• Rhode Island Municipality Files for Bankruptcy

    Central Falls, Rhode Island, has entered bankruptcy , driven by an overwhelming burden of pensions. The filing is somewhat ironic when considering the city’s motto of “a city with a bright future.”

    Central Falls is Rhode Island’s poorest city, with its decline beginning in the 1970s as manufacturers left the area. Crime rose as the city’s economics declined. In 1986, a Rolling Stone crowned the city the Cocaine Capital of New England.

    The march toward bankruptcy began in the past few years as Rhode Island slashed local aid to cope with the financial crisis and the recession it spawned, said state Senator Elizabeth Crowley.

    Central Falls turned to the bankruptcy courts for protection on August 1, 2011 after retirees failed to accept cuts in pensions and benefits. That pushed the municipality into insolvency, according to Robert Flanders, a former state Supreme Court justice named to oversee Central Falls finances earlier this year. The city asked the court to let it impose “a prudent plan” to adjust what it pays retirees.

    The city of about 18,000 people became the fifth U.S. community to enter bankruptcy this year. In 2010, six cities filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

    The bankruptcy actions of municipalities demonstrate there is no shame in filing for bankruptcy. The reality of bankruptcy is that it is a legal tool that allows petitioners to reorganize their financial lives, and without much pressure from creditors. Don’t let an emotion get in the way of what is purely a business decision.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyer

  • Lofty Evanston Mansion Falls in Cook County Sheriff’s Sale

    A controversial mansion in Southeast Evanston is scheduled for auction in August 2011. It once had a price tag of $9 million before heading into foreclosure.

    The auction of the 11,000-square-foot mansion is the latest chapter in a saga that upset the exclusive one-block enclave of Edgemere Court. The tony block includes the 1927 mansion of Col. Henry Crown.

    The home, built in 2008 by developer Christopher Nesbitt, has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an outdoor pool and lakefront access. The last asking price on the property before foreclosure was $7.9 million.

    The home, and lot two doors south that was cleared by Nesbitt for another mansion, has been a sore spot for some neighbors. Nesbitt removed an existing sidewalk at the 925 Edgemere property, and removed the sidewalk on the lot at 917 Edgemere. Two other homeowners of adjacent properties removed their sidewalks as well. The removal prompted a group of neighbors to file lawsuits against the four offending properties.

    A resident of the street said the disagreements over the sidewalks – and the empty home and vacant lot – have rankled a neighborhood that’s functioned harmoniously for a century.

    The sheriff’s sale of 925 Edgemere comes because of a foreclosure lawsuit filed in December 2009 by the property’s lender, United Central Bank.

    Foreclosures can happen to anyone, regardless of life station, and the circumstances don’t really matter – what does matter is getting away from the debt before it becomes a major issue. Legal options can be employed to stop the problem and allow you to move on with life.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago foreclosure attorney