Atari U.S. operation files for bankruptcy

Atari U.S. operation files for bankruptcy.

A former colleague of mine mentioned this article to me today.  It is surprising to see Atari file Chapter 11 when it seemed recently that there had been a resurgence in interest in playing the classic Atari games such as Asteroids.  Recently I saw someone wearing a re-issued Atari t-shirt with the classic early 1980’s logo.   As a kid growing up in Sheboygan, I remember the afternoon after Christmas morning probably around 1983.  There had to be at least 4 thrown out Atari Game System boxes sitting out on the street for the trash.  A lot changes, many of you out there will remember the ill-fated Radio Shack TRS-80 computer system or the Commodore 64 all early competitors to Atari who always kept their focus on games.  They tried a computer system, but quickly learned that consolidation in the industry doomed them to the scrap yard.

Although I am not intimately aware of the details and facts surrounding Atari’s bankruptcy, it is a Chapter 11 filing which is usually filed where a corporation wishes to survive after a “reorganization” which is a friendly way of saying reducing debt balances, interest rates and eliminating some types of debt.  In this case, Atari (of the United States) is trying to separate from its from its French owner to save its “classic” assets which include classic games such as Asteroids.

When considering debt relief, please consider NLO Nelson Law Office, our firm is a full service personal bankruptcy firm concentrating its practice in the areas of Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 Bankruptcies.  At this time, our firm provides referrals for bankruptcy work that requires either a personal or business Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

If you have ever wondered why a person would file a Chapter 11, think of it simply as a large Chapter 13.  Chapter 13 only allows about $340,000 in unsecured (credit card style) debt and about $1,000,000 in secured debt.  Clients with multiple investment properties and large lines of credit often look to a personal Chapter 11 to handle problems too large for Chapter 13.

royal crown cola bankrupt

royal crown cola bankrupt

Read the fine print –  you can still buy Royal Crown Cola whose recipe is owned by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Distributed Locally by itself and not through a bottler.  This bottler is a former bottler and distributor of Royal Crown Cola and hasn’t bottled and sold Royal Crown for several years.  The good news is:  You can still get Royal Crown Cola – a personal favorite.


As Reported by the Chicago Tribune, January 23, 2012;

Royal Crown Bottling Co. of Chicago Inc. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last Friday and said it plans to dissolve the business.

Its 20 biggest unsecured creditors include the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which has a disputed claim of nearly $4.5 million for retirement plans for the company’s employees. The PBGC is a federal agency that protects pension benefits in private-sector defined benefit plans, which typically pay a set monthly amount at retirement.

Another unsecured creditor is the Soft Drink Industry Local Union No. 710 Pension Fund, which has a disputed claim of nearly $3.7 million, bankruptcy records show.

Royal Crown has total liabilities of $8.2 million and total assets of $28,635.

As of 2001, it had been the nation’s largest independent Royal Crown bottler.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP lawyer Jason DeJonker, who is representing Bolingbrook-based Royal Crown Bottling Co. of Chicago, declined to comment on the bankruptcy. According to bankruptcy documents, 43 percent of the company is owned by Fred Adamany of Rockford, and 46 percent by the estate of Dan Weil and Weil trusts.

Royal Crown is a brand of Dr Pepper Snapple Group. A spokesman for the beverage chain said that it has been several years since Royal Crown Bottling of Chicago carried its brands. Dr Pepper Snapple handles its own sale and distribution of Royal Crown Cola in the Chicago area from a Northlake bottling facility, the Dr Pepper Snapple spokesman said.

eastman kodak bankruptcy

eastman kodak bankruptcy

Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection today.  Below is a Wall Street Journal snippet and link to full article.  Corporations come and go:  Do you remember Polaroid….the now defunct company that invented analog instant photography.  Kodak is a legend, having produced film that has captured images of families for over a century.  They are still the only source for all types of niche films such as 16mm movie film and other specialty films.  However, Kodak never did a good job of moving to digital photography.  This is a classic case where they didn’t want to cannibalize an incredibly profitable film business for a new (digital) venture that might not be as profitable.  Ultimately, this philosophy may have worked for investors who got out prior to 2005 because stock prices remained high through the middle 2000’s until the first inklings of the recession hit.  Bottom line – it’s sad to say goodbye to this old veteran, but unfortunately it was inevitable.  I predict a full and total liquidation of Kodak with only its name and rights to specialty chemicals and films being sold off to specialty chemical companies.

It is important to note the amazing 131 year history of Kodak, for a history of its founder and his exemplary philanthropy, please view the Wikipedia article on George Eastman – click here.


Quoted from the Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2012:

Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection after the film pioneer failed to raise fresh cash to fund a long-sputtering turnaround.

The 131-year-old company struggled for decades to cope with the emergence of competitors in its film business and the rise of digital technology. But its final pivot — an attempt to transform itself into a company selling printers — proved too costly amid declining film sales and expensive obligations to its retirees.

Can Anyone Not Qualify for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

You would think with all the pressure for debtors to the file the “good” bankruptcy, i.e. Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy, that there wouldn’t and couldn’t be any way that a debtor could be disqualified, but it is possible and for the most surprising reasons.

1.  A Chapter 13 Debtor needs a “working” income to be confirmed.  In general, a debtor must be making an income from work and not from unemployment compensation and/or disability income.  There are exceptions to this rule, but for most purposes, including the modification of a car loan or keeping a home, the working income is a must.

2.  You can have too much debt.  For simple purposes, a Debtor cannot have more than $340,000 of unsecured (credit card style debt) and no more than approximately $1,000,000 of secured debt.  So what does this mean?

Example:  Charlie Sheen owns four homes.  Each is worth $500,000 and has a $600,000 mortgage.  Mr. Sheen makes $200,000 per year in income.  He decides to surrender three homes and keep the fourth.  Well, here’s how it goes.  He has $1,500,000 in secured debt that is now unsecured because the home are surrendered.  So how about keeping the homes?  We he could keep two homes or $1,000,000 of secured debt but then he has to get rid of $1,000,000 of unsecured debt.  Bottom line: he has too much debt and really too much income to use Chapter 13.

3.  You don’t make enough money.  Just because Chapter 13 is call the “good” bankruptcy doesn’t mean it’s good for everybody.  Instead, let’s just say that Chapter 13 works extremely well for debtors with income between $50,000 and $175,000, depending on debt load.

So what are the alternatives?

1.  A Chapter 11 Bankruptcy where over 50% of the debts are personal.
2.  A Chapter 7 Liquidation Bankruptcy, claiming that over 50% of the debts are business related (investment properties).  This is a nifty way to get a high-income Debtor into a Chapter 7 even thought they have a high income.  From a moral standpoint, the legislature has decided that the bankruptcy discharge has “less costs” to a business debtor and doesn’t force the “moralistic” repayment programs down the Debtor’s throat.

Conclusion:  To make a Chapter 13 work, you need a working employment income that is above $45,000 and less than $200,000 with unsecured debts less than $340,000 and secured debt under $1,000,000.   For a high-income Debtor with primarily business debt and no properties worth saving, the Chapter 7 Liquidation is best.  And lastly, for the high-income Debtor who needs a personal reorganization similar to Chapter 13, a Chapter 11 becomes relevant and cost-effective.

For more information and in the Chicagoland Area to set up a bankruptcy consultation, please call 877-GO-GO-NLO or email

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