November 19, 2011
Bankrupt flywheel maker Beacon to sell plant to pay back DOE
"Beacon Power, the flywheel maker that filed for bankruptcy last month after winning a $43 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, announced on Saturday that it plans to sell its 20 MW flywheel plant in Stephentown, New York, to pay back the DOE loan. Beacon Power has been in negotiations with the DOE about how to pay back the loan and also continue operations, and Beacon says the DOE loan office’s 'highest priority was to recover as much of the $39.1 million loan balance as soon as possible' which led to the decision to sell the plant by January 30, 2012."
November 17, 2011
General Maritime Files Bankruptcy With $1.4 Billion in Debt
"General Maritime Corp., the second- largest U.S. owner of oil tankers, filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors after falling oil demand and a surplus of ships led to two years of losses.
The New York-based company listed assets of $1.71 billion and debt of $1.41 billion today in a Chapter 11 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Lender Oaktree Capital Management LP agreed to make a $175 million equity investment and a group led by Nordea Bank Finland Plc will provide as much as $100 million in financing to help the company through reorganization, General Maritime said."
November 15, 2011
Jefferson County Judge Known for ‘Rule-From-the-Bench' Style
"Thomas B. Bennett, the Birmingham, Alabama-based judge overseeing the biggest U.S. municipal bankruptcy, comes to court ready to rule, said attorneys who have appeared before him in his 16 years on the federal bench.
Bennett, chief bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of Alabama, was selected last week to manage the case of Jefferson County, whose seat is Birmingham, the state's biggest city. He asserted his style the first day the county and its major creditors appeared in court on Nov. 10."
November 14, 2011
California Bankruptcies Show Jefferson County Cost of Failures
"John Moorlach, who became treasurer of Orange County, California, after it filed the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history in 1994, has some advice for the new record-holder, Jefferson County, Alabama.
'What they might be able to learn from us is: Who can you sue for bringing you to this crazy place?' said Moorlach, who got $800 million in settlements from Merrill Lynch & Co., Standard & Poor's, broker-dealers and bond counsel after the county's investment pool lost $1.7 billion when bets on interest rates soured."
Catholic diocese ups offer for Crystal Cathedral
"A Southern California Roman Catholic diocese has increased its offer for the Crystal Cathedral to $57.5 million.
An attorney for the Diocese of Orange revealed the new offer at a federal bankruptcy court hearing Monday in Santa Ana, Calif. Its previous offer was $55.4 million."
November 11, 2011
Minn. firm takes control of 2 NW Indiana casinos
"A Minnesota-based investment firm has taken over two northwestern Indiana casinos owned by a company going through bankruptcy reorganization.
The Indiana Gaming Commission on Thursday approved the transfer of licenses for the Majestic Star Casinos in Gary to Wayzata Investment Partners, which is the largest creditor from Majestic Star's 2009 bankruptcy."
Kenneth Klee speaking to the press re Jefferson County Chp. 9 filing
November 08, 2011
Lawsuit against Madoff family grows to $226.4 mln
"The trustee seeking money for Bernard Madoff's victims has increased the size of his lawsuit against family members of the imprisoned Ponzi schemer to $226.4 million.
Irving Picard, the trustee, in an amended complaint, said the Madoffs were 'completely derelict' in overseeing operations at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, which collapsed when Madoff was arrested on Dec. 11, 2008."
Dodgers Judge Approves Six Days of Legal Fees, Overruling U.S. Trustee
"The Los Angeles Dodgers won initial court approval to pay the team’s bankruptcy lawyers fees for six days of work that had been challenged by the U.S. Trustee.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross said today the work was necessary for the team to win approval of a loan to continue operating while in bankruptcy. Gross overruled an objection filed by Mark Kenney, a trial attorney with the U.S. Trustee’s office in Wilmington, Delaware."
November 07, 2011
Insolvency Law Committee Constituency List -- Bankruptcy e-Bulletin
November 7, 2011
Dear Insolvency Law Committee Constituency List members:
The purpose of this eBulletin is to provide information about the Office of the United States Trustee – Central District of California – Region 16’s recent implementation of new forms and requirement of electronic filing for debtor-in- possession compliance.
Effective September 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, with the San Fernando and Northern Divisions following on January 1, 2012, and the other divisions later this year and early next year, with their own revised procedures, the Office of the United States Trustee ("UST") has implemented procedures requiring the electronic submission of 7-Day Compliance Packages and Monthly Operating Reports. In addition, the UST has created a new set of forms.
The following summarizes the major changes with regard to the 7-Day Compliance Package for the Los Angeles Division Only:
1. The 7-Day Package Cover Sheet (USTLA-2) has been replaced by two forms: USTLA 3 and 4.
* USTLA-3 – Declaration of Debtor Re Compliance-- includes the Real Property Questionnaire ("RPQ"), information about pre-petition and debtor- in- possession bank accounts, and most of the information previously requested on USTLA-2. USTLA-3 requires attachments such as property-specific RPQ and insurance declaration pages.
* USTLA-4 -- Attorney's 7-Day Package Checklist--must now be signed by the debtor and debtor's counsel. Attachments to USTLA 4 include the 90-day Projected Cash Flow Statement and the Statement of Major Issues and Timetable Report. Most of the information listed on USTLA-4 will be set forth in USTLA-3 or the Declaration of Debtor Re Compliance.
2. The RPQ has changed; there are new forms for a residence and an Excel spreadsheet is required for cases with multiple properties.
3. In addition, the UST has revised the format for Monthly Operating Reports (MOR).
4. All 7-Day Packages and Monthly Operating Reports must be submitted to the OUST at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Instructions specifically state that the information should not be sent to any individual staff person or attorney's mailbox. The Instructions also require that signatures be imaged and electronically filed in PDF format.
The author is advised that the procedures for the San Fernando Valley Division together with the Northern Division, the Orange County Division, and the Riverside Division will ultimately differ from each other, as well as from those for the Los Angeles Division, once all divisions implement their procedures.
The Guidelines and Requirements for Chapter 11 Debtors-in-Possession (for Los Angles Division cases Only) and each of the forms can be downloaded at the UST website at http://www.justice.gov/ust/r16/reg_info.htm.
These materials were prepared by Elissa D. Miller, a member at SulmeyerKupetz, a professional corporation, in Los Angeles, California, and Co-Chair of the Insolvency Law Committee.
Thank you for your continued support of the Committee.
Insolvency Law Committee
The Insolvency Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar provides a forum for interested bankruptcy practitioners to act for the benefit of all lawyers in the areas of legislation, education and promoting efficiency of practice. For more information about the Business Law Standing Committees, please see the standing committees web page.
Bankruptcy Filings Down in Fiscal Year 2011
Thank you to the Hon. Scott Clarkson for giving us the lead on the following informative article from the U.S. Courts website:
"Bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts for fiscal year 2011, the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011, totaled 1,467,221, down 8 percent over the FY 2010 bankruptcy filings of 1,596,355, according to statistics released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts."
United States Bankruptcy Court - Central District of California
Santa Ana, CA
October 31, 2011
Beacon Power bankrupt; had U.S. backing like Solyndra
"Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, just a year after the energy storage company received a $43 million loan guarantee from a controversial Department of Energy program."
MF Global files for bankruptcy protection
"MF Global, a trader in commodities and derivatives brought down by bad bets on Europe, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, leaving behind more than $2 billion in debt to some of Wall Street's biggest players.
The fate of MF Global, run by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, has been closely watched on Wall Street as a sign of how Europe's sovereign debt crisis could be cause trouble for U.S. financial companies."
October 28, 2011
Doc Holliday’s Dentist Chair Up for Sale in Bankrupt Harrisburg
"Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital, plans to auction off more than 8,000 relics ranging from 1900s- era rifles to wooden wagons that were meant to be part of a Wild West museum in the bankrupt city in the Northeast.
Representatives of 10 auction houses examined the artifacts yesterday, Robert Philbin, a spokesman for Mayor Linda Thompson, said. He declined to name them, though he said 25 firms, including Christie’s Inc. and Sotheby’s, were invited to submit proposals."
October 27, 2011
Crystal Cathedral to be used as college campus in bankruptcy deal
"The Crystal Cathedral has endorsed selling its sprawling campus to a university as part of a bankruptcy reorganization plan, church officials said Wednesday.
The church's board of directors has backed Chapman University's offer to buy the property if the church is unable to raise enough money to avoid a sale, the church said in a written statement.
Under the plan, the church would be able to continue to use a number of buildings on the Garden Grove campus and possibly repurchase them at a later date."
October 25, 2011
"Dodgers owner Frank McCourt looted nearly $190 million from the Los Angeles team, using the money for non-baseball use in violation of Major League Baseball rules, according to Delaware bankruptcy court documents filed on Monday....
It's the first time the league has specified an amount, the Los Angeles Times said....
The league claimed McCourt funneled $73 million in parking revenue through Blue Land Co., a non-team related entity, and he used $61 million in team revenue to pay off personal debts. The court documents also said McCourt took $55 million from team revenue for personal use...
A flurry of bankruptcy documents filed Monday also said San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, who was severely beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day, could be a central figure in next week's critical bankruptcy court hearing in Dover, Del. Stow lawyer Thomas Girardi has said his client's medical bills could exceed $50 million.
Stow's representatives sit on the official committee of creditors.
An earlier court document said there were 197 sworn police officers were on duty the day Stow was attacked, and it noted McCourt was the Dodgers owner to hire uniformed Los Angeles police officers. 'McCourt, however, omits the fact that he removed uniformed officers before the 2011 season, including the opening game when Stow was so seriously injured,' the league responded in its filing on Monday."
October 24, 2011
Vucurevich In U.S. Bankruptcy Court
"The former owner of the Sioux Falls Storm and the now closed Ground Round restaurant appeared in Federal Bankruptcy Court this afternoon. Creditors have filed a petition for involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy against Kent Vucurevich."
Madoff trustee, firm awarded another $45.3 mln
"Irving Picard, the trustee seeking money for victims of Bernard Madoff's fraud, and his law firm were awarded another $45.3 million of fees by the judge overseeing the liquidation of the imprisoned Ponzi schemer's investment advisory firm.
In an order made public on Friday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland in Manhattan awarded Baker & Hostetler $44.7 million and Picard $599,301 for their work in the four months ended May 31, a court filing shows."
* Madoff trustee, law firm paid $202.6 mln so far
* More litigation foreseen
* Trustee has recovered $8.7 bln, much tied up in lawsuits
Southern Montana Electric G&T Cooperative Files Bankruptcy
"Southern Montana Electric Generation & Transmission Cooperative Inc., a provider of electrical power to utility cooperatives in Montana, filed for bankruptcy protection.
The company listed assets and debt in the range of $100 million to $500 million each in Chapter 11 papers filed Oct. 21 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte, Montana."
October 20, 2011
US bankruptcy claims trading at year high in Sept
"The face value of U.S. bankruptcy claims traded in September was the highest since July 2010, according to a report released on Wednesday.
The value of claims traded in September doubled from August to $4.52 billion, according to SecondMarket, which runs a claims trading platform. The number of claims traded in September rose to 1,264 from 891 in August."