ABI Blog Exchange

Which Way to Bankruptcy Court?   I’m a Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer. I know a few things about money. I also know a lot more about people who don’t have any. Let me share a few Los Angeles Bankruptcy stories. This is all about about where others went wrong. During the past 30 years I have practiced bankruptcy law in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles is aptly known as the world’s Bankruptcy Capitol.  Practicing law in L.A. has provided me with a wonderful laboratory to study why people file bankruptcy. Roughly half my Los Angeles Bankruptcy clients might have avoided bankruptcy if they knew what I know about people who already filed one. In this series, I’m going to share some real case histories. Maybe it will help someone. My Los Angeles Bankruptcy clientele has covered people from every conceivable walk of life. A sampling of my clientele includes major lottery winners, doctors, lawyers, actors, financial advisors, ministers, dentists, priests, rabbis, politicians, teachers, fortune tellers, housewives, gardeners, parking attendants, nurses, factory workers, military, and even a few heiresses.

Read More from: Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog

7 hours 27 min ago
Is it true: No Lawyers – Save Money? The Los Angeles Bankruptcy Court is a busy place. If you go without a lawyer, expect trouble. The chances are you will get swallowed up and overwhelmed by a very intimidating process. You  probably have enough trouble already. Going through the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Court without the services of a lawyer might be your own financial suicide. Sadly for those who do it, about 39% of all Chapter 7 cases filed without a lawyer end in failure, (even for those who used so-called self-help services from a bankruptcy petition preparer). If you file Chapter 7 without a lawyer in Los Angeles, (and also including the counties of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Santa Barbara), your chance to successfully complete the case and receive a  Chapter 7 discharge of your debts is only about 61%. If you file Chapter 7 represented by a lawyer in the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Court, the odds of successfully receiving a discharge of debt will soar, reaching  95%. The United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California is vast and covers the areas of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties.

Read More from: Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog

8 hours 3 min ago
Models display creations at the end of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show in London on Dec. 2.
Joel Ryan/Invision/Associated Press
Frederick’s of Hollywood and Victoria’s Secret started on the same track decades ago as catalog lingerie retailers. But while Victoria’s Secret zoomed to the top of the sexy intimates business, Frederick’s lagged behind, becoming virtually a nonentity in the industry. Success at L Brands Inc.-owned Victoria’s Secret is evident in its bottom line. Annual sales at the company rose about 5% in 2014 from the year prior to $7.2 billion, Chief Executive Sharen Turney said on a Thursday earnings call. Analysts gushed at the success of chain, which has more than 1,100 stores, with one analyst later writing that Victoria’s Secret is the “undisputed champion of the domestic specialty lingerie market.” Frederick’s, meanwhile, is working with liquidators to close at least a third of its 93 stores as it fights to stay alive and revive its damaged brand.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

8 hours 48 min ago
Los Angeles bankruptcy advice is awfully important to get before you file bankruptcy. After you file, it may be too late. We have seen tons of heartache and damage caused when people do things wrong. Providing preventive Los Angeles bankruptcy advice is one of the things your lawyer should do for you. Your bankruptcy lawyer needs to get right to the most important issues that you face.  Your bankruptcy lawyer should then be able to explain the solutions. What are people doing wrong before they file bankruptcy? Here is Los Angeles Bankruptcy Advice You Need Before You File: DON’T ACCEPT LEGAL ADVICE FROM FAMILY OR FRIENDS. It is common for well-meaning friends and family to make suggestions. But they often tell you to do things that are actually wrong. We’ve written about this in our Human Guide To Bankruptcy. It is a problem that keeps popping up. See TheBankrputcyGuide.net–Common Mistakes. For example, friends might tell you to transfer assets out of your name (see below). Or hide assets. Or to run up your remaining credit card balances before you file bankruptcy. These are all examples of actions that could cause big trouble.  Any one of these things is enough to ruin your chances of getting bankruptcy relief.

Read More from: Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog

8 hours 58 min ago
On several recent Sundays,  the New York Times Sunday Review section has carried Op-Ed columns by Nicholas Kristof that assert, in his own words, that "unconscious bias remains widespread in ways that systematically benefit both whites and men. So white men get a double dividend, a payoff from both racial and gender biases."  Titles for these columns include strings of monosyllabic words like: "When Whites Just Don't Get It" and "Straight Talk for White Men".  These columns elicit more opposition from Times Nation than the typical editorial in the Times, which Kristof curiously and patronizingly responds to by continuing to tell his readers that they "Just Don't Get It". The purpose of this post is to explain that it is Kristof who doesn't get "it", that he doesn't understand how to read the studies he quotes nor does he understand basic logic.

Read More from: Necessary and Proper

9 hours 14 min ago
Today’s blog article, which looks at offshore leases in the United States, is the fourth in a Weil Bankruptcy Blog series, “Drilling Down,” a series that will look at issues at the intersection of the oil and gas industry and bankruptcy law.  In Part One we provided an overview of the oil and gas industry, in Part Two we discussed specific oil and gas property interests and their treatment in bankruptcy, and in Part Three we discussed the ability to assume or reject oil and gas interests as leases in bankruptcy. Smoke on the Water—The Hazy Law of Oil and Gas Leases on the Outer Continental Shelf “For the love of God please GIVE ME THE ANSWER!”  — Billy Madison
9 hours 56 min ago
Old debts don’t live forever. The shell of the debt may hang around, like this mummy, but inside the shell, the debt is dead. But just like a bad mummy movie, old, dead debt can be brought back to life. All it takes is an attempt on your part to be honorable , or an attempt by a debt collector to con you, and you can give otherwise dead debt a new life. Because, in many states, the statute of limitations is reset when you make a payment on a debt that is otherwise non collectible. How old debts get new life The debt collector on the phone has a tough job:  he has to convince you to write a check  on a debt you haven’t been paying. Suing you takes a long time and costs money. So it’s cheaper if he can persuade you to mail or wire him some money. Often, the collector tries to frighten or shame you into paying.  He doesn’t care that you probably aren’t paying because the money isn’t really available under today’s circumstances.  That’s your problem.  After all, he’ll tell you, this is your debt and your responsibility. Often as part of the conversation about settlement or payment over time, the collector asks that you make a small payment, to show your good faith. Which of us doesn’t want to act in good faith? It’s a great pitch. Only, that payment may revive the debt and endow it with a brand new set of years in which the debt can be collected.
10 hours 40 min ago
As it stands, the bankruptcy code allows companies to file for bankruptcy in a location where they have a domicile, residence, principal place of business or principal assets–to includes the location of the company’s incorporation. An effect of this rule has been that a lot of filings end up in Wilmington, Del., or in Manhattan. We recently took a deeper look and noted that 35% of filings are in Delaware and another 18.5% happen in the Southern District of New York. Venue has long been a hot topic, but it’s one that the recent American Bankruptcy Institute Commission report declined to make a recommendation on reforming. With Caesars’ choice of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago raising some eyebrows and a fight by creditors to bring that case to Wilmington, venue is back in the spotlight. (Caesars is staying in Chicago.)

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

10 hours 53 min ago
The Obama administration's proposed bank tax would apply to all liabilities of large financial institutions Â-- including their deposits. It's bad policy to tax the funding that banks use to make loans to consumers and businesses.

Read More from: BankThink

10 hours 59 min ago
Trustee’s Meeting With Debtor Once your bankruptcy case is filed, the clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court will send a notice of your upcoming 341 meeting of creditors. The notice will be sent to all creditors, the debtor and the debtor’s attorney. This meeting of creditors is an opportunity for the panel trustee to+ Read More The post In Anticipation Of Your Meeting Before The Bankruptcy Trustee appeared first on David M. Siegel.
11 hours 38 min ago
In this Sept. 7, 2012, file photo, Joe Francis attends the House of Hype Music Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Arnold Turner/Associated Press
Lawyers who sold the Girls Gone Wild porn empire out of bankruptcy are accusing founder Joe Francis of illegally spending the company’s cash on the palatial estate he built near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In a recent lawsuit, lawyers who are trying to pay Girls Gone Wild’s older debts are trying to get back more than $2.2 million that was spent on the upkeep of the Casa Aramara estate, where the Kardashians have been photographed bobbing in the ocean waves off Mexico’s Pacific coast. With a little bit of Internet searching, you can find pictures of famous people like ‘NSync member Lance Bass, rapper Jermaine Dupri and DJ Tiesto at the property. “Saved by the Bell” star Mario Lopez got married there. And yes, that’s a picture of Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis with a sea lion reportedly taken at the site.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

11 hours 38 min ago
Authored by Adam B. Brandon of Rogers TowersFlorida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal recently filed an opinion that emphasizes the importance of properly authenticating evidence in support of a motion for summary judgment.  In Colon v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. et al., 2015 WL 477629 (Fla. 5th DCA Feb. 6, 2015), the court considered the argument of a borrower who appealed summary judgment of foreclosure on the grounds that the bank failed to authenticate certain evidence in support of its motion for summary judgment. In this case, the borrower defaulted on his mortgage payments.  In response, the bank elected to accelerate the amount due under the loan and to foreclose its mortgage on the property.  However, the loan documents required that the bank provide the borrower with notice of default (together with an opportunity to cure the default) prior to acceleration.  While the bank claimed that it sent a demand letter that provided sufficient notice, the borrower denied that he ever received the letter and raised the alleged lack of notice as an affirmative defense. Unfortunately for the bank, its counsel failed to file an authenticated copy of the demand letter with the court.  Since no authenticated evidence rebutted the borrower’s affirmative defense, the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment of foreclosure.  As a result, the case now returns to the trial court for renewed litigation after spending over 18 months on appeal.

Read More from: Florida Banking Law Blog

12 hours 37 min ago
A RadioShack sign is viewed at a location in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington, D.C. This location is not scheduled to shut down in the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Melanie Cohen
Hedge fund Standard General LP will lead the bidding at a bankruptcy auction of 1,700 or more RadioShack stores, as the electronics retailer tries to save some of its struggling business. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review article 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.”)

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

12 hours 47 min ago
The Massachusetts senator recently argued that community banks have little need for regulatory relief. But a closer look at recent FDIC data shows that the health of small banks has taken a turn for the worse in the aftermath of Dodd-Frank.

Read More from: BankThink

12 hours 59 min ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Morgan Stanley Strikes Deal with DOJ: Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay $2.6 billion to settle charges that it misled investors about the quality of mortgage-backed securities during the run-up to the financial crisis. The deal will make a significant dent in the bank's 2014 earnings, lowering net income by $2.7 billion, or more than a third. The amount of the penalty was higher than analysts expected, according to the Wall Street...

Read More from: BankThink

14 hours 11 min ago
Who’s the best Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer? No single lawyer is. The best Bankruptcy Lawyer is like a good pair of shoes. You need the right fit. You want to feel comfortable with your lawyer. You want confidence in your lawyer. You want a lawyer who has experience with your type of case. Specializing is a good idea. The best Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer is usually a specialist. Would you go to an injury lawyer for bankruptcy help? Bankruptcy is a legal specialty. The State Bar of California certifies bankruptcy specialists. It’s hard to become a Certified Bankruptcy Specialist. California’s requirement are found HERE . These involve experience.  Also, specialized education. The lawyer must pass a Bankruptcy Bar Exam. The lawyer must first have 5 years of bankruptcy law practice.  It’s a VERY difficult exam. The passage rate is always about 50%. There are about 225,000 lawyers in California. Every lawyer is allowed to handle bankruptcy cases. But there are only 117 Certified Bankruptcy Specialists. Looking for The Best Bankruptcy Lawyer? Limit your search to Certified Specialists. That eliminates 224,883 other lawyers.   Who Is the Best Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Read More from: Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog

18 hours 29 min ago
I'm thrilled that Jay Westbrook has finally come into blogosphere with his posts on Single-Point-of-Entry.  I've blogged a little on SPOE already, but I want to highlight what I still think are two critical problems with SPOE.  In keeping with Jay's spirit, let's call them "Backdoor Bailouts" and "Funding Fantasies".  Is SPOE a Bailout Under Another Name? There is a fundamental tension in financial institution resolution between minimizing disruptive spillovers from firm failure and avoiding the moral hazard and taxpayer expense of government picking up the tab. To wit, if the US government were to simply guarantee all obligations of financial institutions, we wouldn't really care about bank failure. All bank debts would be equivalent to claims against the government. But the idea that the US government would explicit guarantee the entire financial system seems preposterous (except that we basically did that a few years ago).  It seems preposterous because we know it would engender enormous moral hazard and put taxpayers on the hook:  privatized gains and socialized losses.  

Read More from: Credit Slips

23 hours 36 min ago
Senator Elizabeth Warren surprised a lot of people by laying into Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen as hard as she ever laid into Timothy Geithner. I think this was a really important exchange. But its easy to miss exactly what's being communicated in it. Senator Warren's comments can basically be translated as follows:   "Janet, I like you, but let me level with you. You need to replace your General Counsel, pronto. He's not on the same page about regulatory reform, and it's a problem. There's really no place for obstruction by Fed staffers, even the General Counsel. It's time for him to go." There was a further subtext, though, that I think should be highlighted, and that's "What you do about your GC is a shibboleth about whether you're serious on regulatory reform." One of the huge issues left largely untouched by the Dodd-Frank Act was the problem of deregulation by regulators (as opposed to Congress).  This regulatory deregulation took a lot of forms, from failure to enforce existing laws to active campaigns to preempt states from enforcing laws.  Dodd-Frank addressed the most egregious problem by killing off the Office of Thrift Supervision, but it left the OCC untouched (other than pushing back on preemption standards) and the Fed intact.  

Read More from: Credit Slips

23 hours 54 min ago
The risks to distressed debt investors who purchase the debt of a borrower without being eligible to do so under applicable credit documents are not illusory.  Recent cases like Meridian Sunrise Village, which we wrote about here, illustrate why it is important for investors to review underlying credit documents before pulling the trigger on an investment.   The Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA) makes that job somewhat easier.  One of the LSTA’s core functions is standardizing loan documentation.  When parties to a loan have documented their transaction using the LSTA’s Model Credit Agreement Provisions (MCAPs), the outcome can be more predictable than for transactions documented on bespoke forms.  Moreover, such transactions are easier for potential lenders to review if they are familiar with MCAP provisions. The LSTA Recently Released Revised Model Credit Agreement Provisions (MCAPs)
1 day 6 hours ago
Rep. Jeff Greer has introduced House Bill 470 in the Kentucky House of Representatives. The bill provides for non judicial foreclosure. Kentucky homeowners need your help. The bill provides for deeds of trust. The beneficiary (bank) may sell the property without filing a lawsuit. The trustee can be a licensed attorney or a financial institution. The trustee can be replaced by the unilateral decision of the beneficiary (bank). The bill provides for the trustee writing three letters to the homeowner and three attempts to contact the homeowner by phone. No appraisal of the property is required. There is no right of redemption. The sale can be a public sale or private sale. If the sale is a public sale no advertisement of the sale or notice the general is required. If the homeowner feels he is aggrieved, it is up to him to file a lawsuit to stop the foreclosure. The homeowner can not purchase the property at the sale for less than the full amount he owes including trustee fees and the cost of the sale. This bill is very harmful to the consumer. Please contact your State Representative and State Senator. You can call the Legislative Message Center at 1-800-372-7181 to express your opinion to your legislator. (license)
1 day 6 hours ago

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