ABI Blog Exchange

The Wisconsin winter season can be tough on the pocketbook. We celebrate costly holidays in November and December, receive and owe on our Wisconsin real estate tax bills in January, and our utility bills skyrocket every month. The last few Wisconsin winters have been especially harsh due to the extreme cold temperatures. Many of you have likely seen your Wisconsin heating bills nearly double. Next thing you know, it is March. With utility bills due in full April 15th, March can be a stressful month for Wisconsin residents. Where will you get the money to pay your overdue Wisconsin utility bills? It is not uncommon to receive Wisconsin utility bills in excess of $300 each month. It is hard to know what to do when you can still only afford to pay $150 a month, or less. For the last five months, November – March, you may have piled up nearly $750 or more in overdue Wisconsin utility costs. Although it is illegal for your Wisconsin utility company to shut off your utilities during the winter season from November 1st – April 15th, you risk disconnection if you cannot pay your current bill, plus your overdue amount, in full by April 15th. What can you do?

Read More from: Wynn at Law, LLC

1 week 10 hours ago
In early March, Dr. David Santos faced an unwelcome setback at the Seattle office of plastic-surgery chain Lifestyle Lift: an eviction notice. The letter meant his office, where he worked full time and which was paid for by Lifestyle Lift, had to quickly shut its doors. Days earlier, Lifestyle Lift’s founder, Dr. David Kent, had notified the company’s nearly 400 employees that they were out of a job and that the company would cease operations. Lifestyle Lift pioneered the mass marketing of face-lifts through its nationwide chain of around 50 surgery centers. But as The Wall Street Journal examined this week, the 14-year-old company faltered under the weight of rapid growth and an expensive advertising campaign. To ensure the ongoing care of his patients, Dr. Santos is now working out of the office of a local surgeon, where he can follow through on already-scheduled Lifestyle Lift surgeries. “They’ll be out in the cold if I don’t,” Dr. Santos, a former medical director at the chain, said recently. “I’m trying to take care of them. I’m trying to get back on my feet.”

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 12 hours ago
In early March, Dr. David Santos faced an unwelcome setback at the Seattle office of plastic-surgery chain Lifestyle Lift: an eviction notice. The letter meant his office, where he worked full time and which was paid for by Lifestyle Lift, had to quickly shut its doors. Days earlier, Lifestyle Lift’s founder, Dr. David Kent, had notified the company’s nearly 400 employees that they were out of a job and that the company would cease operations. Lifestyle Lift pioneered the mass marketing of face-lifts through its nationwide chain of around 50 surgery centers. But as The Wall Street Journal examined this week, the 14-year-old company faltered under the weight of rapid growth and an expensive advertising campaign. To ensure the ongoing care of his patients, Dr. Santos is now working out of the office of a local surgeon, where he can follow through on already-scheduled Lifestyle Lift surgeries. “They’ll be out in the cold if I don’t,” Dr. Santos, a former medical director at the chain, said recently. “I’m trying to take care of them. I’m trying to get back on my feet.”

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 12 hours ago
Banks charge merchants a quarter each time customers swipe their debit cards Â-- even though the mean cost of processing debit-card purchases has fallen to 4.4 cents. The Federal Reserve should ensure that the falling cost of debit-card processing is matched by lower fees.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 13 hours ago
The Wall Street Journal ran a story today about H. Rodgin Cohen, the Senior Chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell and "one of Wall Street's top lawyers" decrying "the myth of regulatory capture." All I can say is wow. That's some chutzpah.  For Rodgin Cohen to downplay regulatory capture is a like the scene in the Wizard of Oz when the Wizard says, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." It's hard to think of an individual more at the center of the regulatory capture phenomenon than Rodgin Cohen.  Cohen plays a particular and unique role in the regulatory capture problem. Cohen is not just "one of Wall Street's top laywers". He is the top bank lawyer. He's a node through which all sorts of connections happen. Cohen is the eminece grise of financial services law and is an institution unto himself. Think of him as a sort of super-consiglieri or Mr. Wolf. There's no one who quite plays the role of Cohen in the world of financial regulation, and he's rightly greatly respected. 

Read More from: Credit Slips

1 week 14 hours ago
“I can [resolve] that” – Sam the Onion Man, Holes (as modified) The relationship between bankruptcy courts and non-bankruptcy courts has been of particular importance over the past several years, particularly in the wake of Stern v. Marshall.  But well before Anna Nicole Smith, bankruptcy courts were sensitive to the proper disposition of prepetition nonbankruptcy actions against the debtor – and whether they should be litigated in the court in which the action was filed or in the bankruptcy court, as part of the claims process. 
1 week 14 hours ago
If you have kids who talk as much as mine (gee, wonder where they picked up loquacity as a trait), conversations can go nearly anywhere. My boys, ages 9 and 6, are quite interested in money lately, a phenomenon driven in part by the tooth fairy and their discovery of gift cards at a recent birthday party. Here is a recent excerpt: "Mom, is the reason that I can't have the Lego Batman DC set because we are poor? "We are not poor." "Well, if are rich, then why can't I have it?" "I didn't say we were rich. We aren't rich." "Mom . . . . [big sigh of frustration] . . . Are we rich or are we poor?" I recently read the Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Leiber, a NY Times money reporter. He provides straightforward advice on how to handle these questions and more. Even if one takes a slightly different tact with their kids, I completely agree with his main point:  parents should not avoid these conversations because they are uncomfortable or inconvenient or difficult. Kids talk about this stuff and draw conclusions. Creating a conversation is a way to share your values and learn about your children.

Read More from: Credit Slips

1 week 14 hours ago
Countries including Brazil, Nigeria, Malaysia and India have proved that there are viable ways to find alternatives to branches, use mobile devices to increase the reach of financial services and roll out government-supported financial inclusion projects.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 15 hours ago
Bankruptcy has developed a nasty reputation which is largely based on myths and misinformation.  One of the most persistent (and harmful) bankruptcy myths is that you will automatically lose your home if you file for Chapter 7.  On the contrary, not only is this almost never the case, but filing for Chapter 7 can actually help you protect your home against foreclosure.  In this blog post, our Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorneys explain some of the outcomes for what can happen to your house when you file for Chapter 7 in Pennsylvania. How Bankruptcy’s Automatic Stay Protects Against Foreclosure It’s ironic that bankruptcy is associated with foreclosure, because a core component of bankruptcy called the automatic stay actually protects filers against foreclosure.  So what is the automatic stay, and how does it work? The federal judiciary supplies the following definition of the automatic stay:
An injunction [i.e. court order] that automatically stops lawsuits, foreclosures, garnishments, and all collection activity against the debtor the moment a bankruptcy petition is filed.

Read More from: Young, Klein & Associates

1 week 16 hours ago
   
You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em; know when to walk away, know when to run...
So goes the gambler’s advice to the young card player in the hit Kenny Rogers song. Hum along as we think about how we play our cards when we’re in debt: the hardest call is to know when to fold and file for bankruptcy. Do you play a bad hand With few exceptions, everyone wants to repay the debts they consider legitimate. Paying your debts fits our self image and our values. We make heroes of  people who’ve scrimped, worked two jobs, gone without, to pay their debts in full. Congress in 2005 made much of taking “personal responsibility” for your debts.  The pro creditor Congressmen cast bankruptcy as the choice of those unwilling to shoulder the consequences of their actions. Those peddling credit shout that bankruptcy will cripple you in the credit market til the end of time. If you’re in debt, it’s hard to know how sort your choices and to know which to discard and which to hold on to. No one talks about the big picture cost of that strategy. No one talks about those whose bull headed commitment to payment blinded them to other needs and other financial threats.
1 week 16 hours ago
Sale signs are displayed as customers browse inside a RadioShack Corp. store that is closing in New York.
Bloomberg News
Harbinger Group Inc.’s specialty lending arm has gone on the offensive against other lenders in RadioShack’s bankruptcy case, with a lawsuit that seeks to put a lid on credit bidding at a coming bankruptcy auction. 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.”) LightSquared filed a restructuring plan Tuesday that would give Charlie Ergen what he has said he wants in the wireless spectrum company’s Chapter 11 case—all cash for the roughly $1 billion he is owed. Read the DBR article in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 16 hours ago
Sale signs are displayed as customers browse inside a RadioShack Corp. store that is closing in New York.
Bloomberg News
Harbinger Group Inc.’s specialty lending arm has gone on the offensive against other lenders in RadioShack’s bankruptcy case, with a lawsuit that seeks to put a lid on credit bidding at a coming bankruptcy auction. 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.”) LightSquared filed a restructuring plan Tuesday that would give Charlie Ergen what he has said he wants in the wireless spectrum company’s Chapter 11 case—all cash for the roughly $1 billion he is owed. Read the DBR article in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 16 hours ago
Authored by J. Ellsworth Summers, Jr. and Scott St. Amandand J. Ellsworth Summers, Jr. and Scott St. Amand of Rogers TowersA recent Eleventh Circuit case examines equity shareholders’ role (or lack thereof) in a reorganized entity.  Vision-Park Properties owned an equity share of Seaside Engineering & Surveying, Inc.  Seaside filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2011, and shortly thereafter proposed to reorganize and continue operations as Gulf Atlantic, LLC. According to the proposed Chapter 11 plan, outside equity holders (such as Vision-Park Properties) were to receive promissory notes in the full amount of their equity interest accruing at 4.25% in exchange for their interest in the reorganized Gulf Atlantic, LLC.  Vision-Park Properties objected, arguing that they should continue as a stockholder in the reorganized entity. The Eleventh Circuit rejected Vision-Park’s argument.  Where an equity holder is paid the full value of its equity interest, such equity holder may not demand to continue as a stockholder of the reorganized company.

Read More from: Florida Banking Law Blog

1 week 16 hours ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Embrace the Unknown: The Federal Reserve is "patient" no more, but it's not exactly raring for an interest-rate hike. In dropping the word from its statement Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee made room for the possibility that it will increase its benchmark rate as soon as June without committing itself to that timeline. "If the strengthening dollar and falling oil prices start to translate into still-lower expectations for future inflation, the...

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 17 hours ago
Get paid to move. What’s in it for YOU? MONEY to help you relocate!  Negotiated amounts will vary depending on the lenders’ policies. What’s in it for the NEW OWNER (Bank or Mortgage Co)? A WRITTEN AGREEMENT that stipulates the following—-
  1. Vacate by a certain date.
  2. Occupied property is less likely to be vandalized.
  3. You keep the property up= leave the fixtures and appliances in place and in good condition and keep the yard up.
  4. Property will be “Broom Clean” when you vacate.
  5. Turn in all keys and garage door openers.
  6. Inspection by owner’s authorized representative to verify terms of agreement have been kept.
  7. Payment of “Cash” after inspection if agreement terms have been kept.
*Broom Clean=removal of all furniture, trash and debris from house and yard.  CAUTION—There Are SCAMS Make absolutely sure your offer is coming from the owner of the property or their legally authorized representative.  Don’t sign any agreement until you review it several times.  Make sure you understand all wording, if you don’t then don’t sign the agreement until you do. Real Estate investors usually do not offer “Cash for Keys”. It is less expensive for them to evict if they have to.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Law Network

1 week 1 day ago
If you have a legal obligation to file federal income taxes, then doing so is a requirement in order to have a successful chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Recently, a case was dismissed for failure to turn over the most recent four years of federal tax returns. The case was filed with the understanding that the+ Read More The post Failure To File Taxes Leads To Bankruptcy Dismissal appeared first on David M. Siegel.
1 week 1 day ago
Care Credit is a credit card account, or line of credit, offered through GE Capital that doctor and dentist offices are offering to their patients, with or without health insurance, to pay for the uninsured costs up front. Once the patient signs up and is approved for the credit, then Care Credit pays the health care provider their charges and the patient then begins making payments on the account, typically on a monthly basis. If the patient files bankruptcy, then the debt to Care Credit is required to be listed in the bankruptcy as an unsecured debt. In Chapter 7, this typically means that the debt to Care Credit is discharged. Since Care Credit has paid the health care provider, there would typically not be any debt to the health care provider to list in the bankruptcy petition, unless there were any other amounts owed to the provider once they were paid by health insurance and Care One. If the patient files Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then Care Credit would be listed as an unsecured creditor and paid back whatever percentage that unsecured creditors are being paid through the patients Chapter 13 plan. As our health care world changes, we expect to see more creditors such as Care One and more questions from clients on how this debt would be affected by bankruptcy.
1 week 1 day ago
Round One of Blog Madness has come to an end and a few favorites are beginning to emerge:  In Region One, “363 Sales Cost/Auction” walloped “Avoidance Actions” and in Region Three “363 Sales – 60 Day Breathing Spell” ran away with 87.5% of the votes.  Could we be heading for an all-363 final? Like the NCAA Tournament, we have a few Cinderella squads as well.  “503(b)(9)” just squeaked past “The More Things Change” and “Safe Harbors” upset the “Actual/Hypothetical Test.”  Did your favorite win or will it be going home? Blog readers will be able to vote on our Elite Eight match-ups, and decide which recommendations will move on to the Final Four.  Voting begins today and closes on Monday, March 23 at 10:00 a.m. (ET).  Click here to see our Elite Eight contenders and vote for your favorites!  Remember to leave your email address and any comments you have on our contenders – you could be eligible to win one of 50 Weil mini basketballs we are giving away during Blog Madness!
1 week 1 day ago
Branch closures can prompt online blowback as community members worry about employee layoffs and stranded customers. A bank's best move is to get in front of the issue and respond directly to locals' concerns.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 1 day ago
Last year, AIMKts published a piece called, “Can’t Afford to Live in NYC? You Can Still Own a Piece,” focusing on CityShares, a platform for investing in emerging neighborhoods in NYC, open only to accredited investors, for a minimum investment of $100,000. Other platforms offer similar opportunities with smaller minimums. Read more here.
1 week 1 day ago

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