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Interesting article in Bloomberg Business regarding Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) “a record 26,704 complaints were registered in July, up 15 percent from the previous month and up 20 percent from a year ago. The CFPB regulates a wide range of consumer financial products, with the notable exceptions of investments and insurance. Debt collectors inspire the most complaints, followed by problems with credit reports and with mortgages. Rather than once again calling customer service and waiting on hold, people can complain to the CFPB online or over the phone. Within days, those complaints are reviewed and routed to companies electronically. Companies must respond within 60 days.Read more.. NOTE FROM DIANE: Bullies can only be stopped by standing up to them.  Banks, credit collection companies and the like have lost all sense of responsibility or accountability when it comes to collecting debts.  In the four years that CFPB has existed it has done more to quash creditors and collection companies abuse of consumers and downright fraud than any governmental organization.
2 hours 28 min ago
Persons in Chapter 13 generally keep all of their property, whether or not it is exempt, but they make regular payments on their debts out of the money that they earn after filing the bankruptcy case. These payments must be at least as much as would have been paid to creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. (this is called a liquidation analysis)  The payments are made to a trustee, who distributes the payments to the creditors. The payments are made in regular installments, according to a plan that the debtor draws up, with the help of an attorney. If a person does not have enough excess income to make a payment, they may want to consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The plans last either until the debts are paid in full or until the end of a three to five year period. The debtor receives a discharge at the end of the plan. Before filing Chapter 13, debtors are required to complete a credit counseling session with an approved counseling agency.
5 hours 43 min ago
In resolving a motion for leave to file an amended complaint to add new claims, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Hosking v. TPG Capital Management, L.P. (In re Hellas Telecommunications (Luxembourg) II SCA) delved into a complex analysis of English and Luxembourgish (yes, that’s a word) insolvency law, and concluded that while two of the English fraud-based claims could proceed, the Luxembourgish claim allowing creditors to attack fraudulent transactions could not. 
7 hours 5 min ago
Actor Nicholas Hoult visits the Infiniti Red Bull Racing garage during qualifying for the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix in Montreal in June.
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
The Hollywood company backing “Collide,” a thriller directed by Eran Creevy and starring Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones and Anthony Hopkins, is urging a bankruptcy judge to let it part ways with Relativity Media LLC, which filed for bankruptcy in July. In court papers filed Wednesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, IM Global Film Fund LLC says Relativity hasn’t held up its end of a distribution deal, which includes spending at least $25 million to promote the film and ensuring its release on more than 2,000 theater screens. A spokesman for Relativity declined to comment Thursday. IM Global entered into an exclusive licensing deal with Relativity last year, court papers show.  The film, formerly known as “Autobahn,” was due to be released Oct. 30.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

8 hours 37 min ago
  In a chapter 11 case, which would appear to also apply in chapters 12 and 13, the 11th Circuit ruled that a creditor was entitled to the default interest rate under a cure and reinstate mortgage.   In re Sagamore Partners, Ltd., No. 14-11106, 2015 WL 5091909 (11th Cir. Aug. 31, 2015).  The case involved a loan on a hotel wherein the original interest rate was 6.54%, but increased to 11.54% in the event of a default, defined as missing any regularly scheduled payment.  No notice of default was required under the contract.   The borrower did not make the September 2009 payment, and the lender sent a letter declaring the debt in default on 28 September 2009, as well as accelerating the debt in September 2009.   A foreclosure was commenced in December 2009, and a chapter 11 bankruptcy filed in October 2011, with a chapter 11 plan proposing to cure and “nullify[ ] all consequences of any alleged default” by paying the accrued pre-default-rate interest.  Id. at *2.   The Bankruptcy Court initially found that default interest rates were proper if they were valid under the agreement and applicable non-bankruptcy law, and if they should not be excused.  However, it ultimately ruled against the lender finding that the notice of default was defective precluding allowance of the default rate, or that it was waived by the lender's request for late fees.

Read More from: Tampa Bankruptcy

12 hours 19 min ago
Sarah Frankel has launched the525group, a recruitment firm for professional services firms in the bankruptcy and restructuring industry. Ms. Frankel, a board adviser at the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, has also been on the board of the Turnaround Management Association. She has experience as a business development adviser. Alexander Rohan joined the restructuring advisory group of Guggenheim Securities, the investment banking and capital markets group of Guggenheim Partners, as a managing director. Mr. Rohan, who earned his law degree from the New York University School of Law, has experience as an auditor and as a bankruptcy attorney. He most recently worked as a managing director of Jefferies’s recapitalization and restructuring group.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

12 hours 21 min ago
Series: What do you do when your client is involuntarily pushed into bankruptcy? When should you push someone else’s client into an involuntary bankruptcy? What happens once an involuntary case is filed? This webinar will cover everything you ever wanted to know about involuntary bankruptcy petitions but were afraid to ask. Read more here.
13 hours 3 min ago
In this July 29, 2015 photo, the U.S. flag flies in front of Puerto Rico
Ricardo Arduengo/Associated Press
Puerto Rico’s power authority and a group of bondholders agreed on a debt restructuring plan to deal with the utility’s $9 billion in debt—an important step in the island commonwealth’s efforts to improve its finances, 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.”) Vendors are demanding cash upfront from concert promoter SFX Entertainment Inc. in the wake of the company’s abandoned effort to go private, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

13 hours 20 min ago
Just about everyone who files for bankruptcy worries that they’ll never get a mortgage. It’s not true – in fact, it’s never been true. That’s not to say you can go from the bankruptcy court right to the mortgage broker, either. You’ve got to take steps to rebuild your credit standing, save for a down payment, and stabilize your income in order to qualify for a mortgage. Until recently, Fannie Mae had a waiting period of 4 years between the time a Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy case finished and when you could qualify for a mortgage. Chapter 13 cases had a waiting period of 2 years after discharge, or 4 years if the case was thrown out of court. The Federal Housing Authority loosened their standards a few years back, and now the government controlled mortgage giant will do the same. According to The Mortgage Reports:
18 hours 46 min ago
Lake Geneva, WI – September 3, 2015 – Wynn at Law, LLC, a Southeastern Wisconsin law firm, announces the expansion of its Wisconsin legal team with a new appointment. According to Shannon Wynn, Principle of Wynn at Law, LLC, “The law firm is growing, and our clients are asking for additional services. Thus, Wynn at Law, LLC needed to grow in order to meet our clients’ demands. On the heels of opening several new office locations, we have started to build our team. With the expanded team, we will continue to build our expertise and expand our service areas. Our highly skilled legal team allows us to deliver desired results with the attention to service that our clients need and deserve.”

Read More from: Wynn at Law, LLC

21 hours 50 min ago
Since the time of our last post on August 24, 2015, Alan D. Halperin, the Trustee of the FBI Wind Down, Inc. Liquidating Trust has filed 94 additional preference complaints seeking to avoid and recover alleged preferential transfers pursuant to Sections 547 and 550 of the Bankruptcy Code. Defenses to a Preference Action Preference actions are a form of litigation specifically provided for by the Bankruptcy Code which are intended to recover payments made by the Debtor within the 90 days prior to declaring bankruptcy.  Recognizing that these payments aren’t always made for inappropriate reasons, the Bankruptcy Code provides creditors with many defenses to preference actions. Included among these are the “ordinary course of business defense” and the “new value defense.” For reader’s looking for more information concerning claims and defenses in preference litigation, attached is a booklet that we have prepared on the subject: “A Preference Reference: Common Issues that Arise in Delaware Preference Litigation.”
1 day 1 hour ago
On September 2, 2015, Hulu announced that it would offer an ad-free level of its popular streaming service. This prompted a lot of my Facebook friends to start talking about cutting their cable service. According to the company’s press release:
Viewers now have the choice to watch Hulu commercial free for $11.99 per month or with limited commercials for $7.99 per month. Current Hulu subscribers will maintain their existing subscription, but will have the choice to switch to the commercial-free option at any time for an additional $4 per month. For viewers who choose to watch content with limited commercials, Hulu will continue to show fewer commercials than scheduled television.
With so many options out there for getting your favorite shows on demand, is there any reason to keep paying for cable or satellite TV? For years I’ve watched my clients struggle with cable bills that come to well over $200 each month, draining their wallets for the privilege to do the same things we used to get for free – watch television.
1 day 5 hours ago
By Beau HaysHays, Potter & Martin, LLPPeachtree Corners, GA Judge Margaret Murphy of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia recently handed down a victory for Trustees (and creditors) in a case involving a carve-out negotiated with secured lenders to allow for a short sale and create a fund for unsecured creditors. In re Diener,  No. 11-83085-MHM (Bankr. N.D.Ga.

Read More from: CLLA Bankruptcy Blog

1 day 7 hours ago
Three native surfers ride their boards with ease at Waikiki Beach, with Diamond Head in the background, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1920s. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Underwood Archives/Getty Images
Hilo Hattie, a popular chain for Hawaii’s tourists in search of souvenirs, laid out a plan to get out of bankruptcy and repay some of its debts after selling its most valuable location for $5.1 million earlier this year. In court papers, Hilo Hattie lawyers proposed to use the sale money to repay a portion of the company’s debts, including a $360,000 chunk of sale money that would flow to unsecured creditors who are owed more than $3 million. The plan projects that the 52-worker chain, which has downsized from seven to three locations, will start seeing sales grow starting next year. By 2020, the chain expects to take in about $7.5 million from the sale of its travel trinkets, Hawaiian floral-printed shirts and other inventory, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Honolulu. The survival plan still needs approval from Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris and from creditors, who have the power to vote against it.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 7 hours ago
Electronics-equipment recycler ZLOOP, which is now in bankruptcy, once tried to find a way to dispose of Keurig machines.
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
All those little plastic Keurig K-Cup coffee pods buried in landfills are getting a lot of attention from environmentalists, but what about the disposal of the machines themselves? That was the problem that now-bankrupt electronic equipment recycler ZLOOP Inc. once tried to fix. With a giant crushing and sorting machinery installed at its North Carolina headquarters, the company made a $7 million deal to recycle Keurig coffee machines. Starting in 2013, the company turned the discarded machines into more than two million pounds worth of parts, ZLOOP co-founder Robert LaBarge told Bankruptcy Beat. But the deal to break down Keurig machines ended last year when an investor sued the company and its top officials for overpromising on revenue expectations and expansion plans—a violation of securities laws, according to the lawsuit.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 8 hours ago
The former chief operating officer and chief credit officer of a California-based bank that went bust must spend more than eight years in prison, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. Ebrahim Shabudin, 66 years old, had been convicted of seven federal fraud charges following the 2009 collapse of United Commercial Bank. Prosecutors accused Mr. Shabudin of orchestrating an elaborate scheme to hide the bank’s troubled finances, including securing more than $300 million in federal bailout funds that were lost when the bank failed in 2009. Its assets were sold to another bank, and its parent filed for bankruptcy liquidation. Specifically, Mr. Shabudin was accused of falsifying bank records to hide millions of dollars in losses and shore up the bank’s reputation during the height of the financial crisis. After a six-week trial, a jury in March found him guilty of securities fraud and six other charges. Christy Romero, watchdog for the federal bailout program, called the case “the most significant prosecution” of crimes tied to the bailout.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 9 hours ago
Some bankruptcy cases can have long tails with issues developing years after the entities confirm their chapter 11 plans.  That seems to be particularly true when cases deal with mass torts.  As the recent case of Piper Aircraft Corporation demonstrates, an issue can arise in a chapter 11 case over twenty years after the debtor’s plan was confirmed.  In Piper’s case, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida was required to decide whether claims filed by victims of two plane crashes were the types of claims that were channeled to the trust established under Piper’s chapter 11 plan or whether they were independent claims that could be asserted against the purchaser of Piper Aircraft’s assets.  Background
1 day 9 hours ago
When the Supreme Court issued its decision in Baker & Botts L.L.P. v. ASARCO LLC in June, it caused something of a flutter in the bankruptcy community. The decision held that a professional could not recover for the fees it incurred in defending against objections to its fee application. The decision focused on the so-called “American Rule” as “the basic point of reference.” Under the American Rule, a party is responsible for its own legal expenses unless a statute or contract provides otherwise.  The Court went on to conclude that section 330 of the Bankruptcy Code did not provide a basis for a departure from the American Rule. The Court noted that compensation authorized by that section is limited to “actual, necessary services rendered,” which suggests the services must be for the benefit of the client rather than the professional.

Read More from: eSQUIRE Global Crossings

1 day 10 hours ago
   The Eigth Circuit decision in Venture Bank v. Lapides, No. 14-3085, 2015 WL 5011704 (8th Cir. Aug. 25, 2015)  involved a motion for discharge violation asserted against a third mortgage.  Shortly after the discharge, the parties entered into a reaffirmation agreement, but the debtor's attorney refused to sign the agreement and it was never filed.  Subsequent the debtor and his spouse executed two 'Change in Term Agreements' on the mortgage, each extending the term by six months.  These agreements were made with the understanding that it would enable the borrowers to rebuild credit with the bank, so the bank would refinance all three mortgages.  Twelve payments of $3,500 were made under the agreements.  The bank repeatedly emailed the borrowers as to the payments due and requesting additional principal payments.  When there was a subsequent default on that mortgage in May 2011, the bank filed suit against both the debtor and spouse.  The Debtor had the case removed to bankruptcy court, wherein the Court found the agreements were not enforceable as failing to comply with the reaffirmation requirements, and awarded damages for violation of the discharge injunction.  The District Court affirmed.        The Circuit Court affirmed, but held that in order for an agreement to be enforceable post-petition, it must not only meet the reaffirmation requirements of §524(c), but must also be enforceable under state law.  Id. at *3.

Read More from: Tampa Bankruptcy

1 day 12 hours ago
Mediation has become an invaluable tool in large chapter 11 cases. Traditionally viewed as a means for resolving discrete disputes between a debtor’s estate and an adversary party, in recent years mediation in certain complex cases has evolved into a multi-party undertaking involving claimants from all levels of a debtor’s capital structure, with the ambitious goal of resolving the entire case through a consensual plan of reorganization.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Law Insights

1 day 12 hours ago