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Debtors

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NEWS
June 17, 1994 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Steven B. Zats, a Wayne lawyer, was accused in a lawsuit in federal court yesterday of engaging in "abusive, fraudulent and illegal" conduct in his debt-collection business. The class-action suit, filed by seven lawyers representing low-income clients in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties, accuses Zats of racketeering, fraud, violation of state and federal debt-collection laws and violation of debtors' constitutional rights to due process of law. The suit, which names 14 plaintiffs, says Zats filed improper legal actions and illegally froze bank accounts in attempting to collect small debts.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2009 | By Chris Mondics INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For debtors and creditors both, the bankruptcy process involves a complex dance in which the debtors' prospects for survival are weighed against the creditors' rights to get cash out of the company. The law varies from one federal district to another, but bankruptcy judges in the Third Federal Circuit, which comprises Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, tend to be protective of labor contracts and employee rights, bankruptcy lawyers said. Beyond that, in cases such as the filing Sunday by Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C.
NEWS
January 15, 1988 | By Aaron Epstein, Inquirer Washington Bureau
The Justice Department has opened "a full-scale coast-to-coast assault on deadbeats who owe the federal government money," Attorney General Edwin Meese 3d said yesterday. The nation's 94 U.S. attorneys are prepared to use various legal tactics - including the seizure of cars, boats and other assets - to force payments on $32.1 billion in overdue fines on delinquent farm, education, housing, small business and veterans' loans, Meese said. The Justice Department's nationwide program, tagged Operation Deadbeat, is an outgrowth of strategies developed by U.S. attorneys in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, South Carolina, Arizona, Alabama and a few other states to go after debts uncollectible by other federal agencies.
NEWS
June 12, 1994 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Edwina Rizzo vividly remembers the day her husband was on life support waiting for a heart transplant and Steven B. Zats called demanding payment of an overdue cable television bill. Rizzo, of Havertown, says she explained her husband's critical condition and the bill collector replied: "Hey, people get sick and die every day. That's not my problem. " Zats told her in another conversation, she says, to bring payment to his office without delay. "You crawl, you walk, you get a bus," Rizzo remembers him saying, "you do whatever you can to get here.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2005 | By Tony Pugh INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
President Bush yesterday signed into law stiffer U.S. bankruptcy regulations that will make it harder for debtors to escape their troubles. "America is a nation of personal responsibility, where people are expected to meet their obligations," Bush said before signing the measure, which banks and credit-card companies had sought for years. A prominent consumer advocate cautioned, however, that the law could present debtors with new problems. The measure, which takes effect in six months, sets strict new eligibility limits for debtors seeking bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, which allows them to erase their debts after forfeiting their assets.
NEWS
September 20, 1995 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Federal agents believe that Main Line lawyer Steven B. Zats not only broke the law in a controversial debt-collection business but also stole money from his clients and evaded federal taxes, according to an FBI document made public yesterday. Zats' collection methods, detailed in an Inquirer article last year, included having his employees telephone small debtors and asking them, as part of a purported opinion survey, to identify their banks. If the debtors, often poor or out of work, named their banks, Zats then filed court papers to freeze their accounts.
BUSINESS
September 21, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The owners of the $129 million utility plant that heats and cools the shuttered Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City warned in a court filing Friday that the plant itself might have to file for bankruptcy. ACR Energy Partners L.L.C., a joint venture of South Jersey Industries Inc. of Folsom, N.J., and DCO Energy L.L.C. of Mays Landing, N.J., has been paid just $2.35 million of the $11.85 million it has billed since Revel filed for its second bankruptcy in June. Before the bankruptcy, Revel was at least $11 million behind on its ACR payments, which include $1.7 million a month in fixed payments for debt service and returns on the $40 million in equity invested by the partners, according to court records.
BUSINESS
May 6, 1999 | By David Hess, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
For the second time in a year, the House moved to crack down on the rising tide of overextended consumers who use the bankruptcy law to avoid paying their unsecured debts. A reform bill, similar to a measure that the House approved overwhelmingly last year, passed yesterday evening, 313-108, a margin that if sustained would override a promised veto from President Clinton. But the House version is expected to undergo significant changes before it reaches the White House. The Senate, which adopted a differing measure last fall, is likely to remain opposed to provisions in the House bill that critics say shift too much power to creditors at the expense of consumers.
NEWS
December 21, 1996 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
Sex-chat phone callers who fail to pay their credit-card charges for this Sodom and Gomorrah service often hear from bill collectors from hell. Troy Posey, who worked for the now-defunct Standup Communications, a collection agency in Huntingdon Valley, apparently was a bill collector who could give the devil his due. Posey, 31, of Camac Street near Rockland, in Fern Rock, yesterday was sentenced to two years in prison by U.S. District Judge...
NEWS
September 12, 2000 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Steven B. Zats, a former lawyer who used an illegal telephone scam in a relentless effort to collect money from small debtors, yesterday was sentenced by a federal judge to 33 months in prison. But U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois was careful to point out that the sentence was not for "dirty tricks" or for the notoriously nasty way Zats - who once told a wheelchair-bound man to "crawl" to his office to pay a debt - dealt with people. "He is being sentenced for stealing," said the judge.
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BUSINESS
February 27, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wednesday brought yet another dramatic twist in the long and tortured bankruptcy case of Revel Casino Hotel. Revel's utility supplier - saying it is owed more than $20 million since June and stands to get nothing from the latest deal with Glenn Straub - asked the judge to put a liquidating trustee in charge. "The debtors and their secured lenders have been afforded nearly free rein over these cases and the debtors' assets since the petition date, with absolutely nothing to show for it," the ACR Energy Partners L.L.C.
BUSINESS
September 21, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The owners of the $129 million utility plant that heats and cools the shuttered Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City warned in a court filing Friday that the plant itself might have to file for bankruptcy. ACR Energy Partners L.L.C., a joint venture of South Jersey Industries Inc. of Folsom, N.J., and DCO Energy L.L.C. of Mays Landing, N.J., has been paid just $2.35 million of the $11.85 million it has billed since Revel filed for its second bankruptcy in June. Before the bankruptcy, Revel was at least $11 million behind on its ACR payments, which include $1.7 million a month in fixed payments for debt service and returns on the $40 million in equity invested by the partners, according to court records.
NEWS
November 8, 2011 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Philadelphia Orchestra Association to U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Please stop the national musicians' pension fund from harassing our donors. In a motion filed last week in the association's Chapter 11 case, orchestra management says the American Federation of Musicians and Employers Pension Fund is seeking financial information from 16 philanthropists "only in a continued effort to embarrass and harass the [association] and their donors. " Such an inquiry will have a "tremendous and devastating impact" on fund-raising, the association asserts.
NEWS
August 9, 2011 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
In Round One of the American Federation of Musicians' effort to show that some of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association's endowment is not restricted by donor wishes, the association failed to produce documentation for 12 percent of gifts in the endowment. In a letter to the judge in the association's Chapter 11 case, the union's national pension fund says the first cache the orchestra provided shows 476 documents, 57 of which were images that said "documentation has not been found.
NEWS
July 19, 2011
Since 2006, more than 5.6 million homes have gone into default nationally. The crisis is ravaging middle-class communities like Willingboro, where 2,400 homes have gone into foreclosure since 2005, and there are now more than 700 vacant homes. Yet political leaders in Washington, who were slow to react to the crisis, are still debating the launch of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even as it is formally set to begin operations on Thursday. Millions of families already have endured the anguish of losing their largest investment.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 2011 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
You didn't follow proper procedure, we have an awful lot of laundry, and it doesn't need to be aired now - or maybe ever. That's in essence what the Philadelphia Orchestra Association says in an objection filed late Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to the American Federation of Musicians' request for a "sweeping" look into the association's finances and operations. The musicians' objective: to force a determination that the association must use some of its endowment ($120 million held by the orchestra, an additional $20 million by the Academy of Music)
NEWS
December 11, 2010 | By Sam Wood, Inquirer Staff Writer
Patrice Perry's dispute with Capital One had been escalating. Someone called her family and her coworkers, trying to get her to pay. She hired an attorney, but the credit card company kept sending bills. And then, the big blow. "Please send your payment of $286,651,237 in the enclosed envelope," read the statement dated August 2009. What's in your wallet, indeed. Perry, a hotel clerk, reacted with shock and panic, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Common Pleas Court.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2009 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C. won a victory in federal court yesterday when Judge Eduardo C. Robreno partially overturned a Bankruptcy Court order and said the company could hire special counsel to represent it in the investigation of an unauthorized recording. Robreno stopped short, however, of saying the owner of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com could hire Blue Bell law firm Elliott, Greenleaf & Siedzikowski P.C. to investigate the Nov. 17 taping of a meeting between the company and its creditors by Vincent DeVito, an executive with CIT Group Inc., a key lender.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2009 | By Chris Mondics INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For debtors and creditors both, the bankruptcy process involves a complex dance in which the debtors' prospects for survival are weighed against the creditors' rights to get cash out of the company. The law varies from one federal district to another, but bankruptcy judges in the Third Federal Circuit, which comprises Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, tend to be protective of labor contracts and employee rights, bankruptcy lawyers said. Beyond that, in cases such as the filing Sunday by Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C.
NEWS
November 28, 2008
MAYOR NUTTER has a huge task in front of him: coping with a deficit that will take years to rectify. He has mandated cuts in services and personnel in an effort to aid the cause, including libraries. On the heels of the announcement of the cuts, the mayor posted on the city Web site the names of the deadbeats who owe back taxes and/or property and revenue taxes. The biggest offender wasn't even named: our very own Philadelphia Eagles. The team owes the city $8 million.
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