruptcy-attorney-brad-botesFor many of our clients, the automatic stay is the best thing that has happened to them in a long, long time. In fact, in my opinion, there is no other provision of the law that can do more good for an individual more quickly than the automatic stay.

Read More from: Bonds & Botes, P.C.

4 days 3 hours ago

In re Lake Michigan Beach Pottawattamie Resort LLC, 547 B.R. 899 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2016) – A mortgage lender moved to dismiss a chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed on the eve of foreclosure without the lender’s consent (in its role … Continue reading

4 days 5 hours ago

New Jersey does poorly when it comes to the average amount of student loan debt that state residents have accumulated, according to a recent study of student loans taken out by people across the United States.

The study was conducted by LendEDU, a popular independent marketplace for student loans and student loan refinancing. According to data compiled by the LendEDU researchers who focused on 1,300 U.S. colleges and universities, New Jersey had the ninth-worst average student loan debt among residents who attended college in 2015. The average student loan debt accumulated by borrowers in New Jersey was in excess of $30,000, which was more than $2,000 higher than the average debt accumulated by student loan recipients on a national level.

In addition to the fact that NJ students are racking up significant debts while trying to earn college degrees, there is another, potentially more significant problem: a high percentage of college students in New Jersey find themselves taking out student loans in the first place. According to the LendEDU study, approximately 63 percent of all New Jersey college students have to borrow in order to attend university.

4 days 18 hours ago

I came across a woman recently who was considering chapter 7 bankruptcy. She had a home that was underwater by more than $175,000. She had absolutely no intention of keeping the home. Her goal was to stay in the home for as long as possible, surrender it to the lender after a sheriff sale, and+ Read More

The post When Assets Are Potentially At Risk, Stick With Chapter 13 appeared first on David M. Siegel.

4 days 22 hours ago

Companies like Prosper have revolutionized the front end of the consumer lending experience, but they have not proven able to handle even minor financial bumps without running off the road.

Read More from: BankThink

4 days 22 hours ago