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By John Aidan Byrne

New York City’s struggling yellow cabbies are facing the auction block.

A record 139 taxi medallions will be offered for sale in bankruptcy auction this month — the latest sign that a deluge of ride-sharing apps like Uber are squeezing cabbies out of business and deeper into debt, as well as pinching the incomes of for-hire drivers, according to analysts.

The medallions will be auctioned for a fraction of their original value — some likely having cost their owners as much as $1 million or more apiece.

A minimum of 20 will be sold, the auctioneers say. The collection is part of the 13,587 licensed medallions required to operate New York City’s fleet of iconic yellow cabs. Back in 2013, a medallion fetched a whopping $1.3 million.

Today, prices have plunged to between $160,000 to $250,000 each, as a wave of ride-sharing vehicles floods the market.

Last year, 46 medallions were reportedly sold at an auction in Queens for an average price of $186,000, snatched up by Connecticut-based MGPE, a hedge fund presumably seeking yield on a distressed asset.

For-hire vehicles on New York’s congested streets have surged from 50,000 in 2011, when Uber entered the New York market, to about 130,000 today.

Read More from: Shenwick & Associates

5 days 12 hours ago

  In Internal Revenue Serv. v. Murphy, No. 17-1601, 2018 WL 2730764, (1st Cir. June 7, 2018) two of the three judges on a panel of the First Circuit (including Justice Souter, sitting by designation) affirmed lower court rulings finding that an IRS employee willfully violated the discharge injunction by issuing levies against insurance companies with which the debtor did business.  The debtor had filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy listing $546,161.61 in tax obligations for the years 1993-2003.  The discharge was entered in February 2006.  No objection to discharge or dischargeability was filed. 

    The IRS took the position that the taxes were nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(1)(C) asserting debtor had willfully attempted to evade the taxes.  After notifying debtor of it's claim, in February 2009 the IRS issued levies against several insurance companies with which debtor did business.  In August 2009 debtor commenced an adversary proceeding to determine that the taxes through 2001 had been discharged.  The bankruptcy court granted summary judgment to debtor (the IRS having submitted no admissible evidence to the contrary) declaring the taxes to have been discharged. 

Read More from: Tampa Bankruptcy

5 days 12 hours ago

Call it the Uber effect: A record 139 New York City taxi medallions will be up for sale in bankruptcy auction this month as cab drivers continue to struggle to compete with ridesharing apps.

According to The New York Post, bidders will be able to snag some of the medallions for a fraction of their original value — some might have cost their owners as much as $1 million or more apiece. Back in 2013, a medallion went for $1.3 million.

Today, however, prices have dropped to between $160,000 to $250,000 each due to increasing competition from ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft.

Last year, 46 medallions were reportedly sold at an auction in Queens for an average price of $186,000, bought by Connecticut-based hedge fund MGPE. This month, a minimum of 20 will be sold.

Rideshare vehicles in New York have risen from 50,000 in 2011, when Uber first entered the New York market, to currently about 130,000.

As a result, earnings for yellow cabbies have dropped, with full-time average annual earnings, before taxes, down from $45,000 as recently as 2013, to as low as $29,000 today.

Read More from: Shenwick & Associates

5 days 14 hours ago

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I  watched dozens of Chapter 13 cases get dismissed in a single afternoon in court recently.

Dismissed.

Tossed out.

Ended.

The usual reason was that the debtor had not taken seriously the requirement that all their tax returns be filed within 45 days of the commencement of the case.

Regardless of the debtor’s need for relief from their debts, and despite the additional losses incurred by dismissal, these cases vanished from the court’s docket.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that folks who didn’t take filing tax returns seriously before they were in bankruptcy continue to blow it off when bankruptcy is filed.

But under the “reformed” bankruptcy code,  filing returns is mandatory and dismissal automatic.

Read More from: The Soap Box

5 days 15 hours ago

Southeastern Grocers (operator of the Winn-Dixie, Bi Lo and Harvey’s supermarket chains) recently completed a successful restructuring of its balance sheet through a “prepackaged” chapter 11 case in the District of Delaware. As part of the deal with the holders of its unsecured bonds, the company agreed that under the plan of reorganization it would pay in cash the fees and expenses of the trustee for the indenture under which the unsecured bonds were issued.  In an important ruling for indenture trustees, Judge Mary Walrath approved the plan and rejected a challenge to the payment, a decision that will help to blunt some of the uncertainty which has arisen around this issue.  (Kelley Drye & Warren LLP represented the indenture trustee in this matter).

Payment by a debtor of an indenture trustee’s fees and expenses in cash is a significant business point in cases such as Southeastern Grocers, where bonds typically are surrendered in exchange for new common stock. Otherwise, the indenture trustee must recover its fees and expenses out of the distribution to the bondholders under a priority provision in the indenture known as the “charging lien.”  Exercising the charging lien against newly-issued shares and then monetizing such shares can be a difficult and time consuming process, particularly where the new shares are not intended to be publicly traded.  This reduces the bondholders’ recovery and delays the debtor’s emergence from chapter 11.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Law Insights

5 days 15 hours ago

attorney james ezzellYes! Sort of.

How So?

Just because you are drawing Social Security disability benefits doesn’t mean that you are completely unable to work.  The devil is in the details though.  The catch is that while you cannot work effectively full time, you can work part time as long as you do not make too much money.  How much is too much you ask?  Well, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has this concept called Substantial Gainful Activity it uses in Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) cases to determine if a recipient is making too much money to still be considered disabled.

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

5 days 15 hours ago

State Street released a report on their Q1 focus and activities related to the companies where they vote.  What we learned:

  • They’ve been busy.  State Street voted at 2,596 meetings in 60 countries, weighing in on 18,105 management proposals and 382 shareholder proposals.  They favored management proposals 83% of the time and shareholder proposals about 13% of the time.
  • North America dominates engagement.  Fifteen percent of the voting decisions were made at North American companies, but more than half of engagement discussions took place with companies in this region.  A specific list of the companies that they engaged with are included in the report.

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It makes sense for anyone with a pension to have a desire to keep it. Your pension is an investment fund that you have been contributing to throughout your working life. You deserve it. That is why it should be comforting to know that if you hit financial hardships, your pension is safe when you......
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The post Is Your Pension Safe in Bankruptcy? appeared first on The Law Office of Joel R. Spivack.

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On Mar. 31, 2018. Dollars in thousands.

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