Pregnant Man Files Bankruptcy, Expects Fourth Child

Yes, you read that right – pregnant man.  Thomas Beatie stunned the world in June 2008 when he became the first man in the world to become pregnant and have a baby.  Over the period between 2008 and 2010, the family’s annual income has fallen from over $300,000 to negative $16,000.  Today, he and his wife are bankrupt, having filed for bankruptcy a year after their third child was born.

Thomas and his wife Nancy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the economic recession and stock market crash badly affected their T-shirt printing business and wiped out their savings.  This resulted in their home being repossessed last year.  Since then they have been surviving on food stamps and have moved into their holiday home in Phoenix, Arizona.

According to their bankruptcy papers, the couple’s monthly expenses are paid for with the help of $916 in food stamps and cash assistance.  Diapers alone cost them $400 a month.  Their current average monthly income is just above $3,500 and they claim they only have $150 in the bank.  Bankruptcy documents record that they have about $1 million in assets and $3 million in liabilities that include over $330,000 in credit card debts and over $14,000 in medical bills.

Thomas and Nancy have three children, Susan who is 2 years old, Austin aged 20 months and Jensen, now seven months in age.  But despite their tight financial situation, they are still planning to have a fourth child.  Thomas claims he can only get pregnant 4 days out of a year and he plans to conceive “sooner rather than later”.  He said, “We are staying positive and we’re determined to make this a good family home.  We’re both strong people and we’ve been through worse things in our lives. People might think this will have affected us and brought us down, but we refuse to let things beat us, and we don’t want anyone’s sympathy.”

According to Thomas, he plans to get his testosterone again and work out to get back in “good manly shape” after his fourth and final child.

If you are struggling financially, consider taking the step of bankruptcy.  Filing for bankruptcy may save you from all your financial problems and give you a fresh start in life.  Give us a call at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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Bankrupt Borders to pay Executives Bonuses

As much as $8.3 million in incentives and bonuses will be paid by Borders Group Inc. to its top executives, the bookstore chain confirmed.  This payout is aimed at retaining the services of key executives in its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy by late summer.  The Ann Arbor-based bookstore company says it typically rewards its workers with incentives and has sought a bankruptcy judge’s approval to go ahead with its proposed program.

On the other hand, if Borders was liquidated, no one would receive any incentive or bonuses due to the “debtors declining financial performance”, the company said.  Borders filed for bankruptcy protection in February this year after management changes, job cuts and debt restructuring exercises did not succeed in cutting losses due to stiff competition in book sales from rivals, Barnes & Noble and Wal-Mart Stores.

Borders spokeswoman, Mary Davis said, “A number of key members of the management team have been put in place or in their positions within the last year.  This management team has been fully focused on repositioning Borders to have the potential to be successful for the long term.”  Most of the top management staff has joined the company over the last 2 years.

Among the newly recruited executives are Chief Financial Officer Scott Henry, Chief Merchandising Officer Michelle Delahunty-Cloutier and Senior Vice President for Human Resources, Rosalind Thompson, all of whom were hired last year.  In addition, James Frering was brought in as Executive Vice President of Store Operations in February this year.  Michael Edwards gained promotion to become the President of Borders Group and Chief Executive of the parent company, Borders Inc. in June last year after initially joining the company as Chief Merchandising Officer in September 2009.

Up to $7.1 million has been set aside for this main incentive program depending on whether the company files a reorganization plan or receives approval to sell the company.  The goal is to submit a turnaround plan by April and exit bankruptcy by September this year if not sooner.

The rest of the money is earmarked for the incentive bonuses.  The filing states that under the incentive program, Edwards would get as much as $1.7 million in bonuses.  It also states that the ‘award opportunities’ would be 150% of what the company normally gives out in incentives.

If you wish to file for bankruptcy to save your business, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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Who’s Filing Bankruptcy

Florida Developer files for Bankruptcy

Seaview Place Developers, the developer of a waterfront condominium in New Port Richey has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a dispute with its bank.  The property developer developed the nine-story Seaview Place condo project on Seagull Drive in New Port Richey three years ago.

The condominium project has 151 units but only 31 are occupied according to bankruptcy papers.  The records also show that the company is in dispute with BB&T Bank over $14.8 million that the bank has a secured claim over Seaview.

Florida Drug Company files for Bankruptcy

GeoPharma, a Largo-based drug company that once publicized a unique ovarian cancer test, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  In its bankruptcy filing, the company listed assets estimated at $1 million to $10 million and liabilities of $10 million to $50 million.

GeoPharma does business as Innovative Health Products, a distributor of generic drugs, beauty products and health supplements.  But in recent years its business has done poorly and in August it sold off its pharmaceutical division, Belcher Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Connecticut Bus Company files for Bankruptcy

Nason Partners LLC, the company that operates commuter and charter buses from Torrington and Winsted to Hartford under the Kelly Transit LLC has filed for bankruptcy in US bankruptcy court in Hartford.  Despite the bankruptcy filing, the company will continue operations along its normal routes and provide its services to commuters while it reorganizes.  Kelly has a contract with the Department of Transport for its Hartford commuter routes.

The primary reason the company had to file for bankruptcy is the tighter bank lending rules that resulted from the economic recession.  According to Nason’s Managing member John Nason, several of the company’s banks are fighting among themselves.  Nevertheless, Nason said the company is current in its financial obligations with its creditors.  At this point, the company has not sought concessions from any party.

After 145 years founding and running the Kelly Transit company, the Kelly family sold it to the Nason family in 2005.

According to bankruptcy papers, Nason Partners has between $1 million and $10 million in liabilities and the same amount in assets.  Among its top 20 unsecured creditors are the Bank of America to whom it owes business credit card debts, a New Milford accounting firm, a New Jersey insurance company, a Farmington law firm, various vendors of parts and fuel, and Kelley Realty.  The bankruptcy case does not list the company’s secured creditors.
If you wish to file for bankruptcy protection, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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Bankrupt Blockbuster to be Sold

A federal bankruptcy court judge has decided that movie rental chain Blockbuster is to be sold to avoid liquidation.  This followed a protracted day of negotiations among its many creditors that include hedge funds, small unsecured creditors, major Hollywood movie studios and investor Carl C. Icahn.  They finally agreed to common terms and conditions for the sale after an entire day of discussions. Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September last year has been locked in disputes since.  The company prefers to be sold and was hoping bankruptcy judge Burton R. Lifland would approve an offer from a group of senior bondholders led by hedge fund Monarch Alternative Capital to buy the movie chain for $290 million.  Blockbuster hoped that that would lead to other higher offers. But other creditors did not see it that way.  Movie studios contended that the terms of the proposed sale were not favorable to them.  About 40 other creditors objected to the sale including the US Treasury overseeing the bankruptcy that prefers the company to be liquidated. Everything came to a head on the day when lawyers for opposing sides argued loudly in the hallways of the bankruptcy court but finally came to a consensus.  For several hours, lawyers for the bondholders and studios presented their views before Judge Lifland who frequently interrupted them.  At one point, after more than a dozen lawyers and others had come before him to express their concerns about the deal, Judge Lifland asked “Does anybody else need more comfort?” Finally, it was agreed by all parties that should the bondholders be allowed to buy over Blockbuster, it would not be authorized to push the movie company into Chapter 7 liquidation from Chapter 11 presently.  In addition, the studios and other creditors would get more money upfront for what they were owed and would receive a share of any offer above the $290 million bid.  Blockbuster owes several movie studios including heavyweights like Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Paramount about $100 million in administrative fees.  If the sale for Blockbuster goes through, the studios would immediately receive about 24% of their dues. Unsecured creditors can expect up to $7.5 million of the roughly $40 million they are owed in addition to a share in any higher bid. If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy for yourself personally or your business, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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New Jersey Motorsports Park gets Bankruptcy Approval for First Day Motions

The New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) had all seven of its motions approved by US Bankruptcy Court in Camden including those asking permission to pay wages and its debt to the Millville Rescue Squad.  With the approval of these motions, the Park is able to pay workers’ salaries, guarantee the presence of emergency medical technicians and perform other required actions to enable it to continue operating in the 2011 race season. Besides these approvals, Judge Gloria Burns also prevented the Park’s bank accounts from being frozen and ordered utility companies to continue providing the Park with amenities without alterations.  But according to NJMP attorney Louis Lipsky, the approvals were somewhat of a formality.  The Park filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy assuming the motions would be approved.  Lipsky said, “It never entered the conversation that the motions would be rejected.” Two of the Park’s biggest creditors namely the Millville Rescue Squad to whom more than $520,000 is owed and the Cumberland Empowerment Zone, the lender of a December 2009 loan amounting to $425,000, will be paid in full.  As for all other creditors, they will be receiving their dues according to the plan term sheet filed with the bankruptcy documents submitted to the court on March 7. When the Park opened in the summer of 2009, the city of Millville loaned $600,000 to it and the city confirmed that the Park has never missed a repayment.  These monthly repayments are set to continue as will be payments to the Cumberland Empowerment Zone. The payment to the Millville Rescue Squad is set to be in two installments of $200,000 each payable now and in the summer followed by monthly payments over a number of months. As for the upcoming racing season, the Park’s activities will be unhindered.  No workers will be laid off and hiring of workers will continue.  From the spectators’ point of view nothing will be different despite the bankruptcy. The next meeting between the NJMP and its creditors is scheduled to take place March 24 and a cash collateral hearing will be held April 12. If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy (for yourself or your business), call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.  Bankruptcy is your right under the law and is designed to give you a fresh start in life.

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Can Filing Bankruptcy Save Your Home?

If you fall behind on repaying the bank on a housing loan, you may be faced with a foreclosure notice.  What can you do to save your house?
The first thing you ought to do is try to negotiate a deal with your bank.  If you can work out more affordable terms of repayment, then it might just save your house from being sold in a foreclosure.
If this does not work, you may want to negotiate for a short sale.  A short sale is where the bank agrees to you selling your house for less than what you owe.  In a “deed in lieu” of foreclosure, you give the bank the deed to your home and avoid a formal foreclosure.  The reason for doing this is to avoid the negative effects on your credit brought by a foreclosure.
If these steps do not work, then here’s one more thing you can consider – filing for bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy laws are there to enable you to reorganize your debts and start afresh if you are in financial trouble.  But can this really save your home?  And if so, what repercussions are there?
Bankruptcy will automatically stop the foreclosure process, giving you the time to catch up with your mortgage payments.  No one can guarantee you won’t lose your home.  However, filing for bankruptcy may have less severe consequences than a foreclosure because to the bank you are making an attempt to clear your debt and keep up with what you owe whereas in a foreclosure, you’re just dropping everything and walking away after not paying your dues for some time.
According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, last year about 1.5 million people filed for bankruptcy.  This represented a rise of 9% following double digit gains in each of the previous three years.  On the other hand, statistics for foreclosures are just as alarming.  According to RealtyTrac, there were 2.9 million foreclosure filings in the US last year (a record figure), up nearly 2% from 2009 and 23% from 2008.  More than one in five homeowners owes their lenders more than what their homes are worth.  This figure is set to rise as property prices continue to plunge.
The mortgage industry would be glad if you file for bankruptcy because that typically frees you from unsecured debts like credit card debts, which would mean you have more money to repay your mortgage.  And contrary to popular belief, filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily deprive you of credit.
Though the record of a bankruptcy filing typically remains on your credit report for seven years, many filers begin getting credit card offers within a year or two after exiting bankruptcy.  The credit card companies know you don’t have any more debt, so you’re a good credit risk.
If you wish to file for bankruptcy, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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New Jersey Motorsports Park files Bankruptcy

New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after 4 years of operations at US Bankruptcy court in Camden.  However, its 2011 race calendar will not be affected by the filing neither will any employee be laid off.
With the bankruptcy filing, creditors of the Motorsports Park face an uncertain period of waiting to see how much of their dues they would get back.  But the park is current on all its municipal tax and utility bills as well as repayment on a $600,000 municipal loan.
The motorsports park’s General Manager Brad Scott said that their principal lender, the Bank of America has already forgiven some of the debt owed to them while current owners are putting in some of their own money into the operations and repaying debt.  The decision to file for bankruptcy was made after 90 days of deliberation and in discussion with Bank of America.
The city’s leaders confirmed that the park’s officials requested a meeting with them over their financial situation.  Vice Mayor Joseph Derella along with city Solicitor Richard McCarthy and city Administrator Sue Robostello met Brad Scott and Joseph Savaro (one of the partners in the business).  In the meeting, the city’s officials expressed their concerns over all the creditors who have supported the business of the NJMP, especially the unsecured creditors of the park.
Nevertheless, the park is current in its financial obligations to the city including its municipal loan of $600,000 for which Managing Partner Lee Brahin and Harvey Siegel, another Motorsports Park partner, both signed personal repayment guarantees that is unaffected by the court filing.
The New Jersey Motorsports Park was a major development project in the city of Millville and Cumberland County and was envisioned to provide economic stimulus to the region.  The park was built to promote motorsports and draw in fans and tourists for the most part of the year, albeit in smaller crowds of 10,000 to 30,000 people.  It sits on 500 acres of land and once fully developed would encompass 700 acres.  The project received strong backing from the city and county when it was first launched in June 2004.
Now that the park has filed for bankruptcy, Derella expects a backlash of criticisms.  But despite this reversal, city officials continue to hold on to their belief in the park being an integral part of the city’s future.
If you or your business would like to file for bankruptcy protection, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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Kansas Senator files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The state senator at Andover, Ty Masterson (R – Andover) has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection listing more than $800,000 in unsecured debts.  According to Masterson, most of the debts stem from a failed construction business in 2006 called MasterBuilt Homes.  He said his failed businesses were due to an employee making unauthorized expenses and bad project mismanagement.
And since he personally guaranteed the debts, he is filing a personal bankruptcy instead of a business bankruptcy.
Masterson’s debts consist mainly of credit card debts, debts from local businesses and commercial loans.  In his bankruptcy filing, he also said he liquidated his real estate holdings business to pay for the outstanding debts.
When Masterson was running for a seat in the Kansas Senate in 2008, he had about $150,000 in court-ordered judgments related to his business.  His bankruptcy filing done in December showed he now owes almost 6 times that amount.
Masterson had tried to put off filing for bankruptcy for 4 years as he worked to repay the debts.  But he finally gave in when he could not arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement with two banks.  Masterson owes Corner Bank $209,000 and Emprise Bank $53,890 in commercial loans.  In addition, he also has more than $160,000 in revolving credit card debts.  Masterson also owes several local businesses, including Fisher Lumber of Garden Plain to whom he owes $85,000.
Corner Bank declined to comment, saying it was not the bank’s policy to discuss cases under litigation.  Likewise, Joe Fisher the President of Fisher Lumber also declined to comment.
Masterson is a member of the state senate’s Ways and Means committee and is vice chairman of the Financial Institutions and Insurance committee.
Before serving in the Kansas Senate, Masterson was on the Andover city council in April 2005.  Later that year, he was appointed to the Kansas House for a term.
One commendable act of Masterson was refusing to play politics with his bankruptcy.  Some people advised him to file his bankruptcy in Kansas City to keep it from gaining public attention.  But Masterson refused saying, “No, this is my home, and I’m not trying to hide anything.  If it costs me my seat, it costs me my seat.”
If you are interested in filing for bankruptcy protection whether personally or for your business, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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Tribune Co’s Bankruptcy enters Confirmation Stage

The highly publicized case of Tribune Co’s bankruptcy case is finally set to be presented before a judge for its confirmation hearing.  A confirmation is where the bankruptcy judge signs off a plan for reorganization that was agreed upon by the bankrupt company and its creditors.  normally, there is only one plan but in the case of Tribune Co, the company that owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and dozens of TV stations, there are two competing plans.
Over the next two weeks, US Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Carey will begin hearing arguments from lawyers of the two sides each presenting their view of why their plan is the best in the interest of the Tribune and its creditors.  The first group with their reorganization plan comprises of the Tribune, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, Oaktree Capital Management and Angelo, Gordon & Co. whereas the second group with a competing plan is Aurelius Capital Management, a hedge fund that owns most of the Tribune’s junior debt.  Aurelius has grouped together a coalition of investors to try to obtain a higher payout from the other group.
Most bankruptcy experts have made the Tribune bankruptcy the typical case of how hedge funds can jam up the bankruptcy process by buying corporate debt for dirt cheap prices once a company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and then try to exact as much profit as they can through legal wrangles.  In Tribune’s case, this has resulted in two opposing groups seeking to capitalize on legal disputes stemming from the company’s 2007 leveraged buyout, led by Chicago financier Sam Zell.  These legal disputes are highly complex and made even more complicated when a court-appointed examiner said last year that the part of the transactions very likely contributed to the Tribune’s insolvency.
Although there is no sign of a compromise between the two groups, anything can happen.  In the course of the confirmation hearings, if Judge Carey is seen to favor one side, it may prompt the other side to propose a compromise, present a new plan or adjust their existing plan.
Judge Carey has allotted the next two weeks to hear both sides then will take a few more days to hear any objections from other parties like the US Justice Department and then another month or so to gather post-trial briefs.  So his decision is likely to come only in a few months.
If you are interested in filing for bankruptcy protection for yourself or your business, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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Cases of Bankruptcy Fraud

In Monroe, a businesswoman was charged with bankruptcy fraud among other charges.  Harriet Lynne King, 49 was convicted for bankruptcy fraud, concealment of property, knowingly violating a bankruptcy law, false statements under a penalty of perjury and false testimony under oath.
King runs HL King and Associates Inc., a company that seemingly provides legal services in Monroe.  King had committed criminal acts of accepting legal fees and court costs from 3 debtors and masquerading as an attorney.  In addition, King refused to return the fees when ordered to do so by the court.  Subsequently, King filed for bankruptcy herself and in her bankruptcy petition failed to disclose debts she had and deceptively declared she owned property that she never did.  She went on to sign her bankruptcy petition declaring that all she disclosed were true and accurate.  During testimony, it was revealed that King lied under oath when questioned about the false information.
King could be fined $250,000 and jailed for 5 years or each count of criminal wrongdoing.
In another unrelated case of bankruptcy fraud, a former Bannockburn trustee was indicted on charges of coming up with a fraudulent bankruptcy scheme in order to save himself from being evicted in a foreclosure case in 2009.
Michael Le Tourneau, 50 tried to save his home in North Shore from being foreclosed by falsely claiming that 3 friends and associates (one of whom was a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears team) are creditors in an involuntary bankruptcy claim against himself.  Emery Moorehead is the friend who was a member of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears team.  But Moorehead told the court that he did not realize his name was used although he still counts Le Tourneau as a friend.
On the other hand, LeTourneau’s attorney claimed in a bankruptcy court filing that the bankruptcy scheme was hatched by “a fraudulent mortgage rescue firm which preyed upon him at a time he was most vulnerable.”
If you are struggling with insurmountable debt, a bankruptcy filing may be the key to help you start over.  Call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation on how bankruptcy protection can help you overcome your financial problems.

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