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On April 29, 2016, Ultra Petroleum Corp. and certain of its affiliates (collectively, “Ultra Petroleum” or the “Debtors”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.  According to the declaration of Ultra Petroleum’s Chief Financial Officer, Nelson M. Shaw (the “Shaw Declaration”), Debtors own oil and gas properties in Wyoming, Utah and Pennsylvania and operate a vast majority of their Wyoming and Utah properties. See Shaw Declaration at 18. Debtors’ liabilities total approximately $3.759 billion in unsecured debt which includes: (i) $1.3 billion pursuant to a 2013 Ultra Petroleum Indenture and a 2014 Ultra Petroleum Indenture, both with Delaware Trust Company, as successor trustee to U.S. Bank N.A.; (ii) $990 million pursuant to a 2011 Credit Agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA as administrative agent; and (iii) $1.46 billion of unsecured private placement notes issued under a Master Note Purchase Agreement and guaranteed by certain affiliates of the Debtors. See Shaw Declaration at 37-45. The Debtors cases are jointly administered under the lead bankruptcy case In re Ultra Petroleum Corp., et al. Case No. 16-32202. A copy of the Shaw Declaration can be accessed here: Download Shaw Declaration.
9 hours 4 min ago
Until recently, In re Atari, Inc. was a closed case, but, in a recent decision, the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York found that “other cause” existed to reopen the bankruptcy cases.  Background Atari, Inc. and certain of its affiliates (the “Debtors”) filed for chapter 11 in January, 2013.  Atari Europe SAS and Atari S.A. (the “Atari Entities”), which were affiliates of the Debtors but not debtors themselves in the chapter 11 proceeding, were the obligor and guarantor, respectively, under a Credit Agreement with Alden Global Value Recovery Master Fund, L.P. (“Alden”), secured by intellectual property assets of the Debtors and intercompany claims the Atari Entities held against certain Debtors.  Alden also provided post-petition financing to the Debtors.  Several months into the case, the Debtors and Atari S.A. proposed a plan of reorganization including a global settlement with Alden that provided for amendments to the Credit Agreement and mutual releases of claims.  In addition, the plan of reorganization provided that the bankruptcy court would retain exclusive jurisdiction to determine disputes arising under the plan.  The plan was confirmed and went effective on December 24, 2013.
10 hours 1 min ago
The hits that alternative lenders like OnDeck Capital are taking shouldn't be a surprise for an industry built on unsustainable business models.

Read More from: BankThink

11 hours 24 min ago
Companies in bankruptcy are typically at the mercy of the lenders that hold the purse strings. Teen clothing retailer Aéropostale Inc. is trying to tip the scales in its favor. The company immediately took aim at lender Sycamore Partners after filing for bankruptcy Wednesday, saying the private-equity firm directed a company it controls to cut off credit to the struggling retailer, hastening its demise. Sycamore, a private-equity firm that focuses on retail and consumer investments, owns MGF Sourcing, which manufactures clothing for Aéropostale and other retailers. MGF earlier this year demanded Aéropostale pay for goods in advance instead of allowing it to pay after delivery.  Aéropostale in 2014 signed a 10-year supply agreement with MGF, formerly known as Mast Global Fashions, under the terms of a $150 million loan deal with Sycamore. In court papers, Aéropostale said Sycamore essentially directed MGF to tighten Aéropostale’s payment terms to force it into bankruptcy. What’s more, the retailer said it believes Sycamore co-founder Stefan Kaluzny in January “reached out to” the chain’s other principal supplier, Li & Fung Ltd., to suggest it also demand more onerous payment terms. “The ultimate purpose may have been to drive the debtors to file this case and force it to liquidate,” Aéropostale said in court papers.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

12 hours 25 min ago
Aeropostale is seeking the “prompt closure” of 154 locations following the teen retailer’s chapter 11 filing Wednesday, about one-fifth of its store base. The company hopes to reorganize in bankruptcy after a string of losses and a dispute with a vendor owned by its main lender, as The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week. A key part of its turnaround plan is to close 154 of its 770 stores, Aeropostale said in court papers Wednesday. The shops to be closed imminently range across the U.S. and Canada, include three each in Alaska and Hawaii, according to court papers. They include 117 unprofitable outlets and generated $17 million in losses for the retailer’s latest fiscal year. The teen retailer’s bankruptcy filing follows similar moves by a host of mall-based retail chains in recent years, including surfwear sellers Pacific Sunwear of California and Quiksilver Inc. and women’s formalwear chain Cache Here’s a list of the 113 U.S. stores the company plans to close first. [wsj-responsive-interactive id="0"]

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

14 hours 35 min ago
Leases fall into a separate category of debts when it comes to filing bankruptcy.  The majority of debts are classified as either secured or unsecured.  Secured debts are those for which the creditor has a lien on some property or collateral of yours.  The most common example is the debt on a vehicle.  When you buy a vehicle, unless you pay cash for it, you make payments on the debt you owe.  The seller keeps a lien on the vehicle that enables them to repossess the vehicle if you default on the financing.  Unsecured debts have no collateral.  The creditor’s only legal option to collect the money is to file a lawsuit against you if you default. Secured and Unsecured Debts

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

15 hours 27 min ago
  Two out of three confirmed Chapter 13 cases fail.  Those are cases that met all the tests and got the judge’s OK. And still they crater. That’s a heap of people, deeply in debt, who don’t make it out of debt by using Chapter 13. Arizona bankruptcy lawyer John Skiba has a theory about those failures:
  • Life
  • Lack of a lawyer
  • Luck of the trustee draw
I wouldn’t argue against any of John’s culprits:  none of the things he lists help a Chapter 13 debtor. But I have an alternate set of reasons that those trying to reorganize their debt through Chapter 13 don’t make it to the end. #1  Overly ambitious goals Trying to keep a doomed house has to be the foremost reason that Chapter 13 cases crater. The mortgage payments were too large to begin with, or circumstances conspired to put the debtor deep in default. The amount necessary to reinstate the mortgage, while continuing to make current payments, is simply too large to  pull off within the five year limit of Chapter 13. If it isn’t the house, it’s the expensive car  or the time share.  In short, it’s the idea that nothing else should have to change to get out of financial trouble through Chapter 13.
16 hours 30 min ago
With agencies created by the Dodd-Frank Act embroiled in court battles and continued questions dealing with "too big to fail," can anyone honestly say the reform law is working?

Read More from: BankThink

16 hours 31 min ago
Wall Street Journal The backlash to online marketplace lenders is in full swing. Prosper Marketplace will fire 171 workers and its CEO won't take a salary, as loan volume declines and investors purchase fewer loans. The company will close a Utah office that's assigned to making loans for medical procedures, as it will make cuts totaling about 14% of its workforce, which is based in both San Francisco and Phoenix. Prosper's chief risk officer is being...

Read More from: BankThink

16 hours 59 min ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="//" J="//" M="//" credit="Getty Images" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] A day after it said it was prepping for bankruptcy, teen retailer Aéropostale Inc. filed for chapter 11 protection to thin out, and it is taking on supplier Sycamore Partners in court. 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, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) Appaloosa Management LP wants an independent probe of solar-energy firm SunEdison Inc., DBR reports in WSJ.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

18 hours 18 min ago
In Re Engels, 536 B.R. 529 (Bankr. N.D. N.Y. 2015) – Postpetition a chapter 13 debtor signed an asset purchase agreement to sell certain real estate subject to court approval. However, the debtor never sought approval – not even after … Continue reading →
20 hours 1 min ago
By Donald L. Swanson  Let’s start by acknowledging that Argentina’s road from a $100 billion debt default in 2002 to a final mediated resolution in 2016 has been long and complex and difficult.  The road began during an economic crisis, reached partial resolutions in 2005 and 2010, and achieved a final mediated-resolution in 2016. During that time multiple lawsuits were filed against Argentia in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by its creditors, and Judge Thomas P. Griesa of that Court took an active role in addressing the default problems. On June 23, 2014, Judge Griesa appointed New York trial attorney, Daniel A. Pollack, as mediator in the Argentina cases.  And the subsequent mediation process ultimately achieved the final resolution in 2016. Prior to Mr. Pollack’s appointment, however, no mediator existed in the case.  The prior partial resolutions came about through a process described as a ’judge-mediated’ sovereign debt restructuring.”    The “judge-mediated” term refers to a judicial activism in which the judge deals with issues before the court “as part of an on-going restructuring process and not as isolated suits by a series of aggrieved creditors.”  The judge acts as both, (1) an arbiter of substantive and procedural issues, and (2) a mediator between opposing parties.

Read More from: Mediatbankry

20 hours 12 min ago
Action Item.  At every significant development in a bankruptcy case, beginning at its earliest stages, parties should consider whether a mediation process might be helpful immediately in resolving remaining disputes. #bankruptcy   #mediation   #bankruptcymediation

Read More from: Mediatbankry

22 hours 58 sec ago
“We didn’t think anyone could be as great…” -Wayne “All the staff was friendly and helpful.  I never felt judged or ashamed for my situation.  Everything went smoothly and as expected.” “Every time I called with a question or concern, whoever answered the phone was always helpful and knowledgeable of who I was and what I needed to know.  Any messages I left were returned quickly.” -Mike “All friendly and helpful with any and all questions that I had during a stressful period in my life” -Kimberly “Very kind and understanding of our problem” -Brian and Teresa “Payment plan and the cost was good.  We will tell everyone we know about him” -Contessa “From my very first visit, Mr. Rogers made me feel better about myself and what I had to do.  All the staff and Mr. Rogers were the best.” -Annette “The staff was very friendly and easy to talk to.  John Rogers was also very friendly and easy to talk to.” -Julie “Thank You for all you have done.  I feel much better than I have since my husband’s passing.  The stress has lifted immensely. “ -Vivian
1 day 9 hours ago
Here at Shenwick & Associates, our goal for our consumer bankruptcy clients is to get as many of their debts as possible discharged, while enabling them to maximize the property they can keep in bankruptcy, which is exempted from the debtor’s bankruptcy estate that comes into being when a bankruptcy case is filed. Bankruptcy law is a federal system, but there’s a complex interplay between state and federal law in practice.  And this relationship between state and federal law also holds true for exemptions from bankruptcy. Section 522 of the Bankruptcy Code governs exemptions.  Section 522(b)(1) of the Code provides that “an individual debtor may exempt from property of the estate the property listed in either paragraph (2) or, in the alternative, paragraph (3) of this subsection.”  Section 522(b)(2) provides that “property listed in this paragraph is property that is specified under subsection (d) . . .” (which includes the federal exemption scheme, addressed below).  Section 522(b)(3) provides that “ . . .

Read More from: Shenwick & Associates

1 day 9 hours ago
Filing a Walworth County bankruptcy is a major decision that no one takes lightly. Although we all want to pay all of our bills in full, sometimes, life gets in the way. We may encounter an illness, a divorce, a medical emergency, or another predicament that results in uncontrollable debt. Bankruptcy laws were designed to help us in those types of situations, so we can get back to making ends meet. There are many positive aspects to filing for a Walworth County bankruptcy. We have outlined some of them below.   © Anatoly Tiplyashin | Dreamstime Stock Photos Major Benefits to Filing a Walworth County Bankruptcy 1. Filing a Walworth County bankruptcy can stop repossession of your vehicle and delay the foreclosure of your home. Let’s be frank. If you don’t have your vehicle to get to work, you’ll never pay off your debts. If you can’t get to work, you will lose your job and also be unable to look for a new job. Again, you’ll never be able to pay off your debts. It’s a catch-22 situation. If you are facing a home foreclosure, filing a Walworth County bankruptcy may stall proceedings. This could potentially give you time to catch up on your mortgage, sell your home, or refinance your home.

Read More from: Wynn at Law, LLC

1 day 11 hours ago
De-risking can be curbed with tools that help lower the cost of complying with anti-money-laundering rules but do not sacrifice the effectiveness of controls.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 12 hours ago
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in Stern v. Marshall created a firestorm of uncertainty (and litigation) regarding the nature and extent of the bankruptcy courts’ authority.  Last year, the Court’s decision in Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif answered some of the many critical questions that arose in the wake of Stern and its progeny.  A recent article written by Ronit Berkovich and Doron P. Kenter for the LSTA Loan Market Chronicle examines some of the lessons to be learned, as well as some of the questions that remain unanswered after the Court’s seminal decision in Wellness.  The article is available in full here.
1 day 14 hours ago
Only a month ago we were singing the praises of the CVA and calling them the saviour of the high street following the creditors’ approval of the BHS CVA. (See our earlier blog Move over Mary Portas, CVA’s are the real saviour of the High Street). In the last week, administrators were appointed to both BHS and Austin Reed (Squires are acting for the administrators), which begs the question how effective are CVAs in the retail sector? CVAs first attracted the attention of the retail sector in 2006. The electrical retailer, Powerhouse, proposed a CVA to obtain a release of lease liabilities and parent company guarantees. Whilst the CVA did not succeed, this was on its drafting rather than on the principle that third party liabilities could be compromised. Although the next retail CVA which was proposed, Stylo Shoes, was rejected, the restructuring community then thought that they had discovered the winning formula with CVAs being approved for JJB Sports, Focus Do It All, Discover Leisure and Blacks. So where are all these companies now? Unfortunately as the table below highlights, obtaining creditor approval to a CVA does not necessarily lead to the continued success of the company, with only a third of the companies ultimately avoiding administration and continuing to trade. Company

Read More from: eSQUIRE Global Crossings

1 day 16 hours ago
You can look a long time in the Bankruptcy Code without finding Chapter 20. Chapter 7 is there;  so are Chapters 11 and 13.  But no 20. But you find it in bankruptcy courtrooms and in the arsenal of good bankruptcy lawyers. So, what’s up? Chapter 20 is really bankruptcy slang.  It’s a Chapter 7 case followed by a Chapter 13.  Together the two chapters make a “Chapter 20” case. Why would you need two bankruptcy cases?  Let’s explore. Chapter 20 beats the debt limits All of the powerful provisions and flexibility of Chapter 13 are only available to individuals whose debts are under the Chapter 13 debt caps. Go over the limit for either the unsecured or secured debt cap and you aren’t eligible. Enter Chapter 7.  There are no debt limits in Chapter 7.  You can owe as much or as little as may be and still be entitled to file Chapter 7. The Chapter 7 discharge can be expected to wipe out your personal liability for most unsecured debts and allowing you to fit into Chapter 13. The power of Chapter 13 The things Chapter 13 can do that Chapter 7 can’t so is long and enticing.
  • Getting time to get current on mortgages
1 day 16 hours ago