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Randall Reese founded Restructuring Concepts LLC after spending nearly six years with the international law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in its Corporate Restructuring practice group. During that time, he represented clients in many large and complex chapter 11 cases,... More
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Restructuring Concepts LLC
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Bankruptcy News & Analysis
  • MicroBilt Corp. & CL Verify, LLC File For Chapter 11 Protection in New Jersey 2 comments
    Mar 25, 2011 4:54 AM

    Over the past week, two related companies, MicroBilt Corporation and CL Verify, LLC, filed chapter 11 petitions in a bankruptcy court in New Jersey (MicroBilt on March 18, 2011 and CL Verify six days later).  The companies, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, describe themselves as "leader[s] in risk management information for small and medium-sized businesses and leading provider[s] of alternative data for non-traditional lenders."  Specifically, MicroBilt offers small and medium sized businesses with "online access to consumer and commercial credit bureau data with automated decisioning and collection services," as well as "proprietary comparative private-company financial information with its 'Integra Data' on more than 4.5 million privately held companies collected from 32 governmental and non-governmental sources along with analytic tools." 

    The companies employ approximately 77 people in six states and generated 2010 revenues of approximately $20 million.  Court filings state that the companies, which have approximately $8.4 million in unsecured debt and no secured debt, believe that they have an enterprise value of $150-180 million.  They also have a number of additional subsidiaries and affiliated companies, but no other legal entities were included in the bankruptcy filings.

    The companies state in court filings that the chapter 11 cases were filed in response to recent developments in their long-running dispute with Fidelity National Information Services, Inc., d/b/a Chex Systems, Inc.  The dispute began in 2008 when Chex Systems "unilaterally terminated its contract with MicroBilt" as a result of a dispute.  That dispute was resolved through arbitration and resulted in a June 2009 memorandum of understanding and an August 2009 resale agreement (which was subsequently amended in January 2010).  However, when MicroBilt acquired CL Verify, new disputes between the companies and Chex arose resulting in new litigation in federal district court in Florida and, after Chex attempted to "wrongfully terminate" (quoting MicroBilt's bankruptcy court filings; obviously, Chex would have a very different perspective on the grounds for termination) the 2009 resale agreement, in state and federal courts in New Jersey.  MicroBilt sought a temporary restraining order in New Jersey federal court, but the request was denied.  Chex then informed MicroBilt that it intended to terminate the resale agreement effective March 20, 2011.  After receiving notice of the pending termination on March 18th, MicroBilt filed the initial chapter 11 case to prevent Chex from terminating the contract.

    Pursuant to the disputed agreements, MicroBilt purchases information from Chex which it then resells to MicroBilt and CL Verify's end customers.  According to MicroBilt's pleadings, termination of the agreement would be "devastating" to the debtors' businesses.  Specifically, MicroBilt states that, if the agreement is terminated, it "will lose a substantial customer base because the customers to whom it resells Information comprise 58% of its business . . . and there is no replacement vendor from whom the Debtor can feasibly purchase the same Information it purchases from Chex."

    MicroBilt and CL Verify are represented in the chapter 11 cases by the law firm of Lowenstein Sandler PC.

    Key court filings to date include the following (click on the links to access the court filings):
     
    To access copies of all major court filings from this case, please visit: http://www.chapter11cases.com/MicroBilt-Corporation-CL-Verify-LLC_c_23999.html#axzz1HbDSNMrn
     
     
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    Read more: Bankruptcy News & Analysis: MicroBilt Corp. & CL Verify, LLC File For Chapter 11 Protection in New Jersey http://blog.ch11cases.com/2011/03/microbilt-corp-cl-verify-llc-file-for.html#ixzz1HbcX4pzw

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Comments (2)
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  • AnnaLRoberts62
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    I used to be a customer and this is what I was told both by an employee and another company still using their services:

     

    MicroBilt was selling Chex Systems' products to collection agencies when they knew this was in direct violation and/or illegal. This data had an extremely high value to collectors trying to locate debtors since bank account data is 99% reliable and contains current contact info.

     

    I feel sorry for the employees at Microbilt, They were always professional and helpful and only doing what they were told. From my understanding the owner was to the risk management industry to what a used car salesman is to a used car lot.

     

    After the supply line to Chex Systems was rightfully terminated, it is my guess greed took over and the hunt was on to find a workaround.

     

    First Attempt: Purchasing the same data from a middle man who had access to Chex Systems and then resell that same data. We never got access back so I don't think this ever succeeded and we canceled our account shortly after.

     

    Second Attempt: It was a few months later I heard about their latest merger and news was flying around our corporate office they would be providing the data again. However, we had moved on and it is a shame, their site, reports and everything else was innovative, unique and well thought out. In the end, the up and down status of data and constant increases in price just wasn't worth it anymore..
    30 Apr 2011, 07:11 PM Reply Like
  • AnnaLRoberts62
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    MORE DETAILS ABOUT CRIMINAL DEEDS

     

    I don't want to reveal too much about myself out of fear. The owner of MB behind all this is currently in federal prison for tax evasion - he has been fighting this suit forever(google it... I think it was 3 million in payroll taxes at the same time he laid off 2/3 of the company.. Part of the rules before the trial was that he was to have nothing to do with running the company the years leading up to the trial. It doesn't take much to see he didn't follow that rule like most of rules and laws. I even heard he got to a cell phone on a recent prison work detail and called into a morning staff meeting. I would say more, but he sues everyone. However, I speak nothing but the truth. I truly want to protect and provide a secure future for the employees at MicroBilt. However, I don't feel so sorry for the team of managers in New Jersey. Some of them could have fought this and prevented a lot of it and some of them were going nuts from the new "awesome" idea that struck him every minute. They were usually trash, wasted development time, hurt sales because customers were waiting on more important things, caused multiple other projects to go off track and usually wasted thousands and sometimes even downright embarrassing. I am an idea person, but I usually wait to the next morning and think ahead and then proceed if it sounds great vs. just being high on life or something else the night before.

     

    IT REALLY SUCKS FOR THE EMPLOYEES AT MICROBILT. I know most of them and they were forced to do things they knew were wrong and couldn't voice their opinion without fear of being fired. He surrounded himself with a bunch of "yes men" 3 or more years ago and the company quickly went down hill. What happened to the previous managers unlike the "yes men" in the NJ office today? My guess is that they were terminated for not accepting a bribe to cover up the tax evasion crap. The one manager that did accept a bribe disappeared last I heard he also ended up on trial.

     

    For MicroBilt to succeed, efunds/Chex is entitled to their lawsuit, work on the debt load, undo the damage of the past 3 years and replace the closest managers to the owner. The owner was already supposed to have been removed and became a part of a board, but he was still running everything. Maybe the current CEO\President could stay around, but TAKE CONTROL AND STOP LISTENING TO YOU KNOW WHO

     

    There are other misdeeds and just as interesting lthat are anything but legal, but they would only hiurt the employees and customers to reveal anything else. okay, one more that is neutral to innocent people in all of this. When the owner purchased the company from
    First Data, he was pocketing part of our 401k money. I am not sure how he pulled this off, but I do know he changed the 401k plan, the check stubs still had the correct deductions and the statements seemed in order. After a year or so, an empoyeed called the 401k planner and found her balance was way off and called the owner that very weekend - not to accuse but to see what was going on. She was fired that Monday morning and the "borrowed" money was quickly put back into the accounts.

     

    No, I never worked at MicroBilt. I know all these details from a former employee(yeah... that sounds good... former employee)
    6 May 2011, 08:43 PM Reply Like
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