Help Center

ABI Blog Exchange

Crooked lawyers, judges and doctors are often common fodder in works of fiction.  The story of 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 rigged Social Security Administration (SSA) Disability claims is stranger than fiction. Last April, the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Conn, “Mr. Social Security,” with several criminal counts, including conspiracies to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, witness retaliation, destruction of records, making false statements, and money laundering among others.  Daugherty and Bradley were similarly charged. The immediate result was that hundreds of Conn’s clients lost their disability benefits and will now have to start the lengthy process of applying for them all over again.

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

1 week 4 days ago
      A district court in Michigan affirmed the bankruptcy court's finding that once the debtor signed an lease assumption agreement post-petition, they could not revoke it despite the failure to comply with the requirements for reaffirmation.  Williams v. Ford Motor Credit Co., LLC, No. 15-CV-14201, 2016 WL 2731191 (E.D. Mich. May 11, 2016).  The debtors filed under chapter 7 on 8 June 2015, stating an intent to assume the lease with Ford Motor Credit.  Ford sent them an assumption agreement, which was signed by the debtors on 16 July 2015.  The assumption referenced 11 U.S.C. 365(p) as the basis of the assumption, and averred that the protections under 11 U.S.C. 524(a) did not apply to the lease.  Debtors also signed a stipulation for assumption of the lease, which was filed by Ford with the bankruptcy court on 28 July 2015.     Debtors changed their mind and filed a notice of rescission of the lease assumption on 4 August 2015. Ford's counsel sent a letter challenging the right to rescind the agreement.   A discharge was entered 15 September 2015.  The debtors reopened the case and filed to determine that the assumption was invalid for failure to comply with the reaffirmation requirements.  The bankruptcy court rejected this argument, finding that §524 does not apply to leases assumed under §365.  The district court affirmed, citing §365(p).
 Section 365(p) specifically addresses the assumption of a personal property lease by a debtor.

Read More from: Tampa Bankruptcy

1 week 4 days ago
As these economic times get tougher and tougher for debtors, I am confronted on a weekly and sometimes daily basis regarding their plight. In the most recent case, a debtor was having a difficult time making his rent payment and was concerned about being evicted. He then remembered that he had hired an attorney four+ Read More The post Attorney Fee Concept Often Difficult For Clients To Grasp appeared first on David M. Siegel.
1 week 4 days ago
In our latest installment of “Breaking the Code”, we take a look at a common section of the Bankruptcy Code that comes up in nearly every chapter 11 case: section 365(a).  Section 365 contains one of the most powerful rights conferred upon a chapter 11 Debtor: the right to take a step back, evaluate its contracts and leases, and assume profitable agreements while rejecting unprofitable agreements.  An issue that often comes up when a Debtor has a number of contracts or leases with a single counterparty is whether a debtor can cherry pick among those agreements in its assumption/rejection decisions?  Is there a uniform federal standard?  Unfortunately, no – it is a fact specific analysis that varies state to state and depends on the governing law of the contract.  Contracts Assumed As a Whole
1 week 4 days ago
Requiring the bank regulators to disclose the numerical grades they give for capital, assets and other factors would subject them to the same market discipline they demand for banks.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 4 days ago
  (Getty Images)[1] Talk about timing. Yesterday, barely a week after Dave blogged about Justice Thomas’ admission that he might enjoy and appreciate bankruptcy cases more than his colleagues, Justice Thomas was the sole dissenting justice in the Supreme Court’s 7-1 decision in Husky International Electronics, Inc. v. Daniel Lee Ritz. The stated issue before the Court: Does the term “actual fraud” in 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) require a misrepresentation? The Court answered “No.” Justice Thomas disagreed. We’ll cover Husky in 2 posts. Today, I’ll provide the overview that all Supreme Court decisions merit. Next, I’ll attempt to untangle Justice Sotomayor’s dicta (holding?) regarding the term “obtained by” in § 523(a)(2). Thus, over the next couple of days, we’ll aim to sort out whether the Supreme Court’s surgical attempt to resolve a limited split between the Fifth and Seventh Circuits spilled over into and, thus, clouded (rather than illuminated) our understanding of § 523(a)(2)(A). Overview of the Case The Husky facts do not represent a typical voidable transfer[2]. As a result, they’re necessary to, but also might obstruct, a clear understanding of the majority’s opinion.

Read More from: Plan Proponent

1 week 4 days ago
Google should be applauded for deciding to ban payday loan-sponsored ads. But it should tweak some of the details so legitimate lenders can still advertise.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 5 days ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Laplanche's Selective Disclosure: The Justice Department would like to have a few minutes with the founder of LendingClub, and a few of his former colleagues at the online marketplace lender. A DOJ grand jury subpoenaed the company on Monday, LendingClub said in a regulatory filing, without disclosing details of the nature of the subpoena. LendingClub said it's cooperating. LendingClub also said Monday it's looking for additional funding for its loans. ...

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 5 days ago
The US Supreme Court provides further guidance to bankruptcy lawyers, attorneys and practitioners on when “fraud is fraud” for purposes of §523(a)(2)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code. The Court says: “The term “actual fraud” encompasses fraudulent conveyance schemes, even when those schemes do not involve a false representation.” Click on the link below to read the opinion that came out yesterday. The Opinion
1 week 5 days ago
On May 12, 2016, Penn Virginia Corporation and certain of its affiliates (collectively, “Penn Virginia” or the “Debtors”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division.  According to the declaration of Penn Virginia’s Chief Restructuring Officer, R. Seth Bullock (the “Bullock Declaration”), Penn Virginia has entered into a restructuring support agreement with holders of more than 87% of issued debt. The agreement contemplates a plan that would include amongst other things, a debt-for-equity conversion for holders of unsecured noteholders and cancellation of existing equity interests in the Debtors.  See Bullock Declaration at 7. Debtors are oil and gas E&P companies with assets including approximately 100,000 acres in the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas and some oil and natural gas producing properties in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. See Bullock Declaration at 6-9. Debtors’ liabilities total approximately $1.3 billion in funded debt obligations, which include:    (i) $113 million in secured debt pursuant to a 2012 reserve-based credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank N.A., as administrative agent; and (ii) $1.075 billion in principal and $44 million in interest pursuant to senior unsecured notes with Wilmington Savings Fund Society as successor indenture trustee.  See Bullock Declaration at 28-33.
1 week 5 days ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/37530272/smartcrop?height=499&width=749" J="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/37530272/smartcrop?height=639&width=959" M="//art.wsj.net/api/photos/37530272/smartcrop?height=853&width=1280"credit="Reuters" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] Oklahoma-based SandRidge Energy Inc. became the latest oil and gas company to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy amid the industry downturn. 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.”) Phone book publisher Dex Media Inc. filed for chapter 11 protection Monday evening, DBR reports in WSJ. Caesars Entertainment bondholders want the right to sue the casino company and its private-equity backers, DBR reports in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 5 days ago
Image is from Kuriositas.com By Donald L. Swanson I’m in a mediation session for a state court commercial case. The parties have been at it for a couple years. And everyone’s expectation is that this will be a one-and-done session. One of the first things Plaintiff’s president says to me is, “Can you believe we’ve paid over [$xxx] in attorney fees?!” One of the first things Defendant’s president says to me is, “I absolutely hate sitting through depositions!” Additionally, it’s obvious from the beginning that everyone grasps this concept: “Our case will be a close-call at trial, and we might lose.” And I’m thinking, “The parties are weary of the fight and want to get it over.  This case will settle today—100% certainty.” Sure enough, both parties are highly motivated to settle—and they get it done. By contrast, I’m in another mediation session over Chapter 11 plan confirmation disputes between two parties. Denial of confirmation, with opportunity to amend, occurred recently.  And trial on the amended plan is scheduled in about a month. The confirmation battle has been running for several months. But the battle has been limited: –no written discovery, no depositions, no inspection of property, no preliminary motions, no pretrial motions; and –fees incurred to date are relatively small on both sides.

Read More from: Mediatbankry

1 week 5 days ago
I met with some new bankruptcy clients yesterday, and, like nearly all of my bankruptcy clients, they feel bad. Horrible.  Their debt crisis is eating them up.  Obviously, they feel like, filing bankruptcy is a sin.  Or, that having debts they cannot pay is a sin. What Does the Bible Say About Debt? From the [...] The post Is Filing Bankruptcy A Sin? appeared first on Detroit Bankruptcy Lawyer Kurt O'Keefe.

Read More from: Stop Creditor

1 week 5 days ago
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding to either wipe out the debts you owe or pay the debts back at a lower rate. Filing a bankruptcy can sometimes be the best way to handle overwhelming debt but how do you know … Continue reading →
1 week 5 days ago
Last November, the HHR Bankruptcy Report reported on the Supreme Court’s grant of the petition for certiorari in Husky International Electronics, Inc. v. Ritz, a case in which the Fifth Circuit had held that “actual fraud” under section 523(a)(2)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code (which limits the breadth and effect of a debtor’s discharge) required proof of a false representation.  Earlier today, in a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court issued its opinion, reversing the Fifth Circuit’s holding and ruling that actual fraud encompasses “fraudulent conveyance schemes, even when those schemes do not involve a false representation.”

Read More from: Hughes Hubbard & Reed

1 week 5 days ago
On May 11, 2016, Linn Energy, LLC  and certain of its affiliates (collectively, “Linn Energy” or the “Debtors”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Victoria Division.  According to the declaration of Linn Energy’s Chief Operating Officer, Arden L. Walker (the “Walker Declaration”), Linn Energy has entered into a restructuring support agreement with holders of more than 66.67% of issued debt. The agreement contemplates a plan that would include a new $2.2 billion reserve-based and term loan credit facility and a swap of unsecured debt for equity in the reorganized Linn Energy.  See Walker Declaration at 16-19. Debtors’ operations involve the acquisition and development of long-life oil and natural gas assets. Debtors have approximately 27,000 gross productive wells and 4.5 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved reserves of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. See Walker Declaration at 6.
1 week 5 days ago
The Big Easy.  A city overflowing with art, food, fun, and pride.  A place where you can experience the immensity and power of a hurricane (both the rum-based libation and the coastal weather event).  And home to one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States—the French Quarter.  In this installment of the Weil Bankruptcy Blog, we take you to Bourbon Street and review a decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals resolving a dispute between two companies regarding (fittingly) the assumption of a lease for a saloon on Bourbon Street.  In In re Bourbon Saloon, Inc., the Fifth Circuit considered the bankruptcy court’s authority to approve a debtor’s assumption of a lease that is subject to ongoing defaults by entering an agreed order, the language that must be included in such an order, and the timing of the assumption effected thereby.  Background
1 week 5 days ago
The Deal has once again recognized Orrick as a Top Ten Bankruptcy Law Firm in its Q1 2016 Bankruptcy League Tables. After being named to the top ten in each quarter last year, Orrick extended the streak by gaining one spot in the rankings (now #7). During a busy Q1 period, we advised several clients on a diverse blend of bankruptcy matters, with a particular emphasis in the areas of distressed energy, municipal debt and cross-border restructurings. The Deal’s Bankruptcy League Tables are the industry’s only league tables focused solely on active bankruptcy cases. These rankings are compiled on a quarterly basis through comprehensive deal intelligence to identify the top law, crisis management, investment, and non-investment firms and professionals involved in bankruptcy transactions throughout the United States.
1 week 5 days ago
On May 4, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a bankruptcy settlement in the form of a tender offer did not violate the principles of the bankruptcy process. See opinion here. In April 2014, Energy Future Holdings Corp. (“EFH”), a major Dallas-based power generator and distributor, filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Upon filing its bankruptcy petition, EFH initiated a tender offer directed at its secured creditors, in an effort to settle its disputes with the creditors.  The proposal offered, subject to bankruptcy court approval, each secured creditor 105% of their notes’ aggregate principal amount and 101% of the accrued interest, in exchange for the release of any potential claim to the make-whole premium (which compensated noteholders for the loss of future interest resulting from an early refinancing).  Creditors who declined the offer retained their full claim and the right to litigate seeking to obtain full value for their make-whole premium.

Read More from: eSQUIRE Global Crossings

1 week 5 days ago
Favorable treatment under upcoming Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules has led banks to signal interest in small-dollar loans. But if they can serve the market profitably, why aren't they already doing it?

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 5 days ago

Pages