handle a bill collectorI know how to handle a bill collector. I’ve had a lot of experience with debt collectors. First, two things for you to know. I worked my way through college as a bill collector. For another, I’ve been a bankruptcy lawyer in the San Fernando Valley, CA for 34 years. Knowing how to handle a bill collector is my stock in trade. So, let’s talk about how make a bill collector “Shut Up!”
There are three kinds of bill collectors that you as a consumer will encounter. These are:

Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog
(posted 5 hours 23 min ago)

In “Try to Be the Least Bit Cool: Credit-Bidding After Fisker and Free Lance Star-Publishing,” the editorial staff of Commercial Bankruptcy Investor looks at two recent case in which credit bidding rights were scaled back and reflects on how credit bidders can avoid a similar fate in other cases.
Read the full article here, or visit www.commercialbankruptcyinvstor.com.

(posted 5 hours 59 min ago)

Cooley Go
Cooley GO
Earlier this month, Cooley LLP launched Cooley GO, a terrific new resource center for entrepreneurs with businesses at all stages of the growth cycle. Cooley GO is a mobile-friendly microsite that provides a wide range of free legal and business content covering formation, financing, building a team, working with directors and advisors, intellectual property, M&A, IPOs and more.
I have the pleasure of being a contributor to Cooley GO. A new post I wrote called “A Key Customer Filed for Bankruptcy: Should You Keep Doing Business With Them?” is now on the Cooley GO site. To read the article just follow the link in the prior sentence.
Be sure to explore the full Cooley GO site. Among other tools, Cooley GO provides entrepreneurs with the ability to:

(posted 6 hours 18 min 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

Your move, Joe Francis.
A federal judge has slapped the Girls Gone Wild founder with a daily fine of $5,000 until he returns two luxury cars that belong to the porn business, whose famous brand was recently sold out of bankruptcy.
The fines, which started on Friday, came after Judge Sandra Klein didn’t buy Mr. Francis’s explanation for why he hasn’t returned the 2007 Cadillac Escalade or a 2012 Bentley Flying Spur.
Mr. Francis had said in court papers that he was “powerless” to return the autos after a Mexican strip club owner—angry that several Girls Gone Wild promotions fell through—took the vehicles.
Mr. Francis is appealing the sanctions. His attorney said in an email that the court decision is “outside the scope of proper civil contempt sanctions.”

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 9 hours 6 min ago)

Federal Reserve stress tests evaluate banks' ability to withstand severely adverse scenarios like the Great Recession. But the next downturn may pose different problems, according to Tony Hughes of Moody's Analytics.

(posted 9 hours 17 min ago)
In this July 27, 2009, photo, Scott Rothstein is shown in his former office.
Associated Press

More than four years after Scott Rothstein’s $1 billion-plus Ponzi scheme came to light, a bitter turf war between representatives of his fraud victims and his creditors has finally been resolved.
A recently reached settlement between federal prosecutors and bankruptcy officials should bring an end to a long-running fight over how to divvy up the fruits of Mr. Rothstein’s fraud among fraud victims and creditors of his now-defunct law firm.
Ever since Mr. Rothstein’s arrest and the bankruptcy filing of his Florida law firm in late 2009, prosecutors and bankruptcy lawyers have bickered over whether Mr. Rothstein’s luxury cars, watercraft, jewelry, cash, real estate and other assets were his personal property or property of the law firm.

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 9 hours 46 min ago)

As a result of the sheer number of legal and factual issues involved in many chapter 11 cases, bankruptcy judges can sometimes find themselves as captives of the parties; they may not appreciate the significance of an issue or a provision buried in a longer document unless it is properly presented. Thus, it is imperative that counsel flag the key issues for the court. Failure to do so risks severe consequences for parties in interest, as exemplified by In re Lower Bucks Hospital.

(posted 10 hours 12 min ago)
A customer orders food at the Union Station location of Sbarro in Washington, D.C., in March.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The family of a man shot to death while finishing his shift at a Little Rock, Ark., Sbarro store received a small measure of relief from the pizza chain’s bankruptcy judge on Monday.
Judge Martin Glenn of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan lifted a provision of Sbarro’s bankruptcy-exit plan so the estate of the late Christian Ellis Hayes can go after the company’s liability insurance in an Arkansas lawsuit.

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 11 hours 2 min ago)

8632883494_62b7ddd71f_zWe’ve had a string of them….
[Hint: in a small practice, a "string" means "three. " ]
But three clients in the past month with confirmed Chapter 13 plans have contracted to sell their homes without mentioning it to us, their attorneys.
The degree of chaos varied:  inadequate time to get approval of the sale from the trustee within the contractual closing date;  mortgage stripping issues when the plan is paid off early; and taxing authorities who decided to claim the post petition appreciation.
But the bigger problem is clear:  operating successfully in Chapter 13 requires debtors to absorb a bunch of information about how bankruptcy works.

  • What can they, and can’t they, do without prior consent?
  • What does the vesting option mean in the real world?

When is the best time to learn?
When we first meet prospective debtors, we’re dealing with people experiencing stress, shame, and overload.
Clients are overwhelmed with the information they must process on bankruptcy choices, procedure, and consequences.
When the case is confirmed, and all the client has to do (they think) is make the plan payments, they relax and tune out.

Bankruptcy Mastery
(posted 11 hours 12 min ago)

You might think overhead expenses as a percentage of average assets decline as institutions get bigger. You'd be wrong.

(posted 11 hours 17 min ago)