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Per www.globalinsolvency.com: Mon., July 27, 2015  Ukraine has staved off a default on its $70bn debt pile, rekindling hopes that Kiev can cut a deal with creditors to restructure a substantial proportion of its dues, the Financial Times reported. The cash-strapped eastern European country, which is in the midst of a deep recession and a separatist conflict against Russia-backed rebels, made a $120m interest payment due on Friday as part of its ongoing battle to convince creditors to write down the face value of their holdings. The government originally hoped to strike an agreement to restructure $15.3bn of debt before the summer. However months of negotiation failed to produce a deal and, in May, Ukraine’s parliament adopted a law that granted government the authority to halt debt repayments altogether. “It’s a positive sign but I probably wouldn’t get too carried away,” said Fyodor Bagnenko, a fixed income trader at Dragon Capital, which forecasts that Ukraine and its creditors will eventually compromise on a debt haircut of 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

Read More from: The COMI

7 hours 9 min ago
Per Reuters:July 22 | By Tom Hals A judge in the Bahamas has declined to recognize the U.S. bankruptcy filing by Baha Mar Ltd, the developer of a $3.5 billion mega resort, a source familiar with the ruling said on Wednesday.Recognition of the Chapter 11 U.S. bankruptcy filing would have prevented creditors from taking action against Baha Mar Ltd in the Bahamas. The decision by Supreme Court Justice Ian Winder was the latest snag in the nearly completed project, which is considered vital for the Caribbean country's fragile economy.Baha Mar said in a statement it was disappointed by the ruling. "We do not believe today's ruling, for which the government strenuously argued, assures the necessary protection of the assets of Baha Mar, and we do not believe that it is best for the over 2,500 current employees of Baha Mar." Work has been halted as the local developer, Sarkis Izmirlian, and contractor China Construction America (CCA), a unit of China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd , have traded blame for missing two completion deadlines.CCA has asked the U.S.

Read More from: The COMI

7 hours 21 min ago
On July 13, 2015, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York issued its decision in In re OAS S.A. et al. that recognized, as foreign main proceedings, three Brazilian bankruptcy proceedings currently pending for The OAS Group (“OAS”) – a Brazilian construction and engineering enterprise.  The bankruptcy court granted recognition over the objections of two major noteholders, Aurelius Capital Management, L.P. (“Aurelius”) and Alden Global Capital LLC (“Alden” and, together with Aurelius, the “Noteholders”), who argued that:
  1. OAS’s proposed foreign representative, Renato Fermiano Tavares, did not satisfy the Bankruptcy Code’s definition of “foreign representative”;
  2. with respect to one of the OAS entities seeking recognition – an Austrian financing subsidiary – its “center of main interests” (“COMI”) was not Brazil, and thus, its proceeding could not be recognized as a foreign main proceeding; and
  3. recognition should be denied on the grounds that it would be “manifestly contrary to public policy.”
8 hours 15 min ago
Series: Business Owner Basics 2015 In this webinar, our panel of HR experts will discuss important and practical approaches to managing people in your family owned business. This informative webinar will address basic EEO/regulatory compliance, risk management, practical HR programs and solutions, and even how an investment in your people practices can pay off in bottom line dollars. Read more here.
10 hours 50 min ago
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) “Discover created student debt stress for borrowers by inflating their bills and misleading them about important benefits,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Illegal servicing and debt collection practices add insult to injury for borrowers struggling to pay back their loans. Today’s action is an important step in the Bureau’s work to clean up the student loan servicing market.” Discover Bank is an Illinois-based depository institution. Its student loan affiliates – The Student Loan Corporation and Discover Products, Inc. – are also charged in today’s action. Beginning in 2010, Discover expanded its private student loan portfolio by acquiring more than 800,000 accounts from Citibank. As a loan servicer, Discover is responsible for providing basic services to borrowers, including accurate periodic account statements, supplying year-end tax information, and contacting borrowers regarding overdue amounts.
  • • Overstated the minimum amount due in billing statements.
  • Misrepresented on its website the amount of student loan interest paid.
  • Illegally called consumers early in the morning and late at night, often excessively.
  • Engaged in illegal debt collection tactics by failure to comply with the consumer notices required by federal law.
11 hours 55 min ago
Regulators rely for critical information on consulting firms that are paid by the very same banks that they are engaged to evaluate. This conflict of interest has repeatedly proven toxic.

Read More from: BankThink

12 hours 46 min ago
Johnson & Wales University is fighting to keep $46,909 in tuition paid by a Connecticut couple for their daughter’s education against the demands of a bankruptcy court-official, who sued to get that money back. The private, Rhode Island-based college has asked a bankruptcy judge to throw out the lawsuit that arose when Robert and Jean DeMauro filed for bankruptcy last year. A bankruptcy trustee who examined the DeMauros’ finances argued that the couple didn’t get any benefit from the tuition payments made from March 2011 to December 2013—their daughter did. The bankruptcy trustee’s lawsuit, filed on April 8, is the latest courtroom battle to unfold over the controversial new lawsuits. Those suits argue that parents who paid tuition for their children before filing for bankruptcy should have used that money to pay down their own growing debts. A Wall Street Journal search of public filings across the country turned up at least 25 colleges that have been asked to return money in recent years. Most colleges choose to settle the dispute by paying some or all of the tuition back before a bankruptcy judge is asked to weigh in. Four judges who have ruled on the issue were split, siding with parents half the time.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

14 hours 22 min ago
The expenses your paycheck has to cover go on and on. Each dollar is stretched;  each expense clamors for attention. Too often, the expenses go on long after the available money is gone. What seem like immediate needs squeeze out those necessities that only come round occasionally but in big numbers:  car repair, medical incidents, college. And when the “occasionals”  do come round, you’re caught short. I generally see families to talk about bankruptcy when things have gotten so out of balance that better budgeting won’t fix the problem. So, let’s take a tour of the cost of living so you can stay in balance, and we’ll never meet face to face in my law office. What daily living costs Consumer Credit Counselors  proposes a model allocation of your income among all of those categories on your household expense list. The headings in blue are the big wedges of the pie;  below are all of the expenses to be paid from that percentage of your income.   MONTHLY EXPENSES MONTHLY AMOUNT HOUSING  35% Rent First Mortgage Second Mortgage Association Dues Property Taxes Renters/Homeowners Lot Rent Home Maintenance Electric/Gas/Oil/Propane Water/Sewer/Garbage TRANSPORTATION  15%
14 hours 37 min ago
In order for the financial services industry to achieve its full potential in the digital age, Silicon Valley must work together with banks and lawmakers to build technology that can modernize banking infrastructure while addressing regulatory and cybersecurity challenges.

Read More from: BankThink

14 hours 46 min ago
Last fall when the ABI commission on Bankruptcy Reform came out, I wrote a post about its proposal that out of the money junior classes be thrown a bone in chapter 11 plans by instituting a "redemption option premium" ("ROP") that would require bankruptcy judges in a cramdown context to value a hypothetical three-year call option on the reorganized debtor at a price that would pay off all claims senior to that class in full.  As the commission's principal justification for the proposed mechanism was that it would be a superior alternative to what it portrayed as time-consuming and costly cramdown valuation litigation, I expressed the view that it was not nearly as efficient as portrayed because it did not preclude anyone else in the case from precipitating the kind of litigation we have now, and was itself so complex that it would, in practice, require the same evidentiary inputs and be as contestable, as the cramdown practice we have now. You can't value the ROP until you have valued the company, so you don't skip any valuation litigation.Nor did I find, when doing some calculations of a hypothetical chapter 11 debtor, that it was generating a large amount (in fact, looking back, I should have noted that the premium value would often be less than the professional fees debating it might run up) so that the gain was hardly worth the candle.

Read More from: Necessary and Proper

15 hours 10 min 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

15 hours 13 min 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

15 hours 43 min 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

17 hours 7 min 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

2 days 9 hours 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

3 days 8 hours 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. 
3 days 10 hours 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

3 days 12 hours 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

3 days 13 hours 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

3 days 14 hours 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

3 days 15 hours ago

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