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Image courtesy of  Kazuhisa Otsubo Trademark Licenses At Risk. I have written a number of times on the blog about the impact of bankruptcy on trademark licenses, with a special focus on the risk that trademark licensees face if their licensors file bankruptcy. Trademark licensees have no protection under Section 365(n) of the Bankruptcy Code, and legislative efforts to give that protection have stalled. As a result, if a trademark license is determined to be executory and it’s rejected by the licensor or bankruptcy trustee, the licensee could find itself without any further rights to the trademark.
3 years 8 months ago
Image courtesy of  Kazuhisa Otsubo Trademark Licenses At Risk. I have written a number of times on the blog about the impact of bankruptcy on trademark licenses, with a special focus on the risk that trademark licensees face if their licensors file bankruptcy. Trademark licensees have no protection under Section 365(n) of the Bankruptcy Code, and legislative efforts to give that protection have stalled. As a result, if a trademark license is determined to be executory and it’s rejected by the licensor or bankruptcy trustee, the licensee could find itself without any further rights to the trademark.
3 years 8 months ago
On June 9, 2014, while the Bankruptcy Bar waited with bated breath, Justice Thomas delivered the long-anticipated opinion of the unanimous Court in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkinson.   While the Supreme Court answered the question of how to proceed when confronted with a Stern claim, it left the question of consent “for another day.”  The Statutory Gap Identified in Stern Under 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(1), Congress allocated to bankruptcy judges the power to hear and determine the bankruptcy case itself and all “core” matters arising under the Bankruptcy Code or  arising in a bankruptcy case.  However, under 28 U.S.C. § 157(c)(1), if the matter is “non-core” (meaning it is only related to the bankruptcy case), and the parties have not consented to final adjudication by the bankruptcy court, the bankruptcy court must submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to the district court.  The district court can enter final judgment only after a de novo review.  However, if the parties consent, the bankruptcy court may hear and determine “non-core” matters.

Read More from: Insolvency Insights

3 years 8 months ago
On Monday June 16, 2014, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi based, large diameter high pressure steel pipe manufacturer PSL – North America LLC and affiliated debtor PSL USA INC. (collectively, the "Debtors") filed chapter 11 petitions in Delaware.  A copy of PSL – North America LLC’s bankruptcy petition containing a consolidated list of the largest unsecured creditors is here.   According to the petition, PSL – North America LLC estimates that it has between 100 and 199 creditors.  Its assets are estimated between $50M to $100M with liabilities estimated between $100M to $500M. In support of their chapter 11 petitions and first day motions, Debtors offered the Declaration of Brian J. Vaill (the "Vaill Declaration").   As set forth in the Vaill Declaration (found here), Debtors’  cash and liquidity position has continued to deteriorate and Debtors’ sought to restructure their debt obligations.  Debtors have identified Jindal Tubular USA LLC as a potential "stalking horse" purchaser of substantially all of their assets in exchange for aggregate consideration of cash and certain assumed liabilities totaling approximately $100M.  
3 years 8 months ago
Most Americans don’t save enough money for retirement.   However, the Supreme Court recently dealt with the opposite situation—what happens when someone saves more than they need and their heirs receive the money (and then file bankruptcy).   This is the third time that the high court has considered what happens to retirement funds in bankruptcy.  In Patterson v. Shumate, 504 U.S. 753 (1992), the Court held that funds in an employer's pension plan were not property of the estate. In Rousey v. Jacobsen, 544 U.S. 320 (2005), the Court ruled that non-inherited IRAs were included under the exemption for “a stock bonus, pension, profitsharing, annuity, or similar plan or contract” under 11 U.S.C. §522(d)(10)(E).  This time, the Court held that an inherited IRA does not constitute “retirement funds” under 11 U.S.C. §522(b)(3)(C) and 522(d)(12).    Clark v. Rameker, Trustee, No.
3 years 8 months ago
On June 10, the PCAOB adopted Auditing Standard No. 18, which covers three key areas of increased risks for material misstatements: related party transactions, significant unusual transactions and financial relationships and transactions with executive officers. The PCAOB indicated that its inspection and enforcement activities found continuing weakness in auditors’ scrutiny of these areas, and the new auditing standard requires additional risk-based procedures that are designed to assist the auditor in identifying red flags. The changes also affect auditor’s communications with audit committees.  Subject to SEC approval, the standards will become effective for audits of financial statements for fiscal years beginning on or after December 15, 2014.
3 years 8 months ago
When a debtor files for bankruptcy, it is principally to obtain a fresh start and discharge of debts from creditors. But not all debts are dischargeable. The Bankruptcy Code lists 19 categories of nondischargeable debts, which Congress has determined are not dischargeable for public policy reasons. Some debts are always nondischargeable, including certain taxes, child support, and court fines and penalties, to name a few. Others are not deemed automatically excepted from discharge, but can be when challenged by creditors. When a case is filed, bankruptcy courts set a deadline for creditors to raise nondischargeability issues, and creditors who wish to except a debt from discharge must initiate an adversary proceeding (by filing a complaint) setting forth the basis for the discharge objection. These types of debts include those obtained by fraud or false pretenses and those resulting from a tort, among others. Issues related to the nondischargeability of a debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy were recently examined by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan. In the case, Trost v. Trost, Sherry Trost, the plaintiff, sought to except from discharge debt owed by the debtors (her stepson Zachary and his wife Kimberly) to her. The debt related to an ownership dispute involving videotapes and other memorabilia from a television show, Michigan Outdoors, that was created and operated by Fred Trost, Sherry's late husband

Read More from: Michigan Bankruptcy Blog

3 years 8 months ago
The recent announcement that ISS has recommended against the election of the board of directors of Target because of the perceived failure to provide appropriate management of cyber-risk should “put directors on notice to proactively address the risks associated with cyber-attacks,” according to Commissioner Luis Aguilar in a recent speech.
3 years 8 months ago
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was created to help consumers dealing with errors on their credit report. When disputing something on your report, you will want to take action in the best possible manner. Otherwise, with one mistake, you will be forced deal with a host of problems. With this in mind, here are six... Read more » The post Six Actionable Tips on Writing a Credit Dispute Letter appeared first on AllmandLaw.

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3 years 8 months ago
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was created to help consumers dealing with errors on their credit report. When disputing something on your report, you will want to take action in the best possible manner. Otherwise, with one mistake, you will be forced deal with a host of problems. With this in mind, here are six... Read more » The post Six Actionable Tips on Writing a Credit Dispute Letter appeared first on Allmand Law Firm PLLC.

Read More from: AllmandLaw

3 years 8 months ago
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was created to help consumers dealing with errors on their credit report. When disputing something on your report, you will want to take action in the best possible manner. Otherwise, with one mistake, you will be forced deal with a host of problems. With this in mind, here are six […] The post Six Actionable Tips on Writing a Credit Dispute Letter appeared first on Allmand Law Firm PLLC.

Read More from: AllmandLaw

3 years 8 months ago
The answer, as always, is “It depends”.  Take two recent examples we’ve seen. The first person is a […] The post Should I Take Money Out Of My Retirement Account to Pay My Creditors? appeared first on LakeLaw.

Read More from: Lake Law Blog

3 years 8 months ago
The answer, as always, is “It depends”.  Take two recent examples we’ve seen. The first person is a […] The post Should I Take Money Out Of My Retirement Account to Pay My Creditors? appeared first on LakeLaw.

Read More from: Lake Law Blog

3 years 8 months ago
The answer, as always, is “It depends”.  Take two recent examples we’ve seen. The first person is a […] The post Should I Take Money Out Of My Retirement Account to Pay My Creditors? appeared first on LakeLaw.

Read More from: Lake Law Blog

3 years 8 months ago
Your creditors can’t simply take money out of your paycheck just because they feel like it.  They need […] The post I Have a Voluntary Wage Assignment. What Can I Do? appeared first on LakeLaw.

Read More from: Lake Law Blog

3 years 8 months ago
Your creditors can’t simply take money out of your paycheck just because they feel like it.  They need […] The post I Have a Voluntary Wage Assignment. What Can I Do? appeared first on LakeLaw.

Read More from: Lake Law Blog

3 years 8 months ago
Your creditors can’t simply take money out of your paycheck just because they feel like it.  They need […] The post I Have a Voluntary Wage Assignment. What Can I Do? appeared first on LakeLaw.

Read More from: Lake Law Blog

3 years 8 months ago
On June 11, 2014, California based Natrol Inc. and seven affiliated debtors filed petitions for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.   A copy of Natrol’s petition and the list of the creditors holding the 30 largest unsecured claims on a consolidated basis is attached here.  According to the petition, Natrol estimates that it has between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors.  Natrol estimates its assets between $100M and $500M, with liabilities between $50M to $100M. The cases have been assigned to Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Linehan Shannon for administration and Natrol’s petition was docketed as Case 14-11446.  
3 years 8 months ago
In the follow-up to Stern v. Marshall, the Supreme Court concluded that it didn’t need to answer the primary questions addressed to it, leaving open (on the surface at least) the issue of whether parties can consent to final adjudication by a bankruptcy court in situations where the court could not otherwise issue a final decision.   The Court also assumed but did not decide the question of whether a fraudulent conveyance action would violate Stern.   In fact, the only issue the Court did decide was that bankruptcy courts may issue reports and recommendations in core proceedings where they lack authority to make a final ruling.   While the decision is not as expansive as many practitioners would have liked, it doesn’t do any violence to the bankruptcy system and has some helpful subtext.  The case is Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc.), No. 12-1200 (June 9, 2014).   You can find the opinion here.What HappenedNicholas Palaveda and his wife owned Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc.
3 years 8 months ago
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday, in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkinson, limited somewhat the ramifications of its landmark opinion two years ago in Stern v. Marshall.  The Court in Executive Benefits could have thrown the entire federal bankruptcy court system into disarray by advancing Stern’s hard line view on the limited powers of Article I bankruptcy judges.  Instead, it issued a simple and pragmatic decision that will have only minimal impact.  However, by not addressing certain key questions, the Court ensured that uncertainty will continue to hover over issues pertaining to bankruptcy court jurisdiction.    

Read More from: Bankruptcy Law Insights

3 years 8 months ago