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Receiving Wide Coverage ... Application Denied: Monday's verdict from the high court? Thanks, but no thanks. The Supreme Court declined to review an appeals court decision over whether debt collectors must follow state usury laws, making way for a class-action suit to proceed back in district court. For now, the industry remains in limbo. ...

Read More from: BankThink

3 weeks 5 days ago
You may recall my blog post from a few weeks ago about how Kentucky attorney Eric Conn, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) David Daugherty and Dr. Alfred Adkins among others allegedly conspired together to defraud the U.S. Government out of millions of dollars by way of rigging Social Security Administration (SSA) Disability claims. Time for an Update! One of the “others” I alluded to was former Chief ALJ Charlie Andrus, a 28-year veteran of the SSA, who this month pleaded guilty to his involvement in the elaborate scheme, according to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) release.  What is interesting is that he was charged with “conspiracy to retaliate against an informant” — in other words witness tampering of all things.  Having discovered a possible whistle blower in their midst, Conn (allegedly) and Andrus set about trying to get the person fired.

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

3 weeks 5 days ago
Wearable camera maker iON Worldwide Inc., a competitor of GoPro, filed for bankruptcy. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review article via 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.”) EZ Worldwide Express, a bankrupt shipping firm that had a delivery contract with Forever 21 Inc., abandoned the contract after business slowed too much to make it profitable, DBR reports in WSJ. A bankruptcy judge said ex-billionaire Sam Wyly and his deceased brother’s estate owe more than $1 billion for hiding assets form the Internal Revenue Service, Bloomberg reports.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 weeks 5 days ago
Prepared for the Performance By Donald L. Swanson Advance communications among the mediator, the parties and their attorneys can be helpful in creating an organization, structure and efficiency for multiparty mediation sessions. The following are items one through five in a ten-item checklist of the types of subjects that should be addressed in the advance communications: Item One.  Settlement Impediments. To help parties divert attention from their most-cherished arguments and toward settlement possibilities, each party should provide the mediator with written answers to the following questions: (1) Why haven’t the parties settled already?, (2) What settlement possibilities might reasonably be anticipated?, (3) What impasses and impediments to settlement currently exist?, (4) What are the costs and risks of failing to settle now?, and (5) What settlement terms might be negotiated in a mediation that could not otherwise be obtained? Item Two.  Parties. Absent parties have torpedoed many a mediated settlement: (1) Are all necessary parties included in the mediation? (2) Are insurance or other indemnification rights implicated? (3) Would a party’s absence from the mediation tend to undermine or create problems for any settlement that might be achieved? Item Three.  Information and Discovery.

Read More from: Mediatbankry

3 weeks 5 days ago
Is being customer-centric a goal at your bank? YouÂ'll need to master these five practices to align employee behavior with your desire to improve the customer experience.

Read More from: BankThink

3 weeks 5 days ago
Want customers and noncustomers to hold your bank in high regard? Then get executives to offer thought leadership on social issues, rather than just having them be a mouthpiece for quarterly earnings. That's what the Reputation Institute recommends, as leadership replaces performance as a key driver of bank reputations.

Read More from: BankThink

3 weeks 5 days ago
MORTGAGE SERVICERS ARE VIOLATING CFPB RULES DUE TO ONGOING TECHNOLOGY FAILURES AND PROCESS BREAKDOWNS Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a special report focused on mortgage servicers. The report found that some mortgage servicers continue to use failed technology that has already harmed consumers. Mortgage servicers bully innocent homeowners. According to the CFPB Mortgage servicers are responsible for collecting payments from the mortgage borrower and forwarding those payments to the owner of the loan. They handle customer service, collections, loan modifications, and foreclosures. Even before the financial crisis, the mortgage servicing industry at times experienced problems with bad practices and sloppy recordkeeping. As millions of borrowers fell behind on their loans because of the crisis, many servicers were unable to provide the level of service necessary to meet homeowners’ needs.
3 weeks 5 days ago
On June 15, 2016, National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation, an indirect subsidiary of MBIA Inc. (“NPFG”) commenced an action in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico against the Governor of Puerto Rico and certain other officials in an action styled under the caption National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation v. Alejandro Gracia Padilla et. al, No. 16-CV-2101 (FAB), seeking a declaratory judgment that Puerto Rico’s Emergency Moratorium and Financial Rehabilitation Act (the “Moratorium Act”) adopted by Puerto Rico is preempted by the Bankruptcy Code and violates the United States Constitution.
3 weeks 5 days ago
In recent memory, the city of Chicago had a slogan that was plastered all over town.  You would see it in campaign ads, hear it on the radio, see it written in the newspaper and talked about in City Hall. Chicago was declared the “city that worked.” It was the model case, the shining example+ Read More The post Chicago, The City That Works: Not So Much During Saturdays Hours appeared first on David M. Siegel.
3 weeks 5 days ago
In the first decision, on June 9, 2016, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico that Puerto Rico and the United States are not separate sovereigns for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause contained in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in the appeal styled under the caption Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, No. 15-108. Opinion. Sanchez Valle was the first of two appeals heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this term involving Puerto Rico. On June 13, 2016, the US Supreme Court also confirmed the decisions by the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and by the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico that Puerto Rico’s Debt Enforcement & Recovery Act (DERA) was unconstitutional in the appeals styled under the caption Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust, 15-233, and Acosta-Febo v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust, 15-255 (the “Franklin Fund Appeals”). Opinion. We previously covered the First Circuit’s decision here.
3 weeks 5 days ago
Earlier this month, Judge Sontchi dismissed an intercreditor adversary complaint filed in 2014 by the Energy Future Holdings (“EFH”) first-lien trustee against the second-lien noteholders.  At issue in this decision, Delaware Trust Co. v. Computershare Trust Co. (In re Energy Future Holdings Corp.) was whether the first-lien trustee could, pursuant to the terms of the intercreditor collateral trust agreement (“Collateral Trust Agreement”), recover from the second-lien noteholders (who had received a partial paydown of their notes by the debtors) approximately $488 million, the amount of a premium payable under the first-lien indenture upon an early, voluntary repayment of the first-lien notes (the “Applicable Premium”).  The court found that because the debtors had no obligation to pay the Applicable Premium, the Collateral Trust Agreement did not provide for turnover of the Applicable Premium amount from the second-lien noteholders.  Background
3 weeks 5 days ago
A recent decision from the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware further puts into doubt so-called bankruptcy blocking tactics. And the opinion from In re Intervention Energy Holdings, LLC, No. 16-11247, 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 2241 (Bankr. D. Del. June 3, 2016), is especially notable because it relies on federal public policy, rather than state law, in concluding that a provision in a limited liability company governance document was void because it “eviscerated[d] the right of that entity to seek federal bankruptcy relief.” While the Intervention Energy court’s reasoning was limited to its particular facts, and although the court explicitly declined to determine the scope of limited liability company members’ freedom to contract under applicable state law provisions, the opinion raises an additional uncertainty regarding the use of contractual blocking tactics.

Read More from: eSQUIRE Global Crossings

3 weeks 5 days ago
A more nuanced view than the two opposing camps supporting or denigrating Dodd-Frank seeks to make banks profitable while ensuring consumers are protected and benefit from economic growth.

Read More from: BankThink

3 weeks 5 days ago
Jeffrey D. Pawlitz has joined law firm King & Spalding as a partner in the financial restructuring group. Mr. Pawlitz, who most recently worked with Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, will be based in New York. He has advised managers and directors in chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings. He has also advised private-equity firms and hedge funds. Mr. Pawlitz has worked on well-known chapter 11 cases including Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., Dolan Co. and Friendly’s Ice Cream Corp. Jessica Peterson McKinlay has joined law firm Dorsey & Whitney and will be of counsel in the financial restructuring group. She has represented debtors, creditors, trustees and others in bankruptcy court and related litigation. Most recently, she was a shareholder in the bankruptcy and creditors’ rights group at law firm Durham Jones & Pinegar.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 weeks 5 days ago
On May 20, 2016, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve released their annual survey regarding the financial health of the U.S. Economy.  The report is titled the “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2015”.  This is a study the Federal Reserve conducts every year as a way of assessing the current financial health and well-being of U. S. Households.  Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post about the 2014 findings.  As with last year, a couple of items in the 164 page report caught my attention.  The findings in this year’s report are eerily similar to Unexpected $400 Expense Causes Financial Hardship for Most

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

3 weeks 5 days ago
Class action lawsuits are supposed to promote judicial efficiency, yet they mostly benefit plaintiff's lawyers while providing little for the people who are actually in the class.

Read More from: BankThink

3 weeks 6 days ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Profiteering: For as much heat as the big banks get, some financial firms continue to operate with very little oversight at all. That's one takeaway from a New York Times series unveiled this weekend, Bottom Line Nation, which looks at the role private equity companies are playing in all facets of American life – from the emergency services industry to the mortgage business. ...

Read More from: BankThink

3 weeks 6 days ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="//si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-OQ864_0626ha_P_20160626150922.jpg" J="//si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-OQ864_0626ha_J_20160626150922.jpg" M="//si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-OQ864_0626ha_M_20160626150922.jpg" caption="In a March 30, 2004, file photo, John Q. Hammons poses for a photo in his new 8,000 seat baseball stadium in Springfield, Mo. Hammons, a prominent hotel developer and southwest Missouri philanthropist, died May 26, 2013. A hotel company he founded filed for bankruptcy." credit="Associated Press" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] A Missouri-based hotel company founded by hotelier John Q. Hammons filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with assets and debts each more than $1 billion, according to court papers. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review article via 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

3 weeks 6 days ago
BANKRUPTCY COURT ORDERS BERNADETTE GUZMAN BARBA TO CEASE PREPARING BANKRUPTCY DOCUMENTS UNTIL REINSTATED  LEGAL DOX BY BERNADETTE, PHOENIX, AZ  – 2:16-mp-00002-DPC BANKRUPTCY COURT: IT IS ORDERED FINDING THERE HAS BEEN A VIOLATION UNDER 11 U. S. C. § 110(I)(1) IN CONNECTION WITH THE SERVICES BERNADETTE GUZMAN BARBA PROVIDED AND WAS TO PROVIDE TO MR. XXX  AND AWARDING SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,000.00 TO BE PAID IN MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $500.00 OVER THE NEXT FOUR MONTHS. PAYMENTS ARE TO BE DELIVERED TO XXXX.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED DIRECTING MS. BARBA TO MAKE A COMPLETE DISGORGEMENT OF ALL FEES PAID BY THE OTHER DEBTORS AS EVIDENCED BY THE NOTICE OF RECIPIENTS DATED MARCH 29, 2016, AT DOCKET #5. THE PAYMENTS ARE TO BE MADE IN NO FEWER THAN THREE DEBTORS IN AGGREGATE AMOUNTS OF NO LESS THAN $550.00 PER MONTH WHICH PAYMENTS ARE TO COMMENCE AFTER MR. XXX HAS BEEN FULLY SATISFIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED ENJOINING BERNADETTE GUZMAN BARBA FROM ENGAGING IN ANY FURTHER BANKRUPTCY DOCUMENT PREPARATION WORK UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE BOARD OF LEGAL DOCUMENT PREPARERS APPROVES HER RECERTIFICATION APPLICATION. UPON THAT RECERTIFICATION, SHE IS DIRECTED TO FILE AN APPROPRIATE MOTION WITH THIS COURT REQUESTING THAT SHE BE ALLOWED TO AGAIN PREPARE BANKRUPTCY DOCUMENTS IN THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA.
4 weeks 12 hours ago
Prior to May 19, 2016, enforcing security against a financially-troubled O&G borrower in Alberta was a difficult proposition because the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) had promulgated regulations to the effect that it would not license acquirers of producing wells unless potential environmental liabilities for the costs of abandonment, remediation and reclamation for non-producing wells were covered, either by the acquirer assuming the liabilities or posting the necessary R&R bonding. And because security enforcement typically occurs precisely when the borrower is in financial difficulty, the regulations scared away some buyers altogether, led to the continuing buyers to lower their purchases prices (because they had to assume the liabilities) and sometimes even required the foreclosing creditors themselves to provide the necessary bonding. That all changed on May 19. Or did it?

Read More from: Basis Points

4 weeks 1 day ago

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