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A recap of the informed opinions (and the discussions they generated) on BankThink this week, including ways to make megabanks pay for their Â"too big to failÂ" subsidy and how banks can help put an end to human trafficking.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 6 days ago
This week on The Broke and the Beautiful, 50 Cent’s bankruptcy has stormed the Internet.
Rapper 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy on Monday.
Sebastien Nogier/European Pressphoto Agency
As Bankruptcy Beat first reported, 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut the same day he was to appear in court over a sex-tape lawsuit filed by Lastonia Leviston, rapper Rick Ross’s ex-girlfriend. 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, took to Instagram to joke about his financial state in bankruptcy and later spoke with Conan O’Brien about the filing (h/t Business Insider). “You get a bull’s-eye painted on your back when you’re successful,” he told the comedian, adding that “you become the ideal person for lawsuits.”

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 6 days ago
This week on The Broke and the Beautiful, 50 Cent’s bankruptcy has stormed the Internet.
Rapper 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy on Monday.
Sebastien Nogier/European Pressphoto Agency
As Bankruptcy Beat first reported, 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut the same day he was to appear in court over a sex-tape lawsuit filed by Lastonia Leviston, rapper Rick Ross’s ex-girlfriend. 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, took to Instagram to joke about his financial state in bankruptcy and later spoke with Conan O’Brien about the filing (h/t Business Insider). “You get a bull’s-eye painted on your back when you’re successful,” he told the comedian, adding that “you become the ideal person for lawsuits.”

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 6 days ago
You finally found it. Your dream home. You are ready to make an offer. What should you do to make your home offer stand out above the rest? You never know how many other offers you are competing against. If you are serious, your methods need to be serious. Below are 12 tips to make your offer to purchase irresistible.   Lake Geneva Real Estate Lawyer Lists Tips to Make Your Home Offer Stand Out 1. Make a Cash Offer. This tip is practically a given. All cash offers are normally accepted over mortgage offers. Why? The purchase is not contigent on approval of a mortgage. Therefore, there is less chance the purchase will fall through. The closing may occur faster as there may not be other requirements that take time, such as appraisals, surveys, and required inspections. 2. Obtain a Pre-Approval Letter. What’s a pre-approval letter? A pre-approval letter is a letter from a mortgage lender stating the buyer is able to obtain a loan. A pre-approval letter lets the seller know that there will be no issues obtaining a mortgage, thus decreasing the chances of the sale falling through due to mortgage issues. The bank has already stated to sellers in the letter that the buyer will be given the loan amount. A pre-approval letter also lets the seller know that a buyer is serious and has already gone through the “red tape” of acquiring a mortgage.

Read More from: Wynn at Law, LLC

1 week 6 days ago
The reforms to the Council Regulation (EC) 1346/2000 on insolvency proceedings and their impact on cross-border insolvency have been well documented.  By contrast, the European Commission’s recommendation on “a new approach to business failure and insolvency” has gone relatively unnoticed. However, that recommendation could have significantly wider ramifications for insolvency and restructuring proceedings in Europe – including English restructuring law which, despite the success of the English scheme of arrangement and pre-pack administration, arguably falls short of the minimum standards proposed. In this article, Andrew Wilkinson, Kirsty Ewer and Kate Stephenson  consider the Commission’s recommendation, market responses to it and whether the UK restructuring regime measures up to the recommendation’s minimum standards. This article was first published in the Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.
1 week 6 days ago
The Federal Reserve System has embarked on a project of exploring the possibility of faster retail payments in the United States.  A similar move has occurred with the UK Payments Council.  At the same time, the Electronic Payments Network is rolling out a faster version of ACH. Here's what puzzles me:  what on earth is the business case for faster retail payments in the United States?  The U.S. payment system works incredibly well. Yes, it has flaws: the interchange system is unfair and security is atrocious. But those aren't really speed issues.  Real-time authentication is a security issue, but that's separate from speed of payment clearance and settlement.   Now, it's true that the US lags behind other countries in terms of mobile payment technology.  We don't have anything like Kenya's m-Pesa mobile payment system. But there's a reason for that:  we don't need m-Pesa in the US because we already have a functioning retail banking system, and our banks are better safety-and-soundness risks than our telecom operators.  (Kenya's government owns a large share of m-Pesa, making it quasi-guarantied, I guess.)   So readers, tell me, what am I missing?  Is there a business case, or is this just about chasing shiny bells and whistles and wanting to have the latest technology just because?  My sense is that we're seeing an "iPhone effect" of wanting the best and newest, even though the current system is just fine. 

Read More from: Credit Slips

1 week 6 days ago
An April file photo of 50 Cent at the Okecie airport in Warsaw, Poland. The 40-year-old rapper filed for bankruptcy this week.
Stach Leszczynski/European Pressphoto Agency
Forget the bottles of champagne, designer threads or jewels around his neck: Rapper 50 Cent says it’s not a lavish lifestyle that prompted this week’s bankruptcy filing. Instead, he’s pointing to the more than $20 million that two legal disputes have cost him. In court documents filed Thursday night, the 40-year-old rapper, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, said his bankruptcy filing isn’t “a result of excessive current expenses” but is due to “substantial costs of litigation.” Specifically, Mr. Jackson lost a dispute over a broken business deal to develop headphones, prompting a judge to award a former partner more than $17.2 million in October, plus interest. (Court papers now peg the value of the award at $18.4 million.) More recently, a jury determined that he should pay $5 million to a woman who said Mr. Jackson violated her privacy by posting a sex tape of her online.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 35 min ago
An April file photo of 50 Cent at the Okecie airport in Warsaw, Poland. The 40-year-old rapper filed for bankruptcy this week.
Stach Leszczynski/European Pressphoto Agency
Forget the bottles of champagne, designer threads or jewels around his neck: Rapper 50 Cent says it’s not a lavish lifestyle that prompted this week’s bankruptcy filing. Instead, he’s pointing to the more than $20 million that two legal disputes have cost him. In court documents filed Thursday night, the 40-year-old rapper, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, said his bankruptcy filing isn’t “a result of excessive current expenses” but is due to “substantial costs of litigation.” Specifically, Mr. Jackson lost a dispute over a broken business deal to develop headphones, prompting a judge to award a former partner more than $17.2 million in October, plus interest. (Court papers now peg the value of the award at $18.4 million.) More recently, a jury determined that he should pay $5 million to a woman who said Mr. Jackson violated her privacy by posting a sex tape of her online.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 35 min ago
On July 15, 2015 (the “Petition Date”), Milagro Exploration, LLC, Milagro Holdings, LLC and certain of their subsidiaries and/or affiliates (collectively, the “Debtors”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. According to the declaration of Scott W. Winn, the Debtors’ Chief Restructuring Officer (such declaration being the “Winn Declaration”), the Debtors primarily engage in the acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and gas properties along the onshore Gulf Coast area, primarily in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  The Debtors also own certain non-operating working interests on the Outer Continental Shelf.  The Debtors’ assets include interests in approximately 183,331 net acres, 1,186 wells (of which 797 are operated by Milagro Exploration, LLC), and net proved natural gas reserves of 81,422 MMcf and net proved oil reserves of 14,609 MMBbl. As of March 31, 2015, the book value of the Debtors’ total assets was approximately $390 million. Winn Declaration at 5-6 and at 8.
2 weeks 55 min ago
The Bankruptcy Section of the Montana State Bar Association will hold its 2015 Bankruptcy Law Update CLE and Banquet August 20 – 21, 2015, at the Holiday Inn in Great Falls.  The banquet will be at the C.M. Russell Museum. You can register at:  http://www.montanabar.org/event/bankruptcylaw2015 
2 weeks 1 hour ago
Financial monitoring is one of the most effective ways to identify human traffickers. That's why it's crucial that banks work closely with law enforcement officials to put a stop to this criminal activity.

Read More from: BankThink

2 weeks 2 hours ago
Baha Mar Ltd., the bankrupt developer of a $3.5 billion unopened resort in the Bahamas, will go before two courts Monday—one in the U.S. and one in the Bahamas. The Supreme Court of the Bahamas will consider whether to recognize the company’s U.S. bankruptcy filing, a decision that could finally give the company access to $80 million in bankruptcy financing from company owner Sarkis Izmirlian. But the prime minister of the Bahamas said Thursday that the government will oppose that request and force it into a Bahamian court proceeding. Meanwhile, the developer will ask a Wilmington, Del., bankruptcy court for permission to implement a bonus plan for 99 employees that range in amount from $5,000 to $554,850 per employee, with the total cost potentially reaching more than $4.8 million. During that hearing, Baha Mar will also ask the bankruptcy court to force China Construction America Inc. to hand over certain documents that Baha Mar has claimed the contractor is withholding, which China Construction denies. In Chicago Wednesday, a bankruptcy judge is expected to rule on whether Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. can halt creditor suits against its non-bankrupt parent, a pivotal decision for the casino giant. The judge has already heard two days of testimony on the matter, which will determine whether bankruptcy will shield parent Caesars Entertainment Corp. from four lawsuits bought by creditors over prebankruptcy transactions between the two entities.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 2 hours ago
Baha Mar Ltd., the bankrupt developer of a $3.5 billion unopened resort in the Bahamas, will go before two courts Monday—one in the U.S. and one in the Bahamas. The Supreme Court of the Bahamas will consider whether to recognize the company’s U.S. bankruptcy filing, a decision that could finally give the company access to $80 million in bankruptcy financing from company owner Sarkis Izmirlian. But the prime minister of the Bahamas said Thursday that the government will oppose that request and force it into a Bahamian court proceeding. Meanwhile, the developer will ask a Wilmington, Del., bankruptcy court for permission to implement a bonus plan for 99 employees that range in amount from $5,000 to $554,850 per employee, with the total cost potentially reaching more than $4.8 million. During that hearing, Baha Mar will also ask the bankruptcy court to force China Construction America Inc. to hand over certain documents that Baha Mar has claimed the contractor is withholding, which China Construction denies. In Chicago Wednesday, a bankruptcy judge is expected to rule on whether Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. can halt creditor suits against its non-bankrupt parent, a pivotal decision for the casino giant. The judge has already heard two days of testimony on the matter, which will determine whether bankruptcy will shield parent Caesars Entertainment Corp. from four lawsuits bought by creditors over prebankruptcy transactions between the two entities.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 2 hours ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Marketplace Lenders in Treasury's Sights: Greater regulation may be coming to the buzz-filled world of marketplace lending. The Treasury Department has begun a study of the industry's risks and advantages, which could lay the groundwork for rules down the line. The New York Times says Treasury's announcement of the study strikes a "largely supportive tone," expressing interest in the industry's potential to expand credit access for underserved demographics. But the Treasury's desire...

Read More from: BankThink

2 weeks 3 hours ago
Overdue debts will not send you to jail. Please repeat:  overdue debts will not get you jailed. Yet it is disturbing how many people fear that not paying their debts is criminal and result in incarceration. Relax:  America abolished debtors’ prisons some 250 years ago. If you don’t pay There are still legal consequences if you don’t pay your debts, but the consequences aren’t criminal. Your creditors can sue you and get a judgment against you. To get a judgment, they have to file suit against you, in the right court, and serve you with notice of the suit. That’s what due process is all about. What to do if you’re sued If you appear in the action, by filing a written answer, a trial on the suit is required, if the parties don’t settle. A creditor with a judgment can then enlist the power of the state to help them collect the judgment. Depending on state law, a judgment creditor may be able to get a lien on your real estate, levy on your non exempt assets or, in some states, to garnish your wages. When you can be arrested Other consequences of unpaid bills
2 weeks 3 hours ago
A judge on Thursday handed a win to Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charlie Ergen and the company’s board of directors in a shareholder lawsuit over Dish’s 2013 bid for bankrupt wireless venture LightSquared. 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.”) Texan-based Milagro Oil & Gas Inc. filed for chapter 11, DBR reports via WSJ. Read about Sabine Oil & Gas Corp.’s bankruptcy-court debut in DBR (via WSJ).

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 4 hours ago
A judge on Thursday handed a win to Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charlie Ergen and the company’s board of directors in a shareholder lawsuit over Dish’s 2013 bid for bankrupt wireless venture LightSquared. 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.”) Texan-based Milagro Oil & Gas Inc. filed for chapter 11, DBR reports via WSJ. Read about Sabine Oil & Gas Corp.’s bankruptcy-court debut in DBR (via WSJ).

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 4 hours ago
Sam Wyly’s wife, Cheryl, wipes his coat as the pair walk into court in Manhattan on May 6, 2014.
Associated Press
In the good ole days before Texas businessman Samuel Wyly filed for bankruptcy during an expensive securities-fraud fight, Mr. Wyly could call it like he saw it on the state of entrepreneurship and other topics in the books he wrote. These days, the ex-billionaire-on-a-budget has to think creatively about how to get his latest publication, “The Immigrant Spirit: How Newcomers Enrich America,” into print. Mr. Wyly had nearly finished his book about the achievements of immigrants when he filed for bankruptcy in October, hit with a $198.1 million judgment for securities fraud involving secret trading through offshore accounts. He still needed about $15,000 to finish the manuscript, publish it and start selling it. Shortly after the filing, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Barbara Houser scrutinized Mr. Wyly’s request to spend tens of thousands of dollars on his writing pastime.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 21 hours ago
Sam Wyly’s wife, Cheryl, wipes his coat as the pair walk into court in Manhattan on May 6, 2014.
Associated Press
In the good ole days before Texas businessman Samuel Wyly filed for bankruptcy during an expensive securities-fraud fight, Mr. Wyly could call it like he saw it on the state of entrepreneurship and other topics in the books he wrote. These days, the ex-billionaire-on-a-budget has to think creatively about how to get his latest publication, “The Immigrant Spirit: How Newcomers Enrich America,” into print. Mr. Wyly had nearly finished his book about the achievements of immigrants when he filed for bankruptcy in October, hit with a $198.1 million judgment for securities fraud involving secret trading through offshore accounts. He still needed about $15,000 to finish the manuscript, publish it and start selling it. Shortly after the filing, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Barbara Houser scrutinized Mr. Wyly’s request to spend tens of thousands of dollars on his writing pastime.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

2 weeks 21 hours ago
Although almost all of an individual debtor’s assets become property of the estate upon a bankruptcy filing, certain exceptions exist to the rule at both the federal and state level.  In some jurisdictions, funds held for a debtor in retirement plans are exempt assets.  An open question, however, is whether payments distributed from such plans prior to the petition date are also exempt assets.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently held in Gordon v. Wadsworth (In re Gordon) that these payouts are not exempt assets under Colorado’s exemption statute, relying on the plain language of the statute and legislative intent to support its decision.   The Debtors’ Assets
2 weeks 21 hours ago

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