All items from WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

Sandrine’s has filed for bankruptcy with a buyer in mind to revive the French restaurant in Cambridge, Mass.’s Harvard Square.
In court papers, the restaurant, which has lost customers and expects to fall $200,000 short this year, declared that it has “slowly lost its reputation for innovation and leadership in the French cuisine.”
Manager Gwyneth B. Trost reflected on how times in the neighborhood have changed since the restaurant opened in 1996 with a chef who cooked traditional dishes with an Alsatian twist—a new thing for Boston at the time, she noted in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston. The spot became “a mainstay among Harvardites,” she said.
“Harvard Square had changed tremendously; the area surrounding Brattle and Church Streets, along with surrounding side streets, developed into a shopping and dining destination. New restaurants, including many regional and national chains, proliferated,” Ms. Trost said. “The dynamic of exclusivity and elegance slowly gave way to mass market appeal and convenience.”
That nationwide health kick hasn’t helped either.
“Recent healthy eating and dieting trends further eroded the [restaurant’s] place in the Harvard Square cultural milieu,” she added.



Posted 1 week 12 hours ago

Modern Vice’s boots are made for walking. Come next week, they’ll be walking to the bankruptcy auction block.
The Manhattan-based shoemaker’s assets are up for sale as part of owner Adoni Group’s Chapter 11 case, court papers show. That includes the brand’s intellectual property, inventory, social media sites, equipment and lease to its Garment District factory.
The maker of rocker-inspired boots (styles are named Jett, Debbie and Bowie) for women and men’s velvet loafers has drawn attention for its styles and efforts to bring shoe-making back to the U.S. from the likes of BET, Elle, Inc. and MTV.
Standing ready to bid on the assets is a company tied to Jordan Adoni, one of the brothers who are the creative force behind Modern Vice. He’s offering $180,000, plus rent, which bankruptcy lawyers are looking to put to the test at a Monday auction.



Posted 1 week 13 hours ago

A series of settlements to benefit victims of Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme will go before a bankruptcy judge Wednesday in Manhattan for final approval.
The settlements include a $95 million deal struck with Senator Fund SPC, an investment fund that parked all of its money with Mr. Madoff, and a $497 million deal to collect money from Herald Fund SPC and Primeo Fund.
Irving Picard, the official tasked with paying back Mr. Madoff’s victims, has to date collected or reached deals to collect approximately $10.5 billion of the $17.3 billion in principal that investors lost upon the collapse of the Ponzi scheme. Of the recovered funds, nearly $6 billion has been returned to investors.
The Senator agreement represents 100% of the principal Senator withdrew from Mr. Madoff’s investment firm. Because Senator put in more money than it took out, the fund will receive a $238.75 million claim against Mr. Madoff’s firm. The first $95 million it is in line to receive as a creditor will go toward paying the amount due under the settlement.
Herald Fund, meanwhile, will receive a $1.6 billion claim against Mr. Madoff’s investment firm as part of its deal that will be paid back in the same fashion.



Posted 1 week 13 hours ago

Reuters

Former MF Global customers, as well as the administrator in charge of the defunct brokerage, are fighting a bid by Jon S. Corzine and other former MF Global executives to tap $7.5 million of their errors-and-omission insurance policy to cover their legal-defense costs, Daily Bankruptcy Review reports 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.”)
Detroit’s final legal bill for its bankruptcy is likely to wind up around $150 million, WSJ reports.



Posted 1 week 14 hours ago

Rick Antonoff has joined law firm Blank Rome as a partner with the finance, restructuring and bankruptcy group. Mr. Antonoff, who most recently worked at Clifford Chance, represents secured and unsecured creditors, investors and other parties in bankruptcy cases and out-of-court restructurings. He has worked on such well-known bankruptcy cases as the Los Angeles Dodgers, AMR Corp. and Arcapita Bank. Mr. Antonoff is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Giorgio Bovenzi has joined the Dentons law firm in New York as a partner in the restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy group. Mr. Bovenzi has experience in areas including bankruptcy, credit, and cross-border insolvency. He has represented international clients in Chapter 15 bankruptcy cases, including chip maker Elpida Memory Inc. Most recently, Mr. Bovenzi worked at law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.



Posted 1 week 1 day ago

Tactical Firearms

A bankrupt gun retailer in suburban Houston that hasn’t been shy about its political views will get a new owner once it emerges from Chapter 11 protection.
A judge has approved a reorganization plan for Tactical Firearms, which filed for bankruptcy in June to stop a bank from foreclosing on its store and shooting range in Katy, Texas.
It is unclear whether the company’s new owner, Texas businessman Steven Coe Wilson, will be as outspoken as current majority owner Jeremy Alcede, who blamed the store’s financial problems on President Barack Obama and others in billboard messages posted outside the store.
Mr. Coe Wilson already owns 30% of Tactical Firearms’ business. Earlier in the case, his lawyers argued that Tactical Firearms shouldn’t be profiled in a reality show, stating that the show’s filming “risks disrupting the [company’s] current retail operations,” which employ about 30 people, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston.



Posted 1 week 1 day ago

Associated Press

People with unpaid medical bills are finding themselves in a “haphazard system” of debt collection, in which some consumers don’t realize they owe money or are still waiting for bills when their debt is sent to a collections agency, a U.S. regulator says.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday issued a study highlighting concerns about how consumers are treated when their medical bills are sent to collections.
It comes as CFPB officials are working on a proposal for new consumer protections for the debt-collection market.  Those rules, expected to be unveiled next year, are likely to target the kinds of practices criticized by the CFPB.



Posted 1 week 1 day ago

Associated Press

Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy case officially ended Wednesday, a day after the city’s emergency manager resigned, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The closed Revel Casino Hotel is asking a bankruptcy judge to terminate a $110 million deal to sell the boardwalk resort to a Canadian private-equity firm, putting a Florida-based real-estate developer in line to buy the Atlantic City property. WSJ 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 our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)



Posted 1 week 1 day ago

In this July 27, 2009 photo, Scott Rothstein is shown in his former office.
Associated Press

Some of Ponzi scheme-operator Scott Rothstein’s law firm creditors could soon be paid in full, more than five years after the exposure of Mr. Rothstein’s $1 billion-plus fraud brought on the firm’s collapse.
A bankruptcy judge has been asked to approve a final distribution to unsecured creditors of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, the now-defunct South Florida law firm that Mr. Rothstein used to conduct his massive fraud.
Trustee Michael Goldberg, responsible for getting checks out to creditors, on Tuesday filed court papers seeking the court’s permission to send out of millions of dollars to the holders of nearly 80 unsecured claims. Among those slated for final payment are the NBA’s Miami Heat, which would receive nearly $172,000, and the American Heart Association, which would receive more than $26,000.



Posted 1 week 2 days ago

Diapers.com founder Marc Lore’s soon-to-be-launched shopping site, Jet, recently bought itself access to a bevy of prospective customers in a bankruptcy auction.
The fire sale of failed shopping website Hukkster’s customer lists, website code, and other remaining assets ended with Jet submitting a $65,000 winning bid.
The sale, approved Wednesday by a judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, will barely chip away at an estimated $1.6 million in debt that Hukkster left behind when it shut down operations and filed for Chapter 7 protection in August. Once touted by the Winklevoss twins as the next big thing in online deal sites, Hukkster burned through several million dollars in investments by the time of its bankruptcy.
Founded in 2012, Hukkster notified shoppers when retailers lowered prices on items they were watching. The company made money off referral fees from retailers. Its debts include the repayment of $1.5 million in unsecured loans that it borrowed between January and March, as well as payments to vendors and its former lawyers, court filings show.



Posted 1 week 2 days ago