Daily Archives: November 24, 2015

Florida Court holds foreclosure action time-barred, alleged default occurred outside 5-year SOL

The District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fifth District, recently reversed a final judgment of foreclosure in the mortgagee’s favor, holding that based on the default date alleged in the complaint, the default date alleged in a prior foreclosure suit as to the same loan, and the dismissal without prejudice of the prior foreclosure action, the mortgagee’s foreclosure claim was barred by Florida’s five-year statute of limitations.

However, in so ruling, the Fifth District also held that the mortgagee was “not precluded from filing a new foreclosure action based on different acts or dates of default not previously alleged, provided that the subsequent foreclosure action on the subsequent defaults is brought within the statute of limitations period found in section 95.11(2)(c), Florida Statutes.”

A copy of the opinion is available at:  Link to Opinion.

Read on.

Ninth Circuit permits lien-voidance for Chapter 20 debtors

Bankruptcy practitioners routinely advise secured creditor clients to file protective proofs of claim in bankruptcy proceedings despite those clients’ ability to ignore bankruptcy proceedings and decline filing claims without imperiling their lien due to the protections afforded by state law foreclosure rights.[1]But a recent Ninth Circuit decision is causing attorneys and clients to reconsider whether this traditionally conservative approach is simply too risky in Chapter 13 cases. HSBC Bank v. Blendheim (In re Blendheim), No. 13-35412, 2015 WL 5730015 (9th Cir. Oct. 1, 2015).

The Blendheims filed for Chapter 13 relief after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge, making them what is commonly referred to as “Chapter 20” debtors. Holding a first-position lien secured by the Blendheims’ West Seattle condominium, HSBC filed a timely proof of claim, to which the Blendheims filed an objection. HSBC did not respond, and hearing no response, the court entered an order disallowing HSBC’s claim. HSBC was served with the order, but continued to take no action until several months later when the Blendheims filed an adversary proceeding seeking, among other things, to void HSBC’s first-position lien pursuant to Bankruptcy Code § 506(d). Section 506(d) provides that “[t]o the extent that a lien secures a claim against the debtor that is not an allowed secured claim, such lien is void.”

Read on.

German prosecutors launch tax evasion probe at Volkswagen

German prosecutors have launched an investigation into suspected tax evasion in connection with cheating on emissions tests by Volkswagen, adding to the intense scrutiny of Europe’s biggest carmaker.

The investigation focuses on five Volkswagen employees, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in the northern German city of Braunschweig, near Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg headquarters, said on Tuesday, confirming an earlier media report.

As is customary in Germany he did not name any of the suspects.

Read on.

Memo to Trump: There was a video, but not from New Jersey

Donald Trump on Sunday said during a campaign rally that he saw “thousands and thousands” of people cheering in Jersey City as the Twin Towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001. He still repeats this tale even though it is not true. Even Ben Carson repeated the same tale only for Carson to walk back from his statements. I did not see any coverage in the US of anyone celebrating the horrific 9/11 attack. But I did see this coverage on TV and not in NJ. Did you check out this TV coverage, Donald?



Garden City foreclosure victims in Michigan plead for help from council

– Garden City tax foreclosure victims are asking city leaders for another chance to get their houses back.

And on Monday night, the city council meeting got heated at times.

But council members spoke up against telling people who lost their homes, ‘we’re sorry you couldn’t keep up on your payments, but this is your fault.’

The people of Garden City are losing their homes to tax foreclosure, casting insults on the mayor and city council.

After a long day of protests at city hall and fingers pointed at Mayor Randy Walker and council members, they’re responding.

“This is not our problem, and I’m sorry for that. But you’re in the wrong place. That’s the way it is,” said Pam King, City Council Member.

Read on.



Pfizer Uses ‘Loophole’ To Dodge Taxes

Nov 23, 2015 | By

This morning, pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Allergan announced they would complete a huge $155 billion merger that would create a super-giant pharmaceutical company. Though this move will be, as Pfizer says, “a great deal for shareholders,” this merger is bad news for American taxpayers. It will allow Pfizer to avoid paying tax on the $148 billion it has offshore and enjoy Ireland’s lower taxes, enabling Pfizer to receive a massive tax windfall.

Pfizer is able to dodge taxes through a tax maneuver known as a “corporate inversion.” An inversion allows a big, multinational company—in this case Pfizer—to buy a smaller company in a country with lower taxes and changes its legal residence to the lower-tax country. Corporate inversions, which President Obama calls an “unpatriotic loophole,” allows companies to have it both ways. Companies that undergo inversions can still use American infrastructure and benefit from American law and labor, but without paying U.S. tax on income that its investments generate outside the U.S—meaning they aren’t contributing their full share to support our programs, infrastructure, and workers. Since 2010, ten pharmaceutical companies have used inversions to shirk their tax responsibilities.

Under the deal that Pfizer and Allergan made this weekend, Pfizer will buy Allergan and then make itself a subsidiary of Allergan in order to shift the combined company’s corporate address to Ireland—where Allergan is headquartered and a country with a reputation as a tax haven for a number of American companies. But this is only the latest chapter in Pfizer’s history tax dodging.

Wall Street Ties Linger as Image Issue for Hillary Clinton

John Wittneben simmered as he listened to Hillary Rodham Clintondefend her ties to Wall Street during last weekend’s Democratic debate. He lost 40 percent of his savings in individual retirement accounts during the Great Recession, while Mrs. Clinton has received millions of dollars from the kinds of executives he believes should be in jail.

“People knew what they were doing back then, because of greed, and it caused me harm,” said Mr. Wittneben, the Democratic chairman in Emmet County, Iowa. “We were raised a certain way here. Fairness is a big deal.”

The next day he endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in the presidential race.

Mrs. Clinton’s windfalls from Wall Street banks and other financial services firms — $3 million in paid speeches and $17 million in campaign contributions over the years — have become a major vulnerability in states with early nomination contests. Some party officials who remain undecided in the 2016 presidential race see her as overly cozy with big banks and other special interests. At a time when liberals are ascendant in the party, many Democrats believe her merely having “represented Wall Street as a senator from New York,” as Mrs. Clinton reminded viewers in an October debate, is bad enough.

It is an image problem that she cannot seem to shake.

Read on.