The Enforceability of Commercial Finance Leases Executed Only by the Debtor

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A common problem among finance companies seeking to enforce a commercial finance lease against a defaulted debtor/lessee is that documents are not fully executed or are otherwise disorganized.  Unfortunately, for large finance companies that have hundreds, or even thousands, of accounts, not all the “i’s” are always dotted, nor are all the “t’s” always crossed.

This problem often leads to a defaulted lessee/debtor moving to dismiss your lawsuit on the grounds that the copy of the lease the debtor was given isn’t executed by the lessor/finance company. At first glance, one might think that such a contract is not enforceable, since it was never executed. However, such an assumption would be wrong.

Under both New Jersey and Pennsylvania law, so long as the finance lease is signed by the debtor/lessee, the finance lease is enforceable against him.

Article 2A, Section 201(b) of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) — codified in New Jersey as  N.J. Stat. § 12A:2A-201(b) and in Pennsylvania as 13 Pa.C.S. § 2A201 — states that “a lease contract is not enforceable by way of action or defense unless there is a writing, signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by that party's authorized agent...”

In other words, even if the lessor/finance company didn’t sign the Lease, the Debtor that did sign it still can’t escape liability.

Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of medicine, so making sure your documents for each account are in order at the outset of the transaction will avoid the additional cost of litigating the issue on a motion to dismiss. However, for those occasions when a finance company wants to initiate a lawsuit against a debtor and discovers a glaring problem with their documents, such as a signature missing from the lease, a good lawyer can find a legal remedy to such a problem, one example of which is explained above.

It is imperative that creditors speak with sound creditor’s rights counsel to avoid having a case against a debtor dismissed for such technicalities. Stark & Stark’s Creditor’s Rights Group can help. Our attorneys regularly represent banks and creditors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania on a variety of issues, including lawsuits against commercial equipment lessees.

Equitable Mootness Doctrine Should Be Rarely Applied to Preserve Appellant's Rights

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Equitable mootness is a doctrine that allows a court to avoid hearing the merits of a bankruptcy appeal because implementing the relief requested by the appellant would produce a perverse outcome to the bankruptcy plan and/or cause significant injury to third parties. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently revisited the application of the doctrine of equitable mootness in In Re SemCrude, L.P. and made it clear that dismissing an appeal as equitably moot should be used sparingly, only where there is sufficient justification to override the statutory appellate rights of the party seeking review.

 

In SemCrude, the debtors, a midstream oil and gas business, were involved in the gathering, transportation, storage and marketing of crude oil and petroleum products. The debtors filed for Chapter 11 relief with the Bankruptcy Court in July of 2008. Appellants, like many other creditors, were producers that supplied oil and gas to the debtors on credit prior to their Chapter 11 filing. The producers asserted numerous claims against the debtors for the distribution from the proceeds of oil and gas ahead of other creditors. The debtors filed a motion to establish global procedures to administer the producers’ claims. The appellants disagreed about the claims procedure and objected to its use. The appellants argued that they were entitled to prosecute an adversary proceeding on their claims. The appellants filed the suit, but the bankruptcy court stayed the adversary proceeding and allowed the debtors to proceed with their approved resolution procedures. The court noted that the question of whether the appellants will be bound by the resolution procedures could be litigated at a later date by the appellants.

 

The Debtors subsequently resolved the claims with the producers (other than the appellants) and filed a plan of reorganization. The appellants’ claims were incorporated into the plan, however, they reserved their right to litigate the pending adversary proceeding and objected to the plan. The bankruptcy court overruled their obligations and entered an order confirming the plan.

 

The appellants appealed to the District Court, asserting that the reorganization plan could not validly discharge their claims without affording them the procedural protections of an adversary proceeding. However, the appellants did not request a stay pending appeal. The plan went into effect shortly after confirmation. Several corporate restructuring transactions, repayment of certain payment obligations and the issuance of securities to those parties receiving equity distribution were implemented following confirmation.

 

The debtors sought to dismiss the appeal as equitably moot because granting the requested relief would require unraveling of the plan of reorganization and harm third parties. The District Court agreed with the Debtors’ argument and dismissed the appeal under the doctrine of equitable mootness. The District Court reasoned that the plan was substantially consummated. Additionally, granting the appellant’s relief would undermine the reorganization plan and harm third parties. The Third Circuit reversed the District Court and remanded the matter because the record did not support the latter two findings.

 

The Third Circuit analyzed five conjunctive factors in reaching their decision: (1) whether the reorganization plan has been substantially consummated; (2) whether a stay has been obtained; (3) whether the relief requested would affect the rights of parties not before the court; (4) whether the relief requested would affect the success of the plan; and (5) the public policy of affording finality to bankruptcy judgment. The burden to prove these factors rests with the party seeking dismissal.

 

The Court reasoned that there was not sufficient evidence of record to support a finding that the plan could not be successful if the appellants were allowed to proceed. Likewise, there was not sufficient evidence to support that third parties would be harmed if the appellants were allowed to proceed. Finally, the court did not find that the public policy supported dismissing the appeal. The Court found that it would be particularly inequitable to allow the debtors to use the doctrine of equitable mootness as a sword against the appellants. Notably, the appellants had repeatedly advanced their contention that they are entitled to the adversary proceeding since the inception of the Chapter 11 filing.

 

The lesson to be learned from this case is that Courts are not inclined to dismiss an appeal based on the doctrine of equitable mootness, especially when the doctrine is used as a sword by a debtor, instead of a shield to protect the interests of the bankruptcy court and third parties.
 

 

Consider All Options Before Your Business Bankruptcy Filing

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In the September edition of Mid-Jersey Business Magazine, Timothy Duggan, Chair of the firm's Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights group, authored an article that  outlined what businesses considering bankruptcy protection need to consider.  

Back From The Brink discusses the various types of bankruptcy filings available as well as how businesses experiencing financial difficulties can work with their lenders.

You can read the article here.

Pre-Petition Collection Efforts in a Bankruptcy Filing

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Sometimes trying to untangle pre-petition collection efforts as a result of a bankruptcy filing can be tricky.  In a recent case, the New Jersey District Court (In re Paul, Civil Case No. 12-cv-07855, Bank. Case No. 11-31653 on July 9, 2013), made those lines a little bit more clear.

A judgment was obtained by a creditor and thereafter, a writ of execution to levy on the debtor's bank account was issued.   The Sheriff's Office levied on funds in the debtor's account and a hold was placed on the debtor's funds in that account.  The creditor then filed a motion for turnover which was granted and an order entered shortly thereafter.

Prior to the Sheriff's office executing on the bank account pursuant to the turnover order, the debtors filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. The debtors received a discharge from bankruptcy without the levied funds being considered part of the bankruptcy estate.  The bankruptcy case was then closed by final decree.

Some months after the discharge was entered, the debtors filed a motion to re-open their bankruptcy case to seek return of the funds on the basis that the actual turnover of the funds occurred post-petition and thus were property of the debtors that should have been included in the their bankruptcy estate.  The Bankruptcy Court denied the defendants motion and appeal followed by the debtors and the District Court affirmed the Bankruptcy Court's decision.

The debtors argued that the turnover order did not transfer title to the levied funds and thus were subject to an avoidable lien on the petition date because the turnover order was not a self-executing transfer, meaning another step still must be taken to transfer the money out of the account.  They argued that the money should have been part of the bankruptcy estate

The District Court held that the entry of the turnover order divested the debtors interest in the funds, there was no lien or levy on the funds as of the petition date and therefore the debtors no longer had legal or equitable interest in the funds. 

Debt Collectors, Get Those Procedures In Place

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The Southern District of New York just issued an interesting ruling in Rafael Lee v. Kucker & Bruh, LLP on August 2, 2013 when it considered a violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.  The action was brought by an 82-year old man who was residing in a rent controlled apartment in New York City.  Under certain New York State law (Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption "SCRIE") for lower income residents, he was only responsible for a portion of the rent while the landlord received a tax abatement equal to the balance.  Under this law, landlords are not permitted to collect any rent or other charges (including fuel charges) from a tenant beyond the amount permitted under the law.

In this case, a private social security agency that provided assistance to elderly tenants paid Mr. Lee's portion of the rent to the landlord.  This was all spelled out in Mr. Lee's SCRIE order.  Notwithstanding this payment, the landlord forwarded to his attorney documents which showed that Mr. Lee was delinquent in his monthly payments. Based upon this information, the attorney sent out the appropriate demand/delinquent notice to Mr. Lee demanding payment. Mr. Lee then retained counsel who disputed the debt and requested validation, which the attorney's office provided without seeking additional information from the landlord and his agents (the property management company).  

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Bankruptcy Considerations for Community Associations

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What can our association do if one of the unit owners files for Bankruptcy?

The very first thing an association should do is stop all collection efforts.  This means no more notices to the debtor.  This is very importation because of the imposition of the automatic stay which prevents any collection efforts against the debtor.  This also includes withholding any amenity rights (i.e. pool passes, parking or towing the debtor's vehicle) because of past due assessments.  Assessments due after the date of the bankruptcy filing must continue if the debtor is to remain in the unit, but the Association must be careful not to collect or enforce any sanctions against the debtor because of pre-petition (amounts owed prior to the bankruptcy filing).

The association should also split the accounting into pre and post-petition.  This will show what is owed prior to the bankruptcy filing and what is done after the date of filing.  This is significant because what the debtor is seeking by filing a bankruptcy is a discharge for all debts owed prior to the bankruptcy filing. 

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Court Protects Lender in Mortgage Refinance

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 In a reported decision issued July 3, 2013, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court held that the holder of a first mortgage which refinances its mortgage without obtaining a discharge or subordination from a subordinate mortgagee of which it was aware may still maintain its priority position, at least in part.  In Sovereign Bank v. Gillis, the Appellate Division reversed the trial court which had held that the holder of a mortgage securing a home equity line of credit was in first position following the refinance.

In May 1998, Washington Mutual Bank (“WaMu”) lent Joseph and Eulalia Gillis (the “Gillises”) $650,000.00 to purchase a residential property in Warren Township. The loan was secured by a first mortgage.  In March 2003, the Gillises obtained a home equity line of credit from Independence Community Bank (“Independence”) for $500,000.00 which was secured by a second mortgage.  In January 2005, the Gillises borrowed $1.19 million from WaMu.  The proceeds were used to pay off the existing WaMu loan ($482,023.67) and the Independence Line of Credit ($499,921.93).  The Independence Line of Credit was not closed and the mortgage in favor of Independence was not discharged.  The Gillises continued to borrow funds under the Independence Line of Credit.  Ultimately, the Gillises defaulted on both obligations.  The WaMu Mortgage was assigned to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (“Deutsche Bank”).  The Independence Mortgage was assigned to Sovereign Bank.

Deutsche Bank and Sovereign Bank both filed foreclosure actions.  The trial court held that the Independence Mortgage was in first position.  The court held that Deutsche Bank was not entitled to invoke the doctrine of equitable subrogation because it was aware of the Independence Mortgage at the time of the refinance.  Under the doctrine of equitable subrogation, a lender providing funds to satisfy a prior obligation may be able to assert the priority position of that obligation.

The Appellate Division reversed, holding that Deutsche Bank was entitled to priority pursuant to the principles of modification and replacement of mortgage.  That doctrine is set forth in the Restatement (Third) of Property – Mortgages, Section 7.6, comment (e) (1997), which states that “where a mortgage loan is refinanced by the same lender, a mortgage securing the new loan may be given the priority of the original mortgage under the principles of replacement and modification of mortgages.”  The Appellate Division discussed the doctrine of equitable subrogation whereby a new lender can assert the priority position of a lender whose obligation was satisfied through the funds it advanced so that the holder of the intervening encumbrance is not unjustly enriched at the expense of the new mortgagee.  The court determined that equitable subrogation did not apply because the same lender was the mortgagee under the original and refinanced loans.

The Appellate Division held that Deutsche Bank was entitled to invoke the principles of modification and replacement of mortgages to maintain its first position.  The court held that to allow Sovereign to assert a first priority position would constitute an undeserved windfall.  The issue left undecided was the extent of priority to be granted to Deutsche Bank.  The court offered three options: (1) $650,000.00, the original amount of the first WaMu loan; (2) $534,000.00, the balance due at the time of the Independence loan in 2003: or (3) $482,000.00, the amount outstanding at the time of the refinance in 2005.  The Appellate Division remanded the matter to the trial court to determine which amount was appropriate.

When refinancing a first mortgage, the lender should make sure that all existing liens are either discharged or subordinated.  While the doctrine of equitable subrogation and the principles of modification and replacement of mortgages may protect the lender if a lien is not discharged, a prudent lender should make sure that if a home equity line of credit is being paid off the line is closed and the mortgage is discharged.  If the line of credit is not being paid off, the lender should obtain and record a subordination agreement.  The same is true for any judgments of record.  If judgments are being satisfied, they should be discharged of record.  If a judgment is not being satisfied, the lender should obtain and record a subordination of the judgment.     

The Importance of the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for Community Associations Filing Liens

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Community associations should always record their respective Governing Documents and this becomes of particular importance if the documents provide for the creation of a lien upon failure to pay assessments.  This is never more true than as reflected in a recent Bankruptcy Court opinion in In re Nacinovich, Adv. Case No. 13-1074, decided by the Honorable Michael B. Kaplan, U.S.B.J., May 31, 2013, in which the Court considered allegations that a homeowners association remittance of a statement to a debtor which included sums due beyond the amounts due in its pre-petition lien claim was a violation of the automatic stay.  The Bankruptcy Court postured that if the association's lien claim is limited to only the amount included in the recorded lien, then the additional fees included in the billing statement are unsecured and efforts to collection them constitutes a violation of the automatic stay.  However, if the association holds a lien against the property for the full amount included in the billing statement, then the full amount remains a valid in rem claim and therefore the billing statement in not a violation of the automatic stay because the property was abandoned by the Chapter 7 Trustee. The Court ultimately concluded that the associations' billing statement that reflected an amount greater than in the recorded lien was not an improper attempt to collect a debt in violation of the automatic stay.

Judge Kaplan reasoned that the language in the associations recorded Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions which provides that non-payment of assessments, together with interest and cost of collection, constitutes a continuing lien on the property.  The Court stressed the importance of the Declaration having been recorded and that by virtue of that it established a fully enforceable lien against the property for the full amount of unpaid assessments and fees.  The Court also noted that certain community associations that are not subject to the Condominium Act (such as HOAs) are not required to record liens so long as the declaration of covenants governing the property has been properly recorded.

While there are many other reasons a community association should record their Governing Documents, protection from discharge violations while pursuing lien claims is a critical reason and a highly worthwhile benefit of recording. 

Applications for Surplus Funds in New Jersey Foreclosure Proceedings

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If a Sheriff’s Sale results in more money than needed to satisfy the foreclosure judgment, fees, costs and commissions, the remaining amounts are referred to as “surplus funds”.  Junior lien holders and others have the right to make an application for these funds. During the 2007-2008 time frame such applications were quite common. With the real estate bust they have been far less common but there are signs everywhere that real estate values are coming back and so may the opportunity for these applications.

The amount of the surplus funds is not determined until after the successful bidder has paid the balance of the purchase price, all fees are deducted and any other financial transactions related to the Sheriff’s Sale completed.  The Sheriff’s Office sends the surplus funds to the Superior Court Trust Fund Unit to be held pending an application for surplus funds.  Accordingly, surplus funds may not be immediately available.

Applications for surplus funds are made pursuant to R. 4:64-3.  The rule provides that parties named in the foreclosure judgment as well as non-parties may apply for surplus funds.  The applications may be presented at any time after the sale, and must be made on notice to all parties named in the foreclosure, including defaulted defendants whose claims were not directed in the writ of execution to be paid out of the proceeds of sale.  The application must include an Affidavit or Certification setting forth information about the subject property, an explanation of how the claimant is connected to the foreclosure action, a computation of the amount due, identification of other parties in interest and an explanation of why applicant’s claim is superior, and the movant must attach all supporting documentation.  All applications must also include a copy of the Writ of Execution issued as part of the foreclosure action.  Other motion formalities, include a Notice of Motion, a proposed form of Order, and a Certification of Service.

Parties named in the foreclosure judgment make their application directly to the Office of Foreclosure; non-parties must make their application to the Chancery Judge in the County where the foreclosure property is located.  If there is no opposition to the motion filed directly the Office of Foreclosure, the Office of Foreclosure reports and then recommends to the court a specific order in which the claim(s) should be paid.  The report includes the amount due to a lien holder who has filed a claim with the appropriate proofs and the priority of the claims.  Applications for Surplus Funds that are opposed will be referred to the county judge for hearing and disposition.  Applications made by non-parties, whether or not they are contested, must be filed with and heard by the appropriate county judge.

As with other real estate matters counsel with knowledge and experience in this field will save clients time and expenses. While there are no guarantees given by any firm, experience in this practice area and attorneys who appear regularly before the New Jersey Superior Court Chancery Judges may well make a difference in the results. 

Foreclosing Vacant Properties

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What do you do if the property you are foreclosing is vacant?  Signed into law on December 3, 2012 and effective April 1, 2013, the New Jersey Legislature passed N.J.S.A. §2A:50-73 which provides for "vacant and abandoned" properties to be foreclosed in an expedited manner.  For a property to be foreclosed in this manner, it must be proven by "clear and convincing" evidence that the property is vacant and has been abandoned.  The property will be deemed abandoned if the court concludes that the property is not occupied (by a tenant or mortgage holder) and at least two of the following conditions exist:

  1. overgrown or neglected vegetation;
  2. the accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers or mail on the property;
  3. disconnected gas, electric, or water utility services to the property;
  4. the accumulation of hazardous, noxious or unhealthy substances or materials on the property;
  5. the accumulation of junk, liter, trash or debris on the property;
  6. the absence of window treatments such as blinds, curtains or shutters;
  7. the absence of furnishings and personal items;
  8. statements of neighbors, delivery persons, or government employees indicating that the residence is vacant and abandoned;
  9. window or entrances to the property that are boarded up or closed off or multiple window panes that are damages, broken and unrepaired;
  10. doors to the property that are smashed through, broken off, unhinged, or continuously unlocked;
  11. a risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public, or any adjourning or adjacent property owners; exists due to acts of vandalism, loitering, or criminal conduct, or the physical destruction of deterioration of the property;
  12. an uncorrected violation of a municipal building, housing, or similar code during the proceeding year, or an order by municipal authorities declaring the property to be unfit for occupancy and to remain vacant and unoccupied;
  13. the mortgagee or other authorized party has secured or winterized the property due to the property being deemed vacant and unprotected or in danger of freezing;
  14. a written statement issued by an mortgagor expressing the clear intent of all mortgages to abandon the property; or
  15. any other reasonable indicia of abandonment.

On May 23, 2013 the Supreme Court of New Jersey supplemented and relaxed Court Rule 4:64-1 to provide for these types of properties to be expeditiously foreclosed.   Additional steps were established for entry of a residential foreclosure in this manner such as the Plaintiff must prove that a process service made two attempts to serve the mortgagor or occupant at the residential property at least 72 hours apart and at different times of the day.

The notice for entry of default judgment and notice of tenants rights are not required.  Rather the court may enter final judgment on the return date of the order to show cause on sufficient proofs.   If the residence is occupied or if defendant files an answer, enters an appearance or otherwise challenges the foreclosure in writing, judgment cannot be entered.

This process may not be used for buildings under construction, seasonal or properties involved in ownership disputes because there are not considered vacant or abandoned.  Sheriff sales for properties foreclosed in this matter must be completed within 60 days of the issuance of the writ of execution.  Using this method in certain situations can be very effective if the right property is involved. 

Older Entries

June 19, 2013 — Modifications to the New Jersey Mediation Program

May 20, 2013 — Enforcing an Out-of-State Judgment in New Jersey

April 29, 2013 — Philadelphia Chapter of TMA Selected as Chapter of the Year

April 23, 2013 — Shareholder Bari Gambacorta Published in US1

April 11, 2013 — Five Easy Tips for Small Businesses to Increase the Likelihood of Turning Delinquent Accounts into Cash

April 8, 2013 — Basic Issues Creditors Should be Aware of in a Consumer Bankruptcy

April 4, 2013 — Stark & Stark Associate in Bankruptcy and Creditor's Rights Group Published in US1

March 27, 2013 — Branch Brook Pools Makes a Splash with Chapter 11Bankruptcy Filing in Delaware - Landlord and Trade Creditors Protect Your Rights

March 27, 2013 — 10 Ways Landlords Can Cut Costs and Increase Income Now

March 15, 2013 — Legislative Update Concerning Environmentally Contaminated Industrial Property Under a Tax Appeal

March 12, 2013 — Tax Appeal Update: 2013

February 22, 2013 — Court Holds That Strict Compliance with Income and Expense Request (Chapter 91) Required to Avoid Dismissal of Property Tax Appeal

January 10, 2013 — Big M Bankruptcy Filing - When Will Landlords Be Paid

November 9, 2012 — Hurricane Sandy and the Tax Assessor

November 9, 2012 — Landlord's Eviction Complaint Dismissed Due to "Potentially Misleading" Letter

July 6, 2012 — IDT Gets Served Eviction Complaint - More Commercial Landlords Flex Litigation Muscles in Strengthening Economy

April 27, 2012 — Stark & Stark Shareholder to Present Seminars at the 2012 ELFA Credit & Collections Management Conference

April 17, 2012 — New Jersey Condo Liens Secured by Principal Residence Can't Be Stripped in Chapter 13

March 7, 2012 — Commercial Landlords and Frivolous Lawsuits: Not every suit is a "Federal Case"

February 2, 2012 — Bankruptcy 101 for Lenders: Key Points to Consider in a Chapter 7 Filing

January 3, 2012 — Recent Cases and Bankruptcy Amendments Impacting Lessors

October 13, 2011 — Preference Litigation Back in Another Homebuilder Bankruptcy Case

April 26, 2011 — Ponzi Schemes-Will They Ever End

April 20, 2011 — Bankruptcy Court Rules that "Absent" Owner in Chapter 7 Must Pay, So Long as They Remain Owner

November 15, 2010 — What to do When the Bank Comes Knocking at Your Door

October 13, 2010 — Bankruptcy for Non‐ Bankruptcy Attorneys

October 12, 2010 — Notice That a Unit Owner Has Filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the Importance of Preserving the Association's Rights

July 20, 2010 — Repayment of 401 (k) Loan is Not Disposable Income Under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan, But Creditors May be Entitled to Step Up Plan

May 5, 2010 — So You Thought You Had A Lease?

January 22, 2010 — Recently Passed New Jersey Foreclosure Fairness Act Effective January 26, 2010 and February 16, 2010

January 20, 2010 — Bankruptcy Do's & Don'ts for Personal Injury Attorneys

September 2, 2009 — Stark & Stark Shareholder Comments on Financial Advisors Bankruptcy Filings

July 30, 2009 — Bankruptcy Basics for Boards: Don't Leave Money on the Table

July 20, 2009 — Credit Card Reform - What Does It Mean?

June 17, 2009 — New Jersey Judiciary Foreclosure Mediation Program Update

April 3, 2009 — Stark & Stark Shareholder Comments on Kara Homes Bankruptcy Update

February 2, 2009 — Bankruptcy Basics for Boards - Chapter 7 Debtors' Liability for Post-Petition Assessments

January 28, 2009 — Stub Rent Revisited: No entitlement to immediate payment

January 8, 2009 — New Jersey's Foreclosure Mediation Program

December 18, 2008 — Stark & Stark Shareholder Discusses Rise of Bankruptcies for NJN News

December 18, 2008 — Deficiency Actions After Foreclosure Judgements

November 5, 2008 — The Next Shoe - Private Mortgage Insurance Policy Rescissions

October 31, 2008 — Insolvency in Franchise Businesses: Minimizing Risk and Maximizing Recovery Under the Bankruptcy Code

October 15, 2008 — Protecting Commercial Landlord's Rights - Eviction, Collection and Beyond

August 26, 2008 — How to Handle a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing

August 20, 2008 — Stark & Stark Attorney Discusses Bennigan's Bankruptcy

August 14, 2008 — What Franchisors Can Expect in Bankruptcy

August 4, 2008 — Boscov's Bankruptcy And What Their Suppliers Should Understand

May 5, 2008 — Linens-N-Things Bankruptcy

April 1, 2008 — Five Things You Should Know About Bankruptcy

March 18, 2008 — Stark & Stark Attorney to Present at 10th Annual William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference

January 18, 2008 — Enforcing Liens on Real Estate Projects

December 14, 2007 — What to Do When You Receive A Bankruptcy Preference Demand Letter

November 12, 2007 — Timothy Duggan Featured on The American Law Journal

October 17, 2007 — A new battle of Waterloo is under way

October 12, 2007 — Recall forces NJ meat firm to close doors

September 25, 2007 — Domino-Like Bankruptcies Offer Lessons

September 7, 2007 — Tenants Allowed to Maintain Almost "No Deductible" For Commercial Insurance Coverage

April 30, 2007 — Landlord's Beware: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Applies to Eviction Actions

April 27, 2007 — Construction Liens- The Nub of the Matter

April 12, 2007 — Rights of Suppliers under Bankruptcy Law

April 11, 2007 — Rockaway Bedding Bankruptcy - How Does the New Bankruptcy Law Impact The Company and Their Landlords?

February 26, 2007 — Bankrupt Real Estate Tycoon Owes Large Debt

January 25, 2007 — Annuities Included in Bankruptcy Estate

October 20, 2006 — New Jersey Legal Update - Podcast # 49

August 14, 2006 — State of the Bankruptcy Court

March 31, 2006 — New Jersey Legal Update - Podcast # 32

March 11, 2006 — Another Blow to Asbestos Bankruptcies

January 31, 2006 — Third Circuit Rules Against Secured Lender on Recovery of Post-Judgment Attorney Fees

January 19, 2006 — Duggan Presenting at Due Diligence Symposium 2006

October 25, 2005 — Duggan Interviewed in NJBIZ Magazine

October 17, 2005 — Duggan Comments on New Bankruptcy Rules

October 14, 2005 — New Jersey Legal Update - Podcast # 14

October 13, 2005 — New Bankruptcy Act Will Affect Divorce Litigation

September 28, 2005 — Duggan Comments on New Bankruptcy Law on Bankrate.com

September 23, 2005 — New Bankruptcy Bill - Television Discussion With Timothy Duggan

September 23, 2005 — New Jersey Legal Update - Podcast #12

August 19, 2005 — New Jersey Legal Update - Podcast #7

July 29, 2005 — Channeling Injunction of Bankruptcy Code 524(g)

July 1, 2005 — Informal Proof of Claim: Form or Substance?

June 3, 2005 — A New Defense to Preference Litigation

May 31, 2005 — Duggan Discusses Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

May 12, 2005 — Duggan to Speak at ICLE Seminar on Changes in Bankruptcy Law

May 10, 2005 — Alert For Leasing Companies Doing Business in New Jersey

May 9, 2005 — Two Decisions Against Equipment Lessors Will Require Adjustments to Lease Agreements

May 6, 2005 — Liquor License Lien-Short Lived Victory

April 27, 2005 — Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

March 30, 2005 — Payment of Commission Obligation of Foreclosing Mortgagee, Not Trustee

March 14, 2005 — Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

March 9, 2005 — Seventh Annual Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference - ICLE

February 10, 2005 — Forclosure Update - Delays Getting Shorter

February 8, 2005 — Good News For Secured Lenders

January 24, 2005 — Bankruptcy Trustee v. Non-Debtor Spouse - Is the Battleground State Court or Bankruptcy Court

November 30, 2004 — Court Rules Against Solvent Debtor

October 27, 2004 — Bankruptcy of a Commercial Tenant

October 25, 2004 — Bankruptcy As a Business Tool

September 24, 2004 — Equitable Distribution in Bankruptcy

September 13, 2004 — Collection Efforts - Associations