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Want to place a bet on two Chicago-area horse-racing tracks? Balmoral Park and Maywood Park are going up for sale as part of a deal to end a legal fight with Illinois riverboat casino operators. The casino operators won an $82 million judgment against the tracks’ owners over an alleged bribery scheme involving disgraced ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The tracks filed for bankruptcy in December to prevent the casinos from trying to collect that money. As part of a negotiated settlement between the gambling-industry competitors, racetrack officials face a June 29 deadline to hire an investment banker to help look for buyers, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago. (The sale strategy still needs a judge’s approval.) Court papers didn’t indicate how much the two racetracks, which employ 240 people, are worth. Built in 1925 as Lincoln Fields, Balmoral Park’s harness horse racing facility has a one-mile track, seats for about 10,000 people and stables for more than 1,000 horses. The Maywood Park’s half-mile racetrack, located in Chicago’s Melrose Park suburb, has hosted harness races for 68 seasons in a row, which is the longest streak in state history. Races at both tracks are also broadcast to about 3,000 outside locations, including at offtrack betting parlors.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

5 years 3 weeks ago
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank. In Part 1, we summarized the decision. Here in Part 2, we’ll provide some humble criticism. As a recap, the Supreme Court held that, unlike a confirmation or dismissal, an order denying confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan is not final because it doesn’t terminate the “entire process of attempting to arrive at an approved plan.” Although the Court’s view of finality seems to turn on whether an order results in the sort of “significant consequences” that justify immediate appeal, as of right, the Court adopts a rigid rule: Orders approving confirmation are final; orders denying confirmation are not final. It’s easier for us to criticize Bullard than propose a workable alternative to its rigidity. However, we have 5 problems with Bullard, especially in the Chapter 11 context where unsettled confirmation issues abound and tend to favor creditors. Problem 1: The “exclusive” right to freely amend plans is illusory.

Read More from: Plan Proponent

5 years 3 weeks ago
Series: Private Company M&A Boot Camp 2015 This webinar will cover all that you need to develop and execute a comprehensive post-merger and acquisition integration. Read more here.
5 years 3 weeks ago
If you were looking to get up to speed on the unique aspects of restructurings for exploration & production companies in the oil and gas sector, you missed a great event last night with Akin Gump’s “Exploration & Production of an Oil & Gas Restructuring” in New York. Read more here.
5 years 3 weeks ago
Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg News
This week in bankruptcy will kick off Monday as RadioShack Corp. seeks to sell the brand name that’s long represented electronics retailing. RadioShack will go forward with the auction since receiving qualified bids for its intellectual property, company spokeswomen Merianne Roth confirmed to The Wall Street Journal Thursday. Loaded with debt, RadioShack filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and scrambled to shut down or sell its stores. The sale of its intellectual property is part of an effort to gather money to pay creditors in the case. Several parties in the case are expected to pay close attention to the auction. Standard General LP—the hedge fund that saved more than 1,700 RadioShack stores from closing and launched a revival in an alliance with Sprint Corp.—said it would make an offer on the name and some of the other assets but signaled that it is ready to move on without the iconic brand if the price gets too high. At one point in earlier court proceedings, Standard General said it might offer as much as $20 million for the RadioShack intellectual property.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

5 years 3 weeks ago
Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg News
This week in bankruptcy will kick off Monday as RadioShack Corp. seeks to sell the brand name that’s long represented electronics retailing. RadioShack will go forward with the auction since receiving qualified bids for its intellectual property, company spokeswomen Merianne Roth confirmed to The Wall Street Journal Thursday. Loaded with debt, RadioShack filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and scrambled to shut down or sell its stores. The sale of its intellectual property is part of an effort to gather money to pay creditors in the case. Several parties in the case are expected to pay close attention to the auction. Standard General LP—the hedge fund that saved more than 1,700 RadioShack stores from closing and launched a revival in an alliance with Sprint Corp.—said it would make an offer on the name and some of the other assets but signaled that it is ready to move on without the iconic brand if the price gets too high. At one point in earlier court proceedings, Standard General said it might offer as much as $20 million for the RadioShack intellectual property.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

5 years 3 weeks ago
“A boy’s best friend is his mother.” – Norman Bates “Let’s have a family gathering for the remaining family members who still speak to each other” – Someecards, Inc. On this Mothers’ Day weekend, we celebrate all mothers, wherever they may be.  But the Weil Bankruptcy Blog would never miss the opportunity to point out what might happen when “things go south” and family feuds erupt, even over how to treat Mom.  Indeed, sometimes fights about mothers generate more than just awkward Thanksgiving dinners – they can also give rise to some interesting bankruptcy issues.  In this case, we bring you the story of Ma Harner, who, at 88 years young, was the focal point of a family dispute that ultimately came before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California.  Let’s see what happened, shall we? 
5 years 3 weeks ago
A dysfunctional culture can harm banks' long-term viability and share value growth. Luckily, these problems can be fixed by encouraging team accountability, empowering employees to make decisions, and showing appreciation for staffers.

Read More from: BankThink

5 years 3 weeks ago
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
The RadioShack trademark and the rest of the intellectual property trove of the electronics retailing pioneer is going up for auction Monday as efforts continue to gather cash for creditors. 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.”) Optim Energy LLC has abandoned the bankruptcy sale of its two Texas power plants and instead will restructure under a plan that leaves Bill Gates’s private-equity firm in control of the company, DBR reports in WSJ. Houston Texans owner Bob McNair is preparing to buy the Golf Club at Briar’s Creek near Charleston, S.C., DBR reports in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

5 years 3 weeks ago
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
The RadioShack trademark and the rest of the intellectual property trove of the electronics retailing pioneer is going up for auction Monday as efforts continue to gather cash for creditors. 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.”) Optim Energy LLC has abandoned the bankruptcy sale of its two Texas power plants and instead will restructure under a plan that leaves Bill Gates’s private-equity firm in control of the company, DBR reports in WSJ. Houston Texans owner Bob McNair is preparing to buy the Golf Club at Briar’s Creek near Charleston, S.C., DBR reports in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

5 years 3 weeks ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Not B of A's Day: Bank of America pops up in Friday's news for several reasons, none of them flattering. Over at the New York Times, columnist Gretchen Morgenson questions the distribution of Bank of America's $16.7 billion mortgage settlement. The bank is required to forgive or reduce borrowers' mortgage debt as part of the settlement and the amount of relief it provides is then deducted from the bank's total tab. There's...

Read More from: BankThink

5 years 3 weeks ago
You may have heard it. It was on the radio the last three mornings as I drove to work. It goes, "I got bills I gotta pay, so I'm gonn' work work work every day." It made me think about bankruptcy (naturally). And it is really catchy. The song's simply titled, "Bills," and is LunchMoney Lewis's debut single. The lyrics reference empty fridges, cars not starting, shoes without "soul," praying that cards won't be declined, and, of course, piles of bills. The music video features an adorable girl and her lemonade stand, complete with a credit card reader made out of cardboard. When asked about the song, Lewis said: "I feel like people relate to 'Bills' no matter where you’re from. Whether you’re very middle class or you’re lower class or you’re in the projects or you’re upper middle class. We all get bills. . . . That’s why I wanted to turn it into something positive, like when you hear 'Bills' it kind of makes you feel happy, you know?" (full interview). The song made me smile, and apparently is rapidly climbing the pop charts.     Check out the official video for some Friday fun.

Read More from: Credit Slips

5 years 3 weeks ago
In a surprisingly casual opinion, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roberts, has ruled that denial of confirmation of a chapter 13 plan does not give rise to a final order which can be appealed as a matter of right.    Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank, No.
5 years 3 weeks ago
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank and, in the process, likely resolved a Circuit-level split on an important bankruptcy confirmation issue: Is an order denying confirmation of a bankruptcy plan “final” and, thus, immediately appealable? Siding with the “majority view,” the Supreme Court answered with a unanimous “No” (at least in the Chapter 13 context, but likely in all plan confirmation contexts). To be sure, Bullard is a significant win for creditors and likely more significant than it first appears. Therefore, we’ll cover Bullard in 2 posts. In the first post, we’ll summarize the decision, with minimal commentary. In the second post, we’ll provide some humble, but pointed criticism. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND Thankfully, Bullard‘s the procedural context is straightforward. Bankruptcy Court Louis Bullard filed a Chapter 13 in Massachusetts. In pertinent part, his Chapter 13 plan proposed to bifurcate his $346,000 mortgage to Blue Hills Bank, with the secured portion ($245,000) to be paid over a long period of time and the unsecured portion ($101,000) to be paid over the shorter statutory period. The Bankruptcy Court denied confirmation because Bullard’s “hybrid” plan violated the Bankruptcy Code. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

Read More from: Plan Proponent

5 years 3 weeks ago
Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg News
Add another name to the ever-expanding list of women’s retailers to shut down in the past year: Simply Fashion. The 243-store chain launched going-out-of-business sales Thursday, a few weeks after filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In business for more than 20 years, Simply Fashion sells affordable accessories, shoes and lingerie catering to black women ages 25 to 55, as well as plus-size customers. Its stores are in 25 states, including locations in Detroit, Miami, Chicago, Nashville, Baltimore and Dallas. Going-out-of-business sales will also take place at Dots-branded stores. As Bankruptcy Beat readers may recall, Dots fell into bankruptcy last year and shut down. But a new owner—the same one who owns Simply Fashion—bought the Dots name for less than $350,000 and reopened some stores. In the end, the revival was short-lived.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

5 years 3 weeks ago
Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg News
Add another name to the ever-expanding list of women’s retailers to shut down in the past year: Simply Fashion. The 243-store chain launched going-out-of-business sales Thursday, a few weeks after filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In business for more than 20 years, Simply Fashion sells affordable accessories, shoes and lingerie catering to black women ages 25 to 55, as well as plus-size customers. Its stores are in 25 states, including locations in Detroit, Miami, Chicago, Nashville, Baltimore and Dallas. Going-out-of-business sales will also take place at Dots-branded stores. As Bankruptcy Beat readers may recall, Dots fell into bankruptcy last year and shut down. But a new owner—the same one who owns Simply Fashion—bought the Dots name for less than $350,000 and reopened some stores. In the end, the revival was short-lived.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

5 years 3 weeks ago
In a report released last year, the New York Federal Reserve estimated that student loan debt had climbed to $966 billion in 2012, with more than two-thirds of that debt owed by borrowers younger than 40 years old. The report estimated that 6.7 million borrowers, or 17%, are at least 90 days delinquent on their debt. In 2010, student loan debt surpassed credit cards to become the second largest form of household debt, only behind mortgages. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that since 2012 student loan debt has climbed to $1.2 trillion as of May 2013—a 20% jump between May 2011 and 2013. Although this type of debt is massive and growing, it’s usually not wiped away with a bankruptcy filing, a part of the bankruptcy code that some believe should change. Senators like Elizabeth Warren and Dick Durbin have thrown their weight behind this issue and recently President Barack Obama unveiled a proposal that would ease restrictions on seeking forgiveness of private student loans through bankruptcy. However, private student loan debt accounts only for 10% of the overall total, with the remainder backed by the U.S. government.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

5 years 3 weeks ago
In a report released last year, the New York Federal Reserve estimated that student loan debt had climbed to $966 billion in 2012, with more than two-thirds of that debt owed by borrowers younger than 40 years old. The report estimated that 6.7 million borrowers, or 17%, are at least 90 days delinquent on their debt. In 2010, student loan debt surpassed credit cards to become the second largest form of household debt, only behind mortgages. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that since 2012 student loan debt has climbed to $1.2 trillion as of May 2013—a 20% jump between May 2011 and 2013. Although this type of debt is massive and growing, it’s usually not wiped away with a bankruptcy filing, a part of the bankruptcy code that some believe should change. Senators like Elizabeth Warren and Dick Durbin have thrown their weight behind this issue and recently President Barack Obama unveiled a proposal that would ease restrictions on seeking forgiveness of private student loans through bankruptcy. However, private student loan debt accounts only for 10% of the overall total, with the remainder backed by the U.S. government.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

5 years 3 weeks ago
Housing affects too many Americans to simply cast out government involvement, especially where the government-sponsored entities and Ginnie Mae are concerned.

Read More from: BankThink

5 years 3 weeks ago
Over the past few weeks I have received several emails from bankruptcy prospects who have indicated to me that they didn’t feel that they could afford to file for bankruptcy relief. Most of the people that feel this way are mistaken. Now they may have checked on the Internet are called a few law firms+ Read More The post If You Think That You Cannot Afford To File Bankruptcy, Think Again appeared first on David M. Siegel.
5 years 3 weeks ago