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Blog Posts in March, 2011

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  • Is The Federal Housing Administration Failing To Protect Homeowners?

    Posted By admin || 31-Mar-2011

    It was recently discovered that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) had been aware of some mortgage companies' fraudulent lending practices but failed to take action. The FHA, the government agency created to help increase homeownership, knew since at least October 2007 that Cambridge Home Capital posed a danger to home buyers and repeatedly violated the agency's safe-lending standards... In ...
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  • Good News For Credit Card Debtors

    Posted By admin || 31-Mar-2011

    Have you experienced a credit card interest rate hike since January 2009? If so, you could be one of millions of credit card debtors who are granted a lower interest rate in the coming months. The Federal Reserve reported that credit card interest rates rose from an average of 13.57 percent in 2008 to 14.31 percent in 2009. Many credit card debtors mistakenly believed that this increase was due to ...
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  • Bankruptcy Court Refuses To Reopen Case At State's Request

    Posted By admin || 29-Mar-2011

    The bankruptcy case and eventual imprisonment of penny stock trader Robert E. Brennan is one which spans more than 15 years. The bankruptcy debtor was put in prison for nine years after hiding assets from the bankruptcy estate. And while the bankruptcy trustee scoured the globe trying to find the assets which belonged to the estate, one illegally hidden asset remained untouchable. In 1994, with ...
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  • EA Founder Unable To Discharge Taxes In Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 29-Mar-2011

    William M. Hawkins, III who founded the pioneering gaming company Electronic Arts (EA) has failed in his bid to have his taxes discharged in bankruptcy. In a stinging 16-page opinion this week, US. District Judge Jeffrey S. White upheld an earlier bankruptcy-court ruling, saying Hawkins (above right) knew he was insolvent after the Internal Revenue Service disallowed his tax shelters but ...
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  • AARP Sues HUD Over Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures

    Posted By admin || 11-Mar-2011

    Reverse mortgages are suppose to help elderly homeowners keep their home while maintaining their lifestyle but the AARP filed a lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development which says that the recent changes made to reverse mortgages are pushing elderly homeowners into foreclosure. "HUD has illegally and without notice changed the rules in the middle of the game at the expense ...
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  • Do Lenders View Chapter 13 Bankruptcy More Favorably Than Foreclosure?

    Posted By admin || 11-Mar-2011

    Do lenders view Chapter13 bankruptcy more favorably than foreclosure? For the answer, let's take a look at the underwriting standards of a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed loan. If you file for bankruptcy, you only need to wait four years after bankruptcy to qualify for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage. But if you lost your home to foreclosure, you may need to wait up to 7 years after the ...
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  • Travel Club Liquidates In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 11-Mar-2011

    The Nomads, the oldest remaining travel club in the U.S. with its own aircraft, has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy with $3,900,798 in assets and $3,917,944 in liabilities. The club had been cut off by its fuel supplier because of unpaid invoices. It also could not meet payroll or pay its obligations, according to a board of directors' letter to members Tuesday. Last-minute attempts to sell the ...
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  • Bankruptcy Injustice In "Non-Community" Property State?

    Posted By admin || 11-Mar-2011

    Many are up in arms about a recent bankruptcy decision in Massachusetts which left a debtor's spouse with no share of her husband's income tax refund. The state's Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the wife of a bankruptcy debtor had no right to an equal portion of the debtor's tax refund because she did not work outside the home. That means Janice Hundley, who was the family homemaker in ...
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  • Tribune Bankruptcy Fight Goes To Court

    Posted By admin || 11-Mar-2011

    U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin J. Carey has begun examining the two competing bankruptcy reorganization plan for Tribune Co. which has become an all out war between pre-leveraged buyout creditor and post-leveraged buyout creditors. Disputes over the LBO (leveraged buyout) led by real-estate billionaire Sam Zell have pitted holders of about $2.5 billion in debt from before the buyout against lenders ...
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  • Are Foreclosure Relief Programs Coming To An End?

    Posted By admin || 8-Mar-2011

    The House Financial Services Committee has voted to kill two foreclosure relief programs. The FHA Refinance Program Termination Act (H.R. 830) targets the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Short Refi Program, which allows homeowners who own more on their loan than the property is worth to refinance into a new FHA-insured mortgage as long as their lender agrees to write off at least 10 percent ...
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  • Homeowners Get Another Foreclosure Reprieve

    Posted By admin || 6-Mar-2011

    HSBC Holdings, Europe's biggest bank, has suspended U.S. foreclosures after "certain deficiencies" were found in the company's processing, preparation and signing of affidavits and "other documents supporting foreclosures." In other words, it sounds like another robo-signing type scandal in which foreclosures are simply pumped as quickly as possible through the court system. In response to the ...
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  • Bankruptcy Trustee Charged With Felony Fraud

    Posted By admin || 6-Mar-2011

    Court-appointed receiver and bankruptcy trustee Marika Tolz has been charged with felony fraud after allegedly misappropriating millions of dollars from bankruptcy cases since 2003. Tolz stands accused of misappropriating at least $16 million in several court cases, resulting in about $2.4 million in losses to parties in the cases. The alleged fraud and missing funds had been disclosed in mid-2010 ...
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  • How Bankruptcy Debtors Can Guide Their Kids Through Financial Crisis

    Posted By admin || 6-Mar-2011

    Going through financial troubles with kids is no picnic. But for bankruptcy debtors, it is especially important to work with your children to make sure that the entire family is on the same page when it comes to financial recovery. Below are a few tips: Be honest with your kids about the bankruptcy filing. Make sure that you tell them in age appropriate ways why you're filing bankruptcy, how ...
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  • Service Members and Bankruptcy: An Open Letter To Holly Petraeus

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2011

    Congratulations to Holly Petreus, who was recently appointed to head the team that's creating the Office of Service members Affairs within the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Office of Service members Affairs is charged with helping service members and their families make sound financial decisions and avoid pitfalls. Thank you for reminding our nation's largest banks that the Service ...
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  • Blockbuster Bankruptcy Sale Challenged By Creditors

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2011

    Blockbuster's unsecured creditors are calling for the liquidation of the movie rental company in Chapter 7 bankruptcy after the company struck a deal with senior creditors which purportedly disenfranchises landlords and vendors. The current sale proposal is "designed for the exclusive benefit" of Blockbuster potential buyers and would result in "devastation" for unsecured creditors owed some $486 ...
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  • Payday Loan Businesses Forced To Pay Into Education Fund

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2011

    In 2009, the governor of Delaware and the legislature created a new state law which required high-interest loan businesses to pay a $1,500 annual fee per office, with the fund earmarked for public financial education. Because of the fund, that state has awarded $500,000 in financial literacy grants to 13 nonprofit organizations. Gov. Jack Markell said the 13 programs, by nonprofit groups ...
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  • Bankruptcy Trustee Strikes Deal With Accused Attorney

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2011

    A deal between Russell Adler, a former law partner of Ponzi-scheme operator Scott Rothstein, and the bankruptcy trustee was approved this week. The law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler was forced into involuntary bankruptcy after Rothstein was arrested on federal criminal charges related to his Ponzi scheme. Judge Raymond B. Ray of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Friday ...
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  • Choosing A Bankruptcy Attorney: Five Signs You Picked A Lemon

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2011

    We've talked quite a bite about the dangers of filing a pro se bankruptcy case; but what about connecting with a bankruptcy attorney who may not be worth your time, not to mention your money? Let's take a look at five signs that your bankruptcy attorney is a "lemon." They have an exclusively online operation and you have never stepped into their office. While there are many useful ways that ...
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  • Third-Party Lender Granted Tax Claim Status In Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2011

    In a recent Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in Texas, the bankruptcy court ruled that a third-party lender claim can be treated as a tax claim. The bankruptcy court also ruled that the interest rate due on that tax claim could not be modified in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is now clear that when a federal, state, or local governmental entity pursues a claim against a bankrupt for unpaid taxes, the ...
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  • Celebrity Bankruptcy: Former Bears Player Commits Suicide

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2011

    Former Bears safety Dave Duerson, who filed bankruptcy in September, recently committed suicide according to reports. Duerson reportedly faced $14.7 million in liabilities, according to the bankruptcy filings. He also claimed $34.6 million in assets, but that was almost exclusively from a judgment in a 2004 lawsuit by his company, Duerson Foods. The judgment still remains uncollected. Duerson's ...
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  • Celebrity Financial Advisor Files Business Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2011

    Companies associated with Kenneth Starr, the "celebrity" financial advisor who admitted to bilking his famous clients and other investors out of millions of dollars, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. The bankruptcy filings by Starr Investment Advisors LLC and Starr & Co. come as Starr-who once counted Martin Scorsese and Wesley Snipes among his clients-awaits sentencing next month on ...
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  • Amish Fight For Bankruptcy Dismissal

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2011

    In a bizarre twist in the bankruptcy case of Monroe Beachy, a 77-year old Amish man accused of running a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme in the Amish community, 97 percent of the creditors want the case dismissed. Media headlines are comparing Beachy to Bernie Madoff, the investment advisor who choreographed a $50 billion Ponzi scheme since the early '90s, because of the long period in which they both ...
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