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WSH’s Michael Popok, Counsel for Lending Institution, Responds to Indictment of South Florida Hotelier Atul Bisaria

On October 9, federal prosecutors in Illinois filed an indictment against Atul Bisaria and his contractor, Steve Lewis, alleging that both men engaged in a scheme to defraud two Chicago area banks and obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises and material omissions. Mr. Bisaria allegedly persuaded Mutual Bank and Broadway Bank to loan him in excess of $9 million and $10 million each to renovate and hotels he owned in Boca Raton and Cincinnati. Mr. Lewis allegedly sent invoices to the bank falsely representing that payment was due for materials and work performed at the hotels to justify the large sums being loaned by the banks. In reality, no work had been completed at either job site. The indictment further alleges that Bisaria used the proceeds of the loan for personal expenses and failed real estate ventures. United Central Bank, a Texas based community bank which has acquired Mutual Bank’s assets, has retained WSH Member and Miami-Dade Partner-in-Charge Michael S. Popok to represent it in a related foreclosure. Commenting on Bisaria’s phantom renovations, Michael stated that the “only thing [Bisaria] built was a pile of invoices.”

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Categories: LitigationBankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

More Clubs File for Bankruptcy as Refundable Membership Deposit Structures Nosedive

As refundable membership deposit structure has tumbled in popularity, many membership deposit clubs find themselves filing for bankruptcy in an effort to restructure their liabilities. Before the economic downturn, refundable membership deposit structures were the preferred method of financing for clubs. A club would charge a membership deposit to join the club, which would be repaid in thirty years or after the member’s resignation from the club or death. In order for the structure to work, new members would have to join so that resigning members could receive their repayments. However, as resigning members began to outnumber new members, many outgoing members had to wait longer for their refunds. In 2007, membership market prices fell further, affecting the market for club properties.

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Categories: Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights
Tags: Chapter 7 BankruptcyChapter 11 BankruptcyJoshua D. KrutAleida Martinez MolinaChapter 13 BankruptcyFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysChapter 9 Bankruptcy
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Supreme Court Decision Protects Creditors’ Right to Credit-Bid on Own Collateral

In 2007, RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC purchased the Radisson Hotel at Los Angeles Airport and neighboring properties with the objective to renovate the hotel and construct a new parking structure. During the financial crisis of 2008, RadLAX ran out of funds and stopped construction on the project. RadLAX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009, and proposed a plan to sell substantially all of its property at auction and using the proceeds to pay the bank. RadLax sought to bar its creditors from bidding on the property using the debt it was owed to offset the purchase price, a practice known as “credit bidding.” The Bankruptcy Court denied the debtor’s request, because the auction procedure did not comply with the federal Bankruptcy Code’s requirements. Specifically, because the proposed plan was rejected by a class of creditors, it was a “cramdown” plan, under which certain applicable standards must be met for confirmation by a Bankruptcy Court. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that the debtors could not sell encumbered assets free of any liens without allowing the creditors to credit-bid. RadLAX appealed to the Supreme Court.

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Categories: Bankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Chapter 11 BankruptcyAleida Martinez MolinaFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

South Florida Local Governments: Take Heed From Largest US Municipal Bankruptcy

The recent spate of ruptured water lines and sewer breaks in Broward County underscores the challenge of replacing, upgrading and ultimately financing our aging sewer infrastructure in the midst of a recession. Jefferson County, Alabama filed for protection under chapter 9 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in November. Listing $4.15 billion in debt, it is the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. History. The catalyst was its inability to address a staggering $3 billion in sewer financing obligations.

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Categories: LitigationBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesAleida Martinez MolinaMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsChapter 9 BankruptcyFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Aleida Martínez Molina

Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Ends in Florida

On Monday, Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady issued an Order terminating the state’s mandatory foreclosure program. Citing the program’s abysmal success rate, Justice Canady wrote that the state “cannot justify the continuation of the program.”

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsHomeowners' AssociationsAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: CollectionsFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeDouglas R. GonzalesEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutAleida Martinez MolinaMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsAlternative Dispute ResolutionMediation
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Law Firm Alliance Selects WSHPC&B As Sole South Florida Representative

Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, P.L. is proud to have been selected as a member of the Law Firm Alliance, an elite coalition of law firms made up of 60 plus firms and 1500 attorneys throughout the Americas and parts of Europe. The Law Firm Alliance is a loose affiliation of law firms created to provide “competent and responsive” legal services to clients by providing a network of reputable member firms for referral of legal matters. Membership is by invitation only and limited to one firm by geographic area, so inclusion in the Alliance is highly coveted by premier firms. We are thrilled to be the sole South Florida representative in the Alliance. For more information on the Law Firm Alliance, click here.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentAirports and AviationAwards & RecognitionsConstruction LawReal Estate
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsMitchell A. BiermanGary L. BrownJonathan CohenJamie A. ColeJeffrey DeCarloChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesAleida Martinez MolinaGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokTimothy M. RavichClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawMiami Aviation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Matthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Junior Lenders Covered - "Stripping" Not Allowed in South Florida

Junior lenders can breathe a sigh of relief in the Bankruptcy Courts of the Southern District of Florida. The three judges of the Miami division have issued a memorandum opinion on the inability of chapter 13 debtors to "strip" liens when they are ineligible for a discharge. See In re Gerardin, 447 B.R. 342 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2011).

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Categories: Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights
Tags: Chapter 7 BankruptcyAleida Martinez MolinaChapter 13 BankruptcyFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Aleida Martínez Molina

Condo Owner Files Bankruptcy...Collection Efforts End? Not Necessarily...

Most well-informed Florida condominium and homeowners' association boards know that the filing of a petition in bankruptcy court by a unit owner halts direct collection efforts. What most boards do not understand, however, is that the mere filing of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 petition does not discharge that debtor's post-bankruptcy filing obligations to the association – even when the debtor "surrenders" the property in the bankruptcy or otherwise moves out of the subject unit.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: Automatic StayCollectionsChapter 7 BankruptcyChapter 11 BankruptcyCondos and HOAsJoshua D. KrutAleida Martinez MolinaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Aleida Martínez Molina

Welcome to Our Blog

Our new blog will feature the latest legal news, firm events and practice area updates to keep our clients informed and educated.  Check back often for recent developments.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLabor and EmploymentLitigationCondominium AssociationsBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentHomeowners' AssociationsAirports and AviationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawAwards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsClass ActionsConstitutional LawCivil ProcedureAffordable HousingLandlord-Tenant LawConstruction LawContractsEthics & Professional ResponsibilityEminent DomainTorts
Tags: Fort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawMiami Aviation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Fort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysScope of the Project RuleFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy Attorneys