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One of the topics that gets a great deal of views at our blog is the affect of the filing of a bankruptcy on a security clearance. I have handled all facets of security clearance issues from initial SF 86 concerns through administrative appeals at the Department of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) level through appeals to the DOHA Appeal Board.  Financial considerations are probably the number one problem people have with regard to initially obtaining their clearance or having it revoked.   Alcohol and illegal drug use follow as a close second. Options for Dealing with Financial Concerns

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

6 hours 58 min ago
Even if the Financial Stability Oversight Council fixes flaws in its process for designating "systemically important" companies, that doesnÂ't solve everything the council needs to achieve its mission.

Read More from: BankThink

7 hours 12 min ago
Wall Street Journal Silicon Valley is investing in a startup that seeks an old-fashioned bank charter. Yes, you read that correctly. Warburg Pincus, which has plenty of experience investing in community banks, is leading an investment round in Varo Money, which is developing a mobile-banking app. Varo, led by former American Express and Wells Fargo veteran Colin Walsh, will partner with banks at first but may eventually seek its own charter, so it can accept deposits...

Read More from: BankThink

7 hours 18 min ago
NephroGenex, Inc. (Nasdaq – NRX), an innovator in the development of drugs to treat kidney disease, has filed a chapter 11 petition before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Case No. 16-11074).  The case has been assigned to the Honorable Kevin Gross.  The company has filed a motion to sell substantially all of its assets.  The petition (including the list of top 20 creditors), the first day declaration and the docket are available through Kurtzman Carson Consultants.  The company has issued a press release regarding its reorganization efforts. Contact Norman L. Pernick, Nicholas J. Brannick, or David W. Giattino for more information.
8 hours 6 min ago
BIND Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq – BIND), a clinical-stage nanomedicine platform company development novel targeted therapeutic, primarily for the treatment of cancer, and its affiliate BIND Biosciences Security Corporation, have filed a chapter 11 petitions before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Lead Case No. 16-11084).  The cases have been assigned to the Honorable Brendan L. Shannon.  The debtors have filed a motion seeking authority to use cash collateral.  The petitions (including the consolidated list of top 26 creditors), the first day declaration and the docket are available through Prime Clerk.  The debtors have issued a press release regarding their reorganization efforts. Contact Norman L. Pernick, Nicholas J. Brannick, or David W. Giattino for more information.
8 hours 10 min ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/38086058/smartcrop?height=499&width=749" J="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/38086058/smartcrop?height=639&width=959" M="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/38086058/smartcrop?height=853&width=1280" credit="Associated Press" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] Ultra Petroleum and Midstates Petroleum, two publicly traded oil companies, separately filed for bankruptcy with more than $5.8 billion in in combined debts. 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.”) Energy Future Holdings Corp. filed a new bankruptcy plan that gives NextEra Enegry Inc. or other investors room to try to buy Oncor, DBR reports in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

9 hours 9 min ago
In bankruptcy cases, things often move more slowly than people would like or expect.  In addition to dealing with oversight by the bankruptcy court and the United States Trustee, a debtor typically spends significant time engaging with its lenders and secured creditors, committees of unsecured creditors, and any number of other key stakeholders.  Court approval is needed for most significant events in the case, for anything out of the ordinary course of business, and, at times, even for small matters.  Transparency, adequate notice and opportunity to object, and due process are hallmarks of an effective bankruptcy case.  And all the while, chapter 11 costs and expenses continue to mount as the debtor pushes forward in its efforts to reach the goal line – confirmation of a plan of reorganization, consummation of a section 363 sale, a structured dismissal, or some other exit strategy. With this as background, a seventeen day long bankruptcy case becomes all the more dramatic.  On March 27, 2016, Southcross Holdings LP and affiliated debtors each filed chapter 11 cases in the Southern District of Texas, Jointly Administered Case No. 16-20111.  Less than three weeks later, their plan of reorganization was confirmed and had gone effective.

Read More from: eSQUIRE Global Crossings

9 hours 39 min ago
By: Donald L. Swanson The distressed debtor is the Republic of Argentina. Ok .. . so not everyone gets to handle a case of this magnitude. But, as for $8 billion in cash settlement payments and $100 billion in total defaults . . . it’s merely a matter of locating the decimal point in a different place than what most of us are used to seeing.  Otherwise, Argentina is pretty much the same, I’d guess, as other cases, whether small or large. Over the years, I’ve become fond of saying that there is no such thing as a “small” or a “large” case–the intensity of emotion and the desire to prevail are rarely changed by the amount of money at stake. So, the question for our real-world cases is this: What can we learn from the Argentina mediation process? Here’s what happened, according to public reports (some of which became available this past week). Legal disputes have been raging for many years in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, stemming from Argentina’s 2002 default on debts of $100 billion.  The Argentina cases don’t involve a bankruptcy proceeding, of course . . . but the cases amount, collectively, to something like a bankruptcy

Read More from: Mediatbankry

11 hours 37 min ago
During the first quarter of 2016, the Fifth Circuit handed down some important decisions relating to bankruptcy and debt.     These include cases about how attorneys get paid from PACA proceeds, standing to object, denial of discharge, dismissal for cause, enforcing a chapter 11 plan, preferences, more fallout from the Stanford Ponzi scheme and some cases of general interest. Click on the style of the case to go to the opinion.    Part One:  Bankruptcy DecisionsAttorney's Fees; PACA ClaimantsKingdom Fresh Produce Incorporated (Matter of Delta Produce, LP), No. 14-51079 (5th Cir. 3/11/16)This is a must-read opinion for anyone dealing with PACA claims in bankruptcy.   The first paragraph of the opinion explains the case better than I could try. 
This attorney’s fee dispute has its roots in the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), a Depression-era statute designed to protect sellers of perishable produce from delinquent purchasers. Two such purchasers filed for bankruptcy and the bankruptcy court appointed special counsel to collect and disburse funds to PACA-protected sellers that had claims against the purchasers-turned-debtors.
1 day 43 min ago
Posted by Kathy Bazoian Phelps    Below is a summary of the activity reported for April 2016. The reported stories reflect: 3 guilty pleas or convictions in pending cases; over 26 years of newly imposed sentences for people involved in Ponzi schemes; at least 10 new Ponzi schemes worldwide; and an average age of approximately 50 for the alleged Ponzi schemers. Please feel free to post comments about these or other Ponzi schemes that I may have missed. And please remember that I am just relaying what’s in the news, not writing or verifying it.    Alisa Adler, 55, was indicted on a wire charge relating to an alleged Ponzi scheme run through ASG Real Estate Services Group. The indictment alleged that Adler took about $740,000 from 3 investors, promising them returns through real estate transactions. The wire charge was added to other charges brought against Adler last year.    Aequitas Capital Management and its founder and CEO, Robert J. Jesenik, 56, executive vice president, Brian A. Oliver, 51, and chief operating officer, N. Scott Gillis, 62, were the subject of SEC charges that they were running a “Ponzi-like” scheme. The company agreed to the appointment of a receiver about one month after it had announced layoffs and hired a consulting firm to help it wind down the business. Aequitas stopped making payments on over $300 million in private notes that it sold to investors.

Read More from: The Ponzi Blog

2 days 28 min ago
Coal giant Peabody Energy Corp. will make its second bankruptcy-court appearance next week, requesting full and final access to $800 million in bankruptcy financing. The company will appear before Judge Barry S. Schermer of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis on Thursday to request the permission. Judge Schermer granted preliminary access to the financing package arranged by Citigroup two weeks ago. At the time, the judge said he didn’t believe Peabody’s need for the financing was disputed. During the interim period, Peabody has had access to $200 million of a $500 million term loan, a $100 million letter-of-credit facility and a $200 million facility available to satisfy the company’s environmental obligations. Lenders of the financing package include Peabody’s existing secured lenders and the holders of Peabody’s unsecured bond debt–distressed investors Centerbridge Partners LP, Aurelius Capital Management LP, Elliott Management Corp. and Capital Research and Management. Peabody Energy Corp. is the largest U.S. coal company and became the latest to file for bankruptcy earlier this month. It joined peers Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., Patriot Coal Corp. and Walter Energy, Inc., all of whom have also sought chapter 11 protection.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 3 hours ago
The latest in a line of fraudulent transfer decisions in the Madoff case has added to the case-law regarding what level of knowledge is needed to plead actual fraud in securities Ponzi scheme cases. In dismissing most of the claims brought against certain investors by court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, Judge Stuart Bernstein of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York found that the level of knowledge pled by the trustee did not satisfy the prevailing standard that has been established in the Madoff cases, as discussed below.  In this case, Picard asserted several counts of actual and constructive fraud against Legacy Capital Ltd. (“Legacy”), a single purpose vehicle used to invest in Bernard L. Madoff Securities LLC (“BLIMIS”), and Khronos LLC, a provider of accounting and other services to Legacy and certain other funds that invested in BLIMIS.  Taken together, Picard’s complaint sought to avoid and recover approximately $213 million in initial transfers made to Legacy and approximately $6.6 million in subsequent transfers made to Khronos. Standards
3 days 4 hours ago
The prosecution of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert illustrates why it makes sense to require bankers to share suspicions with the authorities.

Read More from: BankThink

3 days 4 hours ago
With consumers generally averse to risk, financial institutions have an opportunity to rethink what it means to make bets in line with their customers' well-being.

Read More from: BankThink

3 days 4 hours ago
Core Media Group, the company responsible for the hit show American Idol, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection citing deterioration in its financial performance. This comes on the heels of the show concluding its 15th and final season. Core is also responsible for So You Think You Can Dance. Some may find it hard to believe that a company responsible for two shows with such a strong television presence could be struggling financially, but profits have decreased for some time. Loss of Earnings and Sponsors According to USA Today, earnings for Idol fell $15 million in 2014 and total earnings for Idol and other shows produced by Core decreased by $35.6 million in the first half of 2015. Also, Idol’s airtime decreased to 42 hours from 56.5 hours. Peter Hurwitz, the president of Core Media Group, stated that this decrease caused Core to spread their costs over fewer production hours. Idol also lost large sponsors and had a sharp decrease in merchandise sales.

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

3 days 5 hours ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/36737655/smartcrop?height=499&width=749" J="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/36737655/smartcrop?height=639&width=959" M="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/36737655/smartcrop?height=853&width=1280" credit="Bloomberg News" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] Annual rate increases at some of the country’s biggest law firms are going under the microscope in one chapter 11 case. The official keeping an eye on the professional fee meter in the Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. bankruptcy says the recent hourly rate increases at various law firms working on the case—some of which brought top rates close to the $1,500-per-hour mark—deserve a deeper dive. Nancy Rapoport, a law professor and independent member of the committee monitoring professionals’ fees, says the four-figure rates themselves aren’t necessarily the issue. Rather, “the controlling issue here is whether the clients of those firms are paying those rates,” she wrote, requesting evidence that a firm’s bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy clients alike each pay those rates—i.e., that there is no bankruptcy premium. Specifically:

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 5 hours ago
Western District of Texas Bankruptcy Judge Tony Davis has written a very helpful opinion on valuing a truck in a chapter 13 case.   The ten page opinion is packed with extensive footnotes as well as practical guidelines.   In the end, the valuation issue depended on burden of proof and the relatively weak evidence offered by the debtor prevailed.    In re Solis, No. 15-11181 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. 4/15/16).    The opinion can be found here . The Issue Joseph Solis wanted to keep his 2008 Ford Explorer XLT as part of his chapter 13 plan. Ally had filed a proof of claim for $12,771.32 with a claimed value of $9,925.00.   While the claim contained all of the proper contractual and lien documents, it did not include evidence of value.   The Debtor objected to the claim asserting that the truck was only worth $6,371.25.    The Debtor's objection included a printout from the NADA guide.  Because the vehicle was purchased more than 910 days before bankruptcy, the Debtor could cram down the secured claim.   In this small chapter 13 case, the $3,200 difference in value was enough to make the plan fail.   The EvidenceAt the hearing, the Debtor introduced a printout from Edmonds.com as well as photos of the truck.
3 days 5 hours ago
While it is true that more consumers complain to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about their mortgages, the data still reinforces the idea that overdraft fees are more high-cost credit than protection.

Read More from: BankThink

3 days 7 hours ago
Receiving Wide Coverage… The American Bankers Association has pressed the idea of taking Congress to court over its decision last year to cut yearly dividend payments from the Federal Reserve to its member banks. The measure is part of a broad highway spending bill that "violates several legal principles" like breach of contract and taking of property without just compensation, ABA president Rob Nichols noted in a letter he wrote to Congress Thursday. Banks are required...

Read More from: BankThink

3 days 7 hours ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="//si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NT906_ENERGY_P_20160428163322.jpg" J="//si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NT906_ENERGY_J_20160428163322.jpg" M="//si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NT906_ENERGY_M_20160428163322.jpg" caption="Charles Walker is silhouetted against an overcast sky Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, attaching wires to one of two replacement transformers on a power pole in Nacogdoches, Texas." credit="Daily Sentinel/Associated Press" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] Energy Future Holdings Corp. said investors won’t go through with a planned buyout of its Oncor business because of conditions put up by a Texas state agency. (But some investors are scrambling to try to save it.) 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.”)

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 9 hours ago

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