picture of domestic violenceVictims of domestic violence will have a new place to go to feel safe. Construction recently began on a new facility in Pinellas County for women who are victims of domestic violence. According to this story on ABC Action News, the new facility should be open sometime in 2015.
There is a currently a facility in St. Petersburg called CASA that houses nearly 30 people, but really only has room for half that many. Many of these people stay together at CASA in what is the size of a college dorm room.
The new facility will have 100 beds and will be able to provide services to approximately 1,000 families each year.

(posted 9 hours 48 min ago)

This is an article about the end of a Chapter 11 case.  As the Doors put it:
This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the endAll cases must come to an end.   Sometimes they linger on the docket until they smell like unwashed sweat socks stuffed behind the sofa.  Other times, the parties are eager to escape the scrutiny of the court and are looking for a creative way out.  This post focuses on how two cases reached their ends.
Structured Dismissal

In a recent case, Judge Harlin Hale wrote:
This case presents the issue of whether a bankruptcy court can approve a structured dismissal of a chapter 11 case, instead of conversion or forcing the parties to confirm a plan, when dismissal is what the parties want and is in the interest of creditors.  In re Buffet Partners, L.P., et al, No. 14-30699 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 7/23/14), p.1.    The opinion can be found here (PACER registration required).
What Happened:

(posted 1 day 1 hour ago)

black friday
That $500 flat screen television you purchase on your credit card could end up costing you many hundreds, if not thousands of dollars if you don’t pay off your credit card every month…. just don’t do it !
This holiday season, if you can’t pay cash, don’t buy it. It’s simple. That relative or friend will think just as much of you if you give them a more inexpensive gift. It’s a cliche, but it really is the thought that counts.
photo credit: tshein via photopin cc

(posted 1 day 2 hours ago)
Russian Anna Chapman, who was deported from the U.S. in July 2010 on charges of espionage, poses on the red carpet at the opening ceremony of the 35th Moscow International Film Festival in June 2013.
Associated Press

John Altorelli, an outspoken former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP partner sued for $12.9 million in the wake of the law firm’s collapse, filed for personal bankruptcy Tuesday to halt the collection efforts.
In a lengthy statement issued Wednesday announcing his decision, an attorney for Mr. Altorelli said he has been unable to reach a settlement of the lawsuit  “after weeks of negotiations.”
Mr. Altorelli couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 1 day 3 hours ago)

An organization that coached public-relations professionals on how to master crisis communications may need to take some of its own advice after its recent bankruptcy filing.
Bulldog Reporter, an Oakland, Calif.-based company that provided training and services for public relations professionals, recently filed for bankruptcy protection in California with liabilities of less than $1 million and assets of $178,220.
Under the Bulldog Reporter and PR University brands, the company produced media directories, a daily online newsletter, webinars, live conferences and awards programs. Facing a severe cash shortage in August, the company laid off virtually all of its staff and shut down operations, filings show.
Despite bringing in nearly $950,000 in sales as of this August and $1.48 million in sales last year, the company hadn’t turned a profit since at least 2012, it said in court filings.
Jim Sinkinson, the publisher and founder of Bulldog Reporter owner Sirius Information, said in a bankruptcy court declaration that he brought in a turnaround specialist in October to explore ways to revive the company. That person, Mr. Sinkinson said, estimated he would need at least $50,000 in short-term funding, which “was not viable.” Reached Wednesday, Mr. Sinkinson declined to comment on the bankruptcy.

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 1 day 5 hours ago)

It is with great sadness that I pass along the news that Jean Braucher passed away yesterday. Jean was my co-author, my co-blogger, and my friend. This news came suddenly this morning for all but her closest family and friends who were aware of her illness. 
The official record will show that Jean was a giant among bankruptcy and contracts scholars. Her work on local legal culture in bankruptcy courts is one of the standard references on the topic. As Dov Cohen and I were trying to understand the disparities we were seeing in our data among local bankruptcy courts, we turned to Jean. She joined our research team, and her understanding of the very fine detail of how the bankruptcy courts worked in action made the project's experimental materials a success. Jean also was widely known for her work on contracts law, being one of the authors of the seminal Contracts: Law in Action textbook.

Credit Slips
(posted 1 day 5 hours ago)

Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday. Many go to great lengths to ensure that their Thanksgiving dinner table is replete with all of the traditional Thanksgiving fare: turkey, stuffing, yams covered in marshmallow, and cranberry sauce. While some folks are perfectly happy to buy a pre-made Thanksgiving meal, others must make all of their Thanksgiving fare themselves. If you are someone who likes to grow your own cranberries before serving them on your Thanksgiving table, let the Western District of Washington’s decision earlier this year in In re Kelly remind you that if the cranberries you seek to harvest are located on a debtor’s farm, your attempt to take them will be a violation of the automatic stay.
Secured Creditor Is “Bogged” Down with Cranberry Woes
In 2012, Northwest Farm Credit Services, FLCA (a secured creditor in the debtor’s bankruptcy case) filed a motion pursuant to which it asked the court, among other thing, to find James O’Hagan and his “agents” in contempt for their ongoing violations of the automatic stay and to enjoin them from taking any further action against the debtor’s cranberry farm. It appeared that James O’Hagan had been, to put it mildly, trying to access and gain control of the cranberry farm.

(posted 1 day 8 hours ago)

Weil partners, Joseph Smolinsky and Brian S. Rosen will be participating at the upcoming 21st Annual Distressed Investing Conference being held at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, New York City, on December 1st, 2014.  Mr. Smolinsky will be a moderator and Mr. Rosen will be a speaker on a panel discussing Investing in Highly Regulated Businesses.
For additional information and to register for the conference, please visit http://bankrupt.com/DI2014/.

(posted 1 day 8 hours ago)
An 1830 first edition of the Mormon scripture, “Book of Mormon,” is displayed at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, in September 2014.
Getty Images

An Illinois resident who files for bankruptcy doesn’t have to give up the family Bible to pay down debt, thanks to state law.
And yes, that includes a first edition of the Book of Mormon from 1830—possibly worth tens of thousands of dollars—that Anna Robinson has kept in a plastic bag.
A federal judge ruled earlier this month that Ms. Robinson, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, doesn’t have to sell the book in order to pay the roughly $23,400 she owed to individuals and businesses when she filed for bankruptcy last year. (h/t Credit Slips). A court-appointed official sought to require the sale.

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 1 day 8 hours ago)

Unless the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 is extended, distressed homeowner’s face the risk of the imposition of income taxes on the discharged mortgage debt upon a short sale, short refinance or foreclosure.  The lack of the extension of this provision has resulted in the decline in the number of short sale.The debt forgiven by the mortgage lender as part of a short sale, short refinance,  or foreclosure, could result in “cancellation of indebtedness” income.  There are though various exceptions to the application of this rule so as to avoid income taxation, such as a.  if you are insolvent, b. the debt is discharged in bankruptcy, and c.

(posted 1 day 9 hours ago)