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Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code provides debtors an efficient and flexible mechanism to dispose of substantially all estate assets outside of the confines of the Bankruptcy Code’s provisions concerning plan confirmation.  The Third Circuit’s recent decision in In re ICL Holding Co., Inc. may provide debtors additional flexibility, especially in cases where the purchasers desire to prefer certain constituencies over others of similar or senior priority.  The court also addressed – and ultimately rejected – arguments made by the debtors that certain objections to their 363 sale (discussed below) were constitutionally, statutorily, and equitably moot. We will discuss these issues in a future Bankruptcy Blog post. In re ICL Holdings
7 hours 3 min ago
Prior to implementation of the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005” (BAPCPA), debtors were able to discharge private student loans in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Since then, young Americans have continued to struggle due to: Steep increases in college tuition; Mounting student loans debt; Bleak job prospect after graduation, […] The post Student Loans – A Modern Day Debtor’s Prison? Government Considering Change Bankruptcy Laws to Allow Discharge of Private Student Loan appeared first on Acclaim Legal Services, PLLC.

Read More from: Acclaim Legal Services

7 hours 20 min ago
Tenants and landlords are no exception to the ever growing number of individuals filing bankruptcy. A bankruptcy can be a very stressful situation. Bankruptcy becomes even more stressful when real estate is involved, especially when it involves your home. Anything that could potentially threaten your shelter, a necessity of life, should be taken seriously. It is important that both tenants and landlords know their rights during a bankruptcy effecting real estate. What we are seeing today in the real estate industry is an increase in real estate bankruptcies. Families are falling on hard times and are unable to pay rent. Many families are filing for bankruptcy in an effort to stop the eviction process. When a landlord is not receiving rental payments on time, he or she begins to fall behind on the rental property’s mortgage payments. Some landlords cannot pay the rental property’s mortgage payments at all. The landlord will then face foreclosure and/or bankruptcy. In some cases, the landlord may try to reduce the monthly rental amount; however, as much as this method may help a family keep a roof over their heads, it also creates bankruptcy risk for the landlord.   Tenant and Landlord Lease Contracts in Real Estate Bankruptcy When a tenant or landlord files bankruptcy, two things can happen to the lease contract: 1. The lease is allowed to continue in effect as normal. 2. The lease is cancelled.

Read More from: Wynn at Law, LLC

7 hours 26 min ago
We call these Zombie homes.  This is the home you move out of when you can no longer afford the payment or the home is in terrible disrepair.  These homes typically have no equity–they are worth far less than what is owed on the mortgage–and it may not seem possible to sell the home. Real estate agents balk at listing the home for sale until repairs are made, and the homeowner may not be in a position to afford the expense.  So, the home sits vacant, sometimes for years. The problem with vacant homes is that you still own them.  You are responsible for cutting the lawn and shoveling the snow. Home association dues continue to accrue even after filing bankruptcy. Home insurance should be maintained in case someone is injured on the property. In some neighborhoods thieves will cut out the plumbing, air conditioners and fixtures. Vandals may break windows or spray paint graffiti on the exterior. The city inspector may impose fines for failure to maintain the home and they may even issue criminal citations if the problems go uncorrected. Owning a vacant home is a serious burden.
9 hours 6 min ago
A recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (found here) changes the strategic calculus for a secured creditor deciding whether to file a proof of claim in a bankruptcy case in the Ninth Circuit.  It has long been true that a secured creditor does not necessarily imperil his lien if he ignores a bankruptcy proceeding and declines to file a claim in connection with his lien.  See U.S. Nat’l Bank in Johnstown v. Chase Nat’l Bank of N.Y.C., 331 U.S. 28, 33 (1947).  But the Ninth Circuit’s decision in In re Blendheim, 2015 WL 5730015 (Oct. 1, 2015) holds that a creditor who actually files a claim, and has that claim disallowed, may have its lien voided under Bankruptcy Code § 506(d).  Thus, filing a proof of claim, at least in a chapter 13 case, may expose a secured creditor to greater risk than simply observing the case from the sidelines.  This contradicts the conventional wisdom that (issues of jurisdiction aside) it is often advisable to file a “protective” proof of claim to preserve your rights.

Read More from: Creditors' Rights

9 hours 20 min ago
Any shoppers still holding on to Borders gift cards can finally toss them in the trash. The U.S. Supreme Court this week said it won’t take up a case that could have given holders of the defunct book seller’s gift cards a chance to turn the languishing plastic into cash. Plaintiff’s lawyer Clinton Krislov has been fighting on behalf of the gift card holders for years, arguing the Borders bankruptcy estate didn’t do enough to notify shoppers that they risked losing the value on their credits. Before the Supreme Court denial, lower courts found the gift card holders waited too long to raise their claims once Borders went into bankruptcy in 2011. Mr. Krislov said Tuesday this is the end of the line for the Borders fight. “It’s not a court that’s concerned about the little guy being pinched,” he said of the high court denial.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

10 hours 55 min ago
” You have an excellent reputation in the local area. You are organized, professional and really know how to put a client at ease during a hard time in their life. After seeing how unorganized some other attorneys were at court, I was thankful I had your office helping me and not someone else. Thank you all so much.” – Carol “Any questions I had I could always talk to someone directly. I would recommend your office to other people. ” – Jeff “All questions were answered in a manner that we could understand. We were never rushed and everyone we worked with was always kind and polite.” – Joe “(another attorney) said that John Rogers was the only one he knew who could sort out my difficult situation and that he himself could not help me. Thank you for being there for me. You were my friends when I have been at my lowest. You helped me and encouraged me. God bless all of you. I am so thankful for you all.” – DKC “Someone was always able to answer my questions. I felt like everyone there actually cared about helping me with my situation and wasn’t just after collecting my money. ” -Julie “I will definitely recommend this office simply for the professionalism and understanding.” -Melissa “The staff was very easy to talk to, as was Mr. Rogers, and very knowledgeable. We felt very comfortable.” -Brent “It was a relief to us to have someone like you to represent us. You were very professional, extremely well organized and obviously experienced in cases like ours.” -Kathleen
11 hours 50 min ago
Many married couples file their federal income taxes jointly.  When they file jointly, both spouses are jointly and individually liable for any taxes due on the joint return even if they later divorce. This is true even is a divorce decree states that one spouse is liable for the previously filed joint return.  However, there are certain situations where one spouse can be relieved of the taxes due on a joint return.  One type of relief available from the IRS is innocent spouse relief. Innocent Tax Relief If a spouse receives innocent tax relief, he or she will be relieved of paying tax, interest and penalties for the subject years.  According to the IRS, you must meet all of the following conditions to qualify for innocent spouse relief: First, you and your spouse filed a joint return which has an understatement of tax due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). Erroneous items include income that your spouse or former spouse failed to report on the return, or incorrect deductions, credits, or property basis claimed by your former spouse.

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

13 hours 15 min ago
The SEC plans to hold a vote on adopting a final resource extraction rule on or before June 27, 2016, which is within 270 days of the filing of a recent notice with the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. The notice of proposed expedited rulemaking schedule responds to the court's order that the SEC must promulgate rulemaking pursuant to a litigation initiated by Oxfam, which we previously discussed here. In order to meet the 270-day schedule, the Commission anticipates voting on a proposed rule before the end of the year and permitting a 45-day comment period thereafter.  
13 hours 37 min ago
Women in banking and finance face plenty of obstacles in their efforts to ascend to senior positions. But quotas only serve to reinforce the assumption that women are less capable and talented than their male counterparts.

Read More from: BankThink

13 hours 39 min ago
Elsa/Getty Images
A lawsuit that accused 50 Cent of unfairly bolstering his tough-guy image by starting a fight at a 2004 concert in Massachusetts has surfaced in his bankruptcy. Dorothy DeJesus, a Northampton, Mass., resident who was punched in the face during the fight, asked a federal judge to make sure the 40-year-old rapper doesn’t use bankruptcy to get out of paying her at least $25,000 in damages. Ms. DeJesus was injured during 50 Cent’s surprise performance at a hip-hop concert on May 7, 2004, at the Hippodrome Theater in Springfield, Mass., according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Conn. Angered by an audience member who threw “some liquid” on stage, 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, took off his hat and jumped into the crowd, court papers said. His entourage followed. “Thereafter, a melee ensued, and audience members, performers and entourage members physically scrambled in skirmish while the concert continued,” Ms. DeJesus’s lawyer said in court papers. Amid the chaos, Ms. DeJesus said she was punched in the face by Mr. Jackson and temporarily passed out. Mr. Jackson denied wrongdoing in the 2007 lawsuit that followed.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

13 hours 41 min ago
Receiving Wide Coverage… U.K. to Sell $3B Stake in Lloyds: The British government is planning to sell its stake in Lloyds Banking Group as it prepares to exit its ownership of the lender next spring. Proceeds of the sale will be used to pay down national debt, the Treasury has said. About $3 billion of shares are being offered to the general public at a 5% discount, and there will likely be a sale to institutional...

Read More from: BankThink

14 hours 9 min ago
The past year has seen two notable innovations in the payments world and a third is coming down the pike.  ApplePay was rolled out last spring, the EMV liability shift went into effect on October 1, and the Fed has convened a task force on designing a faster payment system.  All three of these developments seem unlikely to result in major changes in payments unless they come up with a clear value proposition for consumers, merchants, or both.  It's far too early to reach final conclusions about any of these projects, but the initial reception of ApplePay and the EMV liability shift suggests that neither is getting much traction.  ApplePay appears to have very low adoption rates so far:
“People don’t know why it is they’d use Apple Pay,” Jared Schrieber, CEO of InfoScout, told Bloomberg. “They are satisfied with the current methods and they don’t know how Apple Pay works.”

Read More from: Credit Slips

14 hours 35 min ago
Authored by Janet C. Owens and J. Ellsworth Summers, Jr.and Janet C. Owens and J. Ellsworth Summers, Jr. of Rogers TowersDespite indications from the Federal Reserve in as early as March that rates would be raised in 2015, the window for the Fed to hike interest rates this year is quickly closing. The Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC”) makes decisions over monetary policy, including setting the benchmark interest rates. The FOMC meets eight times a year to make key decisions that increase (or decrease) the money supply, including supplying more credit to banks for lending, setting interest rates, setting banks’ reserves and the discount rate. To date, it has been more than nine years since the FOMC raised interest rates, with the last hike in June 2006. The current benchmark interest rate—which is near zero—has held steady since 2008, when the Fed lowered it to fight the recession.

Read More from: Florida Banking Law Blog

15 hours 19 min ago
Relativity Media LL’s sale to investors including founder Ryan Kavanaugh seems poised for approval by a bankruptcy judge, Daily Bankruptcy Review reports via The Wall Street Journal.
Ryan Kavanaugh, founder and chief executive of Relativity, in January 2015. Mr. Kavanaugh is part of the investor group poised to buy the company.
Paul A. Hebert/Associated Press
(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, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) Investors sued Lynn Tilton and her Patriarch Partners Monday for damages over alleged fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment, DBR reports via WSJ.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

15 hours 36 min ago
On 14 September 2015, judgment was handed down in the case of Re SSRL Realisations Limited (In Administration), in which a landlord was granted permission to forfeit a lease by peaceable re-entry. The case will be of interest to insolvency practitioners and landlords alike – but for very different reasons. The facts of this case are all too familiar: the tenant company SSRL entered administration, the business and assets of the company were sold and as part of the transaction, a licence to occupy was granted to the Newco purchaser, pending an application to the landlord for consent to assign the lease. The application for consent to assign the lease was refused on the basis that Newco had no covenant strength and had refused to enter into an authorised guarantee agreement. The landlord therefore applied for permission to forfeit the lease pursuant to paragraph 43 of Schedule B1 of the Insolvency Act 1986. The main issues arising were (i) whether the purposes of the administration would be impeded by forfeiture of the lease, and (ii) if so, where the balance lay between the landlord’s and the creditors’ interests following the leading authority on this point – Atlantic Computer Systems.

Read More from: eSQUIRE Global Crossings

17 hours 49 min ago
On September 29, 2015, Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court ruled on the objection of a distribution trustee to payment of the bankruptcy debtor’s investment banker.  This opinion caught my eye as it is unusual for objections to fee applications to merit written opinions.  The “Opinion” is available here. In this case, the investment banker was seeking payment of a monthly fee (unopposed), a M&A fee (unopposed), a success fee (opposed), and related expenses (unopposed).  The investment banker appears to have successfully fulfilled its role in this case:  The debtors obtained DIP financing and a plan of reorganization was confirmed under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Considering the current bankruptcy climate, anything other than a 363 sale and conversion to chapter 7 is a success.  For a chapter 11 case to be confirmed – and within 4 months – is commendable.
1 day 1 hour ago
The term has gone from a common brand name to a catch-all for innovative technologies in financial services to a somewhat patronizing plural noun to describe startups and their founders.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 3 hours ago
In American Federated Title Corp. v. GFI Management Services, Inc., the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to discuss the interplay between corporate veil piercing and fraudulent transfer claims under New York law, finding that although certain loan repayments by the debtor companies to their principals and an affiliated entity satisfied the objective standards for constructive fraudulent transfers under New York Debtor and Creditor Law, the circumstances surrounding such payments would not necessarily justify applying the more stringent standards for disregarding the corporate form.  In American Federated, the plaintiff sued four limited liability companies for breach of contract and unpaid rent, which culminated in a settlement judgment in the plaintiff’s favor.  The defendants, however, failed to pay the judgment.  As a result, the plaintiff sought to hold the owners of the LLCs and an affiliated corporation liable under veil-piercing and fraudulent transfer theories, pointing to the payment of management fees to the affiliated corporation by the debtors and repayments of loans made to the debtors’ insiders while the debtors were insolvent.
1 day 6 hours ago
On September 16, 2015, Samson Resources Corp. (“Samson” or “Debtor”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington [Case No. 15-11934]. According to the declaration of Philip Cook (the “Cook Declaration”)— that was filed in conjunction with the Debtor’s first day pleadings— Samson is a privately held onshore oil and gas exploration and production company with operations and royalty or working interests in approximately 8,700 oil and gas production sites primarily located in Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. The Debtors plan to use the Chapter 11 process to reduce its $4.2 billion debt: $2.25 of which is to unsecured noteholders. See Cook Declaration at 10, 20. Samson has entered into a Restructuring Support Agreement with over 68 percent of the second lien lenders,  which seeks to effectuate a debt-for-equity conversion and rights offering.  See Cook Declaration at 32.
1 day 8 hours ago