ABI Blog Exchange

Bloomberg News
As restructuring professionals counted down the hours until Caesars Entertainment Corp. put its largest unit into Chapter 11 protection in Chicago, they weren’t puzzling over the reasons for the bankruptcy filing. The casino operator had indicated for weeks it would take a Chapter 11 restructuring to resolve the unit’s $18.4 billion debt load. The big question on their minds: Why Chicago? Why did the Las Vegas-based gambling company buck the corporate trend and file its bankruptcy in the Windy City, rather than New York or Delaware, the courts that catch the big cases? Caesars says the Midwest “is an important hub of Debtors operations, including seven of the Debtors’ 27 owned or operated casinos, more than any other region.” The buzz in bankruptcy circles, however, is that Caesars picked Chicago because of Airadigm Communications, a phone company that took a run through Chapter 11 and wound up before a federal appeals court in Chicago in 2008.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 5 days ago
Bloomberg News
As restructuring professionals counted down the hours until Caesars Entertainment Corp. put its largest unit into Chapter 11 protection in Chicago, they weren’t puzzling over the reasons for the bankruptcy filing. The casino operator had indicated for weeks it would take a Chapter 11 restructuring to resolve the unit’s $18.4 billion debt load. The big question on their minds: Why Chicago? Why did the Las Vegas-based gambling company buck the corporate trend and file its bankruptcy in the Windy City, rather than New York or Delaware, the courts that catch the big cases? Caesars says the Midwest “is an important hub of Debtors operations, including seven of the Debtors’ 27 owned or operated casinos, more than any other region.” The buzz in bankruptcy circles, however, is that Caesars picked Chicago because of Airadigm Communications, a phone company that took a run through Chapter 11 and wound up before a federal appeals court in Chicago in 2008.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 5 days ago
Obtaining a discharge of student loans is a rare occurrence these days, and when the loans in question are exclusively Federal loans, the chances of discharging the debt are slim.  The Nebraska bankruptcy court reinforced that reality in an opinion issued on January 8th.  See In Re Harris, Adversary Case #14-4001. A disturbing trend in student loan litigation continues in this case of a debtor filing a Pro Se complaint—that is, to file a complaint without any attorney representation.  Most of the case law in student loan cases—and perhaps in consumer law in general—is frequently obtained by individuals who cannot afford to pay an attorney and so they opt to represent themselves.  There would probably be a lot more meaningful case law in this area if attorneys would manage the litigation, but as of yet there is no effective device to pay for the expensive litigation cost involved in such cases, a very unfortunate reality. The facts:
  • Age: The debtor is 50 years old.
  •  Dependents: The debtor supports a 19 year old daughter with no disabilities.
1 week 6 days ago
Vanguard has indicated that they are in the process of adding language to their proxy voting guidelines to communicate their views on proxy access. They intend to conduct outreach to individual companies based on their specific proposals.  
1 week 6 days ago
John Rogers:
A good post by a fellow bankruptcy law blogger on tax refunds and filing bankruptcy !
Originally posted on Bankruptcyblog.org: It’s tax time again and one of the most common questions practitioners get this time of year is how filing a chapter 7 will affect your tax refund. There is no simple answer however talk to you bankruptcy attorney about the applicable property exemptions that may cover not only your general refund but also parts of your refund attributable to child tax credit and/or earned income credit. For those of you who are looking to file bankruptcy after you get your refund, it is very important to talk to a bankruptcy attorney before you get your refund to discuss the dos and don’ts of spending the money. View original
1 week 6 days ago
The SEC announced its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations’ (OCIE) priorities for 2015, which focus on three areas: protecting retail investors, especially those saving for or in retirement; assessing market-wide risks; and using data analytics to identify signs of potential illegal activity. OCIE’s focus is on issues involving investment advisers, broker-dealers and transfer agents.
1 week 6 days ago
There are a number of considerations to take into account when selecting an investment advisor, including whether that person has had any financial difficulties in the past. But are investment and financial advisors under a legal obligation to disclose past financial troubles? Read more here.
1 week 6 days ago
Today’s blog article, which looks at the treatment of specific oil and gas property interests in the bankruptcy context, is the second in the Weil Bankruptcy Blog series, “Drilling Down,” where we review issues at the intersection of the oil and gas industry and bankruptcy law. In Part One, we provided an overview of the oil and gas industry and a discussion of some of the unique challenges currently facing this sector. In Part Three, we will look at the ability to assume, assign, or reject oil and gas “leases” under section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code. In Part Four, we will dive into how certain financing arrangements specific to the realm of oil and gas may be considered a “disguised financing” vs. a “true sale of interests.”  Part Two: The Treatment of Oil and Gas Interests in BankruptcyIn attempting to convert dreams of black gold to hard cash, aspiring capitalists split the property interest in oil into more fragments than the atom or the rainbow.” — Jones v. Salem Nat’l Bank (In re Fallop), 6 F.3d 422, 424 (7th Cir. 1993)
1 week 6 days ago
In this Sept. 7, 2012, file photo, Joe Francis attends the House of Hype Music Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Arnold Turner/Associated Press
Lawyers wrapping up old legal disputes for Girls Gone Wild have sued tax collectors, arguing that they should return more than $330,000 of the porn seller’s money used to pay the personal tax bill for founder Joe Francis. In court papers, bankruptcy lawyers who sold the Girls Gone Wild brand out of bankruptcy last year said that the company got zero benefit from Mr. Francis’s paying taxes. Since the company didn’t benefit, that money should be returned under a controversial legal argument that’s often used in bankruptcy. Specifically, the two lawsuits ask the Internal Revenue Service to return $108,204 and California’s tax board to return $227,155, according to the complaints filed earlier this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles. An IRS spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for California’s tax board said that the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 6 days ago
In this Sept. 7, 2012, file photo, Joe Francis attends the House of Hype Music Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Arnold Turner/Associated Press
Lawyers wrapping up old legal disputes for Girls Gone Wild have sued tax collectors, arguing that they should return more than $330,000 of the porn seller’s money used to pay the personal tax bill for founder Joe Francis. In court papers, bankruptcy lawyers who sold the Girls Gone Wild brand out of bankruptcy last year said that the company got zero benefit from Mr. Francis’s paying taxes. Since the company didn’t benefit, that money should be returned under a controversial legal argument that’s often used in bankruptcy. Specifically, the two lawsuits ask the Internal Revenue Service to return $108,204 and California’s tax board to return $227,155, according to the complaints filed earlier this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles. An IRS spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for California’s tax board said that the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 6 days ago
In this Sept. 7, 2012, file photo, Joe Francis attends the House of Hype Music Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Arnold Turner/Associated Press
Lawyers wrapping up old legal disputes for Girls Gone Wild have sued tax collectors, arguing that they should return more than $330,000 of the porn seller’s money used to pay the personal tax bill for founder Joe Francis. In court papers, bankruptcy lawyers who sold the Girls Gone Wild brand out of bankruptcy last year said that the company got zero benefit from Mr. Francis’s paying taxes. Since the company didn’t benefit, that money should be returned under a controversial legal argument that’s often used in bankruptcy. Specifically, the two lawsuits ask the Internal Revenue Service to return $108,204 and California’s tax board to return $227,155, according to the complaints filed earlier this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles. An IRS spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for California’s tax board said that the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 6 days ago
EMV cards are moving payments security in the right direction. But if hackers tamper with the hardware or associated software on merchants' EMV-enabled equipment, they can silently spirit off customer data.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 6 days ago
The problem even the best bankruptcy lawyer can’t fix is the one you hide. Sometimes  it’s a problem you don’t want to face yourself, or a debt your spouse doesn’t know about. Maybe it’s a claim you hope to bring after the bankruptcy. You’re tempted just to say nothing to your bankruptcy lawyer.  Who will know? Think again. When the truth is threatening You’ve probably heard lots of the myths about bankruptcy floating around. Then there are the stories from people who knew someone whose friend’s cousin  filed bankruptcy some time back.
He didn’t tell everything and it worked out.
Maybe or maybe not. People visiting a bankruptcy lawyer for the first time often are tempted to conceal debts, property, or transactions from their lawyer in the belief that if the lawyer had the facts, they would be barred from bankruptcy relief. That is seldom so. Your lawyer can’t protect you from problems created by secrets you keep. With all the facts, your lawyer can provide meaningful advice that maximizes the relief available in bankruptcy. Hide your secret from your bankruptcy lawyer and you may have a problem far bigger than the one you’re trying to hide. Full disclosure is the price of relief
1 week 6 days ago
Caesars Palace stands in Las Vegas on March 20, 2014.
Bloomberg News
Investors attempting to push the largest operating unit of Caesars Entertainment Corp. into bankruptcy have challenged the company to a Friday court fight over where the $18.4 billion restructuring should take place. 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 our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) DBR reports in WSJ on Florida real-estate developer Glenn Straub’s purchase of and revival plans for Atlantic City, N.J.’s Revel casino.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 6 days ago
Caesars Palace stands in Las Vegas on March 20, 2014.
Bloomberg News
Investors attempting to push the largest operating unit of Caesars Entertainment Corp. into bankruptcy have challenged the company to a Friday court fight over where the $18.4 billion restructuring should take place. 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 our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) DBR reports in WSJ on Florida real-estate developer Glenn Straub’s purchase of and revival plans for Atlantic City, N.J.’s Revel casino.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 week 6 days ago
In an earlier post, I claimed that Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s recent debt restructuring was the rationale response to its recent financial difficulties. I closed that post by suggesting that bankruptcy was not a viable option for Thomas Jefferson’s creditors because of U.S. Department of Education (“E.D.”) regulations. Those regulations provide that a voluntarily bankruptcy filing terminates an institution’s eligibility to participate in Title IV loan programs (e.g., Stafford, Perkins and Plus loans). As a result, law schools and their creditors ordinarily share “overwhelming incentives . . . in avoiding bankruptcy”. See Marblegate Asset Mgmt. v. Education Mgmt. Corp., 2014 WL 7399041,*11. (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 30, 2014).A brief discussion of those regulations and their implications follows after the jump.

Read More from: Credit Slips

1 week 6 days ago
Small banks arenÂ't disappearing Â-- theyÂ're just getting bigger. Meanwhile, their large competitors are exiting business lines and selling off units. These changes suggest that regulators would be better off issuing rules based on lendersÂ' level of complexity, relieving institutions that operate by a core banking model of unnecessary burdens.

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 6 days ago
Introduction On January 6, 2015, Charles A. Stanziale, Jr., the Chapter 7 Trustee (the “Trustee”) for the bankruptcy estate of Golden Guernsey Dairy, LLC (the “Debtor”), began filing complaints to recover what he contends are avoidable preferences.  The Trustee filed the preference actions in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court and argued that the transfers, or payments, received by various defendants are avoidable and subject to recovery under 11 U.S.C. § 547 and 548 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. This post will briefly cover the Debtor’s bankruptcy proceedings. Background
1 week 6 days ago
Breaking News This Morning ... Earnings: JPMorgan, Wells Fargo Receiving Wide Coverage ... See You in Court: Is MetLife brave or foolish for going to battle over its designation as a systemically important financial institution? Opinions are split on the matter. In the pro camp, an unsigned op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calls MetLife's decision to sue the U.S. government "the best news taxpayers have had since the financial crisis." The article argues the Financial Stability Oversight...

Read More from: BankThink

1 week 6 days ago
If you’ve got private student loans, you’re more likely to fall behind on them than on your credit card debt. Given the way private student loans are structured, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Balances on private student loans tend to be in tens of thousands of dollars, and the notes often carry interest rates approaching those of a standard Visa or MasterCard. But with private student loans given out to people with little or no income and years of low earnings before they hit their financial stride, those debts are far more likely to fall into default. Because private student loans are made between private lenders and borrowers, none of the repayment options available to federal student loan borrowers are applicable.  Any refinance or consolidation is handled based on your credit and possible cosigners, rather than through the U.S. Department of Education. That doesn’t means you don’t have options when it comes to handling your private student loans – only that you’ve got to take a more “do it yourself” approach. Taking these steps may help ease the burden. Look Into Cosigner Release. Though not all private student loan companies offer it, find out if yours will allow you to get your guarantor off the loan. Companies that do permit a cosigner release will usually do so only if you’ve made timely payments on your loans for a period of time and meet other criteria.
1 week 6 days ago

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