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Posts tagged: bankruptcy

Detroit Files Bankruptcy

Detroit on Thursday became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy, as the state-appointed emergency manager filed for Chapter 9 protection. Kevin Orr, a bankruptcy expert, was hired by the state in March to lead Detroit out of a fiscal free-fall and made the filing Thursday in federal bankruptcy court. A number of factors — most notably steep population and tax base falls — have been blamed on Detroit’s tumble toward insolvency. Detroit lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010. A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million is struggling to stay above 700,000. Much of the middle-class and scores of businesses also have fled Detroit, taking their tax dollars with them/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, left, at a news conference today)


Chesrown Files $72M Bankruptcy

Marshall Chesrown, who became the face of posh housing and gated golf course developments in the region but struggled as the economy soured, has filed a $72 million personal bankruptcy to complete the stunning collapse of his fortunes. Chesrown listed his net worth at $514,173 – a tiny sum compared to his billion-dollar aspirations that once included the Black Rock luxury golf club along Lake Coeur d’Alene, Kendall Yards near downtown Spokane, and Legacy Ridge in Liberty Lake. He now lives in Delray Beach, Fla., where he shares a modest condo with a woman and works as an automotive consultant. His assets include $500,000 of equity in a $1 million Legacy Ridge mansion still in his name, along with $9,500 in a retirement fund; $450 cash in pocket; $580 in two bank accounts; and several thousand dollars in furnishings and personal items. The bankruptcy will unfold in a South Florida federal court/John Stucke, SR. More here.

Question: Does the money Chesrown owes add perspective to the amount of money you owe?

Hart Files For Bankrupty Yet Again

State lawmaker and tax protester Rep. Phil Hart has filed for bankruptcy — again — prompting a federal tax foreclosure case against him to be put on hold. Hart filed for bankruptcy in Idaho's U.S. District Court on Wednesday, almost two months after he voluntarily dropped his previous bankruptcy case. Hart, a Republican from Athol who lost his bid for a fifth term in the Idaho House in the May primary election, stopped filing federal income tax returns in 1996 while he unsuccessfully pursued a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal income tax. He lost that lawsuit, and the Internal Revenue Service is seeking to collect more than half a million dollars in back taxes, penalties and interest, partly by foreclosing on his log home/AP via Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: I'm starting to believe that our Artful Tax Dodger is trying to outlast the IRS and Idaho Tax Commission. What do you think?

Hart Foreclosure Case Back On Track

Federal authorities are gearing back up for their foreclosure lawsuit against tax-protesting Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, now that Hart’s voluntarily dismissed his bankruptcy filing — which had placed an automatic stay on the foreclosure case. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has lifted the stay in the case that goes after Hart’s log home in Athol, but at Hart’s request, agreed to a delay until mid-November for the first discovery deadlines in the case, due to the unexpected illness of Hart’s Kentucky attorney. U.S. Justice Department lawyers had asked for a deadline a month earlier/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


Judge Dismisses Green’s Bankruptcy

Post Falls Landing developer Harry Green's bankruptcy was dismissed on Wednesday, allowing a creditor to proceed with foreclosure on the city center site along Spokane Street and the Spokane River. The decision was made in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Coeur d'Alene by Chief Bankruptcy Judge Terry L. Myers. Green filed Chapter 11 corporate bankruptcy on Dec. 19, the morning an auction sale on the property was scheduled. The bankruptcy canceled the sale. Wednesday's court decision allows Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company, a creditor on the 33-acre, multi-use Landing project, to proceed with the foreclosure, a process that could take up to four months. The firm is seeking $8.2 million. Shelly Enderud, Post Falls interim city administer and finance director, said the city was pleased with the decision because it wants to see the city center developed into a vibrant corridor/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Harry Green at Post Falls Landing in 2008)

Question: What would you like to see done with the Post Falls Landing (former L-P property) property on the Spokane River?

Feds: Hart Plan ‘Not Feasible’

Federal prosecutors are calling for Idaho Rep. Phil Hart’s proposed bankruptcy plan to be dismissed, saying it’s improper, it wouldn’t appropriately satisfy his half-million-dollar federal income tax debt, and it relies on an income source that will disappear at the end of this year: His legislative salary. Hart, a tax protester and fourth-term state lawmaker, was defeated in the May GOP primary, so his legislative salary will end in December. “Hart’s plan is not feasible,” wrote U.S. Department of Justice attorney Adam Strait in court documents. Hart had proposed paying $200 a month for five years - a total of $12,000 - to get his entire debt of more than $600,000 discharged. Most of that debt is to the IRS; it also includes more than $50,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest, and $22,000 in credit card debt/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

Question: Do you think the feds will ever get Hart to pay up?

Rep. Hart Rebuffs Finance Questions

Item: Hart rebuffs finance questions: Trustee lawyer at lawmaker’s bankruptcy hearing says refusal to answer unusual/Scott Maben, SR

More Info: Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart refused to answer many questions about his finances in a meeting Friday with creditors in his bankruptcy case. An attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice and another representing the Idaho State Tax Commission grilled Hart about his business interests, income, assets and debts during a meeting conducted by the trustee in Hart’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. Hart, a longtime tax protester who owes the IRS more than $550,000 and the state more than $50,000, said he thought many of the questions – including ones about corporations he helped set up and about the Athol house he lives in – were inappropriate or irrelevant to his bankruptcy filing. He repeatedly responded, “I decline to answer.” Refusing to answer such questions is highly unusual in such a meeting, said Ford Elsaesser, a Sandpoint lawyer representing the trustee in the case. (SR file photo of Phil Hart)

Question: What do you think was Hart's strategy re: not answering questions?

Judge Seeks Chapter 13 Relief

Clark A. Peterson, a judge in Kootenai County, and his wife, Donna M., filed for Chapter 13 relief in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In their petition, the Petersons, of Post Falls, listed total assets of nearly $205,000, and debts of nearly $457,000, according to court documents. Clark Peterson claimed $8,900 in gross-monthly wages, with payroll deductions of $2,700, and take-home pay of $6,200. Donna Peterson was listed as a homemaker. The Petersons' average monthly expenses are $5,400. Chapter 13 allows debtors to keep property and develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts over time, usually in three to five years. During that time the law forbids creditors from starting or continuing collection efforts/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Will this affect Peterson's ability to judge?

Rep. Hart Files For Bankruptcy

Tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart, who lost his bid for a fifth term in the GOP primary two weeks ago, has filed for bankruptcy. In Hart’s petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he lists just three creditors: The IRS, the Idaho State Tax Commission, and Anderson & Krieger, a construction defect law firm in Sacramento, Calif. Hart also is facing a foreclosure lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department seeking to foreclose on his Athol home for more than $500,000 in back federal income taxes, penalties and interest, and a state order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest. Michael McFarland, Hart’s Coeur d’Alene attorney in the bankruptcy proceeding, said, “I’m really not in a position to discuss details”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. And: bankruptcy document here.


Old Country Buffet Shuts In Spokane

The last two Old Country Buffet restaurants in Spokane County have closed as part of the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization. Parent firm Buffets, Inc. filed the bankruptcy last week in Delaware, announcing it would close 81 underperforming restaurants. Those closed restaurants are roughly 16 percent of the 500 it operates nationally. The local locations were 12205 E. Sprague, at the corner of Pines and Sprague, in Spokane Valley; and 5504 N. Division St. in Spokane. Both closed Thursday, said Melissa Sheer, a company spokesperson/SR. More here.

Question: Was the erstwhile buffet diner in the Silver Lake Mall an Old Country Buffet, too? Did you used to eat there?

Twinkies Maker Seeks Bankruptcy

Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, is seeking bankruptcy protection, blaming its ension and medical benefits obligations, increased competition and tough economic conditions. The Chapter 11 filing on Wednesday comes just two years after a predecessor company emerged from bankruptcy proceedings. That company, called Interstate Bakeries and based in Kansas City, Mo., filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004. It emerged in February 2009/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Which American snack cake do you like best?

Borders Customers Saw It Coming

The Spokane Borders bookstore was filled Friday with shoppers taking advantage of reduced prices after the company announced it is going out of business. Borders Group Inc. began liquidating its 399 stores nationwide Friday, including those in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. Some Spokane customers expressed surprise at the announcement Friday – as they packed the store to save up to 40 percent – but others knew the closure was coming. Kati Lutz, of Spokane, said her husband is a former employee and they have many friends who work at various stores. Her husband, who did not wish to be identified, was laid off in 2008. “We … know a lot of people that work here,” Lutz said. “I think it’s going to be tough. It’s definitely not an easy time to be looking for a job.” However, she said, “I think most people saw it coming”/Chelsea Bannach, SR. More here.

Question: Where do you buy most of your books? And/or: What are you reading now?

CdA Borders Among Stores To Shut

PatrickH: Borders announced late yesterday that they will be seeking Bankrutcy Court approval to liquidate their remaining 399 stores. This will result in the loss of over 10,000 jobs. Two stores locally will be affected, one in North Spokane and the store here in Coeur d’Alene. About 70 jobs will be lost from those two stores. This is being reported by the WSJ and others. KeithinCDA provides this link to national Borders story.

Question: How often do you buy books at a book store? Which store?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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