ABI Blog Exchange

For years, we have referred our bankruptcy clients to Mario Puglise, Bankruptcy Specialist at Jefferson Chevrolet in Detroit, for vehicle financing during or after a bankruptcy filing.  He specializes in car financing for Michigan families who filed for bankruptcy protection.  We sat down for an interview to discuss: How he is able to help bankruptcy […] The post Purchasing a Vehicle During or After Filing for Bankruptcy: The Facts Directly from a Detroit Car Salesman appeared first on Acclaim Legal Services, PLLC.

Read More from: Acclaim Legal Services

3 days 9 hours ago
Debt restructuring is the second largest source of outside financing for Ukraine’s new IMF program. The Fund itself brings $17.5 billion over four years; $9.6 billion comes from governments and other multilaterals (including Europe, the United States, and most recently, China), leaving $15.3 billion for the "debt operation." The jargon makes debt restructuring sound like a mix of surgery, conspiracy, and military campaign, which together pretty much sum up Ukraine's challenge. First, the surgery. The IMF has been unusually prescriptive about the debt deal parameters, even as it tells Ukraine and its creditors to get there voluntarily ... by the first program review in June 2015. On top of $15.3 billion in cash flow savings (out of $19.9 billion in scheduled payments, see table), Ukraine has to get its debt stock under 71% of GDP by 2020, and avoid payment spikes long after the program ends. Gross budget shortfalls cannot exceed 12% of GDP in any given year and 10% on average through 2025. This is quite a turn-about from less than a year ago, when IMF staff and management described Ukraine’s debt as “sustainable with high probability” subject to “uncertainties that come from geopolitics” (aka who knows, but keep paying for now). Over 2014, public debt went from 40.6% to 72.7% of GDP; it is headed for 94% in 2015—up from projections of 63.5% a year ago. 

Read More from: Credit Slips

3 days 10 hours ago
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (the “Act”) became one of the last acts of the current Parliament when it received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. The Act includes important changes for insolvency practitioners and other participants across the entire restructuring & insolvency market, tucked away amongst a hotchpotch of other subjects (pub code adjudication, childcare and schools and significant changes to company law, to name a few!). Continue reading >>>
3 days 10 hours ago
In an Austin, Texas, courtroom Monday, WBH Energy LP will ask a bankruptcy judge to approve bidding procedures that could see the company’s assets sold for at least $25 million. WBH Energy’s lender, investment firm Castlelake LP, has agreed to serve as the lead bidder at an upcoming bankruptcy auction. The lender intends to credit bid—or offer to forgive some of the debt it is owed—for the independent oil company’s assets. WBH is asking for at least $15 million for its oil and gas properties, some 2,570 acres throughout the Barnett Shale region in Texas. It has 39 wells in operation and six others drilled. The company is also seeking at least $10 million for its personal property. Under the proposed auction rules, Castlelake, formerly known as TPG Credit, is required to simultaneously bid on the oil and gas properties and the personal property. If a judge blesses the company’s proposed timeline, bids will be due July 31, with an auction held Aug. 10. A sale hearing is slated for Aug. 12. WBH Energy, which filed for chapter 11 protection in January, is one of a number of oil and natural gas companies that have been grappling with a sharp drop in oil prices since last June.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 11 hours ago
In an Austin, Texas, courtroom Monday, WBH Energy LP will ask a bankruptcy judge to approve bidding procedures that could see the company’s assets sold for at least $25 million. WBH Energy’s lender, investment firm Castlelake LP, has agreed to serve as the lead bidder at an upcoming bankruptcy auction. The lender intends to credit bid—or offer to forgive some of the debt it is owed—for the independent oil company’s assets. WBH is asking for at least $15 million for its oil and gas properties, some 2,570 acres throughout the Barnett Shale region in Texas. It has 39 wells in operation and six others drilled. The company is also seeking at least $10 million for its personal property. Under the proposed auction rules, Castlelake, formerly known as TPG Credit, is required to simultaneously bid on the oil and gas properties and the personal property. If a judge blesses the company’s proposed timeline, bids will be due July 31, with an auction held Aug. 10. A sale hearing is slated for Aug. 12. WBH Energy, which filed for chapter 11 protection in January, is one of a number of oil and natural gas companies that have been grappling with a sharp drop in oil prices since last June.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 11 hours ago
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says a plan to sell the RadioShack Corp. name and customer lists jeopardizes the privacy promises made during the decades when the company pioneered the field of consumer electronics retailing. Read 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.”) LightSquared’s bankruptcy has hit another milestone: $2 billion in losses since Philip Falcone’s wireless venture filed for chapter 11 protection in May 2012., DBR reports in The Wall Street Journal.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 12 hours ago
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says a plan to sell the RadioShack Corp. name and customer lists jeopardizes the privacy promises made during the decades when the company pioneered the field of consumer electronics retailing. Read 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.”) LightSquared’s bankruptcy has hit another milestone: $2 billion in losses since Philip Falcone’s wireless venture filed for chapter 11 protection in May 2012., DBR reports in The Wall Street Journal.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 12 hours ago
According to Amalgamated Bank, the Trustee to the LongView Funds, five companies have agreed to adopt new measures to limit payments in the event of a change in control. Amalgamated Bank submitted several shareholder proposals asking boards to adopt a policy that there will only be vesting on a partial, pro rata basis upon a senior executive’s termination in a change in control situation, instead of acceleration of vesting. In 2014, four companies received more votes in favor of these proposals than against them. Valero Energy has adopted such a policy, which is posted on its website.
3 days 12 hours ago
Ukraine's bond restructuring talks are in high gear, and, as ever, Russia is trouble du jour. Not only is it threatening to hold out in the bond deal and take Ukraine to arbitration, Russia also seems poised to block IMF disbursements to Ukraine using an arcane Fund policy on "lending into arrears." My hunch is that this last risk is overblown, and in any event should not drive IMF policy or Ukraine's restructuring strategy.  Mark and Mitu have an excellent post reviewing the latest controversy, wherein Russia argues that its $3 billion Eurobond is government-to-government ("official") debt to escape the bond restructuring. Just last year, Russia argued that the bond was commercial debt and refused to list it in the Paris Club of official creditors, presumably to escape official debt restructuring. In other words, Russia just wants its money back. 

Read More from: Credit Slips

3 days 21 hours ago
Vancouver bankruptcy filers will be happy to hear that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington is now offering debtors the ability to receive court notices and orders via email through a program called “Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing” or “DeBN.” Registering for DeBN is free and enables debtors to receive and view notices sent to you by email. A Washington debtor must file a written request with the bankruptcy court in order to participate in the DeBN program. Our firm is happy to file these requests for any Vancouver client looking for quicker access to their bankruptcy records. The original post is titled Vancouver Bankruptcy Filers Get Real Time Notice from Court , and it came from Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief .

Read More from: Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

3 days 22 hours ago
Over at Dealb%k, I argue that section 117 of Dodd-Frank is more Siouxsie and the Banshees than Eagles.

Read More from: Credit Slips

4 days 1 hour ago
Lately I have been teaching courses with names such as "Global and Economic Justice" and "History, Impacts and Regulation of Consumer Credit" instead of "Bankruptcy," "Secured Transactions" and "Chapter 11 Reorganizations." So I have been reading different books and listening to different speakers. A lecture I attended recently by Xav Briggs  here brought to my mind a couple of books that I use in one of my courses, “Borrow” and “Debtor Nation” both written by Louis Hyman. In many ways Hyman's books remind me of "Credit Card Nation" the outstanding and "ahead of its time" book by Robert Manning which I used extensively when I created my consumer credit course in 2002.  Part of the wisdom I find in each of these books is the caveat that you cannot understand consumer protection without understanding the nature of American capitalism or the drive for an above-market return. This was never clearer or more of a "blow to the side of the head" than during the frenzy in the early 2000's, and perhaps nothing demonstrates it more crassly than the rating agencies covering their eyes as they rated subprime securitizations allegedly in order to "keep the business." 

Read More from: Credit Slips

4 days 5 hours ago
The owner of a small, struggling business can get sticker shock at the $100,000 to $300,000 price of a corporate reorganization in bankruptcy. Meet the Florida lawyer who fixed VitaChef Steamer Skillets’ financial problems for a fraction of that amount. Jason Burgess put VitaChef into bankruptcy in November 2013 and wrote a 22-page survival plan for its founders—a group that patented and made at least 5,500 of the kitchen gadgets but ran out of money to advertise. Under the plan, VitaChef’s owners agreed to put in money to pay creditors half of their combined $400,000 in debt. No one objected to trigger an expensive courtroom fight, perhaps because those creditors knew they’d get far less money if the company shut down. The final tab: $12,473.73. “I hate to think that a legitimate business with cash flow would be prohibited from cash flow because they can’t afford the attorney fees,” said Mr. Burgess, 33 years old, who charges $275 an hour. But bankruptcy lawyers across the country say their industry is turning away small companies that might be saved by chapter 11 protection. The problem has prompted some restructuring industry leaders to push for federal law changes that would make the process cheaper.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

4 days 6 hours ago
The owner of a small, struggling business can get sticker shock at the $100,000 to $300,000 price of a corporate reorganization in bankruptcy. Meet the Florida lawyer who fixed VitaChef Steamer Skillets’ financial problems for a fraction of that amount. Jason Burgess put VitaChef into bankruptcy in November 2013 and wrote a 22-page survival plan for its founders—a group that patented and made at least 5,500 of the kitchen gadgets but ran out of money to advertise. Under the plan, VitaChef’s owners agreed to put in money to pay creditors half of their combined $400,000 in debt. No one objected to trigger an expensive courtroom fight, perhaps because those creditors knew they’d get far less money if the company shut down. The final tab: $12,473.73. “I hate to think that a legitimate business with cash flow would be prohibited from cash flow because they can’t afford the attorney fees,” said Mr. Burgess, 33 years old, who charges $275 an hour. But bankruptcy lawyers across the country say their industry is turning away small companies that might be saved by chapter 11 protection. The problem has prompted some restructuring industry leaders to push for federal law changes that would make the process cheaper.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

4 days 6 hours ago
A war of words between two newspapers for the Vietnamese immigrant community has landed one paper in bankruptcy court. The Little Saigon News, a Vietnamese-language newspaper distributed in 17 U.S. cities, filed for bankruptcy earlier this week after facing a $4.5 million penalty for declaring that a rival publication is owned by the Communist government. That 2012 accusation against the Nguoi Viet Daily News, the largest Vietnamese-language newspaper outside of Vietnam, had the potential to upset refugees who fled the war-torn country in the 1970s. It filed a lawsuit against Little Saigon, and jurors determined the statements to be false and defamatory after a four-week trial. The Little Saigon News, which took in $3 million in revenue last year, is appealing the verdict but said it’s “financially impossible” to post a bond to stop collection efforts, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana, Calif. The newspaper was recently told to give up financial documents like bank account statements and vehicle ownership documents to the rival publication’s lawyers. Bankruptcy halted that effort instead. In court documents, the Little Saigon News said it plans to reorganize and “continue operating as a successful publisher.” The weekly newspaper has 23 workers.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

4 days 7 hours ago
A war of words between two newspapers for the Vietnamese immigrant community has landed one paper in bankruptcy court. The Little Saigon News, a Vietnamese-language newspaper distributed in 17 U.S. cities, filed for bankruptcy earlier this week after facing a $4.5 million penalty for declaring that a rival publication is owned by the Communist government. That 2012 accusation against the Nguoi Viet Daily News, the largest Vietnamese-language newspaper outside of Vietnam, had the potential to upset refugees who fled the war-torn country in the 1970s. It filed a lawsuit against Little Saigon, and jurors determined the statements to be false and defamatory after a four-week trial. The Little Saigon News, which took in $3 million in revenue last year, is appealing the verdict but said it’s “financially impossible” to post a bond to stop collection efforts, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana, Calif. The newspaper was recently told to give up financial documents like bank account statements and vehicle ownership documents to the rival publication’s lawyers. Bankruptcy halted that effort instead. In court documents, the Little Saigon News said it plans to reorganize and “continue operating as a successful publisher.” The weekly newspaper has 23 workers.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

4 days 7 hours ago
The sudden shutdown in March of plastic surgery chain Lifestyle Lift has created confusion for patients looking for refunds on scheduled services that never happened. The company’s 400 laid-off employees, meanwhile, have been scrambling to find answers to questions about incomplete final paychecks and how to access retirement benefits. Now, with Lifestyle Lift under the protection of a Detroit bankruptcy court, clarity over what happens next is slowly coming into focus. This week, a bankruptcy judge put the company’s wind-down into the hands of a court-appointed chapter 11 trustee, Detroit-based Basil Simon. The judge also appointed a patient care ombudsman, Deborah Fish, to ensure patient files are safeguarded and privacy issues are addressed. “My phone’s been ringing off the hook from doctors, lawyers, patients, and creditors,” Mr. Simon told Bankruptcy Beat on Thursday. “I’m trying to filter through everything.” Mr. Simon said that patients looking for information should contact Ms. Fish but that other questions should go to him. At the time of its bankruptcy filing, Lifestyle Lift said it was working with a new management company on a revival of the company. That’s no longer the case. “There’s not going to be a restructuring,” William Blasses, an attorney for Lifestyle Lift, recently said in court.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

4 days 10 hours ago
The sudden shutdown in March of plastic surgery chain Lifestyle Lift has created confusion for patients looking for refunds on scheduled services that never happened. The company’s 400 laid-off employees, meanwhile, have been scrambling to find answers to questions about incomplete final paychecks and how to access retirement benefits. Now, with Lifestyle Lift under the protection of a Detroit bankruptcy court, clarity over what happens next is slowly coming into focus. This week, a bankruptcy judge put the company’s wind-down into the hands of a court-appointed chapter 11 trustee, Detroit-based Basil Simon. The judge also appointed a patient care ombudsman, Deborah Fish, to ensure patient files are safeguarded and privacy issues are addressed. “My phone’s been ringing off the hook from doctors, lawyers, patients, and creditors,” Mr. Simon told Bankruptcy Beat on Thursday. “I’m trying to filter through everything.” Mr. Simon said that patients looking for information should contact Ms. Fish but that other questions should go to him. At the time of its bankruptcy filing, Lifestyle Lift said it was working with a new management company on a revival of the company. That’s no longer the case. “There’s not going to be a restructuring,” William Blasses, an attorney for Lifestyle Lift, recently said in court.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

4 days 10 hours ago
Our former co-blogger, Senator Elizabeth Warren, delivered an incredibly important speech yesterday laying out the work still to be done on financial reform. This speech is a bigger deal than Senator Warren's Antonio Weiss speech or her famous Citibank speech. This speech is a blueprint for Dodd-Frank 2.0.  It lays out a detailed vision of the challenges for reform work going forward:
  • break up the big banks;
  • a 21st Century Glass-Steagal Act that promotes narrow banking;
  • a targeted financial transactions tax to reduce unnecessary volatility from excessive arbitrage;
  • elimination of the tax system's preference for debt over equity financing, a limit on the Fed's emergency lending authority;
  • a simplification of the financial regulatory system (does this as presaging a reduction in the number of bank regulators? The SEC should certainly feel the heat from this speech...);
  • reforms aimed at the various types of short-term debt that are the hallmark of the shadow banking sector (money market mutual funds, repo). 

Read More from: Credit Slips

4 days 10 hours ago
There has been much discussion in the media in the past year about the massive amount of professional fees that have been wracked up during the City of Detroit's Chapter 9 bankruptcy. There is always great interest - and debate - about such fees due to the nature of the process: insolvent individuals or companies with no place left to turn file for bankruptcy, creditors take a "haircut" on their claims, and the lawyers get paid. Or so the story goes. As with any complex process, though, there is plenty of nuance that gets lost in the wash, and often is more to the story. Read More › Tags: Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Western District of Michigan

Read More from: Michigan Bankruptcy Blog

4 days 10 hours ago

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