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Jill Frizzley has joined law firm Weil, Gosthal & Manges as counsel in the business finance and restructuring department. Ms. Frizzley, who most recently worked with Shearman & Sterling, has represented creditors, debtors, investors and others in chapter 11 cases and in out-of-court restructurings. She has worked on such bankruptcy cases as Coldwater Creek, American Airlines and Capmark Financial Group. Ms. Frizzley is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation and the Turnaround Management Association. Louis H. Kornreich has joined law firm Bernstein Shur and will work in the newly formed complex bankruptcy mediation and fiduciary services group. Mr. Kornreich, who retired as a bankruptcy judge last year, has experience in cross-border matters, and he is a registered mediator in several U.S. bankruptcy courts. He has experience in industries including manufacturing, retail, electricity and natural gas.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 6 days ago
Despite the initial glee of the prospect of a United States that was independent of Middle East oil, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2014, the price of oil started dropping precipitously.  As noted in a recent article, over 80 bankruptcies in the oil industry were filed in 2015, up 471 % over calendar year 2014.  More are predicted in 2016 if things do not improve.  We have unfortunately seen this sort of economic swing before, and it is generally not pretty. 
1 week 6 days ago
All the noise over the impact of the Current Expected Loss Model is paralyzing bankers from taking reasonable and practical steps to prepare for the new accounting standard.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 6 days ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Earnings Update: Morgan Stanley also had a difficult first quarter, but like its competitors the downturn was less substantial than expected. Net income for the quarter was $1.3 billion, down from $2.39 billion in last year's first three months. Again, like other banks, Morgan StanleyÂ's woes trace back to a dip in profits from its debt-trading business. Investment banking revenue also fell. Citigroup, which reported its earnings on Friday, looks much differentÂ...

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 6 days ago
Vestis Retail Group, LLC and eight affiliates, which own the Bob’s Stores, Sports Chalet and Eastern Mountain Sports retail chains, have filed chapter 11 petitions before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Lead Case No. 16-10971).  The Honorable Christopher S.
1 week 6 days ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/37839494/smartcrop?height=499&width=749" J="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/37839494/smartcrop?height=639&width=959" M="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/37839494/smartcrop?height=853&width=1280" credit="Associated Press" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] Vestis Retail Group Inc., the operator of sporting-goods chains Eastern Mountain Sports, Sport Chalet and Bob’s Stores, filed for chapter 11 protection Monday . 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.”) A U.S. attorney has objected to Delta Air Lines’s $75 million offer to fund the bankruptcy of Republic Airways Holdings Inc., saying the protections Delta offered are extraordinary and possibly illegal, DBR reports in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 6 days ago
    The District Court in the Eastern District of New York made a thorough analysis of the issues involved in the vesting of surrendered real estate in a mortgage company in a chapter 13 case.  HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Zair, No. 15-CV-4958 (ADS), 2016 WL 1448647, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 12, 2016).  In this case, the Debtor was surrendering his former residence in Long Beach which was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in October 2013.  Debtor had moved into a new home after the storm, and filed chapter 13 bankruptcy on September 30, 2014.  The first mortgage was held by HSBC in the amount of $387,185 and a second was held by Bank of America for $30,437.  Both mortgages filed claims.  Debtors' second amended plan provided 1) the Debtors would surrender the Long Beach Property to HSBC in full satisfaction of the secured claim of the Bank's mortgage loan; 2) to the extent that the outstanding balance on the Bank's loan exceeded the value of the Long Beach Residence, the Bank would have thrity days to file an unsecured deficiency claim; and 3) upon confirmation of teh plan, the title to the Long Beach Residence would vest in the Bank.  HSBC objected to the vesting provision in the plan, asserting it is improper to transfer title without the consent of the mortgage holder. The bankruptcy court disagreed and confirmed the chapter 13 plan.  HSBC appealed, and the District Court reversed. The issue in the case involves two primary code provisions.  11 U.S.C. 1325(a)(5) and 11 U.S.C.

Read More from: Tampa Bankruptcy

1 week 6 days ago
In a 21 page decision released April 15, 2016, Judge Sontchi of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court ruled on summary judgment regarding a claim submitted by attorneys related to previous litigation.  Judge Sontchi’s opinion is available here (the “Opinion”).  The Opinion was issued in Devonshire PGA Holdings LLC, Case No. 13-12460.  In this case, Potter Anderson & Corroon represented the Debtors in litigation in the Chancery Court prior to the Debtors’ bankruptcy filing.  Prior to the conclusion of the litigation, the Debtors filed for bankruptcy protection, just six days prior to the voluntary dismissal of the Chancery litigation.  Opinion at *8-9.
2 weeks 1 day ago
On April 14, 2016, Energy XXI Ltd and certain of its affiliates (collectively, “Energy XXI” 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 Energy XXI’s Chief Financial Officer, Bruce W. Busmire, (the “Busmire Declaration”), Energy XXI has entered into a restructuring support agreement with noteholders holding approximately 63% of the Senior Lien Notes. The agreement contemplates a plan which swaps $1.45 billion in secured debt for equity in the reorganized Energy XXI.  Energy XXI’s operations are focused on the acquisition, exploration, development, and operation of oil and gas natural properties primarily in the Gulf of Mexico Shelf (the “GoM Shelf”).  Per the Busmire Declaration, the Debtors are an “oil-focused company” owning and operating nine of the largest GoM Shelf oil fields.  The Debtors own more than 740,000 acres of leasehold interests and operate approximately 97% of its proven reserves. See Busmire Declaration at 16.
2 weeks 1 day ago
The Weil Bankruptcy Blog is not Weil’s only award-winning publication. Starting this month, we will have a feature called “In Case You Missed It,” or “ICYMI,” which will showcase an article written by our colleagues in other departments that we believe also will interest members of the restructuring community.  This month, we are highlighting an article written by our Executive Compensation & Benefits colleagues, and follow-up on our previous post, Federal Appeals Court Concludes PE Funds are Potentially Liable for Pension Obligations of Portfolio Companies, which discusses the controversial decision in Sun Capital Partners, in which a federal district court held that two separate Sun Capital Partners investment funds acted as a “partnership-in-fact” and, therefore, were jointly and severally liable for multiemployer plan withdrawal liability. 
2 weeks 1 day ago
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has finally announced a program to reduce principal balances of distressed home mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, eight years into the foreclosure crisis. Too little, too late would be an understatement to describe this initiative. According to the agency’s announcement, they expect about 33,000 homeowners to be eligible to have their mortgage debt reduced to the value of their homes. According to the Zillow negative equity report, more than 6 million homeowners have mortgage debt exceeding their home value, and almost a third of all homeowners are effectively underwater, meaning that their equity is less than 20% of the home value, making it difficult to sell or refinance.

Read More from: Credit Slips

2 weeks 1 day ago
American Bankruptcy Institute, Annual Spring Meeting — Education Session By Donald L. Swanson The panel of three people [two attorney mediators and a judge mediator] is superb. We are at the American Bankruptcy institute’s Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C.. The day begins with a fire-alarm evacuation of the hotel/convention center. But once this education session begins, the effort to get here is justified. Here are my impressions from the session [not to be confused with what the speakers actually said]: Education Session –Substantive discussions prior to a mediation sessions are helpful in identifying and addressing: –issues to be settled –impediments and “barriers to settlement” –crucial information needed before a mediation session can succeed (e.g., expert reports) –crucial parties who need to be included in the mediation (e.g., insurance carrier) –“Inhibitors” who will impede collaboration and need to be excluded from the mediation –“Interpersonal dynamics” are at the heart of mediation efforts, so pre-session discussions should focus on and start dealing with: –Bad blood between the parties –Biases that each person holds (e.g., “we are good and they are bad”): i.e., begin a “de-biasing” process –The opening “joint session” of a mediation can be a useful tool in getting the parties to start talking together and breaking down “us v. them” barriers. –“The whole idea is to start them talking.”

Read More from: Mediatbankry

2 weeks 1 day ago
The $5 billion settlement between Goldman Sachs and the Department of Justice sounds significant, but here's why it's not real accountability.

Read More from: BankThink

2 weeks 2 days ago
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. on Thursday will ask a Manhattan judge for permission to use a hotly contested bankruptcy loan from Delta Air Lines as well as seek approval for a settlement with the airline. Thursday’s hearing, before Judge Sean Lane, was pushed back by a week after a group of shareholders expected to go empty-handed in the restructuring sought more time to review the airliner’s recently struck deal with Delta. That deal, reached in March, settling a lawsuit and secures a pledge from Delta to provide a $75 million bankruptcy loan to fund Republic’s restructuring.
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg News
A traveler uses self check-in kiosk in Delta Air Lines Inc. Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport in August.
In addition to the shareholders’ objection to the loan, the federal government is also objecting. Both objections concern the protections offered to Delta as lender. Thursday’s hearing will also see the judge take up shareholders’ request for a louder voice in the chapter 11 case, which Republic is fighting. The upcoming week will also see oil and gas companies head to court in hopes of having important milestones in their bankruptcy cases approved so they may move one step closer to exiting chapter 11.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 2 days ago
You’re a first time employee.  Congratulations. Welcome to the world of tax forms, withholding, and tax deadlines.  
Taxes are the price we pay for civilization, according to Oliver Wendell Holmes.
In fact, the first day on your new job you’ll be presented with an IRS form w-4. It’s like a rite of passage into adulthood. Even families that talk openly about money don’t often discuss the arcane details of the W-4. My sons certainly hadn’t prepared their own returns when they left home. They were daunted by the 207 pages of instructions for the IRS 1040, the standard income tax form. So here, in more than 140 characters, and less than 207 pages, is my guide to income taxes for the beginning taxpayer. You pay a portion of your income for taxes Wages, commissions, interest paid to you on your money, and gain on the sale of assets are all forms of income. The starting proposition is that income is taxable. Gifts and loans are not income. Gifts might be taxable to the person who gave you the money, but not to you, if you’re lucky enough to be the recipient of the gift. Not all  income is taxable
2 weeks 2 days ago
Our own Brad Botes was recently named a Birmingham “Top Lawyer” for 2016 by B Metro magazine. This is no surprise to us – all of us at Bond and Botes already knew that!  Brad has led the Bond and Botes’ team of lawyers since its inception in 1989.  Brad is an absolute fountain of knowledge with a work ethic that is second to none.  The care with which he treats his clients is a continuing lesson for all of us and it is something he preaches on a daily basis to all attorneys and staff at all of the Bond and Botes’ offices.  Compassion, care, empathy and professionalism are the hallmarks of Brad’s law practice and, by extension, for all of the Bond and Botes’ lawyers as well. Besides work (and I don’t see how he has any time to do anything but work!), Brad enjoys spending time with his lovely wife of almost 30 years, Kaye Botes, and their three children that they have raised; Bradford, Meredith and Phillip.  Brad also donates a great deal of time and energy to community projects, most notably as past president and board member of the Birmingham Crisis Center. He has done that noble work for almost his entire adult working life.

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

2 weeks 2 days ago
No matter how much they’ve spent on other stuff, those shopping for a bankruptcy lawyer seem to expect a free consultation. “Everyone else offers a free consultation” I’m told. Not me:  I don’t do “free”. But I’ve come to doubt what other bankruptcy attorneys offer is really a free consultation. Oh, it may be free, but is it a consultation? A client came to me recently after a free consultation with another bankruptcy lawyer.  I was interested in what had occurred that the client and attorney didn’t bond.  I probed. Come to find out, the free “consultation” was 15 minutes long and the client was instructed to bring no documents! In my book, that’s not a consultation, that’s a hand shake and a sales pitch. Others who have hired me reported that their first meeting with a previous lawyer was really a meeting with a paralegal. So maybe what other attorneys have been giving away isn’t really free legal advice but marketing. Making the bankruptcy decision Bankruptcy involves the sweep of  your life:
  • your living situation,
  • financial history,
  • goals,
  • debts,
  • assets, and
  • financial interconnections with others.
2 weeks 2 days ago
Breaking News This Morning ... Earnings: Citigroup, Regions Receiving Wide Coverage ... Candidates on Banking: Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders' debate Thursday night in Brooklyn touched on how to best control the banking industry. While Clinton said she would remain faithful to the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, which requires banks to develop credible bankruptcy plans for themselves or leave it to regulators to cap the size of the firm, Sanders said fraudulent practices on Wall...

Read More from: BankThink

2 weeks 2 days ago
Congress should consider placing restrictions on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as the agency targets foreign banks it deems money laundering risks.

Read More from: BankThink

2 weeks 2 days ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NG632_OFFERC_P_201603251129..." J="http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NG632_OFFERC_J_201603251129..." M="http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NG632_OFFERC_M_201603251129..." caption="A natural gas burnoff flare ignites on a Goodrich Oil Company field on the Burns Ranch near Dilley, Texas on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. Oil and natural gas companies often burn excess natural gas that is coincidentally extracted from oil rig fracking. " credit="Benjamin Sklar for The Wall Street Journal" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] Troubled U.S. oil and gas firm Goodrich Petroleum said on Friday it has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, joining the ranks of a number of energy companies that have fallen victim to volatile oil and gas prices, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 2 days ago

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