ABI Blog Exchange

Regina StangoKelbon Jillian R. Zvolensky In a recent paper presented in connection with the Spring 2015 meeting of the American Bar Association Business Law Section, we discuss the friendly foreclosure option under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. An Article 9 sale can maximize the secured lender’s recovery without the cost and delay of a judicial foreclosure sale or a sale under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Article 9 sale can also avoid certain hurdles presented by a direct sale between the debtor and a buyer. In A Look at the Friendly Foreclosure Option we explain the mechanics of an Article 9 sale and highlight its advantages and disadvantages.   Click here to read the full article.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Law Watch

1 day 15 hours ago
A recap of the informed opinions (and the discussions they generated) on BankThink this week, including a case for the CFPB's debt collection regulations and the dangers of "real-time" transaction monitoring.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 15 hours ago
On Wednesday, the SEC proposed a rule that would require U.S. public companies to disclose, in any proxy or information statement, the relationship between executive compensation and financial performance.  
1 day 17 hours ago
Texas electricity giant Energy Future Holdings Corp. goes to court Monday to set a schedule for consideration of its chapter 11 exit plan and related proceedings, including for its 80% stake in its prized asset, Oncor. A cash-producing transmissions business that is not involved in the bankruptcy, Oncor is the focus of attention as Energy Future tries to work through its $42 billion debt load. How to make the most of the Oncor equity is the question for Energy Future. The company wants to put the Oncor stake on the bankruptcy auction block while at the same time bargaining with creditors about an in-bankruptcy conversion to a real estate investment trust and takeover. The transaction could be the biggest distressed mergers-and-acquisition on record if Oncor brings in the auction price that some have forecast. In the alternative, some creditors say the way to wring the most value out of the Oncor stake is to hand it off in a nexus of settlements that could clear a path to a relatively smooth exit from bankruptcy for Energy Future. The company’s chapter 11 emergence plan has not picked up a lot of support, but Energy Future said it is devoted to “active, continuing and collaborative” efforts to work with creditors on an alternate plan.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 19 hours ago
Texas electricity giant Energy Future Holdings Corp. goes to court Monday to set a schedule for consideration of its chapter 11 exit plan and related proceedings, including for its 80% stake in its prized asset, Oncor. A cash-producing transmissions business that is not involved in the bankruptcy, Oncor is the focus of attention as Energy Future tries to work through its $42 billion debt load. How to make the most of the Oncor equity is the question for Energy Future. The company wants to put the Oncor stake on the bankruptcy auction block while at the same time bargaining with creditors about an in-bankruptcy conversion to a real estate investment trust and takeover. The transaction could be the biggest distressed mergers-and-acquisition on record if Oncor brings in the auction price that some have forecast. In the alternative, some creditors say the way to wring the most value out of the Oncor stake is to hand it off in a nexus of settlements that could clear a path to a relatively smooth exit from bankruptcy for Energy Future. The company’s chapter 11 emergence plan has not picked up a lot of support, but Energy Future said it is devoted to “active, continuing and collaborative” efforts to work with creditors on an alternate plan.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 19 hours ago
A bankruptcy judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., its insurance carriers and lawyers representing 58 alleged sexual-abuse victims to begin mediation no later than July 15. Judge David Thuma, who oversees the diocese’s bankruptcy proceedings, signed off on mediation at the request of both alleged victims and the diocese, which stretches across broad swaths of northern Arizona and New Mexico. Mediation is likely the best opportunity to resolve the diocese’s bankruptcy case through a settlement that provides compensation to alleged victims and protects the church from future litigation, according to lawyers involved in the case. Other diocesan bankruptcies prompted by sexual-abuse claims have stretched out over years, racking up huge legal bills. In advance of mediation, lawyers representing the diocese, insurers and alleged victims have spent nearly a year and a half seeking out victims, assessing the value of the diocese’s assets and collecting evidence on the allegations of abuse and alleged cover-up by diocesan officials, much of which is said to have taken place decades ago. Susan Boswell, a lawyer for the Diocese of Gallup, said she hopes to arrive at a court-approved settlement with alleged victims and others well in advance of the second anniversary of the case in November. “We need to get this case done,” she said at a hearing last week.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 20 hours ago
A bankruptcy judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., its insurance carriers and lawyers representing 58 alleged sexual-abuse victims to begin mediation no later than July 15. Judge David Thuma, who oversees the diocese’s bankruptcy proceedings, signed off on mediation at the request of both alleged victims and the diocese, which stretches across broad swaths of northern Arizona and New Mexico. Mediation is likely the best opportunity to resolve the diocese’s bankruptcy case through a settlement that provides compensation to alleged victims and protects the church from future litigation, according to lawyers involved in the case. Other diocesan bankruptcies prompted by sexual-abuse claims have stretched out over years, racking up huge legal bills. In advance of mediation, lawyers representing the diocese, insurers and alleged victims have spent nearly a year and a half seeking out victims, assessing the value of the diocese’s assets and collecting evidence on the allegations of abuse and alleged cover-up by diocesan officials, much of which is said to have taken place decades ago. Susan Boswell, a lawyer for the Diocese of Gallup, said she hopes to arrive at a court-approved settlement with alleged victims and others well in advance of the second anniversary of the case in November. “We need to get this case done,” she said at a hearing last week.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 20 hours ago
On April 30, 2015, ERG Resources, LLC and certain  of its affiliates (collectively, the “Debtors”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.  According to the Debtors’ motion seeking joint administration of their cases, the Debtors own and operate oil and gas leases in the Cat Canyon Field in Santa Barbara, California (approximately 19,027 gross acres) and in Liberty County, Texas (approximately 683 gross acres). The Debtors’ bankruptcy cases have been assigned to Bankruptcy Judge Harlin D. Hale and the Debtors are seeking to have their cases jointly administered under the lead case of In re ERG Intermediate Holdings, LLC [Case No. 15-31858]. Further information on the Debtors’ bankruptcy cases can be accessed here. For further information, please contact a Thompson & Knight Bankruptcy and Restructuring Attorney.  For more information on the Thompson & Knight’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice, please visit www.tklaw.com/bankruptcy-and-restructuring/.
1 day 20 hours ago
Too many bank customers feel disgruntled after interactions with their financial institutions' digital tools, calling centers and branches. Banks can solve the problem by taking a page from brands that have successfully marketed themselves as being on the customer's side.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 21 hours ago
New Court Approved Agreement Beginning April 20, 2015, chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys working on a flat fee arrangement are required to use the updated court approved retention agreement. This agreement spells out exactly what the attorney’s duties are, what the debtor’s duties are, as well as numerous explanations regarding what can happen in a chapter+ Read More The post Chicago Bankruptcy Judges Amend Local Forms Again appeared first on David M. Siegel.
1 day 22 hours ago
Oil and gas developer Endeavour International Corp. couldn’t reassemble the pieces of a restructuring pact shattered by diving oil prices, so it is looking for a buyer of its U.S. operations. 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.”) According to The Wall Street Journal, General Motors Co. is planning to invest $5.4 billion in U.S. plants. The Miami arm of Portuguese lender Banco Espírito Santo SA is being sold to Venezeula’s Benacerraf family, WSJ reports.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 22 hours ago
Oil and gas developer Endeavour International Corp. couldn’t reassemble the pieces of a restructuring pact shattered by diving oil prices, so it is looking for a buyer of its U.S. operations. 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.”) According to The Wall Street Journal, General Motors Co. is planning to invest $5.4 billion in U.S. plants. The Miami arm of Portuguese lender Banco Espírito Santo SA is being sold to Venezeula’s Benacerraf family, WSJ reports.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 22 hours ago
Wall Street Journal Now, not everyone can join. In response to complaints credit unions have expanded beyond their original mission to serve specific population groups, the top regulator of federal credit unions approved new rules limiting CU membership qualifications. Credit unions will no longer be allowed to set up charities and other associations, under their so-called Field of Membership rules, for the sole purpose of attracting new members. The National Credit Union Administration approved the rules...

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 22 hours ago
    While Florida has a reputation for having debtor-friendly exemptions, for debtor's without substantial equity in the home, Florida is often less generous than most states.  Until 2008 Debtor's only received $1,000 in personal property exemption, plus $1,000 in a vehicle in addition to specific exemptions for homestead, annuities, life insurance and a few other items.  In 2008 the Florida Legislature passed a bill allowing an additional $4,000 exemption per debtor for personal property, if 'the Debtor does not claim or receive the benefits of a homestead exemption under s. 4, Art X of the State Constitution.  §222.25(4) Fla. Stat.  The Court's have interpreted this in chapter 13 such that if the debtor retained the homestead, even if there was no equity in it, they received benefit of the homestead exemption, and therefore were not entitled to claim the exemption under §222.25(4).On 29 April 2015, the 11th Circuit reversed the ruling on this issue, finding that the debtor's were retaining the homestead based on the automatic stay, not based on the homestead exemption; at least where there is no equity in the home.  Under Florida law, the relevant period for determining whether a debtor receives the benefits of the homestead exemption is “the period when the debtor asserts the personal property exemption.” Id. at 588.

Read More from: Tampa Bankruptcy

1 day 23 hours ago
This is the next post in Plan Proponent’s series on the confirmation-related recommendations in the ABI Commission Report (and, in particular, its Exiting the Case piece). In this post, we’ll cover the Commission’s recommendations regarding “Exculpatory Clauses” in Section E.2 of the Report. Chapter 11 plans typically contain exculpatory clauses and/or third-party releases. Essentially, an exculpatory clause exculpates (indemnifies) a plan proponent’s directors, officers, management, professionals, and the like from certain conduct that occurs during the case. They can also extend to others, including a creditors’ committee and its professionals. Whereas a third-party release (which we’ll discuss in our next post) results in a relinquishment of claims or causes of action of the debtor or third-parties against non-debtors, an exculpatory clause is “more akin to limited immunity.”

Read More from: Plan Proponent

2 days 2 hours ago
Posted by Kathy Bazoian Phelps    Below is a summary of the activity reported for April 2015. The reported stories reflect: 10 guilty pleas or convictions in pending cases; over 105 years of newly imposed sentences for people involved in Ponzi schemes; at least 11 new Ponzi schemes involving nearly $100 million; and an average age of approximately 49 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.    Achieve Community aka TAC was the subject of a cease-and-desist order issued by the Colorado Division of Securities which accused the company and others of running a Ponzi and pyramid scheme. The order apples to Achieve, Achieve International LLC, Work with Troy of Barnes Inc., Troy Barnes, and Kristine “Kristi” Johnson. The company’s website had promised 800% returns based on funds of others who were brought into the scheme. The company did not sell a product.    Joyce Elaine Allen, 67, was sentenced to 30 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $20 million in restitution in connection with the Benchmark Capital Investments Ponzi scheme. Allen used her company, J. Allen & Associates, in which she was an accountant.

Read More from: The Ponzi Blog

2 days 9 hours ago
Supporting Apple Pay cuts into banks' profits. But it's worth it to stay relevant in today's fast-moving mobile payments business.

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 19 hours ago
Once you have received an accepted offer on a Delavan home, what do you do next? Hopefully, you have hired an experienced Delavan real estate professional and Delavan real estate attorney to assist you through the stressful contract-to-closing period. A skillful real estate professional will help you through the minor details and hiccups that may occur during the process. Your Delavan real estate attorney will make sure all legal documents, correspondence, and closing criteria are lawfully met. Below is a breakdown of what to expect during the contract-to-closing period.   1. Choose a Delavan real estate attorney. As the home buyer, it is your choice to select a Delavan real estate attorney, sometimes referred to as a “closing attorney”. Your Delavan real estate attorney will review all contracts, prepare settlement statements, order a title search, order title insurance, and ensure lender funds are available for closing. 2. Order a survey. Your financial institution may require a survey of the real estate property. As the buyer, you are normally required to pay for the survey. There are two ways to save money on a survey. One, there may already be a recent survey on record. Two, if there is an older survey, you may only need to ask for an updated survey from the surveyor.

Read More from: Wynn at Law, LLC

2 days 20 hours ago
The compliance costs associated with the CFPB's proposed reforms to the payday lending would force many small businesses to close shop, reducing access to short-term credit for many Americans.

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 21 hours ago
Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s Caesars Palace casino stands in Las Vegas.
Bloomberg News
The independent examiner in Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. moved closer to a deal with creditors Wednesday on how the parties will conduct their investigations into pre-bankruptcy transactions the casino giant’s largest unit made with its parent company. Read 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.”) Kitchen product maker EveryWare Global Inc. won final court approval Tuesday to tap a $40 million bankruptcy loan as it works to implement a restructuring plan that will cut $250 in debt from its balance sheet, DBR reports in The Wall Street Journal.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 days 22 hours ago

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