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Per Bloomberg BNA:By Melissa Heelan StanzioneApril 25 — The government agency running the PACER system, which provides online access to federal court records, charges more fees than necessary to recoup its costs in providing its services, a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia April 21 alleges.“The judiciary has taken no steps to change the fee structure or the way it has administered the system and so that means, unfortunately, that a lawsuit is necessary,” Deepak Gupta, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, told Bloomberg BNA April 25. Gupta is with Gupta Wessler PLLC in Washington.The increase in PACER fees creates “substantial barriers to accessing public records—for litigants, journalists, researchers, and others,” the complaint says.Further, the complaint says the Administrative Office of the U.S.

Read More from: The COMI

2 weeks 6 days ago
When you’re flat broke and thinking about bankruptcy, cheaper sure looks better. If a lawyer will do your Chapter 7 for $600, what’s the point of paying $1000? Or even $2000? Like answers to many legal questions, it depends. Bankruptcy relief depends on your facts Whether to file bankruptcy, or whether to file now, rather than later, depends on how the facts of your financial situation interact with bankruptcy law. Your bankruptcy lawyer is charged with gathering those facts and analyzing them so that you get the most debt relief the system can offer. If your bankruptcy lawyer doesn’t dig deep enough, or think broadly enough, you may hit avoidable snags in your case. With the caveat that there is no direct and sure-fire connection between cost and quality, let’s talk about what it costs to escape from broke. How to figure what you should pay 1.  The cheapest guy in town isn’t for you.  Chances are, he’s new to the field.  He’s dabbling.  He’s hoping to sell you something else along with a bankruptcy, or he’s outsourced the real work to someone with less training than he has. Further, if you are looking for advice about finances, is the cut rate practitioner the one best suited to provide that perspective? 2.  The more that’s at stake, the better representation you need.
2 weeks 6 days ago
Per www.lohud.com:, mcdonofrio@lohud.com8:41 p.m. EST March 3, 2016The suit also mentions a tweet posted by Patriarch Partners CEO Lynn Tilton about the February bankruptcy.(Photo: TJN)Former employees for a regional ambulance service that suddenly shut down last week filed class-action federal lawsuits seeking two months’ wages and benefits for 1,200 employees who lost their jobs.Warren Eisenstadt, 52, was one of hundreds of employees fired in a mass layoff on Feb. 25 by TransCare Corporation, a for-profit ambulance company that serviced Westchester County, New York City, Long Island and other states. Eisenstadt worked at TransCare as a transport emergency medical technician in Brooklyn since 2002.On Monday, Eisenstadt filed a class-action lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court against Patriarch Partners LLC, a private equity fund. The lawsuit alleges Patriarch, whose portfolio includes TransCare,  owns TransCare.

Read More from: The COMI

2 weeks 6 days ago
Per a press release on Business Wire:April 07, 2016 04:50 PM Eastern Daylight TimeHARTFORD, Conn.--()--Scott Flaherty, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Colt’s Manufacturing Company, LLC, has resigned his positions with the company in order to pursue other opportunities. Richard Harris has been named Interim Chief Financial Officer.About ColtColt is one of the world’s leading designers, developers and manufacturers of firearms. The company has supplied civilian, military and law enforcement customers in the United States and throughout the world for more than 175 years. Our subsidiary, Colt Canada Corporation, is the Canadian government’s Center of Excellence for small arms and is the Canadian military’s sole supplier of the C7 rifle and C8 carbine. Colt operates its manufacturing facilities in West Hartford, Connecticut and Kitchener, Ontario. For more information on Colt and its subsidiaries, please visit www.colt.com.

Read More from: The COMI

2 weeks 6 days ago
Requirements that banks share anti-money-laundering information should extend to fraud and cyber risks, to connect the dots between bad actors and their transfer of money.

Read More from: BankThink

2 weeks 6 days ago
Plan Payment Problems A common problem that happens in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case is the inability to continue to make plan payments. This inability to make the plan payment can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are job loss, illness, injury, divorce, and other catastrophic events. Just recently, a couple+ Read More The post When You Can No Longer Afford Your Chapter 13 Plan Payment appeared first on David M. Siegel.
2 weeks 6 days ago
Last week we blogged about In re Lake Michigan Beach Pottawattamie Resort LLC, a decision from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois that discussed the issues of unauthorized and bad faith filings.  There, we unpacked the court’s holding that the consent of the “blocking director” under the operating agreement was not required for the debtor to commence its chapter 11 case because such provision was void as against public policy.  Here, we examine the court’s ruling that the debtor’s filing was not in bad faith.  Background
2 weeks 6 days ago
Students with excess cash but no bank account have fallen victim to predatory financial vendors, but the government can take steps to bypass the middleman.

Read More from: BankThink

2 weeks 6 days ago
About 10 years ago, Rich Hynes wrote an intriguing paper on consumer debt collection, asking "where are all the garnishments?"  Today, Pro Publica's Paul Kiel is out with an answer: Nebraska and Missouri ... and in the future. Kiel's story challenges the longstanding conventional wisdom that debtors are unlikely to face lawsuits and collection action for small debts. That might have been true before the mid-2000s, when Hynes wrote his paper, and in Virginia and Illinois, which Hynes studied, but it's certainly not true after the financial crisis, Kiel reports, especially in certain high-volume-low-dollar-collection-heavy states.

Read More from: Credit Slips

2 weeks 6 days ago
New York Times The Times has a curtain-raiser on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposal to let consumers bring class-action lawsuits against banks and other financial-services companies, rather than be forced into mandatory arbitration. Read a concise account of the CFPB's proposal by American Banker's Kate Berry here. The proposal, if approved, would be a "major setback for banks, credit unions, credit card companies and many other financial firms," AB reports. In fact, the proposal would...

Read More from: BankThink

2 weeks 6 days ago
When you file for bankruptcy, the court appoints a neutral Bankruptcy Trustee to administer your case and review the information contained in your bankruptcy petition.  A small percentage of bankruptcy cases are selected each year to be further reviewed or audited by an independent public accountant or audit firm.  This is referred to as a Bankruptcy Audit. The Bankruptcy Audit The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), October 17, 2005 to be exact, requires a certain amount of bankruptcy cases filed in each judicial district to be audited by an independent public accountant or audit firm.   The purpose of a bankruptcy audit is to verify the accuracy of the information disclosed by the debtor in his or her bankruptcy petition.  If you are selected for a bankruptcy audit, the audit firm will review your bankruptcy petition and financial information for any “material misstatements” of income, expenses, assets or transfers of property usually within the last 2 years.

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

2 weeks 6 days ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/38115558/smartcrop?height=499&width=749" J="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/38115558/smartcrop?height=639&width=959" M="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/38115558/smartcrop?height=853&width=1280" caption="Norwegian police and rescue workers are cleaning up in the area around the helicopter crash site in Turoy, outside Bergen, Norway. Helicopter operator CHc Group filed for bankruptcy protection days after the April 29 crash." credit="European Pressphoto Agency" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] Helicopter operator CHC Group Ltd. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection days after a fatal crash in Norwat. 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.”)

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 6 days ago
Ali v. Frazier “Slugfest” By: Donald L. Swanson Sometimes “a slugfest” must occur “before people get serious” about settlement possibilities. This is definitely true in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy. So says James I. Stang, attorney for the Official Creditors Committee in that case—and in at least a half-dozen additional cases of a similar nature. Ali v. Frazier “Slugfest” The Archdiocese of Milwaukee “slugfest” occurs on many levels. But one of the most important levels is the fraudulent transfer litigation over a cemetery trust fund. Here is a chronology of such litigation: 1. Origin of the fraudulent transfer claim: –By the end of 2006, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee had paid many millions of dollars in settlements to people abused by priests. –On April 2, 2007, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee establishes the Milwaukee Catholic Cemetery Perpetual Care Trust (the “Cemetery Trust”) for the perpetual care of Catholic cemeteries.

Read More from: Mediatbankry

2 weeks 6 days ago
I blogged last week about student loans CFPB nails student loan scams and the Consumer  Finance Protection Bureau. And, again this week! CFPB Shuts Down Student Loan Scam from jd supra story:
. . . California-based Student Aid Institute and CEO Steven Lamont charged borrowers a fee to participate in the federal student loan programs, the CFPB said, marketing itself to student loan borrowers and misrepresenting that the fees were required to participate in the program, reaping “millions of dollars” in advance fees from consumers.
The various government student loan repayment programs for the sundry government student loan programs are a minefield in which to navigate.  Many people need help with that task. But, it is one thing to charge people for assisting them in the process, and another, to say that they MUST pay you to avail themselves of the government student loan repayment program. Which is what the scammers do. They shout about “secret government programs” and shortcuts and saving you tens of thousands of dollars and how many ecstatic former customers they have. LIES!  Actually, damned lies.

Read More from: Discharge Student Loan

2 weeks 6 days ago
On April 29, 2016, Ultra Petroleum Corp. and certain of its affiliates (collectively, “Ultra Petroleum” or the “Debtors”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.  According to the declaration of Ultra Petroleum’s Chief Financial Officer, Nelson M. Shaw (the “Shaw Declaration”), Debtors own oil and gas properties in Wyoming, Utah and Pennsylvania and operate a vast majority of their Wyoming and Utah properties. See Shaw Declaration at 18. Debtors’ liabilities total approximately $3.759 billion in unsecured debt which includes: (i) $1.3 billion pursuant to a 2013 Ultra Petroleum Indenture and a 2014 Ultra Petroleum Indenture, both with Delaware Trust Company, as successor trustee to U.S. Bank N.A.; (ii) $990 million pursuant to a 2011 Credit Agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA as administrative agent; and (iii) $1.46 billion of unsecured private placement notes issued under a Master Note Purchase Agreement and guaranteed by certain affiliates of the Debtors. See Shaw Declaration at 37-45. The Debtors cases are jointly administered under the lead bankruptcy case In re Ultra Petroleum Corp., et al. Case No. 16-32202. A copy of the Shaw Declaration can be accessed here: Download Shaw Declaration.
3 weeks 49 min ago
Until recently, In re Atari, Inc. was a closed case, but, in a recent decision, the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York found that “other cause” existed to reopen the bankruptcy cases.  Background Atari, Inc. and certain of its affiliates (the “Debtors”) filed for chapter 11 in January, 2013.  Atari Europe SAS and Atari S.A. (the “Atari Entities”), which were affiliates of the Debtors but not debtors themselves in the chapter 11 proceeding, were the obligor and guarantor, respectively, under a Credit Agreement with Alden Global Value Recovery Master Fund, L.P. (“Alden”), secured by intellectual property assets of the Debtors and intercompany claims the Atari Entities held against certain Debtors.  Alden also provided post-petition financing to the Debtors.  Several months into the case, the Debtors and Atari S.A. proposed a plan of reorganization including a global settlement with Alden that provided for amendments to the Credit Agreement and mutual releases of claims.  In addition, the plan of reorganization provided that the bankruptcy court would retain exclusive jurisdiction to determine disputes arising under the plan.  The plan was confirmed and went effective on December 24, 2013.
3 weeks 1 hour ago
The hits that alternative lenders like OnDeck Capital are taking shouldn't be a surprise for an industry built on unsustainable business models.

Read More from: BankThink

3 weeks 3 hours ago
Companies in bankruptcy are typically at the mercy of the lenders that hold the purse strings. Teen clothing retailer Aéropostale Inc. is trying to tip the scales in its favor. The company immediately took aim at lender Sycamore Partners after filing for bankruptcy Wednesday, saying the private-equity firm directed a company it controls to cut off credit to the struggling retailer, hastening its demise. Sycamore, a private-equity firm that focuses on retail and consumer investments, owns MGF Sourcing, which manufactures clothing for Aéropostale and other retailers. MGF earlier this year demanded Aéropostale pay for goods in advance instead of allowing it to pay after delivery.  Aéropostale in 2014 signed a 10-year supply agreement with MGF, formerly known as Mast Global Fashions, under the terms of a $150 million loan deal with Sycamore. In court papers, Aéropostale said Sycamore essentially directed MGF to tighten Aéropostale’s payment terms to force it into bankruptcy. What’s more, the retailer said it believes Sycamore co-founder Stefan Kaluzny in January “reached out to” the chain’s other principal supplier, Li & Fung Ltd., to suggest it also demand more onerous payment terms. “The ultimate purpose may have been to drive the debtors to file this case and force it to liquidate,” Aéropostale said in court papers.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 weeks 4 hours ago
Aeropostale is seeking the “prompt closure” of 154 locations following the teen retailer’s chapter 11 filing Wednesday, about one-fifth of its store base. The company hopes to reorganize in bankruptcy after a string of losses and a dispute with a vendor owned by its main lender, as The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week. A key part of its turnaround plan is to close 154 of its 770 stores, Aeropostale said in court papers Wednesday. The shops to be closed imminently range across the U.S. and Canada, include three each in Alaska and Hawaii, according to court papers. They include 117 unprofitable outlets and generated $17 million in losses for the retailer’s latest fiscal year. The teen retailer’s bankruptcy filing follows similar moves by a host of mall-based retail chains in recent years, including surfwear sellers Pacific Sunwear of California and Quiksilver Inc. and women’s formalwear chain Cache Here’s a list of the 113 U.S. stores the company plans to close first. [wsj-responsive-interactive id="0"]

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

3 weeks 6 hours ago
Leases fall into a separate category of debts when it comes to filing bankruptcy.  The majority of debts are classified as either secured or unsecured.  Secured debts are those for which the creditor has a lien on some property or collateral of yours.  The most common example is the debt on a vehicle.  When you buy a vehicle, unless you pay cash for it, you make payments on the debt you owe.  The seller keeps a lien on the vehicle that enables them to repossess the vehicle if you default on the financing.  Unsecured debts have no collateral.  The creditor’s only legal option to collect the money is to file a lawsuit against you if you default. Secured and Unsecured Debts

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

3 weeks 7 hours ago

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