Friday, December 22, 2006

Kara is Looking for $40 Million

BY MICHAEL L. DIAMOND
BUSINESS WRITER

Kara Homes Inc. is seeking a $40 million loan from Bear Stearns to help it build or finish building at least some of the 300 homes that were not constructed or left unfinished when the home builder filed for bankruptcy more than two months ago.

The construction financing plan, spelled out in documents Kara filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court, is in the initial stages.

Kara first needs approval from Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael B. Kaplan to pay Bear Stearns $75,000 that it would use to study whether it should make the loan. It then would need permission to pay the New York investment firm another $100,000 to complete the transaction.

Full article...

75 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The application for upfront fees filed by counsel for the Debtor to pay $75K to Bear Stearns (BS) is for the purpose of paying the costs associated with its due diligence allegedly designed to provide necessary information to possibly make a $40,000,000 priming loan to cover some of the completion costs on the 300 homes out there that have buyer contracts.

The description of the $40,000,000 is vague at best and there is a lot of “maybe” surrounding it but enough fluff that its potential fruition will undoubtedly cause the Judge to approve this motion. The reason is that he has already approved the $2.6M loan. That loan was designed to meet payroll obligations for, if my memory serves me correctly, something like eleven or thirteen weeks. Burn rate was something like $70K to $90K a week. So, what we are talking about is one week’s worth of expenses, used up, to do the work that will potentially bring in $40,000,000.

Bank of America (and apparently many of the other construction lenders) has filed objections to this funding. BofA’s claim is “the $75,000 payment to Bear Stearns would eat away at what little operating money Kara has left. ‘If it has an interest in providing construction financing, Bear Stearns, not (Kara's) estates, should bear the cost of analyzing the benefits Bear Stearns will derive from providing such financing.” [see news article at http://tinyurl.com/y8kc3o ]. Yeah, BofA may be right, but is BS had lent $75K less than it did, wouldn’t we be in the same position?

Now if I were the Banks, I’d be using an entirely different approach. I’d be claiming that what is really going on here is BS is seeking to make a killing at the expense of secured creditors. BS pervious admitted goal was to purchase secured claims at a discount. By bringing forth the concept of making a loan that would be entitled to a priming lien that effectively pushes lenders out of their first priority secured position, it will result in an overall impairment of their security. This potential threat is being used, not to reorganize this Debtor, but to “pick the pockets" of the Estate’s secured creditors.

In any event, my sense is the Judge will approve this $75,000 deal. In the scheme of things, at worse it will shorten the Debtor’s business life by one week. At best, well it is going to make BS a lot of money while it allegedly continues that glimmer of hope for unsecured creditors that there will be a pot of gold at the end of the Kara rainbow.

One final point that seems to have everyone up in arms. That is the payment of pre-petition wages to existing employees. Now I’m not saying this is good or bad. Seems to me it increases the “burn” rate and shortens the Debtor’s business life. But let’s face it, the Debtor is just pooping along and most of these people that would get paid, with the exception of Zudi and his inner circle, well I’d rather see them get it than BS or Traxi.
Having said that, probably the best way to kill the Motion is by pointing out to the Court that it wasn’t mentioned in the Unsecured Creditor’s Committee Blog. Reason for mentioning that is that the Blog is now Court sanctioned. That is, as stated in the Blog, relating to a December 11th hearing:

“2. Motion for an Order to comply with Section 1102 of the Bankruptcy Code: This motion was granted without objection. The motion provides for the establishment of this website and the posting of information relevant to the bankruptcy cases for general unsecured creditors to access and for the Committee to fulfill their duties and obligations.”

Now if it were me, and I was an unsecured creditor, I’d request to speak to the Court when the Motion for payment of these pre-petition wages is called, and show “shock and dismay” at its existence on the Court’s calendar, since no mention of this item was contained on the Court sanctioned website of this hearing which is clearly “information relevant to the bankruptcy cases for general unsecured creditors.” That fact alone would probably give the judge reason to continue the motion until ample notice has been given via the website of this motion. And also, while you are up there standing before the Court, see if you can get the Court of order the Unsecured Creditors Committee attorney to post links to the actual motions (in PDF format). That would really help creditors to be able if they choose not to just accept the “summary’ provided by the Committee’s spokesperson on the Blog, to reach logical conclusions based on the actual motion.

Take care,

SCProfessor

Friday, December 22, 2006 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kara STILL hasn't "winterized" these homes? Unbelievable.

Maybe Kaplan should just give Zudi a mulligan, give Kara a do-over. Just let them borrow freely again, the creditors be damned. What a joke. Be aware, fellow citizens, justice does not exist anymore. Anything goes in business today. Steal, cheat, lie, scam, defraud, none of it matters at all. Do whatever you damn well please because after you piss away all the money, you can just hold out your hand and you'll be given more.

Friday, December 22, 2006 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like the HELP WANTED sign is going to go back up - only idiots and sluts need apply, no experience necessary, B.S. degree required

Friday, December 22, 2006 1:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How seriously twisted is this? BS wants permission to borrow off the loan they gave Kara which they're guaranteed to get back with interest. So BS can loan Kara money, then have Kara pay them with the same money, so they can line up another loan that directly benefits BS. Then Kara could use that loan to finish projects that were begun with loans they squandered & never paid back. Unreal.

What is the long term goal here? Is the idea to help Kara Homes become solvent again? If so, how does it help the cause to plunge the company even deeper into debt through high interest loans? Is this bankruptcy protection or just corporate welfare?

Regarding winterizing-are you telling me that despite being subsidized for almost three months now, Kara's bloated and overpaid executive management hasn't even managed to address the condition of their unfinished "assets" yet? Maybe this should be prioritized over things like worrying about their own personal investment properties. I bet those properties are plenty winterized already.

Friday, December 22, 2006 2:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they get this $40 mil. I want to know the bank so I can go get a loan there also

Friday, December 22, 2006 3:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY SC HOLE,
Isn't it enough to see your sanctimonious crap on one blog, but you feel impelled to copy and past it onto another. Aside from the great and wonderful Z, you might have the largest and potentially most annoying ego I have ever dealt with.
SC I hope your Christmas is as bead as a Kara subs. BITE ME A_HOLE>

Friday, December 22, 2006 6:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anon 1:42,

I guess that means you and your mom can apply.

Friday, December 22, 2006 6:19:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Anon 6:17 said, "Isn't it enough to see your sanctimonious crap on one blog, but you feel impelled to copy and past it onto another. Aside from the great and wonderful Z, you might have the largest and potentially most annoying ego I have ever dealt with. SC I hope your Christmas is as bead as a Kara subs."

In an earlier post I suggested that you should contact your local community college and sign up for a U. S. Government class. Add to that list a remedial writing course (that includes grammar and spelling). Your writing challenges my interpretive capabilities. Obviously you do make the effort to run it through spell check. But you don't appear to have a grasp of the words you write.

Let me provide a couple of examples. You use the word "impelled." I assume given the context of the word in this sentence, you meant to say "compelled." At least in adopting the word "compelled," the sentence makes some sense. In your closing statement you use the word "bead" when referring to Christmas. Again I think you meant "bad."

One thing I've learned from both my education and experience. You can play dumb, but you can't fake being educated when it comes to writing. In order to write in an educated manner, you must be educated. That of course is a challenge you face. Hence my suggestion that you go to college and learn soft skills (e.g. communications), that will enable you to do something other than manual labor for the rest of your life.

No doubt you will respond in your usual manner. Perhaps some sort of remedial behavioral class would help you solve your ongoing problem in that regard and teach you the social skills needed to survive in the workforce.

Take care,

SCProfessor

Friday, December 22, 2006 8:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent rebuttal SC Prof!!!!!!!!!

It looks like someone has challenged the pre-petition wages motion set for Tues.

As a contractor I feel that if these employees are getting back pay they should pay everyone back pay. I do not understand why they brought it to the court as pre-petition wouldn't it have made sense to ask for "stay on bonuses" instead????

Anyone who is owed money should show up on Tues and tell the court to pay everyone pre-petition or nobody!!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006 8:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo Sc Prof ! It is so entertaining when you respond to the idiots in a way that they can't understand. I bet he is reading your response, scratching his head, and wondering where his dictionary is to look up the words with more than four letters :-) Happy Holidays SC and thank you for postings your opinions and insights.

Friday, December 22, 2006 8:47:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Anons 8:45 & 8:47:

Thank you for your kind comments. One thing that clearly becomes evident in the classrooms where I teach is the failure of our K-12 system in terms of maintaining exit standards that provide high school graduates with adult level reading, writing, and math skills. This is largely due to a misguided approach designed to not hurt the feelings of our children by giving them a failing grade when they do not measure up. If Johnny isn’t able to do 5th grade work, rather than hold him back and have him repeat the grade, we move him on to 6th grade, setting him up for future failure down the road.

You see that in the writings provided by our unfriendly poster. He tries by using the word “sanctimonious” in the first few words of his opening sentence to convince us that his is a scholarly view worth reading. Then he falls flat on his face a few words later, when his ignorance is unmasked by a poor choice of words. Sadly I face students like him all the time. So wanting to present a cultured and refined exterior that is quickly destroyed when he opens his mouth to speak.

Take care and have a wonderful Christmas.

SCProfessor

Friday, December 22, 2006 9:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all the bloggers and fellow former Kara employees (especially my friends),
Merry Christmas to you. I hope and pray that you have a better, more prosperous and happier New Year than you may be currently experiencing. Take heart in the knowledge that this too shall pass. Tough times never last but tough people do!
Best regards,
RS

Friday, December 22, 2006 11:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those are some nice sentiments & I appreciate the thought. I wish just about everyone at Kara the best, I worked with many fine individuals there and they are sorely missed. I was there long enough to remember the good times, believe it or not there actually were a few, way back when. It was one hell of an interesting place to work, for sure.

Even though I always wish you all the best, there is just no way I can do anything other than root for Zudi's demise. I might not feel such intense animosity towards the man if he'd handled the situation differently. He always portrayed himself as being a visionary, dynamic, hands-on leader. But great leaders possess courage and I don't mean the kind of "courage" it takes to endure swallowing one's pride or suffering through a downturn in one's business fortunes. I am talking about the kind of courage it takes to stand before employees that have given you their best effort and respecting their contributions enough to tell them the truth to their faces, as opposed to hiding behind whatever is "legal" instead. He took the easy, wimpy way out. I gave Zudi more respect than that and I feel he owed me the same. Therefore, I can never respect him, either as a businessman or as a person anymore. He made a mockery of my efforts and of my sense of honor and I'll never forgive the guy for that.

Saturday, December 23, 2006 3:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's incredible & seems impossible but yes Virginia, there are still some Kara people sipping the Zud-Aid. They just cant see that it's always that way with him, lots of soons and maybes but nothing right now. They just cant see the are enabling him and they cant accept that he is not always right, he's no genius and he's completely to blame for all of this and all the peripheral fallout too. Its like they think hes bravely fighting circumstances out of his control & everyone else is the enemy trying to knock him off the pedestal. Wake up & take off those Zudi goggles already, he's Nj's fastest-evaporating builder for a good reason.

Saturday, December 23, 2006 4:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I managed to acquire a few of the current and former Kara employees letters to Santa. A few of the highlights follow:
Phil M. is asking for a book on outhouse building and some Armor All (the Aston Martin is looking a little shabby)
John F is asking for a lifetime supply of his little blue pills and the thigh master.
Hektor is asking for a sucker to buy a townhouse without a CO.
Tom J asked for a few IQ points and a raise for his sales staff.
JF and TG asked for a NASCAR race in Jersey.
Robbie asked for a new blazer and a few dozen pink slips
JK just wants to be left the hell alone.
Rob P wants ammo and his couches back
Jean L wants a fun house mirror.
Everyone still there asked for their back pay
and finally
Zhudi wants someone that will listen to the plan and 260 million dollars.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 23, 2006 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot Tracy R she wants a better body, a better personality and JK's wife to divorce him.

Tom G and Jerry F not only want NASCAR but they also want a chance to be alone together!!

John K just wants a brain and Tracy R

Sue G wantes bigger boobs!!! (she needs to move up a cup size)

Sandy wants to loose about 300lbs and than she would be a little overweight

Pat T just wants some hair

George B wants to have Robbie fired along with an artifical lung

Phil M wants to be invited to Zudi's house for the holidays so he can feel like part of that family

Judy P just wants Hektor to have a heart attack so she can hook up with John F and is viagra supply

Robbie S just wants G Brandt fired

Tom J and the sales team want to time warp back two years when the market was great. He also wants a new hair piece

Zudi is converting to Islam and going to start hitting up all of the local muslims for money (he hasn't tapped this market yet)

Happy Kwaanza!!!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

The more I look at the downside of this real estate economy, the more I believe it will negatively impact the chances of success for efforts like we are seeing attempted here in this bankruptcy. News of another mortgage company going out of business can be found at:
http://www.hmic.com/

Sunday, December 24, 2006 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger karajokeski said...

Thanks a lot, you morons. Your stupid kindergarten-like posts about people's sex lives and breast sizes completely killed the Kara discussions for everyone. Now everybody can see why we went under at Kara, half the employees couldn't keep their pants on and the other half couldn't stop gossiping about it.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 1:51:00 PM  
Blogger Disgruntled Goat said...

Anyone hear anything re: court today?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 4:21:00 PM  
Blogger karajokeski said...

Judge said "no" re: back wages today. Another broken Kara "promise". Those are worth less than nothing, anyway. I guess despite that setback, everyone is supposed to resume doing whatever they can to help Zudi salvage that precious Kara name. As always, he's what's important. By the way, how's the winterizing coming along?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

I'm curious as to whether this "promise" came from people in Kara's inner circle or from Traxi personnel. Seems to me that the Judge may be finally reacting to criticism relative to his actions which have seemed to tilt in the direction of --- give the Debtor what ever it needs even at the expense of creditors. Looks like Zudi won't get the back pay he was so looking forward to.

Next big event I guess is the BS motion for advanced fees on that $40M loan, scheduled for January 8th.

Take care guys and enjoy the holiday break. Oops, forgot for most of you works goes on. One obvious benefit of being in education is the time off.

SCProfessor

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 6:57:00 PM  
Blogger fingaz said...

"In another Kara development, Kaplan said he would allow First Constitution Bank to loan Kara about $75,000 to winterize two partially completed homes at Country Meadow Estates in Toms River. Whether First Constitution Bank can lend Kara Homes $1.3 million to finish the two homes and construct another on a vacant lot will be the subject of a future hearing."


Is it just me, or does $75K seem like an excessive amount of money to winterize just two homes?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

Fingas, it depends on the size of the home and what needs to be done (roofing, windows, etc.). My guess is it could easily come to $35K per home. Good idea from the bank's perspective because it is designed to protect their collateral from damage and deterioration.

Interesting here is the fact that this is a sort of "fall back" position and doesn't include the construction of the home on the vacant lot. I'm thinking Judge Kaplan is finally getting the picture that this isn't the sort of reorganization where a viable Debtor is going to leave its reorganization as an operating entity. Expect further rulings to be of a liquidating nature. That is an organized scaling back of the assets like we see with the "sale" of the 4 developments to the bank holding a "first" lien on the property.

This process is a sort of "separating the wheat from the chaff" approach that will make his assessment easier and the case more manageable (not the convoluted mess Zudi had it in).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

For those interested, the Asbury Park Press has an article describing yesterday's hearing. You can read it at:
http://tinyurl.com/ylupl2

A couple of quotes I found interesting appear below. With the workforce down by a little over 1/3rd since November, you've got to wonder how long it is going to take before everyone but Zudi and his inner circle of managers are gone. With them, according to Perry, goes "the sole" of Kara Homes. Is that a corny comment or what?

SCProfessor

-------------------

"They are all that is left of a work force that numbered 310 in January. By mid-November, the employee count was down to 67, dwindling further through more job cuts and people leaving for other jobs, to 44 now."

Perry Mandarino, the turnaround expert brought in as chief restructuring officer, said the people are "the soul" of the company. "We hope that they continue to have patience," he said.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

Hey guys, Kara made it on the Asbury Park Press "completely unofficial and thoroughly unscientific list, the Biggest Flameouts of '06."

See it at:
http://tinyurl.com/ycuwbe

Zudi, since you are probably unfamiliar with the term "flameout," it probably wouldn't be a good thing for you to go around town bragging about it. In other words, this isn't the sort of attention that people would characterize as "good press" relating to your accomplishments.

To help you understand, I went to www.webster.com. There the term "flameout" is defined as:

1 : the unintentional cessation of operation of a jet airplane engine
2 : a sudden downfall, failure, or cessation
3 : a person whose successful career ends abruptly

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 1:17:00 PM  
Blogger Zounds said...

Those back wages are not some kind of "bonus" or rewards program, they're wages earned all the way back during the 1st two weeks of Sept. Everyone who was working there then deserves the exact same consideration when it comes to those wages. Anyway, Zudi could have easily avoided the entire wages mess altogether if he'd chosen to be upfront & honest about his plight but he chose to hide behind his attorneys instead.

This Mandarino & Bruck and the rest have a real set of balls on them with this "soul of the company" crap, like they would know. That stable of executive do-nothings they kept on board were never the soul of anything.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 2:12:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

First of all nice to see the picture of the prof on the comments page. You are one sexy cali beast my brother. I question your position of being totally removed from this case when you post things like the following, "Zudi, since you are probably unfamiliar with the term "flameout," it probably wouldn't be a good thing for you to go around town bragging about it. In other words, this isn't the sort of attention that people would characterize as "good press" relating to your accomplishments.".
While I am far from a member of the great and wonderful Zs fan club, you as the almighty impartial observer from the west, shouldn't be posting such rhetoric. Whats next SC commenting on who was zooming whom in Karadise? Seems as though this site has dropped you down to slumming with the masses.


On to more important Kara related matters. The funds to winterize weren't just for the 2 homes, but also for the site (stabilizing lots, winterizing roads, and the like), that is why the number seems inflated.

In response to Zounds--BITE ME. The majority of those left are working not "executive do nothings" rather they are the heart and soul of what is left of this sham of a company. If it does make it in spite of it self, it will be because of those that are still busting there asses to see it through. While you are correct in posting that some of the useless top heavy crap is still there, like the ticks they are, sucking the firm dry. The majority of those that are left are not members of the "inner circle" but rather, those that are going the extra mile to make this work.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 4:26:00 PM  
Blogger fingaz said...

Bruck and Zudi aren't allowed to decide who gets paid and who doesn't. Why are they making such ridiculous requests...allow backwages to workers, allow the banks to credit bid on developments? That wouldn't be fair to all the creditors.

Whatever money is left over (which is starting to look like nothing) needs to be divided evenly among every creditor that has a claim, not just the ones that they want. I'm hoping Kaplan decides to stop the bleeding soon.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 4:31:00 PM  
Blogger Zounds said...

Exkoolaid-right back at ya, pal. I wasn't knocking the rank & file, but please for the love of God spare me that "heart & soul" horseshit. I like many others broke my ass all year to help Kara, including during the weeks I wasn't paid. I would ideally like to see EVERYONE get that back pay, as opposed to no one. I fully realize there are still some quality people up there & best of luck to you all. But face facts, the reason most of us are long gone is because there simply wasn't anything left for us to do, thanks to Zudi & his leeches & their useless management abilities. As long as they are intact, there is zero future there for anyone. A reorganization effort that spares every one of those tools is a joke, less than nothing.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 5:06:00 PM  
Blogger Zounds said...

I also want to point out that there'd be no back pay issues at all if KaraJerkski had opened his useless trap & been honest about the situation, instead of just letting us run off a cliff like lemmings. But he chose to do it his way instead. I guess Bruck had to do all his thinking for him back in September, too. But it was easily, EASILY avoidable, had he chosen to go in a direction that took anyone but himself into consideration.

No doubt there are Kara people doing their best but still working there does not bestow martyrdom upon anyone. If Kara would can a few of those bloated "ticks" they'd be able to award you all a handsome holiday bonus with the money saved. Nothing wrong with that. But back wages? Sorry, I'm in line too & I need & deserve it as much as everyone else does.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 5:22:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

Zounds,

Sorry about the Bite Me comment. You are correct in many of the things you just posted. Specifically, if Kara had called the back wage petition a "stay on bonus" it would have been much more agreeable to all involved. The concept of "back pay" at this time isn't in the best interest of anyone.

Another fine point is remove the ticks, we all know who they are, and keep the dog alive.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

Just when I thought this Blog would continue at a higher level, avoiding comments like ExKoolAid provides, responding "In response to Zounds--BITE ME," I guess it isn't going to happen.

ExKoolAid, I consider Zudi a fair target for all posters. As Zounds points out, this whole back-pay issue could have been avoided if Kara personnel had not been lied to. Are you aware that this Debtor had a boatload of cash in the bank at the time of the bankruptcy filing? Zudi, rather than use this cash to pay his trusted employees, simply chose to stiff them. Those are the facts, plain and simple. If you want to focus on low forms of behavior, maybe your time would be better spent focused on his actions rather than reacting to my posts which you claim are biased. I’ll admit they are. My writings clearly favor the interests of victims. The buyers, mechanics lien claimants, and unpaid workers Zudi chose to stiff.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 6:03:00 PM  
Blogger Zounds said...

Graciously accepted, exkoolaid. As a former employee, my point of contention was with how it was handled. I can accept that the company had fallen on tough times and no longer had anything for me to do. But legal or not, skipping out on that payroll was inexcusable. I was never a Zud Squad member & I never bought 99% of his bullplop, but I honestly never believed he'd stoop so low as to skip out on paying me.

If whoever is running that place now wants to award everyone there a bonus, it doesn't bother me one bit. That's between you & them. But those back wages were already earned. They ought to stop acting as if they're some kind of gift because it is honestly insulting to every single one of us. If they feel the current staff is deserving of a bonus, then they should dig deep and give it to you. And in that case you'd still be entitled to back wages anyway, as you should be. It already is ours, we just never got it. How that man looks anyone there in the eye, I don't know.

At least we all agree about the parasitic leeches who continue to bleed Kara dry to further their own special needs. Carve up a few of those pigs & everyone left gets a big slice of ham. Now THAT's re-organization!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 6:46:00 PM  
Blogger Zuhdi Karagjozi said...

Zounds, you should have been fired you long ago along with your friend disgruntled goat.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 9:02:00 PM  
Blogger Zounds said...

That pic must be from back when Kara was still paying for the Grecian formula. Happy New Year, Kara! Except you, Zud, as I see a tough 2007 ahead for you.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

Hey SC,
Get a grip. If your ego would get out the way, you might have noticed that there was a nice little back and forth banter going on. It was happening between people that actually have a vested interest on how this case goes.
As opposed to yourself, for who this case is little more that a pet project you are using as a teaching aid. While you have as much right as anyone to post your opinions here, I for one find your posts self serving. It seems to meet you have such a dislike for Z (a man you have never met, heard speak or been screwed over by personally) because you have realized you are cut from the same cloth.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 7:18:00 AM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

ExKoolAid:

Let me see if I have this right. I base my opinion on Zudi's character upon information like newspaper stories, personal input from people like you and others posting to this Blog, Court filings, etc. You on the other hand you base your opinion about me on postings that I've made here on this Blog. Talk about egocentric. Good news in all of this is third party readers, as evidenced by their replies, can easily judge your postings as off-base and typically inappropriate.

What interests me in all of this is trying to figure out why you consistently try to change the subject from Kara Homes to personal attacks on my character. My guess is it is a feeble attempt to get posters' energy focused away from the subject matter (Kara Homes), because of concerns that the points made here are creeping their way into Judge Kaplan's courtroom. My assumption is you don’t want Kara Homes to cease operations because it will result in termination of your employment. True, that is not good thing given your current earnings and the job market conditions.

The problem as you’ve correctly deduce is that in all likelihood, people like the Judge’s research assistant and lawyers opposed to the continuation of this so-called reorganization are receiving at least some feedback about the content of the postings made here that are relevant to issues facing the Court. They, like you and I, don't live in glass bubbles.

My advice is stay focused on Kara and don't waste your time slamming me. It does little good and erodes whatever credibility you want people to believe you have. If these personal attacks are compulsion driven, I suggest you waltz your way over to my blog (see http://scprofessor.blogspot.com ) and post to your heart’s content. Admittedly readership there is rather sparse, but I’m sure once you start posting the masses that follow this Blog will quickly migrate over there to read what you are writing.

Take care,

SCProfessor

Thursday, December 28, 2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

WOW SC,

you have your own blog you are to cool.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger karasucks said...

I am very sick and tired of hearing about the employees not receiving pay for 3 weeks when homeowners have lost life savings and contractors have lost businesses.

At least the contractors were not incompentent enough to wait until they could not pay their employees to do something about the financial straits caused by a company that simply could not manage its cash.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 6:27:00 PM  
Blogger karajokeski said...

Karasucks, everyone already knows this. Ex & current employees are discussing the aspect of the case that AFFECTS THEM! It's their perspective and they are free to discuss it as they please. Do you have any perspective to offer, or just meaningless whimpering? It'd be terrific to hear some actual anecdotes or other relevant issues affecting contractors or homeowners, who's stopping them? No one cares about what you're tired of hearing about. If you don't like it, don't log in. Problem solved.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 6:37:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

Great point Karajokeski,

He we all got screwed to one degree or another (except for the high and mighty prof). If we want to bitch, complain, bust balls or vent we have every right to. Those who don't like it, don't log on. If your looking for some all knowing way out of this problem, hit the prof's blog. I'm sure the Yoda of the blog bankruptcy world will help make it all better.

Back to the Prof, why would I do any other research on a college prof? Why should I care to waste my time learning anything about you? You sit in your ivory tower on the west coast and pass on your so valuable information on the down trodden to the east. I realize I should be searching every possible web site to find out more about one as great as you, before I pass judgement, but I really don't think you are worth my time. I have no problem slamming you based on what you post on this site alone.
I, unlike you have a life. I don't obsess on a case 4000 miles away that has no bearing on my life what so ever. I can only assume that your life is so empty you have the free time to research this case to the degree you have. Get a life.
I am sure you are the basic internet nerd, house bound agrophobic twit you seem to be here (the photo you chose to post helps my arguement).
This case effects my life as it does many others, your ego driven, look at me, I am king of the blog, posts annoy and insult those of us who are actually effected by this. Go back to your D and D chat room and come up with next semesters course schedule and leave this alone.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 6:58:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

ExKoolAid, I guess it is the teacher in me, but "judgement" and "arguement" only have one "e" each. I see this all the time from my students. They are either too lazy to use a spell checking program; or they rely on it, ignoring the necessity to proofread what they write.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I place blame squarely on our K-12 education system. It should have held people like you back until you achieve measurable adult reading, writing and math skills.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 7:38:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

sc prof,

The best you can do is go after my spelling. I guess you weren't the star of your high school debating team (after seeing the photo I'm sure that was the only team you were on in high school). I really expect more from such a bright and well read individual such as yourself. Maybe it's an off night.
It still is rather confusing to me why this is such a hot topic to you. While I'm sure this is one of the 13 screens you have open at this time, it can't be the most important to you.
Why don't you go back to the online dating site, I'm sure someone is looking for a nerdy,bankruptcy obsessed geek such as yourself.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 7:53:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

SC prof,
I am shocked and disturbed that only one person has posted on your blog. I guess it can be lonely being an internet hero sometimes. I also think that the fact that you started this site and still feel you aren't an egomaniac is quite distressing.

Hey everyone look at me I am the high lord of all bankruptcy knowledge.
My students worship me.
Bow down at my superior knowledge of all things bankruptcy related.

You are one sad little man.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 8:00:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

The Unsecured Creditors' Committee blog has been updated with the results of the matters heard by the Court on the 26th.

You can reach that information by pointing your browser to:

http://karahomescreditors.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 28, 2006 8:00:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

SC,
One more thing. I understand that you are all knowing, but how do you find yourself in the position to judge my math skills. While I beg your forgiveness for my infrequent spelling and grammar errors, I don't remember any complex mathematic equations being done incorrectly on this blog. If I did I once again beg the forgiveness of you, all great and knowing SC.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 8:03:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

Hey SC,

Why no mention of the back pay on the unsecured creditors blog? I assumed that you know everything, so I'll ask you.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 8:06:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

ExKoolAid, my assumption is that it was a mere oversight. No doubt the Court's ruling was the same as it was with the Kara Birbach Geller & Co., Ltd.'s employees' motion. That is, a denial without prejudice. The denial “without prejudice” means that the moving party is free to bring their motion back on calendar at a later date. However, experience tells me that there had better be changed circumstances to justify bringing it back on for hearing. Not just a lapse of time.

What I find interesting is the fact that the Unsecured Creditors' Committee went along with that motion (exact language was "did not object"). If I were an unsecured creditor, I'd be questioning how close the relationship between the Committee's counsel and Traxi is. Just a thought, but it certainly makes you wonder.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 8:37:00 PM  
Blogger Zounds said...

I was also baffled by the stance of the unsecured creditors committee until I realized as long as it exists, a lawyer or lawyers will continue to get paid. Has that committee objected to anything yet? I'm an unsecured creditor and they certainly don't represent me. In my opinion they just represent a few creditors and their interests, not all of them as a whole.

I really don't begrudge anyone anything, I just maintain that if the people running Kara right now feel they should award anyone a bonus, then they should go ahead and do it. Everyone who had their wages hijacked deserves the exact same consideration regardless of whether they work there now or not. It isn't about me against you or us against them as far as I'm concerned, it's just about what's right. I've already done all I can do as one person and I made my point with everyone who needed to hear it so now it's in the court's hands. I hope that whatever is decided is in the interests of as many creditors as possible.

And before anyone gets themselves worked into a snit, everyone feels for the buyers, subs, vendors and everyone else hurt by Kara Homes, including at least most of the current and former staff. We didn't want this either but just like you, we were undercut by incompetent management. We didn't all "know" & we weren't all in on it. We don't think we're worse off than you or somehow more deserving of attention. We're just obviously louder than you all.

Speaking of management, any reason Kara needs to keep that well-paid stable of executive chair-warmers around even though there's no selling or building going on? No loyalists willing to take one for the Z man and take an extended leave of absence until they're needed again? I seriously doubt there's much of a chance they'd be hired away by some other arrogant, wildly ambitious builder anytime soon. There are plenty of nice people, who are there right now, who'd fill a few of those inner circle positions quite capably (& probably way better too). How could anyone else do worse? Best wishes.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 9:32:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

Zounds,

Great post. You nailed it on every topic. I wonder if TJ would take a little unpaid time off, he already spends most of his time on his no project in North Jersey with Fry and Barbosa.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 9:47:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

Zounds said, "I was also baffled by the stance of the unsecured creditors committee until I realized as long as it exists, a lawyer or lawyers will continue to get paid."

You make a valid point. Once the case is converted to Chapter 7, the Unsecured Creditors Committee's function ceases. Hence the need for a lawyer to represent it.

So you see the importance in keeping this case as one operating under Chapter 11 from one lawyer's perspective. The same is true for Traxi. In a private discussion with a former Kara employee, I raised a possibility of where I think this case is headed. So as not to raise the temperature of ExKoolAid's wrath, this is my opinion and not the Gospel truth. In that email discussion I said:

"The guys at Traxi must be burning up the midnight oil to extinguish the funds as quickly as possible. I actually see a point, not in the too distant future, where Traxi will conclude there isn't a good reason to keep staff in place and seek permission from the Court to let Traxi stay in place to liquidate the Debtor’s assets and create a Chapter 11 liquidating plan. With the remaining Kara employees gone (probably with the exception of Zudi so they can keep him quiet by paying him), the real ______ will begin." (expletive deleted)

"An interesting and key aspect of this week's ruling was the decision by Kaplan to allow funding in relation to the winterizing of those two homes, but not to allow funding to build a home on a third lot. Reading between the lines this tells me he may have given up viewing Kara as an operating entity."

Thursday, December 28, 2006 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Disgruntled Goat said...

Serious, non-sarcastic question for any Kara people-who do you work for now? Is it Kara Homes Inc. or Kara, Birbach & Geller? Just asking because K, B&G are specifically mentioned here, not Kara Homes Inc. Just seeking clarification, that's all.

"Debtors' Motion to pay pre-petition expenses and wages to Kara Birbach Geller & Co., Ltd.'s employees: Kara Birbach Geller & Co., Ltd. is a non-debtor affiliate and employs salespersons that assist the Debtors in connection with the sale of homes to the public. The Committee did not object to the Motion provided that the Debtors confirm that as a condition to receiving pre-petition expenses and wages, any eligible employee must currently work at Kara Birbach Geller & Co.".

Thursday, December 28, 2006 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Carlyle said...

SC Prof,
Can you go through each of the motions on the unsecured creditors page from the Dec 26 hearing and explain each one?

Thanks

Thursday, December 28, 2006 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Carlyle said...

Excoolaid

Leave the Prof alone, if he finds this interesting than so be it.

I enjoy his OPINIONS and I think they are a good way to start intelligent discussions.

As an ex-employee I applaud Kaplan for not giving current employees pre-petition wages. They are getting a salary where a lot of us are trying to make it on unemployment and paying COBRA (which is more than unemployment)

They have their salaries and if Kara wants to pay pre-petition wages they should pay all employees

As far as giving current employees bonus's in place of pre-petition wages that is crazy. Current employees DO NOT DESERVE bonus's. They should just be happy to have a job.

Bruck should be shot for saying that the current employees are the "heart and soul" of Kara. Most of them are still there because they can't find a job and some really believe that they will get that missing 3 weeks salary.

How many people do you think will resign after the New Year now that the pre-petition wages have been turned down? My guess is a bunch.

Has anyone closed in Hawkins Ridge or Winding Run lately??

Oh and to the sales people who are going to start making 70K a year, you better not get use to that money. I hear 1/3 of the current sales force will be let go as per the rumor mill at TRAXI.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

Carlyle,

Quick math question. How do let go 1/3 of the sales force when there are only 5 of them left. I think you need to get a new inside source.
Also, it was very pleasant saying Mr. Bruck should be shot. With an attitude like that I'm fairly happy about the fact that you are unemployed and I hope you stay that way. That is until a position at the Post Office opens up.

Friday, December 29, 2006 6:57:00 AM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

ExKoolAid, in fairness to Carlyle, his position has been espoused by many over the centuries. Few people are unfamiliar with the phrase "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers," from Shakespeare's Henry VI.

Now I'm certainly not suggesting that is the correct approach. But in cases like this, most would agree that there is something akin to the concept of "piling on" when it comes to attracting legal talent to over-litigate even relatively minor issues. For example, I'm betting that it took the attorney for the Creditors Committee at least a couple of billable hours to conclude not to object to the application by the Debtor to pay pre-petition wages to existing Kara employees (including sales personnel). It will be interesting when it becomes time to submit fee applications whether I'm correct in this regard.

As to ExKoolAid’s question relating to math, I'm old enough to still remember how to estimate, an unfortunate lost art given the reliance by students today on calculators. If this were a word problem, I would conclude after checking for a solution on my slide rule, that the answer would be either a reduction of one or two members of the sales staff (more likely two because it doubles the cost savings over one).

More importantly, if a proper job was being done by the Debtor and Traxi, I'm thinking Kara could easily get by with one. Alternatively it could contract out on a commission only basis the work associated with sales and completely eliminate the sales staff.

Carlyle, I’ll give you my thoughts on each of the items the Court addressed at the hearing on the 26th either later today or over the weekend. Because I suspect the posting will be long, I’ll put the information up on “my blog” and post a link here. An interesting note in that regard. In general I’m seeing a shift in the Judge’s attitude relative to the Debtor’s future. Does anyone else sense that he is no longer looking forward to a successful reorganization, but concluding that a quick “wind-down” is a more appropriate solution?

Regards,

SCProfessor

Friday, December 29, 2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger karasucks said...

karajokeski... STICK IT UP YOUR ASS!!!

Do you want some information? I will give you information. I have $200K at risk (which by the way is much more than 3 weeks pay). I also was left homeless by this situation. Therefore I bought a new house with every last dollar I have left and moved in recently. Then I fell down the stairs and broke my ankle. I am in a severe amount of pain and have zero mobility. Accordingly I have VERY LITTLE PATIENCE for ex employees belly aching about 3 weeks pay.

I am one of the lucky ones with some money left to purchase a house. I do check this blog for information on how to get back my stolen money. I find it unconscionable that I have to pay a bankruptcy attorney over $400/hr just to recover what was mine to begin with.

It is frustrating to see lots of complaints from former employees and very little or no information regarding contractors or homeowners. With all due respect, everyone is a victim of Zudi. However lets put this in perspective. It is much easier to recoup 3 weeks of pay and interview for another job than to recover life savings which have been stolen.

I do not consider this whining. I am just looking for any and all information on how to recover my money.

I will not get into a pissing contest with illiterates about who is hurt more by this situation. We are all victims.

Friday, December 29, 2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Disgruntled Goat said...

It is strange that the "back pay" motion specifically mentions "salespeople" currently in the employ of "Kara Birbach & Geller". It doesn't make mention of anyone else. What is that all about?

Friday, December 29, 2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger karajokeski said...

karasucks, no one ever said we're bigger victims than you & no one thinks it either. Don't use your clumsiness-induced injury for cheap sympathy either, unless Zud shoved you down the stairs, no one cares. Yes, you are whining, bitch-like in fact. I'll discuss whatever I feel like discussing, are we clear?

Friday, December 29, 2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger karasucks said...

YOU DO NOT OWN THIS BLOG AND I WILL DISCUSS WHATEVER I FEEL LIKE DISCUSSING...

SO ONCE AGAIN STICK IT UP YOUR ASS!!!!

I WILL NOT GET IN A PISSING CONTEST WITH A SKUNK (WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE!!!!)

Friday, December 29, 2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

Karasucks, I think that most posters here are sympathetic to your situation. The likely irony in all of this is that funds you and other buyers contributed likely lengthened the time before Kara's bankruptcy filing, thus enabling former employees to collect paychecks a bit longer. This again points to the fact that the solution to this situation so it doesn't happen again, is a requirement in New Jersey that buyer deposits be escrowed in a neutral depository pending closing of the sales transaction.

Now having said that I think it is important for everyone to understand that each disaster resulting from the actions of Zudi is paramount to the person suffering. I suspect there are people going without medical insurance (or medicines) who, while facing a considerably smaller monetary loss than you, are facing a bleaker financial scenario because of their current situation.

I view part of my "volunteer" role in posting to this blog as an opportunity to teach. If nothing more, it educates you and others involved in this disaster, what may be the right questions to ask your $400/hr bankruptcy attorney. True I have a somewhat cynical view of the process. That results in naively thinking that working in the capacity of a professional, I could assist in being part of the solution. Frankly it took years to recognize I was part of the problem.

Teaching on the other hand has provided a better life's purpose in my opinion. Despite the claims raised by other posters on this Board, I feel comfortable voicing my opinions. This case is clearly not all that different than others I've been involved in. You'd be surprised how often the same story line of an egocentric businessman (whose primary focus is looking like a success), plays out with action concluding in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Karasucks, recognize that there are many of us who feel your pain and also recognize just how easy it would be for us to fall for the line of BS provided by Zudi. There but for the grace of my selected higher power, go I.

Kindest regards,

SCProfessor

Friday, December 29, 2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger karajokeski said...

Dear Karasucks, who ever said you weren't free to say whatever you like? You're the only person here dictating who gets to say what & when. Thus, the hostility. By your logic, only Amboy Bank has any right to gripe, because they're the biggest victim. Ask your Dr. to ease back on the pain meds, because they're scrambling your brain.

If you want more hostility, keep on telling everyone how they should feel about things. No one, NO ONE, is pleased by what happened to EVERYONE involved here, whether they're buyers, subs, employees etc. Quit telling me how "easy" I have it.

Friday, December 29, 2006 1:02:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

Time perhaps for a little humor to lighten the tempo of the conversations. If you go to the link provided below, published in a Cayman Islands Blog today is a quote by Zudi, as President of Kara Homes. Scroll down to the 4th paragraph for another memorable Zudi quote.

http://www.cayman-information.com/blog/

Friday, December 29, 2006 1:19:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

Yesterday Carlyle asked, "SC Prof, can you go through each of the motions on the unsecured creditors page from the Dec 26 hearing and explain each one?"

As I promised yesterday, I have attempted to explain each of the 10 motions identified in the Unsecured Creditors Committee blog. You can view my explanations at my blog site:
http://scprofessor.blogspot.com/

If what I've written is unclear or if you have any questions, post them to that blog and I'll try to respond.

Kindest regards,

SCProfessor

Friday, December 29, 2006 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Zudi's Clock said...

The clock is ticking, Zudi....

Monday, January 01, 2007 7:49:00 PM  
Blogger Zudi's Clock said...

Hurry Zud, get that braintrust in gear & get that plan ready. Time's running out! Tick tock tick tock goes Zudi's special clock.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 3:57:00 PM  
Blogger Zudi's Clock said...

Zudi bummed 6.3 million from Bank Of America & all he got was this crappy clock.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 4:17:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

Below are the first two paragraphs of my response to an email from a Kara home purchaser who requested that I give him some thoughts relating to this situation. In a sense the key point I'm attempting to raise in the first paragraph is whether or not, purely from a business decision standpoint, it makes economic sense to continue to seek to purchase the home or, to put it bluntly, move on.

The key in all of this is "market conditions." I know all to well that in the area where I live the real estate economy is tanking. We are seeing national builders with excess inventories reducing their prices by over $100,000 (typically 20%), and homes are still languishing on the market with these reductions. Buyers, whether right or wrong, are sitting on the sidelines hopeful that they will see further price erosion.

The hue and cry of real property professionals generally follow a pattern with an initial claim that, "things are different here in _________; don’t you know the supply of land is limited." I don't intend to suggest that I'm anything close to an expert at judging market conditions in New Jersey. I do however have the ability to read, and with regard to articles recently published in the Asbury Park Press, it seems there is current volatility in your own market as we are seeing in my area. If you have not read the recent article titled "Clouds Gather Over Housing Market," ( http://tinyurl.com/y99e7c ), I'd suggest that it is worth the effort.

I encourage Kara purchasers to follow a business plan like I've outlined below to reach a sound judgment about whether or not to proceed forward with a purchase decision. Don't take for granted that if you proceed with the purchase you will automatically be entitled to a credit on the earnest money deposit you have made. Even it that is the case, where the property fair market value has effectively been reduced by outside market conditions, your completion of the sale may be a mistake when viewed strictly form the perspective of making a sound business decision.

Take care,

SCProfessor

------(email response)-------


I'm happy to provide my opinion on the questions you have asked. What I'm curious about is the rationale for not just walking away. Do you have a deposit on the home? If so, is there was there a "bond" protecting your deposit? Even if there was a deposit, have you given consideration to the fact that with what I'd characterize as market in price decline, would it be worth your time and expense to hire a licensed appraiser to provide you with an idea of the value of the home (completed) under existing market conditions to ascertain whether or not it makes sense to continue with the purchase?

Truth is I see a potential that other construction lenders will follow the lead taken by Magyar Bank in "purchasing" homes where they are the construction lender. According to newspaper reports, these purchases are being made with absolutely no obligation on the part of Magyar to honor contracts with home purchasers. I think that if the Court grants this motion and approves the sale you will see other construction lenders follow this route. Certainly, as I explained in one posting, at a cost of less than 4%, it pays for these lenders to take their secured collateral and get as far away from the Kara Bankruptcy as they can.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 7:41:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

SC,
don't you have your own forum to spew your knowledge in. I didn't realize you were also the "god of home pricing in central/south Jersey". Thank you great one for bestowing your all knowing greatness upon us.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 8:46:00 PM  
Blogger SCProfessor said...

ExKoolAid, how does:

"I don't intend to suggest that I'm anything close to an expert at judging market conditions in New Jersey. I do however have the ability to read, ...."

equal (=)

"I didn't realize you were also the 'god of home pricing in central/south Jersey'."

My recollection is I suggested you attend a remedial reading course. Semester starts soon.

SCProfessor

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 9:39:00 PM  
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