• Site Owner of LTH Forum Files for Personal Bankruptcy

    Gary Wiviott, owner of LTH Forum has filed for chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. The actual filing was done in November 2010, but has only recently become known due to the trustee putting one of the assets up for sale. The specific asset is the LTH forum, also known as the Little Three Happiness forum.

    LTH Forum is a popular local restaurant forum, one that attracts users from all around the Chicago area. It is an active forum with almost 10,000 users, and could potentially generate income by the placement of advertising and selling email lists generated by the user base. Wiviott stated the value of the forum at $0 in his petition, allowing the trustee to put it up for sale.

    A personal dispute between Wiviott and Peter Daane, a charter member of LTH Forum and an attorney, plays a large part in the bankruptcy. Wiviott borrowed a sum of money from Daane and never repaid. Daane has since taken Wiviott to court and received a judgment for the amount. As a result of the judgment, Wiviott filed for bankruptcy.  The bankruptcy filing negated the judgment, meaning that Daane could no longer collect his money from Wiviott.

    In an attempt to gather interest for the website, Daane was responsible for informing local media that the trustee had opened up bidding for LTH Forum.

    The trustee placed the website up for sale, with the first bid of $40,000 made by LTH Acquisition, LLC. LTH charter members David Dickson, Ron Kaplan and Steve Zaransky are all active members of the forum. They plan to maintain the site as it currently exists, with no advertising or selling of emails if they win the bid.

  • Foreclosures Represent 29 Percent of Home Sales in the First Quarter

    Almost 30 percent of all homes sold in Illinois during the first quarter were foreclosures. This number is down considerably from the first quarter of 2010.

    The 5,529 homes were sold as foreclosures during the first three months of the year, ending in March. This number is down 38 percent from the previous year and down 6 percent from the last quarter of 2010. Illinois is still one of the states with the best deals for buyers.

    The average price of a foreclosed home for the first quarter is $132,983, a nearly 41 percent discount from the sales prices of non-foreclosed homes. Bank owned or repossessed properties sold for 48 percent off the sales price of non-distressed homes. Homes that are in default but not yet repossessed by lenders averaged 19 percent off the average non-foreclosure price. Short sales are not included in the data.

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued its quarterly house price index on May 25, 2011. The data shows how foreclosure sales are dragging down overall home values. According to FHFA, Chicago are home prices are down 5 percent as compared to the final quarter of 2010, 9.5 percent from the period one year ago, and 26 percent from five years ago.

    If you are in need of foreclosure help, contact a Chicago foreclosure lawyer for more information.

  • Allerton Hotel Files Chapter 11 to Halt Foreclosure

    The owner of the Allerton Hotel, ALT Hotel LLC, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on May 6, 2011. Filing the case has stopped an attempt by an investor to foreclose on a $69 million loan that is secured by the property. ALT Hotel LLC is an affiliate of Petra Capital Management.

    Normal operations will continue at the Allerton throughout the bankruptcy case. The hotel is a historic property that is located on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Huron St. It is famous for its Tip Top Tap sign spelled out in neon, located at the top of the building. The Tip Top Tap had its heyday in the 1940s and 50s, closing in 1961. However, the sign stays lit to this day.

    A statement by the Chicago hotel’s bankruptcy lawyer said that “this filing is designed to protect against hostile predatory actions by one secured creditor that could have gravely adverse consequences for the hotel, its employees other creditors and vendors.”

    The question that remains is if the hotel is worth more than the loan. Stated in the petition are assets of $100 to $500 million, as well as $50 million to $100 million in debt, indicating that ALT/Petra thinks that is. The source of the valuation is unknown. Hotel occupancy levels and room rates are on the upswing, strengthening the property’s cash flow and overall value.

    If you are looking for bankruptcy information , contact a Chicago bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney can assess your situation and advise you accordingly.

     

    Allerton Hotel Files Chapter 11 to Halt Foreclosure

    The owner of the Allerton Hotel, ALT Hotel LLC, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on May 6, 2011. Filing the case has stopped an attempt by an investor to foreclose on a $69 million loan. The hotel is the security for the loan. ALT Hotel LLC is an affiliate of Petra Capital Management.

    Normal operations will continue at the Allerton throughout the bankruptcy case. The hotel is a historic property that is located on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Huron St. It is famous for its Tip Top Tap sign spelled out in neon, located at the top of the building. The Tip Top Tap had its heyday in the 1940s and 50s, closing in 1961. However, the sign stays lit to this day.

    A statement by the Chicago hotel’s bankruptcy lawyer said that “this filing is designed to protect against hostile predatory actions by one secured creditor that could have gravely adverse consequences for the hotel, its employees other creditors and vendors.”

    The question that remains is if the hotel is worth more than the loan. Stated in the petition are assets of $100 to $500 million, as well as $50 million to $100 million in debt, indicating that ALT/Petra thinks that is. The source of the valuation is unknown. Hotel occupancy levels and room rates are on the upswing, strengthening the property’s cash flow and overall value.

    If you are looking for bankruptcy information , contact a Chicago bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney can assess your situation and advise you accordingly.

  • Huge drop in foreclosed home prices reported in Chicago and many cities nationwide

    According to the S&P and Case-Shiller index of property values,  at least 20 cities’ home prices  fell 3.3 percent in just a year-the biggest single year drop since November 2009. Year-over-year statistics provides the best indications of trends in pricing.

    Many bankruptcy and foreclosure attorneys predict that prices will keep falling as the number of foreclosed homes grows. Most economists agree.

    “Housing will continue to lag the recovery until foreclosures abate,” said Sal Guatieri, an economist at BMO Capital Markets Inc. in Toronto. “The negative wealth effect from home price declines seems to be more than offset by stock market gains [and] the economy is moving in the right direction.”

    Phoenix led the group of 20 cities with an 8.4 percent slump followed by an 8.3 percent in Minneapolis. Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York, and Miami showed the lowest prices since 2006.  In Chicago, along with many of the other large cities, bankruptcy attorneys have seen a large increase in business due to the dramatic rise of foreclosure rates.

    Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner believes it is “going to take a long time” to fix the housing market.  Continuing, Geithner stressed that “we’re just at the beginning of trying to figure out how to fix that mess.” Most bankruptcy lawyers agree with the Secretary’s advisement .

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