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Category Archives: Bankruptcy

Bernie Sanders says 500,000 people a year declare bankruptcy over medical expenses heres how to avoid that fate – MarketWatch

Posted: January 18, 2020 at 9:55 am

During Tuesdays democratic presidential debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders used one of his most-repeated lines to attack former Vice President Joe Bidens stance on health care.

Youve got 500,000 people going bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills, Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, said. Were spending twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of any other country. That estimate is on an annual basis.

Sanders added, Look, we have talked about health care for all in this country for over 100 years. Now is the time to take on the greed and corruption of the health-care industry, of the drug companies, and finally provide health care to all through a Medicare-for-All single-payer program.

As the Washington Post reported, Sanders assertion that 500,000 people have gone bankrupt because of medical bills does not fully comport with the research his campaign has cited as the basis for this claim. His claim is based on research from Consumer Bankruptcy Project.

A 2019 study from this group, based on a survey of 910 people who had filed for personal bankruptcy between 2013 and 2016, found that medical issues contributed to 65.5% of bankruptcies. This included both medical bills for treatment and income lost due to illness.

When that percentage is applied to the total number of non-business bankruptcies nationwide, researchers say that as many as 530,000 families suffer bankruptcies in which medical issues were a factor.

That percentage is roughly the same as before the Affordable Care Act became law, based on previous surveys carried out by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project. (Notably, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, was one of the researchers who contributed to those previous efforts back when she was a professor at Harvard University.)

Other researchers have argued that this approach is flawed, as its based solely on people as it does not reflect what happened to the millions of Americans who incur medical expenses but dont go bankrupt.

To that end, a 2018 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that only 4% of bankruptcies among non-elderly adults were caused medical shocks related to hospitalization. Those researchers argued that missed work caused by illness or injury was a bigger problem than medical debt itself.

Either way, medical debt remains a problem for millions of Americans. A 2018 study published in Health Affairs found that one in six Americans had one or more past-due medical bills on their credit report, representing a total of $81 billion in health-care-related debt.

A 2019 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that roughly 137.1 million Americans had reported medical financial hardship in the past year.

A 2015 survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the New York Times found that one-time medical events more commonly caused problematic bills, rather than chronic illnesses. Two-thirds of people who had trouble with a medical bill said it stemmed from something like a hospital stay or treatment for an accident, versus 33% who said their medical debt built up over time because of treating an ongoing illness or condition such as diabetes or cancer.

Insurance is a factor, as well. The 2018 Health Affairs study further found that medical debt was most common among 27-year-olds, the age at which children are no longer eligible for coverage under a parents health insurance plan based on the Affordable Care Act. The percentage of people with medical debt decreased as they got older and as they became more likely to have health insurance.

While medical debt may often be caused by unforeseen expenses, there are nevertheless steps people can take to avoid letting it snowball to the point where declaring bankruptcy is necessary.

Build up savings: The Federal Reserve reported in 2018 that four in 10 Americans dont have enough savings to cover a surprise $400 expense, although some have suggested this figure may be overblown.

Either way, the first place to start when working to avoid medical debt and bankruptcy is building up a rainy-day fund. The general rule of thumb is to have savings equivalent to six months worth of living expenses. Others say lower-income households should squirrel away approximately $2,400.

Dont be afraid to haggle: Medical costs arent set in stone. It is possible to negotiate a bill down with a medical provider particularly for low-income households. In some cases, hospitals may decide to write off a bill in the name of charity. Experts suggest recruiting a patient advocate or medical bill negotiator to help in the process if its feasible financially, since those professionals will have experience identifying medical expenses that could be adjusted.

Also read: This man will help you get out of expensive medical bills

If you have insurance, watch out for out-of-network providers: A New York City woman received a shocking bill totaling over $28,000 for medical tests a specialty-care clinic ran when she was sick. The reason for the high amount: The clinic and the laboratory were both out of network. This is also a problem when people visit hospitals even when the facility itself is in network because the professionals who work at it including physicians and anesthesiologists may not be.

When youre rendered unconscious by an injury you might not be able to investigate whether a medical provider is in network, but in all other circumstances its important to ask these questions. If possible, get treatment from someone who is in network. Additionally, its good to verify what tests are being performed and why to weed out any unnecessary medical expenses.

Avoid putting big bills on plastic: The combination of a large medical expense and high credit-card interest rates can be a recipe for a never-ending debt spiral. In cases where you cant pay for a medical expense in full at the outset, you should investigate whether you can sign up for a payment plan with the medical provider. Sometimes, these plans can be tied to your income to help ease the burden.

Payment plans from doctors and hospitals may carry interest and other fees, so its important to price those out. Another option for those with good credit could be opening a personal loan, which typically carries a lower interest rate than credit cards.

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Bernie Sanders says 500,000 people a year declare bankruptcy over medical expenses heres how to avoid that fate - MarketWatch

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McMartin farm bankruptcies could wrap up this year – AG Week

Posted: at 9:55 am

McMartin's McM Inc., filed Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy in Fargo on Feb. 10, 2017. McMartin Jr. later filed personal Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy on Sept. 11, 2017.

McM was a farm that had operated up to 50,000 acres from three farming centers St. Thomas, Grand Forks and Fargo. The case is unusually large for the region, with $64 million in claims, including $43 million from BMO Harris Bank alone. McMartin is notable for the sheer size of his farm, its high-value crops that included sugar beets, potatoes, and dry edible beans, but also for his influence in farmland rent competition, an influence that farming competitors say remains today.


Burton, a lawyer with the Morrison Sund PLLC firm, is working for two trustees in the separate, but intertwined cases. Erik Ahlgren of Fergus Falls, Minn., is trustee in the McM bankruptcy. David G. Velde, Alexandra, Minn., is the trustee in the McMartin Jr. personal bankruptcy.

Burton is handling some of the details in both cases. He says there have been significant recoveries of assets to the trust. Some of those funds have been paid out, but the trustees continue to pursue some assets in related lawsuits called adversary proceedings.

According to documents, several of these proceedings were launched in 2018 and 2019 and remain in play today:

Ahlgren vs. CHS Inc. Ahlgren says CHS owes the McM estate about $793,000 in accumulated patronage dividends for selling grain through the cooperative elevator. The trial is scheduled July 15 in Minneapolis (Fargo Bankruptcy Judge Shon Hastings recused herself and referred the case to Judge Michael Ridgway in Minneapolis.) CHS lawyers have argued the bankruptcy trust has no right to force the co-op to liquidate McM's patronage dividends, and that the grain marketing co-op had the right to "set off" money that McMartin owed them.

Ahlgren vs. McMartin Sr. Ahlgren had alleged that McM in 2016 had improperly provided about $2 million to the parents and their farming operations chemicals, planting, harvesting and the parents did not pay McM for fair value. McMartin Sr. has agreed to pay $775,000 but the settlement hasn't yet been approved by the court.

Ahlgren vs. Kenny Johnson. On behalf of McM creditors, Ahlgren is seeking $740,882 from Johnson, who has residences in Walhalla, N.D., and Florida. Johnson had provided McM about 20,000 of its rented acres.

Ahlgren says McM improperly paid more than $1 million to Johhson from April to June of 2016 on a lease on Johnson land when others did not get paid. Johnson's attorneys have submitted an answer to the court, denying responsibility.

Ahlgren is arguing that there is an "insider" arrangement.

First, Johnson's nephew, Kyle Zak, managed the farms. After the bankruptcy, Johnson briefly employed McMartin and his daughter at the new Elkhorn Farms operation and Johnson also immediately hired Zak as a farm manager.

Second, Ahlgren is arguing Johnson was an insider because Johnson had urged that Zak be on the McM management team. Ahlgren also argues that Johnson effectively was a "general partner" in McM because Johnson and McM did crop sharing in 2015 and 2016 land deals in North Dakota's Towner County.

Ahlgren vs. Morrison Family Trust. Ahlgren alleges that McM had fully paid one of its landlords the Morrison Family Trust a lease payment on about 110 acres in Pembina County, N.D., for the 2017 crop. After McM's bankruptcy filing, however, the Morrison trust had made a second deal with Elkhorn Farms, an entity based in Walhalla, led by Kenny Johnson. The McM trustee is seeking $22,500. That trial began Jan. 14 in Fargo.

Kenny Johnson vs Ahlgren. In December 2018, Kenny Johnson's lawyers filed a countersuit against the bankruptcy estate, arguing that the estate owes Johnson some $325,000 because it used some of his land after the case was filed. That will go to court in February.

Velde vs. McMartin Sr. Velde alleged that approximately $200,000 in assets had transferred from McMartin Jr. individually to his father, McMartin Sr. The case was settled for $126,787.50 in late 2019, and has yet to be approved by the court.

Velde vs. McMartin Sr. and the Ronald McMartin Sr. Irrevocable Trust. The McMartin Sr. trust was created in 2012 with Bonita McMartin, the father's wife, as trustee and McMartin Jr.'s grown daughters as beneficiaries. The case was recently settled, allowing the trustee to sell off what is known as the "Heder Farm" at St. Thomas. There are several acres, plus some buildings. Additionally, the estate can liquidate buildings on Ronald McMartin Sr.'s farmstead, which complicates the matter.

In the documents, Velde alleges that funds were transferred into the trust because of McMartin Jr.'s "abuse of the corporate formalities of McM Inc., which he solely owned and controlled" and that he used McM Inc. as his "alter ego and used its assets as his own." They noted a personal cabin in the corporation's name.

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McMartin farm bankruptcies could wrap up this year - AG Week

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Windstream to Award Nearly $19 Million in Executive Bonuses Amid Bankruptcy – Channel Partners

Posted: at 9:55 am

A bankruptcy judge has greenlighted multimillion-dollar bonuses for Windstreams top executives as the company continues working through chapter 11 bankruptcy.

This week, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain approved Windstreams proposed 2020 executive incentive plan. David Avery, Windstreams vice president of corporate affairs, tells Channel Partners that the plan is similar to the performance incentive program used by the company prior to filing for restructuring.

In addition, the court has to approve the incentive program since Windstream is in restructuring, he said. The bonuses aim to drive business performance.

Windstream filed for chapter 11 last February

Under the plan:

According to the court filing, Windstream has faced severe business pressures as a function of the highly competitive landscape for telecommunications providers generally, as well as the challenges inherent to operating any business in chapter 11. Additional challenges result from media coverage of Windstreams litigation with Uniti and its reorganization, as well as supplying critical communications and support services to end users such as hospitals, municipalities and schools, it said.

Such end users, due to a lack of familiarity with the chapter 11 process, may continue to be cautious about engaging with [Windstream], despite the fact that [its] ability to operate has been unimpaired by these chapter 11 cases, it said.

To date, the executives have met these challenges, and have directly engaged with vendors and services providers to maintain stability and seamless performance across Windstreams businesses, according to the filing. The performance targets will require the executives to continue to manage through the chapter 11 filings, it said.

Windstream faces an April deadline to complete its reorganization plan and exit bankruptcy. Drain rejected its request for an extension to May 31 to file its plan.

A major holdup in the process is Windstreams ongoing court battle with Uniti, the publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) consisting of network assets that Windstream divested in 2015. Windstream pays Uniti about $650 million annually to use its network, and wants to modify its agreement.

Windstream filed suit against Uniti in July over its annual payment. A trial is scheduled for March 2 in federal bankruptcy court.

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Windstream to Award Nearly $19 Million in Executive Bonuses Amid Bankruptcy - Channel Partners

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Top of the Week: Fusion Bankruptcy Completion, Verizon Copper Retirement, Telarus Hiring – Channel Partners

Posted: at 9:55 am

Fusion Connect exited bankruptcy, and Telarus hired new channel personnel this week.

The Channel Partners editorial team covered a wide variety of stories on our website. Weve got articles about product launches, technology predictions and multiple hirings. Our top article features a carriers request to transition customers from copper to fiber.

We post a weekly recap of the channels most interesting news each Friday afternoon. Check out the seven snippets below before starting your weekend.

7. LogMeIn Debuts New App, Tool Marketplace, Latest Integrations

The SaaS company launched an offering that lets users find the tools they can integrate with the companys unified communications and collaboration products.

GoTo Marketplace brings all the integration applications into a single access point. Thesenior director ofLogMeIns UCC strategic alliances program said Marketplace makes it easier for users to buildout their ideal workflow and ultimately work the way they want to work.

The vendor also updated its integrations for Salesforce Lightning, Theta Lake, Clio, Zoho, Prezi and other platforms.

Edward Gately has the scoop.

6. 4 Emerging Technologies for 2020

TBIs new vice president of emerging technologies shared key trends for the upcoming year.

Anish Patel joined the master agent last fall to lead its Tech Gurus unit and help partners adopt next-gen services into their portfolios. We asked him to recommend several areas where partners can differentiate themselves and solve customer pain points in 2020.

Read what Patel had to say.

5. Microsoft, McAfee, Cisco Among Major Vendors in Expanding Endpoint Security Market

CrowdStrike,Symantec and Trend Micro were just a few of the other companies that made MarketsandMarkets list.

The endpoint security study concluded thatretail and e-commerce will be fast growing verticals in the market over the next four year. The study predicted the market to hit $18.4 billion by 2024, up from $12.8 billion in 2019.

Get details on the study.

4. CloudJumper Chooses Cisco, Lenovo Vet for Newly Created Channel Sales Role

The application and desktop virtualization provider hired Amy Ray as its new enterprise channel sales manager.

Ray will work to deliver CloudJumpers platform to new partners and distribution channels. She has served as a channel account manager at various other companies.

Her timing is excellent as an increasing number of channel organizations seek solutions in this space, said CloudJumpers president.

Read about the new role.

3. Fusion Connect Exits Bankruptcy, Begins New Era Under New Ownership

The cloud services provider eliminated some $400 million in debt during its chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company, which entered bankruptcy in the summer of 2019 after two large acquisitions performed under expectations, has officially completed the process. It has offered all of its partners a new agreement. Michael Fair, Fusions senior vice president of channel and alliances, told us that the company is upholding its commitments to employees, customers, channel partners and vendors.

We will continue to build on the accounts we have earned, whether they were renewed contracts or new members of the Fusion customer family, Fair said. We will also focus on developing our relationships with customers and channel partners who demonstrate continued faith in the future of our business.

Learn about the news.

2. Broadvoice, Intelisys, Windstream Alums Join Telarus

The Utah-based master agent hired two people to recruit and support partners.

G.R. Heryford and Don Gaus will serve the Pacific Northwest and Florida, respectively. Part of their job will be to

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Top of the Week: Fusion Bankruptcy Completion, Verizon Copper Retirement, Telarus Hiring - Channel Partners

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Chinatown mixed-use building heads to bankruptcy auction – The Real Deal

Posted: at 9:55 am

55-59 Chrystie Street and Rosewood Realtys Greg Corbin (Credit: Google Maps)

A mixed-use property in Chinatown will be auctioned off at the end of January after its owner failed to attract new office tenants to the bankrupt building.

The roughly 46,000-square-foot building, at 55-59 Chrystie Street, has been owned since 1982 by CTW Realty, according to property records. Greg Corbin and his team at Rosewood Realty will hold the bankruptcy auction Jan. 30 at law firm Herrick Feinsteins office at 2 Park Avenue.

CTW Realtys Gary Tse had several legacy tenants in the building, and his business plan was to clear them out and recruit tenants from industries such as media and tech, according to Corbin. But after getting several of the older tenants to leave, he was not able to replace them and defaulted on a $25.1 million loan last year.

Unfortunately, he didnt execute his business model quickly enough, said Corbin. It was a great idea.

Representatives for CTW Realty could not be reached for comment.

Bids on the property are due Jan. 28, according to Rosewood.

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Chinatown mixed-use building heads to bankruptcy auction - The Real Deal

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Weatherford’s Out of Bankruptcy and Undervalued –

Posted: at 9:55 am

Weatherford Internationals (WFTLF) new shares have begun trading following the companys emergence from bankruptcy in December, and weve updated our view. Our fair value estimate is $70 per new share, of which about 70 million were issued, replacing all of the companys old equity. Currently, the new shares are only trading over the counter, but the company expects to resume trading on the New York Stock Exchange by March at the latest.

Of Weatherfords approximately $8.5 billion in prebankruptcy debt, about $7 billion was eliminated following completion of the bankruptcy proceedings. In exchange for this, senior noteholders received 99% of the new equity in the company, with prior shareholders receiving just 1%. We think this was a bad deal for prior shareholders, but they had virtually zero bargaining power once the company entered bankruptcy. A prolonged bankruptcy court fight would have only destroyed enterprise value and made the prior shareholders case harder. In any case, this recapitalization puts the new Weatherford in solid financial health. All remaining debt has a five-year maturity, and we project that net debt/EBITDA will fall below 2 times by the end of this year.

Currently, Weatherford shares are trading at half of what we think theyre worth. Even on an unleveraged basis, the companys market value has cratered over the past two years. In mid-2018, Weatherfords market-implied enterprise value was about $9 billion. Now, we estimate a market-implied enterprise value of about $3 billion, a 67% drop. Although peers have also seen large drops in share price over that period (30%-40% after adjusting for leverage), they have been easily eclipsed by Weatherfords fall.

We grant that the companys trip to bankruptcy caused some damage to its ongoing operations, and we have lowered our financial forecasts accordingly, particularly in the nearer term. We now forecast 12% cumulative revenue growth through 2023 using 2018 as a base, or 20% adjusted for divested businesses (assuming they contributed about $400 million in 2018 revenue). Our adjusted revenue growth runs slightly above our forecast for industry oil and gas capital expenditure growth of 16% but below our forecasts for peers, despite Weatherfords potential for market share gains after years of mismanagement.

On the bottom line, we think our updated views are particularly conservative. We forecast $1.2 billion in 2023 (midcycle) EBITDA. The company achieved $830 million in annualized EBITDA in the second half of 2018 thanks to rapid accomplishment of managements transformation plan. Meanwhile, management at that point had claimed another $700 million in incremental EBITDA benefit, which we think Weatherford would have been well along the way to realizing at present if not for the chaotic effects of being forced into bankruptcy in 2019. Furthermore, we expect solid industry tailwinds, including a pricing recovery, as global oil and gas capital expenditures continue to recover in coming years. Any revenue growth for Weatherford should yield high operating income incrementals, given the companys cutting of lower-quality business lines.

Our average covered oilfield services company is trading at about a 20% discount currently, which we believe is due to the markets underrating of oil and gas capital expenditure recovery--particularly in international markets--in the coming years. However, we are unable to explain exactly why Weatherfords shares are so much cheaper. Investors are probably bitter, having been burned by the company many times over the past decade. Bondholders, which own 99% of the new shares of the company, are likely less than enthusiastic about holding equity, despite its intrinsic value.

Our updated fair value uncertainty rating for Weatherford is very high, a notch above most peers rating of high. This is due to our uncertainty about the degree of damage done to the long-term value of Weatherford by the past year of financial distress and bankruptcy proceedings.


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Recent and Upcoming Changes to Bankruptcy Law That Affect Your Rights as a Creditor – JD Supra

Posted: at 9:55 am

Updated: May 25, 2018:

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Recent and Upcoming Changes to Bankruptcy Law That Affect Your Rights as a Creditor - JD Supra

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SD bankruptcies filed between Dec. 26 and Jan. 15 – The Daily Republic

Posted: at 9:55 am

Here are bankruptcy filings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of South Dakota, for Dec. 26, 2019, through Jan. 15, 2020. Individuals can file Chapter 7 petitions (asking that debts be liquidated); Chapter 12 (a simplified reorganization method for farmers and ranchers whose gross debt does not exceed $1.5 million); and Chapter 13 (a plan to repay some debts in three to five years). Businesses can file Chapter 11 petitions to reorganize their debts under a court-approved plan for repayment.

Aberdeen: Charles Albert Fabert, Chapter 7.

Beresford: Jo Ellen Foster, Chapter 7.

Brandon: Brittany Jo Neppl, Chapter 7.

Canton: Daniel Hans Voss, Chapter 7; Victoria Lynn Voss, Chapter 7.

Claremont: Katherine Ann Fabert, Chapter 7.

Clear Lake: Timothy Neal Rossow, Chapter 7; Carol Jean Rossow, Chapter 7.

Eagle Butte: Doreen Michelle Antone, Chapter 7.

Freeman: Christopher John Koerner, Chapter 12.

Hartford: Rhonda Sue Hartz, Chapter 7.

Pierre: Dwight R. Neuharth, Chapter 7.

Rapid City: Erika Dawn Lamprecht, Chapter 7; Cheyenne Dawn McGrady, Chapter 7; James Robert Tomek, Chapter 7.

Sioux Falls: Florangel (no middle name) Morales, Chapter 7; Daniel Duane Letze, Chapter 7; Andrea Elizabeth Letze, Chapter 7; James Arnold Corkrum, Chapter 7; Deborah Kaye Berreth, Chapter 7; Stacy Marie Jelen, Chapter 13; Lowell Albert Miller, Chapter 7; Nicole Lynne Miller, Chapter 7; Clint Sherwood Jordan, Chapter 7; Adela Agostino Anyuon, Chapter 7; Joshua Dean Harmann, Chapter 7.

Spearfish: Harmony Mae Vaga, Chapter 7.

Volga: Amber Sue Morlock, Chapter 7.

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SD bankruptcies filed between Dec. 26 and Jan. 15 - The Daily Republic

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Payless emerges from bankruptcy with eye on US growth –

Posted: at 9:55 am

Payless ShoeSource has emerged from voluntary Chapter 11 Protection, which was filed in February 2019

Payless filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last Februaryfor the second time in less than two years, and has since closed allof its 2,587 storesacross the USand Canada.

Post-bankruptcy, the company hasa global retail footprint spanning Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. In these territories, combined, Payless and its franchisees own and operate over 710 brick and mortar doors in over 30 countries.

Its new management teamis led by CEO Jared Margolis, who previously served as president of the world's largest licensing agency CAA-GBG, a joint venture between accessories, footwear and apparel powerhouse Global Brands Group, and Creative Artists Agency, a leading entertainment and sports agency. Payless Latin America, the company's largest current business unit, will be led by Justo Fuentes, as Latam CEO.

Margolis saysPayless will implement a new strategic plan to strengthen its relationship with vendors and suppliers, support itsglobal franchise partners and deepen the trust of itscustomers.

On the agenda are plans for thePayless brandto collaborate with high-profileindividuals and brands onexclusive product offerings, while the company is also considering new technologies to streamline and optimise the customer experience. This approach will apply across all distribution channelsworldwide, it says.

"We intend to leverage Payless's existing infrastructure, which is best in class and already includes product design and development, distribution, marketing, and a strong relationship with major footwear manufacturers. Thus, providing the new Payless with the ability to be nimble, innovative, and to fast-track our biggest growth opportunity: the United States," adds Margolis.

Meanwhile, Fuentes says there are plans to build on Payless's success in the Latin American market.

"In the past year, we have implemented many new strategies to increase our market share and in-store footprint in the region, and in 2020 we are going to build upon this even further. This plan will include a strong digital component to allow an omnichannel approach to the Latin market, as well as several product strategies that will allow Latin consumers to continue seeing Payless as their primary source of high-quality, value-priced family footwear."

Founded in 1956, Payless is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, and has 420stores in Latin America and the US Virgin Islands, plus 290 franchisee stores in the Middle East, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippinesand Africa.


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Fleet bankruptcies add downward pressure to used truck prices – FreightWaves

Posted: at 9:55 am

Idled power units from fleet failures and bankruptcies are further pressuring used truck prices that closed the year 14% lower on average compared with 2018.

A lot of excess inventory will simply sit here in the U.S. and represent a sunk cost on someones balance sheet, Chris Visser, J.D. Power commercial vehicles senior analyst and product manager, told FreightWaves on Thursday.

Hundreds of trucking companies failed in 2019, with several entering bankruptcy protection. Their unused trucks may end up being sold to raise cash to pay creditors. But some less desirable models will end up being scrapped.

These tractors add to a clogged pipeline of used trucks traded in for new units from a late 2018 fleet ordering frenzy to replace them.

Limited exports

The prices of newer used fleet units limit export demand. But with new truck prices also depressed by a lack of new orders and high inventories, Visser speculated Southeast Asian and African countries may be interested in newer trucks.

There are only so many trucks these countries can take, though, and the legal and regulatory scenarios can be a moving target, he said.

Downward pressure

The downward pressure on used truck prices for Powers benchmark group of 4- to 6-year-old trucks was particularly heavy in the fourth quarter when the year-over-year decline in auction values was nearly 31% compared with 2018.

Wed need to go back to the recession period of 2008-2009 to see a bigger year-over-year decline in auction pricing, Visser said.

Dynamic December

Class 8 auction volume increased dramatically in December, though pricing dropped more than expected, according to Powers Commercial Truck Guidelines newsletter. Trucks sold at retail also lost value as only low-mileage trade-ins attracted significant interest from buyers.

Fleets and dealers typically seek to get unused trucks and excess inventory off the books at the end of the year.

Auction activity of 4- to 7-year-old used trucks suggests that fleets disposed of older units before year-end in favor of new trucks they ordered that feature better fuel efficiency and safety equipment that could positively impact insurance costs and total cost of ownership (TCO).

Monthly markdowns

The influx of used trucks in December drove month-over-month pricing markedly lower:

Model year 2011 was an outlier. The average $12,667 price was $3,417, or 36.9% higher than in November.

Monthly depreciation for 4- to 6-year-old trucks averaged 3.5% in 2019 compared with essentially no depreciation in 2018. Pricing for late-model trucks is now roughly 10% lower than the last market bottom in 2016.

If anyones holding on to an average- to high-mileage truck hoping that its value will recover, my advice would be to trade now, Visser said. There are so many average- to lower-mileage trucks available right now that I dont see older units recovering in 2020.

But lower prices cut both ways.

There are incentives on new trucks, and used trucks are extremely affordable, Visser said. So even though your current rig is worth less than it was a few months ago, so is that newer truck you might be looking at.

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Fleet bankruptcies add downward pressure to used truck prices - FreightWaves

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