All items from WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

Going-out-of-business sales started Friday at Alco Stores, a chain of nearly 200 general-merchandise discount retailers that cater to small communities in America’s heartland.
The impending closure of the stores—which sell everything from appliances and furniture to clothing and groceries—is likely to severely limit the shopping options for Alco customers. Most of the stores are located in towns of fewer than 5,000 residents, and Alco specifically targets areas not already serviced by Wal-Mart and other larger retailers. (As evidence of Alco’s small-town vibe, Bankruptcy Beat noticed that 22 of its stores are located on a city’s Main Street.)
The 113-year-old business sought bankruptcy protection last month with plans to liquidate if it didn’t find a buyer willing to keep the stores open. This week, Alco said a sale didn’t pan out, and it won a bankruptcy court’s approval to go through with the going-out-of-business plan.
In a Friday press release, liquidators said more than $260 million worth of inventory, fixtures and equipment will be up for sale. The liquidators say they expect to keep daily essentials “fully stocked for a limited time” and that they’ll be discounting everything on store shelves.



Posted 1 day 21 hours ago

Fireworks burst over the Detroit city skyline during the annual Ford Fireworks show in downtown, Monday, June 23, 2014.
Associated Press

A judge on Monday is expected to set a formal date to free Detroit from bankruptcy protection, which could come as soon as early December.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes put the end of the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy case in sight earlier this month when he approved the city’s debt-cutting plan.
The ruling came more than 15 months after the city filed for Chapter 9 amid population loss, spiraling debt and rising pension and health-care costs. The city earlier reached settlements with all of its major creditors.
The city’s restructuring roadmap calls for trimming from its balance sheet $7 billion, or more than one-third of Detroit’s estimated long-term debt. It was a rare milestone decision for cash-strapped cities, even among those that have sought bankruptcy protection.



Posted 1 day 22 hours ago

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Internet-streaming TV company Aereo, which filed for bankruptcy.
Getty Images

Internet-broadcast streaming company Aereo Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection five months after the Supreme Court delivered the technology company a fatal blow in its fight with traditional television broadcasters, Daily Bankruptcy Review reports via The Wall Street Journal.
(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.”)
A new ruling will allow New Yorkers to file for bankruptcy without risking losing their rent-controlled apartments, WSJ reports.



Posted 2 days 23 min ago

Earlier this year Maryland’s Community Law Center had its first victory under an updated law meant to stop bad behavior by the owners of blighted properties that refuse to clean them up. But late Tuesday night the progress in that effort hit a road block—the bankruptcy code.
Last year, using Maryland’s revised community bill of rights law, a number of community associations and the Community Law Center sued Scott Wizig—a landlord who was sued by Eliot Spitzer in New York in the early 2000s and is the subject of an recent investigative report by the Houston Press—and nine LLCs that owned 57 nuisance properties in Baltimore. These properties were uninhabitable, vacant houses that were attracting crime and trash, allegedly posing a health and safety hazard and harming the community.
The lawsuit alleged that Mr. Wizig was breaking the law at approximately 140 of his Baltimore properties. Pointing to a pattern of behavior in Buffalo and Houston, the complaint alleged that Mr. Wizig purchased the properties at tax lien sales for between $491 and $16,500 and had no intention of improving them. Instead, he would hold the properties vacant and uninhabitable “until such time as the market conditions permitted a profit through re-sale.”



Posted 2 days 1 hour ago

Gary Cameron/Reuters

Lawyers, pay attention—correcting a mistake in bankruptcy papers is going to cost you pretty soon.
Starting Dec. 1, bankruptcy courts will charge $25 to file a motion seeking to redact information from previously filed papers. That means if you forget to slap a black bar over text you don’t want seen by the general public, you’ll have to pay to correct the mistake.
One other new fee will take effect next month, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The existing $157 fee to appeal a bankruptcy court ruling directly to a U.S. Court of Appeals, bypassing the district court, will increase by $50 to $207.



Posted 2 days 20 hours ago

This Oct. 24, 2014 photo shows the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City N.J.
Associated Press

A judge is threatening to boot Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, due to the lack of a “reasonable likelihood of rehabilitation” for the gambling company. Read 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.”)
The Associated Press reports on Brookfield canceling its plan to buy Atlantic City, N.J.’s Revel Casino Hotel.



Posted 3 days 26 min ago

Cars drive by the Chicago Theatre April 3, 2011 in Chicago.
Associated Press

A Chicago sign maker that’s done work for the Windy City’s theaters and stadiums, including the famed Chicago Theatre marquee, has filed for bankruptcy.
White Way Sign & Maintenance Co. aims to restructure and emerge from Chapter 11 protection, its bankruptcy attorney recently told the Chicago Tribune.
White Way, which has remained in the same family since its 1916 founding, has had a hand in everything from helping with the most recent version of the historic Chicago Theatre sign to making and installing the Chicago White Sox’s current video scoreboard at U.S. Cellular Field. It has also lit up Michigan Avenue for holiday shoppers.



Posted 3 days 20 hours ago

The professionals working on the long-running U.S. bankruptcy case of defunct telecommunications company Nortel  raked in another $36 million this week.

In this Feb. 25, 2009 photo, a man walks past a company sign at a Nortel Networks office tower in Toronto.
Associated Press

Tuesday, court papers show that a Delaware bankruptcy judge signed off on three months of bills from lawyers and advisers to Nortel U.S. The bills cover work performed from May through July.
Nortel filed for insolvency protection in multiple jurisdictions around the world at the start of 2009. It sold its businesses in a few years and then launched an intercompany fight over how to divvy up the cash raised in the global liquidation: a whopping $7.3 billion. 



Posted 4 days 49 min ago

An investment fund that parked all of its money with Bernard Madoff has agreed to give up $95 million for the benefit of Mr. Madoff’s victims in the second major settlement announced this week by the court-appointed official tracking down money tied to the biggest Ponzi scheme ever. Read Sara Randazzo’s Daily Bankruptcy Review story in The Wall Street Journal.
(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.”)
Philip Falcone ’s Harbinger Capital Partners is urging a Colorado judge not to throw out its lawsuit against Dish Network Corp. and Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen, saying they “fraudulently deprived Harbinger of control of LightSquared when it was needed most,” writes DBR’s Joe Checkler in the Journal.



Posted 4 days 1 hour ago

A new legal settlement will bring in nearly $500 million for Bernard Madoff ’s cheated investors, putting their total recovery to date above $10 billion. Read Jacqueline Palank’s Daily Bankruptcy Review story in The Wall Street Journal.
(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.”)
Dynamic Oil Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd. filed for liquidation on Tuesday, making it the second Singapore subsidiary of bankrupt Danish fuel supplier OW Bunker A/S to go bust, WSJ reports.
The country’s top court Monday agreed to hear arguments on whether homeowners can cancel their second mortgages in bankruptcy when their properties aren’t even worth the value of the first mortgage, DBR’s Katy Stech reports in the Journal



Posted 5 days 1 hour ago