ABI Blog Exchange

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

2 days 9 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

2 days 11 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

2 days 11 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

2 days 11 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

2 days 12 hours ago
“How was I supposed to know that something wasn’t right here … Show me how you want it to be.  Tell me baby ‘cause I need to know now…” – Britney Spears
2 days 12 hours ago
In a 134-page ruling, a federal judge handed General Motors Co. a legal victory on Wednesday, ruling the Detroit auto maker can retain a bankruptcy shield that protects it from as much as $10 billion in claims brought by customers seeking damages tied to faulty ignition switches, The Wall Street Journal reported.  (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 our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) Troubled gun maker Colt Defense LLC launched an exchange offer Wednesday that would cut its bond debt by 70% to $75 million from $250 million, WSJ reports.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 days 13 hours ago
In a 134-page ruling, a federal judge handed General Motors Co. a legal victory on Wednesday, ruling the Detroit auto maker can retain a bankruptcy shield that protects it from as much as $10 billion in claims brought by customers seeking damages tied to faulty ignition switches, The Wall Street Journal reported.  (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 our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) Troubled gun maker Colt Defense LLC launched an exchange offer Wednesday that would cut its bond debt by 70% to $75 million from $250 million, WSJ reports.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 days 13 hours ago
Clearly, the biggest surprise in consumer borrowing since the crash has been the explosive expansion of student loan debt. It has surpassed both auto lending and credit card lending. And, since it ties with Payday Lending and pre-crash sub-prime mortgage lending for the thinnest underwriting there are defaults aplenty.  Consumer advocates are rightly urging the Department of Education to provide simpler and clearer paths forward for consumers with student loans in default but many people still need a helper.  As defaults in mortgage loans and on credit card loans have fallen, providers who live on the profits of counseling people who default on those loans have turned their attention and their advertising and marketing to consumers who are in trouble on their student Since bankruptcy offers very little to this crowd, and sometimes their social security payments might be offset, and collectors can be very aggressive, people in trouble on their student loans can be desperate for help. Hopefully, a greater percentage will be able to fix their problems themselves with clearer Department of Education guidelines and procedures; still, the National Consumer Law Center issued a well-advised Caution a few years ago about the folks who were purporting to help. Similar to mortgage loans, the world of government student loan defaults is many times more complex than the world of credit card defaults. 

Read More from: Credit Slips

2 days 14 hours ago
It’s the time of year for tax refunds. We take questions from folks as to whether they can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy before filing taxes and still keep their tax refunds coming to them after they file bankruptcy or whether they can keep a tax refund received right before filing bankruptcy. The answer is they generally can keep their refunds, depending, of course, on how large the refund is. The general bankruptcy exemptions available under the federal bankruptcy exemptions (which we can use in Kentucky) are usually large enough to protect most tax refunds from being lost to the trustee. You can also use your tax refund to pay the fees and costs for the bankruptcy. Also, if you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, and are going to use your tax refund to pay off a debt to a family member or creditor prior to filing bankruptcy, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney before doing that. There are provisions in the bankruptcy law which may allow the trustee to take that money back from the family member or creditor should you then file bankruptcy after paying them. Alternatively, if you just keep the refund and don’t pay any of it to anyone, then the refund may be able to be protected with the exemptions as outlined above.
2 days 15 hours ago
Good riddance to several debt collectors that seemed hellbent on sending all Oregon student loan debtors into bankruptcy. Pioneer Credit Recovery, Enterprise Recovery Systems, National Recoveries, and Coast Professional had all sued earlier this year once the Education Department said it would no longer send them any more accounts under their current contracts. A federal judge on Tuesday has now dismissed all their claims. The Department of Education had previously stated that these collectors had mislead  distressed borrowers “at unacceptably high rates.” With roughly  7 million Americans  in default on more than a $100 billion on their student loans, having the Department of Education actively paying unscrupulous debt collectors to collect on them was a recipe for disaster. It is probably fair for Oregon and Washington consumers with defaulted student loans to question why the Department of Education did not take this action years ago before thousands of them were sent reeling into bankruptcy.   The original post is titled Student Loan Debt Collectors Denied , and it came from Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief .

Read More from: Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

3 days 2 hours ago
The facts in this case just leave a person stunned.  This was a case where a consumer applied for a 30 year residential loan.  Without the debtors knowledge, the bank approved an 18 month commercial loan knowing full well the consumer couldn’t pay it back in 18 months.  The disclosure described a 30 year loan.  The bank provided three different loan applications for her to sign, but everything she relied on indicated she was getting a 30 year loan. The first she heard about an 18 month loan was when the bank told her she had a balloon payment coming up.  They wouldn’t deal with her-and started to foreclose. The jury awarded $1,000,000 in compensatory damages and $5,000,000 in punatives.  In upholding the damage award, the Montana Supreme Court recognized:
3 days 6 hours ago
Plethico Pharmaceuticals Ltd., which has twice been accused of fraud in connection with a natural products company it sold in bankruptcy, may have once again negotiated its way out of legal trouble. The latest accusations come from India’s Aurobindo Pharma . It told stock exchange regulators it’s agreed to accept $23.3 million from Plethico to settle the fraud action Aurobindo initiated last week in the bankruptcy court that is overseeing the process of paying off the debts of Natrol, a company Plethico sold to Aurobindo at a chapter 11 sale. Plethico’s lawyers have not responded to inquiries about the allegations from Aurobindo, which surfaced in the Wilmington, Del., bankruptcy court. Aurobindo paid $132.5 million for Natrol, a thriving supplier of vitamins and supplements to major retailers. According to Aurobindo, $25 million worth of construction that was supposed to be going on at Natrol was allegedly a ruse to move money into Plethico’s pocket.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 9 hours ago
Plethico Pharmaceuticals Ltd., which has twice been accused of fraud in connection with a natural products company it sold in bankruptcy, may have once again negotiated its way out of legal trouble. The latest accusations come from India’s Aurobindo Pharma . It told stock exchange regulators it’s agreed to accept $23.3 million from Plethico to settle the fraud action Aurobindo initiated last week in the bankruptcy court that is overseeing the process of paying off the debts of Natrol, a company Plethico sold to Aurobindo at a chapter 11 sale. Plethico’s lawyers have not responded to inquiries about the allegations from Aurobindo, which surfaced in the Wilmington, Del., bankruptcy court. Aurobindo paid $132.5 million for Natrol, a thriving supplier of vitamins and supplements to major retailers. According to Aurobindo, $25 million worth of construction that was supposed to be going on at Natrol was allegedly a ruse to move money into Plethico’s pocket.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 9 hours ago
Honoree and former President Bill Clinton speaks on stage after receiving the inaugural Tina’s Wish Global Women’s Health Award during the 2015 Tina’s Wish Global Women’s Health Award Gala in New York.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
An ovarian-cancer-research charity backed by New York’s bankruptcy community got some high-profile support this week from former President Bill Clinton. President Clinton accepted the inaugural Global Women’s Health Award Tuesday night from Tina’s Wish, an organization named in honor of Tina Brozman, a former bankruptcy judge who died in 2007 at age 54 from ovarian cancer. Her husband, Clifford Chance finance and restructuring partner Andrew Brozman, started the nonprofit to help fund research focused on detecting ovarian cancer at an early stage—something that has so far eluded doctors. Each year, 240,000 women globally are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and 150,000 die from the disease, according to Tina’s Wish. In a Waldorf Astoria ballroom Tuesday, chatter around the room about the latest in the chapter 11 world quickly turned to silence as President Clinton took the stage.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 10 hours ago
Honoree and former President Bill Clinton speaks on stage after receiving the inaugural Tina’s Wish Global Women’s Health Award during the 2015 Tina’s Wish Global Women’s Health Award Gala in New York.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
An ovarian-cancer-research charity backed by New York’s bankruptcy community got some high-profile support this week from former President Bill Clinton. President Clinton accepted the inaugural Global Women’s Health Award Tuesday night from Tina’s Wish, an organization named in honor of Tina Brozman, a former bankruptcy judge who died in 2007 at age 54 from ovarian cancer. Her husband, Clifford Chance finance and restructuring partner Andrew Brozman, started the nonprofit to help fund research focused on detecting ovarian cancer at an early stage—something that has so far eluded doctors. Each year, 240,000 women globally are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and 150,000 die from the disease, according to Tina’s Wish. In a Waldorf Astoria ballroom Tuesday, chatter around the room about the latest in the chapter 11 world quickly turned to silence as President Clinton took the stage.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 days 10 hours ago
In a recent decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit confirmed its previous adoption of the “majority view” that non-consensual, third-party releases are permissible under certain circumstances.   Background
3 days 10 hours ago
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (4/15/15) issued a final interpretive rule on how to provide mortgage applicants with a list of local homeownership counseling organizations. The interpretive rule restates guidance the CFPB issued in 2013, and provides further guidance for lenders who are building their own lists of housing counselors. The rule also includes guidance on the qualifications for providing high-cost mortgage counseling and for lender participation in such counseling. “Buying a home is often the largest financial decision in a consumer’s lifetime, and we want to ensure that consumers can access the independent and informed advice they deserve before making that decision,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Housing counselors are a crucial source of that helpful advice. We will continue to work to improve the home-buying experience for consumers, and today’s interpretive rule will help industry comply with these important protections.”
3 days 12 hours ago
In re Filene’s Basement, LLC, et al., No. 11-13511 (KJC) (Bankr. D. Del. Apr. 16, 2015) In this Opinion, Delaware Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Carey ruled on a question that has evenly divided courts nationwide and remained unanswered by the Third Circuit Court Appeals – namely, whether the “15 percent” referenced in section 502(b)(6)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code refers to the remaining term of a lease or the remaining rent due under a lease.  Read More › Tags: Claims, Lease Termination Claims, Rejection

Read More from: Delaware Bankruptcy Insider

3 days 12 hours ago
April 15 is not only tax day, but it’s a great day to look at your financial situation to see if you need to make any adjustments. This is the time when you can analyze how you did financially in the past year. This is the time when you’re required to have your income tax+ Read More The post With Tax Day Upon Us, Is Your Financial House In Order? appeared first on David M. Siegel.
3 days 13 hours ago

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