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When a retailer files for bankruptcy, the first question on many customers’ minds is: Can I still use my gift card? The bankruptcy code allows companies to choose (subject to court approval, of course) whether to honor gift cards during their chapter 11 cases. The code allows shoppers to seek payment from the retailers on their unused gift cards, though it caps their claims. While reorganizing retailers have incentive to keep customers happy and avoid bad press by honoring unused gift cards, the payoff isn’t as great for liquidating retailers, whose best hope is that a shopper with a $25 gift card might spend, say, $100 at a store-closing sale. The fate of their gift cards—as well as the pair of pants they never got around to exchanging—and the personal data they’ve handed over throughout the years are issues that arise for consumers in retail bankruptcies. Shoppers haven’t stood by quietly, raising concerns with the bankruptcy court in the cases of companies like Borders and RadioShack. That is why this month’s question asks the Examiners:

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 14 hours ago
When a retailer files for bankruptcy, the first question on many customers’ minds is: Can I still use my gift card? The bankruptcy code allows companies to choose (subject to court approval, of course) whether to honor gift cards during their chapter 11 cases. The code allows shoppers to seek payment from the retailers on their unused gift cards, though it caps their claims. While reorganizing retailers have incentive to keep customers happy and avoid bad press by honoring unused gift cards, the payoff isn’t as great for liquidating retailers, whose best hope is that a shopper with a $25 gift card might spend, say, $100 at a store-closing sale. The fate of their gift cards—as well as the pair of pants they never got around to exchanging—and the personal data they’ve handed over throughout the years are issues that arise for consumers in retail bankruptcies. Shoppers haven’t stood by quietly, raising concerns with the bankruptcy court in the cases of companies like Borders and RadioShack. That is why this month’s question asks the Examiners:

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 14 hours ago
Wall Street Journal Bank of America is one of more than a dozen companies expected to sign an agreement Monday at the White House to address climate change. B of A and others will invest more than $140 billion to reduce carbon emissions. B of A specifically will commit $75 billion through lending and other financing by 2025; it's on top of a previous commitment of $50 billion by B of A. None of the companies...

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 15 hours ago
MF Global’s brokerage will give pending litigation against its leaders to its parent company in a new deal that will let it almost fully pay its unsecured creditors. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review article via The Wall Street Journal. (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.”) More layoffs are expected at U.S. energy firms, WSJ reports. According to WSJ, six Barclays advisers—one of whom worked on the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy—have split from the firm and formed their own. American Airlines Group Inc. ‘s profits nearly doubled in the second quarter, WSJ reports.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 16 hours ago
MF Global’s brokerage will give pending litigation against its leaders to its parent company in a new deal that will let it almost fully pay its unsecured creditors. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review article via The Wall Street Journal. (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.”) More layoffs are expected at U.S. energy firms, WSJ reports. According to WSJ, six Barclays advisers—one of whom worked on the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy—have split from the firm and formed their own. American Airlines Group Inc. ‘s profits nearly doubled in the second quarter, WSJ reports.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 16 hours ago
Most people, both lawyers and non-lawyers, believe that filing bankruptcy does not result in a discharge of a student loan.   That, for the most part, is true under the 2005 Bankruptcy Act amendments.  The code, as amended, does not provide for the discharge of a student loan in a bankruptcy.  UNLESS…the debtor brings a lawsuit and asks the bankruptcy judge to make a determination that the continued existence of the student loan will create an “undue hardship” on the debtor.    That “undue hardship” is the hard part — convincing a judge that in this particular case with this particular set of facts that this particular debtor will not be able to make any kind of meaningful payment on the balance of the student loans.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Law Network

1 week 2 days ago
A recap of the informed opinions (and the discussions they generated) on BankThink this week, including recommended reforms to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Ripple Labs' efforts to work toward a decentralized payments protocol.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 3 days ago
We had a dream we’d go trav’lin’ together We’d spread a little lovin then we’d keep movin’ on Trav’lin’ along there’s a song that we’re singin’, C’mon get happy A whole lotta lovin’ is what we’ll be bringin’, We’ll make you happy, We’ll make you happy (from “C’Mon Get Happy”) This edition of Bankruptcy Beach Reading takes us on a summer road trip from the sandy beaches of Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the beautiful mountains of Colorado to explore two very different residences through two bankruptcy cases filed a day apart in February of this year. 
1 week 3 days ago
Mel Evans/Associated Press
The A&P grocery chain is preparing to close about two dozen money-losing stores while searching for buyers to rescue its other locations throughout the Northeast. On Monday, the supermarket’s bankruptcy lawyers will ask Judge Robert Drain for permission to shut down 25 stores, arguing that the locations drain the company of roughly $2.5 million every month, according to their request in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y. The process of selling off the store’s assets could bring in $48 million–a much-needed infusion of cash, they added. “No third-party…made or is likely to make a firm offer” for the stores, the company’s bankruptcy lawyers said in court papers. (Read which ones are on the chopping block here.) The Montvale, N.J.-based grocery chain, formally called Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., operates roughly 300 locations and filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, facing roughly $2.3 billion in debt.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 3 days ago
Mel Evans/Associated Press
The A&P grocery chain is preparing to close about two dozen money-losing stores while searching for buyers to rescue its other locations throughout the Northeast. On Monday, the supermarket’s bankruptcy lawyers will ask Judge Robert Drain for permission to shut down 25 stores, arguing that the locations drain the company of roughly $2.5 million every month, according to their request in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y. The process of selling off the store’s assets could bring in $48 million–a much-needed infusion of cash, they added. “No third-party…made or is likely to make a firm offer” for the stores, the company’s bankruptcy lawyers said in court papers. (Read which ones are on the chopping block here.) The Montvale, N.J.-based grocery chain, formally called Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., operates roughly 300 locations and filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, facing roughly $2.3 billion in debt.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 3 days ago
Supermodel Niki Taylor thanked some of the American Red Cross volunteer blood donors in Atlanta in 2013. An appeals court upheld a ruling in a case involving a stockbroker and the allure of Ms. Taylor, a model.
AP Images for American Red Cross
Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t take you off the hook for being reckless with investors’ money, a federal appeals court ruled in a case involving a brash stockbroker and the allure of supermodel Niki Taylor. In a ruling filed Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld two lower courts’ rulings that the fresh start of bankruptcy doesn’t apply when it comes to money owed as a result of “grossly reckless behavior.” The case concerns Steven S. Bocchino, a stockbroker who ran into trouble with the law for two investment opportunities he pitched in 1996. The first was for a company called Traderz Associates Holding Inc., which Mr. Bocchino heard “might go public” and was supported by “some commitment” from Ms. Taylor, a Vogue cover girl (and actual CoverGirl, promoting the makeup brand). The second investment opportunity for which Mr. Bocchino sold shares was for a company whose leader was a law student.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 3 days ago
Far too many commercial and corporate banks are missing out on a chance to improve profits by scrutinizing their pricing practices and performance.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 3 days ago
Wall Street Journal Federal prosecutors and New York's top banking cop have contacted at least 10 banks for questioning on whether they should have alerted authorities about suspicious money transfers involving FIFA, soccer's world governing body. The U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn and has contacted Delta National Bank & Trust in New York, HSBC and Standard Chartered, unnamed sources said. At least three other "major" international banks have also been contacted by the U.S. Attorney but...

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 3 days ago
Energy Future Holdings Inc. amended its chapter 11 plan, which would give an option for a bondholder buyout of its Oncor business. The Daily Bankruptcy Review article is available in The Wall Street Journal. (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.”) Colt Defense LLC is backing a bid by its creditors for a probe of the ties between its landlord and its majority owner. Read the DBR article via WSJ. As DBR reports in WSJ, Bernard Madoff trustee Irving Picard’s law firm is seeking $40.1 million in payments for four months’ worth of work on the case. The former RadioShack is moving closer do a deal with creditors so it can exit bankruptcy, DBR reports in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 3 days ago
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi entered an Order last evening approving the amended sale motion of debtor Mississippi Phosphates Corporation (In re Mississippi Phosphates Corporation, et al., Case No. 14-51667-KMS, (the “Debtors”)), as well as separate settlements made between the Debtors and the Unsecured Creditors’ Committee (the “Committee”) and between the Debtors and the U.S. and Mississippi environmental protection agencies (EPA and MDEQ, the “Government”).  Read more here.
1 week 3 days ago
Ruth Porat wows investors in her first earnings call as Google's CFO while Marianne Lake moves a step closer to running JPMorgan's future calls. Elsewhere, Lynn Tilton bids to move her fraud trial to federal court, Janet Yellen hints at support for raising the SIFI bar and Obama gets ready to nominate another woman for Fed governor.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 4 days ago
While commencing a bankruptcy case is most commonly undertaken voluntarily by the debtor itself, the Bankruptcy Code gives certain creditors authority to force certain entities into chapter 11 or 7 bankruptcy.  Unfortunately for the unwilling chapter 11 or 7 debtor, so long as petitioning creditors meet the statutory requirements to commence an involuntary case, the would be debtor will have no choice but to resolve itself under the Bankruptcy Code.  This was the fate of the debtor in In re The District at McAllen, L.P. where the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that involuntary bankruptcy relief against the debtor, The District at McAllen, L.P., was appropriately commenced by one of the debtor’s creditors notwithstanding the debtor’s argument that three creditors – not one – were necessary to file the involuntary petition.  Involuntary Bankruptcy Cases Generally
1 week 4 days ago
Regulators and lawmakers are wrong to focus on bank size as a measure of risk. A far better indicator of bank stability is the riskiness of a bank's assets, as well as which of the bank's sources of funding bear that risk.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 4 days ago
Chicago bankruptcy attorney David M. Siegel answers a few important questions pertaining to Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  The questions were made a part of the Legal Action television show which airs in the Chicago market. Whats a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?  Interviewer: What’s a Chapter 7? David Siegel: Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy.  About 75+ Read More The post Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Answers appeared first on David M. Siegel.
1 week 4 days ago
I discovered something surprising in my summer research on the history of bankruptcy in Russia: It seems that the first modern, court-ordered bankruptcy discharge available to non-merchant debtors appeared not in the US or England, but Russia, in 1800. I suspect the relief offered was largely theoretical, but I found it shocking and intriguing that a discharge appeared in Imperial Russian law that early on. The law will finally come full circle in October 2015, when the new Russian law on personal insolvency becomes effective. It's been a long time coming!

Read More from: Credit Slips

1 week 4 days ago

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