Phoenix Bankruptcy Law News

December 2010 Archives

Football Fans Travel To Phoenix For Bowl Games

Associated Press reports that hotels, restaurants, and taxi companies in the Phoenix area are likely to see a big boost in business this week because football fans from across the country are traveling to see the bowl games. Tourists in the Valley are expected to have an economic impact of about $420 million, according to an estimate by the chairman of the Fiesta Bowl board.

The Insight Bowl kicked off on December 28 between Iowa and Missouri, while the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Central Phoenix took off this morning. Tomorrow, the Fiesta Bowl will take place between Connecticut and Oklahoma in Glendale's University of Phoenix Stadium. Plus, let's not forget the BCS National Championship Game between Oregon and Auburn that is set to take place on January 10.

Two-Thirds of American College Students Graduate With Debt

MSNBC News reports that student debt at the end of 2010 is at $880 billion and that this type of debt is growing at a rate of $2,800 per second. With two-thirds of U.S. college students now graduating with debt, the issue of student loans is becoming a heated issue all over the country.

Lauren Asher, who directs the non-profit Project on Student Debt, says that the the growing number of people in student loan debt is particularly problematic because many more people are now defaulting on student loans and college graduates are having a more difficulties getting higher paying jobs.

Austin "Kit" Jennings Files For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection

Anybody could unexpectedly lose their money and end up filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Casper Star-Tribune recently reported that Austin "Kit" Jennings, a state senator in Casper, Wyoming, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection after losing a lawsuit.

The Republican senator reportedly filed for bankruptcy on December 9 in order to stop creditors from collecting money that he owes them. Through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Wyoming senator plans to liquidate his property and discharge certain debts. The man's top creditors include Hilltop National Bank, which holds the mortgage on his house, and Brown & Hiser in Laramie, the law firm that represented him in a case against Wyoming Machinery Co. The Internal Revenue Service is also reportedly seeking $116,629 in back income taxes from Kit Jennings.

Owner Jon Harris Says Phase 54 Will Become Restaurant

The Phase 54 nightclub in Chandler is looking to convert its business into a Mediterranean restaurant, perhaps in order to seek revenge against the other businesses in the shopping center at Interstate 10 and Ray Road. The Arizona Republic reports that Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's and Charleston's went to Maricopa County Superior Court last Spring to ask for a temporary restraining order to keep the business from opening, saying that a nightclub violated codes and restrictions of the Chandler Gateway West shopping center.

Arizona Unemployment Rate Drops In November

Good news for those that are looking for work in the state of Arizona. Associated Press reports that the state's unemployment rate in November was down slightly from a month earlier. About 12,800 nonfarm jobs were added in the state, two thirds of which were retail-related jobs.

Other sectors that saw job gains last month included the transportation sector, utilities sector, government, professional and business services, education and health services, manufacturing, and information. The month of November marks the second month in a row in which the unemployment rate dropped in Arizona.

Do Rewards Cards Lead Consumers Into More Debt?

Many consumers like the idea of having a credit card with a cash rewards program, which yields about one percent in cash rewards or an average of an extra $25 a month for spending. But perhaps this cash incentive encourages individuals to spend a lot more money using their credit cards and further drives the credit card holder into debt.

The Wall Street Journal reports that small rewards can prompt people to spend more money. In a recent study, economists reportedly found that credit card debts actually grew faster among card holders that were offered cash rewards with their spending. So while there are certainly some financial benefits to a cash rewards credit card account, some experts might argue that the cash-back reward is negated by increased overall spending and debt.

Does Increased Holiday Spending Mean Economy Is Improving?

Some economists say that high consumer spending around the holidays is a sign that the United States is moving toward economic recovery. FOX News reported that the increase in holiday spending that has been hyped up through the media could lead to lower rates of unemployment and higher levels of consumer confidence; factors that could give a boost the U.S. economy.

However, other sources are saying that the increase in holiday spending among consumers does not necessarily mean more profits for the businesses, especially if the products are being sold for lower prices. As the Detroit News puts it, this year's holiday spending might just mask the weak economy.

Blockbuster Bankruptcy Plan Expected To Be Filed In January

The video rental chain Blockbuster Inc. recently asked a New York bankruptcy court for an extension on their Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection plan with hopes of having their new deadline for late March. The Phoenix Business Journal reported that the company is set to have their bankruptcy plan filed by mid-January, where about 180 Blockbuster stores are expected to close by April 2011.

We reported in an earlier blog post that the Dallas-based retailer announced their bankruptcy last September after carrying about $900 million of debt. The company is now looking to close hundreds of stores and focus more of their efforts on digital distribution. Before Blockbuster's Chapter 11 reorganization plan began, the company had about 120 stores in the state of Arizona.

City of Phoenix Launches Campaign To Prevent Foreclosure

Are you struggling to pay off your home loan? There are steps that you can take to avoid foreclosure and keep the bank from taking over your home in Phoenix. The East Valley Tribune reports that the city of Phoenix has initiated a public education campaign that has the goal to help homeowners prevent foreclosure.

The campaign was launched by the city of Phoenix and the non-profit volunteer organization Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force to reduce the amount of foreclosures in the Phoenix metro area. City officials say that this year there has been about 15,500 foreclosure notices filed in the area so far and that there have been 9,200 homes in the area that have been foreclosed.

Beware Of Debt Settlement Scams

ABC News warns that debt settlement companies often mislead consumers into paying high fees, leading the debtor to fall only further into debt. The Better Business Bureau has reportedly received more than 3,500 complaints over the past few years from individuals that claim they were scammed by debt settlement service companies.

Debt negotiating companies will often attract consumers with large amounts of credit card debt by claiming that they can settle their debt for a fraction of the debt's face value. Many debt settlement companies will ask for large upfront fees or make impossible promises that that debt will be cleared in a short amount of time.

Is There A Time Limit On Collecting Credit Card Debt In Arizona?

If a debt collector is trying to get you to pay off credit debt from several years ago, you might not legally have to to pay it. According to the Arizona Daily Star, there is a statute of limitations for collecting credit card debt in most U.S. States and Arizona's statute of limitations for collecting credit card debts is three years.

It's important to realize that the statute of limitations only applies to credit card debt in the state of Arizona and does not necessarily apply to debt incurred in multiple states or other types of debt. If your credit card debt in Arizona is more than three years old, then you should inform the debt collector that you are know that the debt has passed the statute of limitations and that you're aware that the debt cannot be collected in court. If the debt collector still decides to file suit to collect the debt, contact an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer to represent you in court proceedings.

Phoenix Is Top Travel Destination In The U.S.

The tourism industry in the Phoenix metro area might be gaining more business in the New Year, as Arizona's capital was recently ranked as a top city for domestic travel by the franchise travel company Travel Leaders. The Phoenix Business Journal reported that Travel Leaders ranked Phoenix and Chicago in 10th place for the top 10 domestic destinations based on a travel trend survey.

It might not be too surprising that the top travel destination in the United States is Las Vegas, followed by other major cities that include New York, Los Angeles, and Orlando. Another survey stated that Phoenix residents said that their top international travel destination would be a cruise to Mexico.

What Happens When Debt Collectors Go After the Wrong Person?

Debt collectors can be very aggressive when they're trying to collect money. But what happens if you get tagged with somebody else's debt and an Arizona collector comes after you for money that you do not owe?

The Los Angeles Times reports that people with a common name are the most likely to be targeted for debt that does not belong to them. If you have a phone number that once belonged to a person that has unpaid bills on their record, then you may also be a wrongful target among debt collectors.

Shane Co. Emerges From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

The nation's largest privately held jeweler Shane Co. has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a reorganization plan that will pay creditors 100 percent of the money that is owed to them. The Denver Business Journal reports that the owner of Shane Co., Tom Shane, is committing to give unsecured creditors all of their money back as long as it is feasible. Yet the repayment plan reportedly lacks a deadline.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Howard Tallman approved the Shane Co. bankruptcy reorganization plan on November 10 and called the case, "the ideal Chapter 11 that you can have." Through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, creditors are able to recoup money that is owed to them through the debtor's reorganization plan. However, creditors are often not usually paid the full amount that is owed to them and the amount of debt that the debtor owes to creditors is often renegotiated.

AG Terry Goddard Says Bank of America Violated Consumer Fraud Laws

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard claims that Bank of America is abusing loan borrowers in the state through their deceptive procedures. He's now taking action against the mortgage lender and has decided to file a lawsuit against Bank of America based on consumer fraud laws.

The Arizona Republic reports that the lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court, states that Bank of America did not respond to many homeowners' requests for help, rejected loan-modification applications without supplying sufficient reasons, and began foreclosure proceedings on homeowners at the same time those borrowers were starting loan modifications.

Phoenix Bankruptcy Filings in 2010 Hit Record High

This year's bankruptcy filings through November hit record levels in the Phoenix metro area and the year 2010 isn't even over with yet. The Arizona Republic reports that the Phoenix year-to-date bankruptcy totals through November were at 28,849, according to the Phoenix Bankruptcy Court. This exceeds the record of 28,277 bankruptcies being filed in a single year in the Phoenix area. The previous record was for the year 2005, where thousands of people rushed to seek bankruptcy protection before new laws went into effect. 

Arizona Has High Economic Stress Level

Associated Press released a report on "Economic Stress," which calculates a score from 1 to 100 that is based on foreclosure, unemployment, and bankruptcy rates. A higher score means more economic stress and a country is considered stressed with a score above 11. The average county's score was 9.9 in October, which was an 18-month low average on the AP's Economic Stress Index.

While most U.S. states are showing improvement when it comes to economic stress levels, Arizona is currently among the top five most economically stressed states in the nation with a score of 14.6 in October 2010. The other states with the highest economic stress include Florida, California, Nevada, and Michigan.

Ten Companies That Might File For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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Many large companies are retail businesses declared bankruptcy in 2010, including one of the country's largest video rental chains Blockbuster Inc. and the 150-year-old grocery chain A&P. At the local level, the restaurant Loop Taste of Chicago and the grocery chain Bashas' are just a couple businesses that recently for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as well.

The Street predicts that there could be a number of large-scale businesses filing for bankruptcy next year, due to flaws in a company management or business plans. Below is a list of companies that The Street says could declare bankruptcy in 2011 or in the not-so-distant future.

Arizona AG Terry Goddard Combats Fake Check Scams

A new consumer education program in Arizona will warn people of fake check scams when they make certain check deposits or withdrawals. The Arizona Daily Star reports that Attorney General Terry Goddard launched the program this month and that he has the support of credit unions, banks and consumer advocates on his efforts to reduce the fake check scams. He says that it is often impossible to detect counterfeit checks or money orders just by looking at them.

What are some of the fake check scams that Terry Goddard is referring to? One common scenario is when a consumer receives a genuine-looking check in the mail and is asked to wire money in return before depositing the check. However, in this scam the check turns out to be fake. Another common scam in Arizona is when a consumer is asked to pay taxes on a sweepstakes award in order to claim the prize. The program that Attorney General Terry Goddard consists of banks and financial institutions handing out brochures that warn of the dangers of such fraudulent schemes.

"This campaign helps consumers understand that they are responsible for the checks and money orders they deposit or cash," Paul Hickman, president and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association, said in Arizona Daily Star.

Patrice Perry Sues Capital One For Unfair Debt Collection Practices

A Pennsylvania woman had the scare of her life when she received a letter from the credit lender Capitol One saying that she owed $286,651,237. MSNBC reported that Patrice Perry claimed that she only owed the company $3,800 and that she received threatening phone calls from Capitol One.

This led Patrice Perry to file a lawsuit against Capital One, asking for the same amount of money that that Capitol One was asking for -- more than $286 million. The lawsuit stated that "Defendant went to great lengths to abuse, threaten, intimidate and harass Plaintiff over a substantial period of time, first by falsely demanding varying amount, and when that failed, by demanding a payment so extreme as to be tortuous..."

Study: Small Business Confidence At Three Year High

Reuters reports that the nation's small business owners showed the highest level of confidence in November since December 2007, which is when the recession reportedly started. The small business confidence was measured by a survey that 807 small businesses took part in.

About nine percent of the 807 small businesses surveyed reported unfilled job openings last month. Nine percent of businesses also reported that they plan to increase their employment over the next three months. And while job growth seems to be improving  in the state of Arizona and around the nation, 12 percent of small businesses surveyed still said that they planned to lay off workers over the next few months.

Nationwide Student Loan Debt Exceeds Credit Card Debt In U.S.

The price of higher education in increasing, which means that many college graduates are seeing their bachelors degree come with a mountain of debt. ABC News reports that student loan debt nationally is at $829.785 billion, according to FinAid.org. This is more than the nation's credit card debt, which the Federal Reserve reports is at $826.5 billion.

So how can a student in Arizona reduce his or her student loans? College students may want to consider getting a summer job so that they take out less money in loans. It's best to also pay as much as you can each month on student loan payments so that there's a reduction on what you pay in interest over the life of the loan.

Arizona Minimum Wage Increases By 10 Cents

Starting on January 1, the Arizona minimum wage will increase to $7.35 per hour. Arizona Daily Star reports that this is a 10 cent an hour increase from the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The federal minimum wage is also set at $7.25 per hour and will continue to stay at that level through 2011.

Will an extra dime an hour really make a difference in wages for workers in Arizona? That's just $4.00 more per week for a person that works a full-time 40-hour work week, and that's before taxes. The Industrial Commission of Arizona determined last October that the minimum wage would be increased next year due to the cost-of-living increases based on increases to the federal Consumer Price Index.

Rim Golf Club Developer Emerges From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The real estate company Crescent Resources filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2009 and recently emerged from bankruptcy this year. Through the court-approved repayment plan, Crescent Resources is transferring one of their Arizona golf club properties in Payson to Rim Golf Club. The Payson Roundup also reports that Rim Golf Club will receive 83 residential lots within a community as part of the court-approved bankruptcy settlement.

The residential units, which are adjacent to the 550-acre Rim Country residential golf community, will be sold by Rim Golf Club. Memberships at Rim Golf Club were once only available to property owners, but several membership categories were recently created for the general public. Golfers in Phoenix and throughout Arizona might want to take advantage of this unique opportunity to buy housing or club memberships.

A&P Grocery Chain Files For Bankruptcy Protection

A company that owns 395 supermarkets on the East Coast filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization earlier this week, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The company Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. filed the bankruptcy petition in White Plains, New York and has become known for operating A&P stores along with Pathmark, Super Fresh and Waldbaum's stores. The company has stores in eight northeastern states and Washington D.C.

What exactly has led up to the company's bankruptcy filing? A&P reportedly blames its financial troubles on the liability from closing 73 stores, heavy debt, competition and declining sales. The company has listed $2.53 billion in assets through their bankruptcy filing, but the reported assets are up against $3.21 billion in debt.

Declaring Bankruptcy During Retirement

USA Today reports that people over the age of 65 are among the fastest growing segment of the American population seeking bankruptcy protection, according to a study from the University of Michigan Law School. This is because senior citizens will often have to pay a great deal of money for medical expenses and other bills, but Social Security hasn't added a cost-of-living adjustment in a long time. As a result, many elderly people can't help but drive themselves into debt.

Many senior citizens are now looking at their options through Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. This type of bankruptcy lets debtors discharge unsecured debt. Because medical bills and credit card debt are considered unsecured debts, a bankruptcy filing could eliminate such debts and allow the debtor to start over with a clean slate after liquidation proceedings.

Holiday Retail Sales Expected To Be 4.5 Percent Higher Than Last Year

With less than two weeks until Christmas, economists expect that retailers in Arizona will be happy with their sales this month. The number of shoppers for this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday increased from last year's holiday shoppers. Inside Tucson Business also reported that the Consumer Confidence Index rose to 54.1 percent in November, which is up from October's 49.9 rating.

Overall, Inside Tucson Business reports that this year's holiday retail sales will be 4.5 percent higher than the holiday retail sales of last year. While this isn't a huge increase in the number of retail sales, it's a sign that the U.S. economy is likely to improve and that we'll soon be seeing more jobs in the state of Arizona with the economic improvement.

Chateaux On Central Reopens In Phoenix

The Chateaux on Central housing complex in Phoenix was considered to once be the jewel of Central Avenue, according to FOX News. However, it seems like the high-end housing was built and developed in the city of Phoenix at the wrong time.

In Downtown Phoenix, the Chateaux on Central was built during the real estate boom for $65 million. Yet the owners of the mini-mansion complex had to file for bankruptcy and units eventually went into foreclosure during the down economy. A new owner bought Chateaux on Central for just $7 million and the housing complex was able to reopen last week.

U.S. Consumers Have Slower Rate of Debt During Third Quarter

Reuters reports that U.S. households contracted debt at a slower rate during the third quarter of this year compared to the earlier quarters of the year. Household wealth also reportedly rose by $1.2 trillion during the third quarter, which comes after a $1.4 million drop in the second quarter.

Economists say that the slower rate of debt in the United States is significant because the rate of debt during the third quarter of this year marks the slowest pace of household debt consolidation since the first quarter of 2009. Perhaps this means that the U.S. economy is starting to pick up.

Getting A Free Annual Credit Report In Arizona

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers can receive a copy of their credit report once a year for free. So perhaps it's a good idea to take advantage of this free service and stay up-to-date with your credit score. ABC News reports that people in Arizona can get their free credit report through the website AnnualCreditReport.com. Through this website, consumers can receive their credit report through one of the three main credit reporting companies -- Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.

Phoenix Residents Facing Costly Household Bills

In an annual study on consumer bills, the Phoenix Business Journal reported that the credit reporting company Experian finds that residents in the Phoenix metro area pay an average of $957 a month in bills. This may seem like a great deal of money and it is, considering that $957 is six percent higher than the national average of paying just $903 in monthly payments on bills.

The average monthly bill payments in the Experian study include bills for car loans, mortgages and credit card bills. Data in the study is reportedly based on the monthly payments listed on individual consumer credit reports. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the U.S. cities that rank highest for average monthly bill payments include Washington D.C., Seattle, and Baltimore. At the top of the list, Washington D.C. residents pay bills that are 42 percent higher than the monthly national average.

Loop Taste of Chicago In Oro Valley Declares Bankruptcy

An eatery in Oro Valley has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to Explorer News. The Loop Taste of Chicago, located at 10180 N. Oracle Road in the San Jose Plaza, filed the notice for bankruptcy protection on December 2 and currently has between $1 million and $10 million in liabilities.

Business owners in the San Jose Plaza have asked Town of Oro Valley officials to build a left-hand turn lane into the shopping center. Owners say that there's not easy access into the retail shopping center for southbound traffic on Oracle Road. Southbound motorists must now travel beyond the shopping center and make a U-turn at El Conquistador Way to get into the San Jose Plaza.

Hamtramck Won't Be Declaring Bankruptcy

We reported in an earlier blog post that the city of Hamtramck, Michigan was considering filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy last month so that the municipality would be able to come back from their multi-million dollar debt and rebuild credit. Yet it looks like we won't be see this Detroit suburb declare bankruptcy anytime soon since the city is having trouble getting approval from the state of Michigan.

Detroit Free Press reported that the legal counsel of Governor Jennifer Granholm informed Hamtramck city officials that she has no power under Michigan law to issue an executive order granting the city permission to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. A statement read, "There is absolutely no precedent for an order of that nature under the state's current constitutional framework."

Got Bad Credit? You Can Still Get A Car Loan

If you have a poor credit rating and believe that you won't qualify for a car loan -- think again! Experian Automotive reported yesterday that the automotive credit industry increased the share of new car loans going to credit-challenged borrowers by 12.7 percent during the third quarter of 2010, compared to the third quarter of 2009.

The subprime customers that Experian Automotive is referring to are the customers that have credit scores between 550 and 619. The median credit score in the FICO credit scoring system is 723. Customers are also reportedly doing a better job of repaying loans, with 30-day delinquencies and 60-day delinquencies dropping for the third quarter of 2010.

Debt Relief Scammers Ordered To Pay Over $28 Million

The California companies Debt.com Marketing, Media Choice and 800 Credit Card Debt advertised themselves as debt relief services, but were reported to all be debt relief scams. According to CBC News, the companies were all managed by Stephen Todd Cook, who was ordered to pay a judgment of $28.2 million to the consumers that were ripped off by the companies.

Number of Bankruptcy Filings Decrease Across the U.S.

Reuters reports that the number of bankruptcy filings fell to a nine-month low in the month of November, which could mean that consumers are in less debt and that the economy is improving. The consumer bankruptcy filings across the U.S. reportedly totaled 114,587 last month, which is down from the number of bankruptcy filings that were filed in October by 13.3 percent.

The number of bankruptcy filings in November was the fewest that it has been at since February. There is also other evidence that shows how the economy is starting to pick up in the state of Arizona and across the United States. Reuters also reported of data that shows how U.S. private sector payrolls rose in November by the most in almost three years. Factory activity also is above the reported minimum level to indicate a growing economy.

DREAM Act Could Boost Arizona Economy

Many people support the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) because such a law would encourage immigrants to pursue a degree from an institution of higher education. The Arizona Republic reports that economists also predict that the passage of the DREAM Act would boost the economy by generating $1.4 trillion over the next 40 years.

The DREAM Act legislation would allow young people who came to this country before the age of 16 to earn temporary legal status if they demonstrate good moral character, earn a high-school diploma or equivalent and complete two years of college or two years of military service.

Holiday Scam With Bogus Checks Could Cost Arizonians Money

During this holiday season, consumers might be expecting to receive gifts, cash, and checks in the mail. Yet if you receive a mysterious check in the mail, it's probably a good idea not to deposit the money.

ABC News reports that an old scam is back, where people are receiving bogus checks for thousands of dollars. One man claimed that he was sent a check for $10,500 and was told that he would be able to keep the money if her were to wire a check for $2,850. While the check may look legitimate, RipOffReport.com says that these checks are phony.

High School Graduation Rate Drops In Arizona

More than half of all U.S. states increased statewide high school graduation rates substantially from 2002 to 2008, according to America's Promise Alliance. Unfortunately, Arizona is not one of those states. In fact, Arizona is just one of three states that lost ground in the percentage of high school students graduating during this time period.

ABC News reported that graduation rates fell by 4 percent from 2002 to 2008, with nearly 3,500 students dropping out each year. The graduation rate in Utah fell by 6 percent and the graduation rate in Nevada fell by nearly 21 percent.

ASU Professor Predicts Economic Recovery in 2011

Lee McPheters, an economics professor at Arizona State University, says that the year 2011 will be the best economic year that the state of Arizona has seen since before the recession. The East Valley Tribune reported that the economist expects the state to fully recover from the recession in about three years.

Economic recovery could be a slow process in Arizona. Lee McPheters said that the state is expected to add 48,000 jobs in 2011, but that these numbers still won't meet the number of jobs that were in the state during 2007. The state of Arizona saw an 11 percent unemployment rate this year and the Phoenix metro area saw a 12 percent unemployment rate. Low job security affects consumer spending, which affects economic recovery.

Few Shoppers Use Credit Cards On Black Friday

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In an earlier blog post, we reported that a survey conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling indicated that 70 percent of consumers will use a debit card or cash for this year's holiday expenses. Economists predicted that the usage of credit cards would decline on Black Friday and throughout the holiday shopping season because of consumers wanting to avoid interest rates and late fees.

Yet it looks like even less shoppers used credit cards on Black Friday than economists expected. Reuters reports that another study by America's Research Group stated that only 16.3 percent of consumers polled said that they used credit cards on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. This number is down significantly from the 30.9 percent that reportedly used credit cards on last year's Black Friday. It looks like shoppers just prefer to use cash.

Arizona Sees Employment Growth In Small Business Sector

While 700 University of Phoenix employees were laid off this week, there seems to be some good news in the Grand Canyon state when it comes to employment growth.

The Phoenix Business Journal reported that Arizona small business growth grew by 0.5 percentage points in the month of November, according to the employment index of Intuit Inc. Arizona shared the spot of second place for the most small business employment growth and was just behind the state of Massachusetts, which had 0.7 percentage points of growth.

Mesa Air Closer to Emerging from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The regional airline Mesa Air Group Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last January and is now closer to getting court approval for their reorganization plan. The Arizona Republic reported that a bankruptcy judge gave approval to extend an agreement under which it flies routes for U.S. Airways Group Inc., an airline based in Tempe. Under the agreement, Mesa Air will continue to fly 38 regional jets for U.S. Airways. In June, the company had 52 regional planes in service with U.S. Airways.

700 Employees At University Of Phoenix Laid Off

It's not easy to lose a job at this time of year. Unfortunately, the Apollo Group --parent company of the University of Phoenix -- announced that they're laying off 700 employees. Associated Press reported that the company held a meeting with its employees on Monday and many of them were told at the meeting that it was their last day at their job.

The 700 full time positions that were eliminated are primarily among admissions personnel at University of Phoenix locations around the country. The university is the largest for-profit school company in the country, but Apollo says that it expects the number of new students enrolling at the University of Phoenix to drop by 40 percent in the quarter ending in November.