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National mall operator emerges from bankruptcy

General Growth Properties Inc., the nationwide mall operator, filed a motion to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week with a federal bankruptcy court in New York.

The Chicago-based mall operator has received a $6.55 billion investment from Fairholme Capital Management, Pershing Square Capital Management, and Brookfield Asset Management. This investment, along with a $1.5 billion debt issuance, will allow the company to recover financially.

A spokesman for the group said that GGP intends to form a new company with these funds, called General Growth Opportunities. They will focus on overseeing a portfolio of real estate assts.

If you are facing financial difficulties, get on the right track to recovery by calling Birmingham bankruptcy lawyer Paula Greenway at (205) 324-4000.

Foreclosure numbers increase nationwide

A RealtyTrac Inc. report has revealed a rising trend in home foreclosure filings. One in 465 homes in the Houston, TX, area was foreclosed on in March, a number that is 53 percent higher than last year’s March filings. The number of homes that recieved foreclosure filings in March was also up 29 percent from the number in February.

This uncomfortable trend is mirrored at the national level, where one in 352 homes recieved a foreclosure filing. The 367,056 properties foreclosed on this March denotes a 20 percent increase from Feburary’s numbers and an 8 percent increase from last year’s numbers. RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report states that this is the highest number of home foreclosures that the United States has seen since January 2005.

“Foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2010 followed a very similar pattern to what we saw in the first quarter of 2009: A shallow trough in January and February followed by a substantial spike in March,” said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

This year’s trend is different from past years’ in that the trend in previous years was representative of the final stages of foreclosures, whereas this year the increase is from a 9 percent quarterly increase in bank repossessions as opposed to last year’s 13 percent quarterly decrease in bank repossessions.

If you are facing foreclosure and need legal advice regarding how to file for bankruptcy or what your repossession options are, contact Birmingham bankruptcy lawyer Paula Greenway at (205) 324-4000.

General contractor's bankruptcy story continues

General contractor Brian M. Marshall, founder of companies including Fireline Restoration Inc., Initech Restoration, Marshall Investments LLC, Marshall Aviation LLC, and numerous others, has requested that courts dismiss the latest of his bankruptcies or convert them to liquidation under Chapter 7, following a $691,000 loss in equity by Initech.

Branch Banking & Trust Co. has filed lawsuits to seize Marshall’s real estate and properties to collect on $21 million in loans. According to court records, the company is looking to repossess a Porsche, Bentley, Land Rover, and Ferrari in addition to the 45-foot SeaRay they have already taken. Marshall’s Gulfstream jet was seized last year by another of his many lenders.

These bankruptcies follow the Securities and Exchange Commission’s report that Marshall and his executives had created a “fantasy land of fraud” to increase share prices.

If you are in a difficult financial situation and need help regarding your Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and repossession options, contact Birmingham bankruptcy attorney Paula Greenway at (205) 324-4000.

Surge in Consumer Bankruptcy Filings

Despite the recent economic upturn, consumer bankruptcy filings have not slowed. In February, bankruptcy filings were up 14% compared to the previous year. The number of bankruptcy filings in February increased by a total of 9% from January’s, indicating a uncomfortable trend.

Increased debt-stress from years of overspending is catching up with individual consumers, causing this increase in Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, according to Samuel Gerdano, American Bankruptcy Institute executive director.

While the stricter bankruptcy laws implemented in 2005 were meant to cause more families to rely on Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which would require those with a regular income to repay debt in full or in part over several years, the number of the Chapter 13 filings has actually decreased 3% compared to this time last year.

If you are suffering financial difficulties and need consultation in regards to filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact Birmingham bankruptcy lawyer Paula Greenway at (205) 324-4000.

Can student loans be discharged in a bankruptcy?

During a bankruptcy filing, filers typically cannot discharge their student loans. However, there are two exceptions to this general rule.

First, a student loan may be discharged if it is not guaranteed by the government or is not associated with any program that is part of the government or a nonprofit.

Second, the loan may be discharged if repaying the loan will “impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents,” according to Alabama bankruptcy law.

If you have questions about which debts may be discharged during a bankruptcy, contact the Birmingham bankruptcy attorneys of Paula Greenway at (205) 324-4000.

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Greenway Bankruptcy Law, LLC All rights reserved. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The following language is required pursuant to Rule 7.2, Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct. No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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