Phoenix Bankruptcy Law News

July 2011 Archives

How to Dance with the Devil: Dealing with Debt Collection Harassment

So you made some bad choices in your life and racked up some debt. It doesn't make you a bad person, and it doesn't mean you deserve debt collection harassment from debt collection agents hounding you for money. In fact, their actions could be downright illegal.

Below is a recap of your rights in the dance with debt collection agents.

Phoenix, State Drowning in Underwater Mortgages; Hit Rock Bottom

Phoenix is drowning under the burden of underwater mortgages, and the state is going down right along with it, according to a report from CoreLogic, a private research firm.

With 55 percent of its mortgages deemed “under water,” Phoenix had the third-highest rate out of all metro areas in the nation, and Arizona had the second-highest percentage out of all the states with 49.6 percent, reports Cronkite News Service.

Bankrupt Blockbuster's Second Chance in Online Video Rental War

In the war over online video rentals, Dish Network Corp., the company that bought the bankrupt Blockbuster for $320 million during an auction in April, is keeping the faith in physical shops and announced that it will keep 90 percent of the video rental chain’s stores open, saving 1,500 stores from being shut down and the jobs of 15,000 of its employees, reports Reuters.

Blockbuster had initially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September in the hopes of restructuring the business due to its heavy debt burden of $1.465 billion. However, after several investors backed out on a valid business plan and poor holiday sale numbers were released, Blockbuster was put up for sale, with Dish Network, the second-largest U.S. satellite TV company, emerging as the winner.

Public, Company Layoffs; Show Consumer, Private Sector Pessimism

With private sector employment posting some of the worst company layoff numbers in nearly a year, the public sector cutting positions, and low levels of recorded new jobs, the depressing gloom of the economy is still hanging heavily over the country, suggesting an increase in consumer and private sector pessimism, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Few job sectors have escaped unscathed from the impact of the recent economic downturn, made sluggish by consumer spending and the housing market. Both public and private employers reduced their workforce by 1.78 million workers combined, the highest level since August 2010, reports The Journal. About 1.66 million layoffs were from the private sector alone.

Phoenix Bankruptcy Filings Decline; Follow State, National Trends

Despite the challenges of slow employment growth and a less-than-booming real-estate market, Phoenix-area bankruptcies dropped for the third month in a row with 2,434 filings in June, reports The Arizona Republic.

Compared to 2010, Phoenix bankruptcy numbers in 2011 have demonstrated an improvement across the board.

The first half of 2011 produced 14,271 individual and business filings, representing a 7 percent drop from the number of filings produced during the first half of last year. The amount of filings from last month alone marked an 8 percent decline from June 2010.

Bye-Bye Bankrupt Borders: Phoenix Stores Close Up Shop

The beleaguered Borders Books is “closing-up-shop” after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February much to the delight of local Phoenix booksellers, reports the Phoenix New Times.

“I’ve been saying for the past five years that the chain store model is over,” Poisoned Pen owner, Barbara Peters, told the New Times.

The behemoth bookstore chain, the second-largest in the United States, has blamed their financial woes on the economy and the impact of digital reading on the rapidly-evolving book industry

Arizona, Construction Still Struggling under Job Losses

Arizona job seekers take heart - you are not alone in your search for employment, especially if you're in the construction industry.

According to the Census Bureau's County Business Patterns report, the state had the fifth-highest job losses among states from 2007 to 2009, losing more than 281,000 jobs and more than 8,800 businesses, reports ABC 15. The amount of closed businesses, whether due to bankruptcy or other reasons, represents the ninth-highest number in the United States.

More Woes for the Phoenix Coyotes, Most Disappointing NHL Team

The last thing the beleaguered Phoenix Coyotes and their fans need while the team looks for a new owner after it filed for bankruptcy in 2009 is bad press. Unfortunately, a new study released by Bizjournals.com citing the team as the most difficult team to support in the NHL is not going to help their economic woes.

The survey analyzed all 30 NHL teams and based their ranking of fan difficulty on one principle: the more a professional sports team wins, the happier the fans. Half of the score is tied to the team's performance during the past 10 seasons, and the other half is based on the number of seasons that have elapsed since the team reached three landmarks the study considered "key": most recent overall championship, most recent appearance in the title game, and most recent appearance in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.

Fulton Homes Settles Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case

The Arizona homebuilder Fulton Homes, based in Tempe, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009 after the state's housing market collapsed. Now, more than two years later, Fulton Homes is finally exiting Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a settlement was established with lenders.

According to The Arizona Republic, the group of lenders led by Bank of America agreed to withdraw a competing reorganization plan in this case, which allowed Fulton's reorganization plan to be easily approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George Nielsen. Fulton Homes is now expected to return to its normal operations, where principal ownership of the company will remain with the Fulton family.