EB-5 Visa Helps Canadian Investors Thrive in Growing U.S. Economy

Irena Juras, top U.S. immigration lawyer, sees uptick in number of Canadians investing in the Southwest.

Phoenix, AZ (August 25, 2014) – Taking advantage of a burgeoning marketplace and a flourishing economy, especially in energy-rich states, many Canadian investors are choosing to take advantage of the EB-5 Visa program.

Foreigners with at least $500,000 capital wishing to pursue permanent residency in the United States may apply for an EB-5 Visa.  The program, created by Congress, is a way to create more jobs and stimulate the economy. This program requires that foreigners invest at least $500,000 and create 10 full time jobs for U.S. employees within two years. The standard investment for an EB-5 visa is $1,000,000 or $500,000 if the candidates invest in rural areas or targeted employment areas. When investing in commercial real estate, such as an apartment building, which doesn’t create at least 10 jobs, the investor has the option of obtaining an E-2 Visa.

“The affordable real estate market in the southwest combined with a lack of red tape to start a new corporation has really boosted the number of Canadians investing in the U.S.,” explained Irena Juras of the Juras Law Firm.

Demand among foreign investors is increasing, though there is a limit of 10,000 visas issued per year including spouses and dependents.  Of the 10,000 EB-5 visas which are available annually, 3,000 of the visas are reserved for investors of Regional Centers.   Regional Centers are economic units that promote job creation and investment in a specific region of the U.S.
About Juras Law Firm

Named a Top Immigration Lawyer by North Valley Magazine and Avvo, Irena Juras  is a highly respected attorney throughout the U.S. and overseas. As head of Juras Law Firm, an Immigration and Bankruptcy Law Firm in Phoenix, AZ, Irena is an immigrant herself from the Czech Republic, studying and practicing law in the Czech Republic before moving to the United States. Irena is currently licensed to practice law in both Arizona and New York. The firm has represented clients in international transactions, immigration matters and international bankruptcies from over 60 countries and 6 continents. Irena has 16 years combined experience in immigration law and representing debtors, creditors and trustees in bankruptcy proceedings.



What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Arizona?

Each year 8 out of every 10 new businesses in the United States fail.  Over time, that number grows to 9 of 10 businesses. When a corporation or limited liability company is unable to service its debt or pay its creditors, the company has many choices, among them to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  In Chapter 7, the business ceases its operations altogether, a trustee sells all assets and distributes proceeds to its creditors. Chapter 11 provides tools to restructure debts and save viable businesses and jobs.


You’d be surprised how many well-known companies filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and not only survived, but thrived after the process — companies like American Airlines in 2011, GM in 2009, Bill Heard Chevrolet, the largest Chevy dealer in 2008, Delta & Northwest in 2005, US Airways in 2004, United & US Airways in 2002 and thousands more.


How Chapter 11 works

The first step for the company is to hire a bankruptcy attorney, preferably an attorney with years of experience representing debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcies. The Chapter 11 reorganization is very complicated process, which is why an experienced attorney is so critical in making the process a success.


The bankruptcy attorney will assist the company to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy court.  The next step is for the company to create a reorganization (or liquidation) plan.  Unless, the debtor proposes liquidation, it should be a viable plan to keep the company operating on a long-term basis.  The plan can propose to sell some assets, reject leases and close stores, restructure debts, reduce some debts, extend debt maturity and interest rates, modify rights of some secured creditors etc.   All creditors are placed into classes and they vote on the plan.   In order for the bankruptcy court to confirm the plan, at least one class of creditors whose claims are impaired has to vote for the plan and the plan has to be fair and equitable and has to not discriminate unfairly.   If the plan is confirmed, the restructured debts became the obligations of the restructured company.


A company has to be represented by an attorney in Chapter 11.   If your company is facing financial difficulties, call experienced Chapter 11 attorney Irena Juras at 480-425-2009 to find out what tools Chapter 11 provides for your company or contact us via our website today!



Top Phoenix Immigration and Bankruptcy Law Firm Celebrates Ten Years in Business

Representing clients from over sixty countries, Juras Law Firm reaches ten year milestone in Arizona.

Irena Juras, founder of Juras Law Firm, PLC, has recently celebrated ten years in business. In 1994, Juras Law Firm was founded in Scottsdale, Arizona centering the practice on immigration and bankruptcy law and more recently moved its main location to the Biltmore area in Phoenix.

Representing clients from Arizona, U.S. and over 60 countries including Czech Republic, Mexico and Canada, the firm’s practice is focused on individual investors seeking E-2 investor visas and EB-5 investor green cards, companies needing visas and green cards for their workers and companies seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“As an immigrant, I have unique insight into the complex U.S. immigration process from the immigrants’ perspective and understand first-hand the issues faced,” said Irena Juras, founding member of Juras Law Firm. “My 15 years of experience practicing bankruptcy law has allowed me to thoroughly understand how to properly represent debtors, creditors, trustees and other parties in bankruptcy proceedings both domestic and international.”

Irena Juras also serves as a legal expert in many industry sectors including real estate, investment, transportation, healthcare, service and retail industries and is also of counsel to Munger Chadwick PLC. With cross-cultural background and experience in both civil and common law, the firm has represented foreign clients in cross-border transactions, immigration matters and international bankruptcies.
About Juras Law Firm

Named a Top Immigration Lawyer by North Valley Magazine and Avvo, Irena Juras  is a highly respected attorney throughout the U.S. and overseas. As head of Juras Law Firm, an Immigration and Bankruptcy Law Firm in Phoenix, AZ, Irena is an immigrant herself from the Czech Republic, studying and practicing law in the Czech Republic before moving to the United States and is currently licensed to practice law in both Arizona and New York. The firm has represented clients from over 60 countries and 6 continents in international transactions, immigration matters and international bankruptcies. Irena has 16 years combined experience in immigration law and representing debtors, creditors and trustees in bankruptcy proceedings.


Media contact:

Christine Holtz

Phoenix Marketing Associates




USCIS Processing Times for EB-5 Investor Visas (Green Cards) Released

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released an updated processing report for EB-5 investor visa applications.  EB-5 investor visas are permanent visas (green cards) for investors who invest $1 million (or $500,000 in targeted employment areas) and create 10 jobs.  The average processing time for an EB-5 investor visa application is now 13.2 months.  Once the application is approved, the investor receives a conditional permanent resident status for two years.  Then, within 90 days before the second anniversary of obtaining the conditional permanent resident status, the investor has to file a petition to remove conditions on his or her residence.  The average processing time to remove conditions on residence is 7.9 months.  The investors who do not want to be actively involved in directing their investment, can invest through one of the approved regional centers.  The processing time for an application to designate a regional center is 5.4 months.  If you would like to discuss the best way to obtain EB-5 investor visa (green card), CALL us TODAY at 480-425-2009 or contact us via our website, and experienced EB-5 investor visa attorney will help you!


Bankruptcy Filing Fee Increases Effective June 1, 2014:

Administrative fees increase as follows:

  • For the filling of a new petition under Chapters 7, 12 or 13, $75.00
  • For the filing of a new petition under Chapters 9, 11 or 15, $550.00

Fees for filing a new bankruptcy petition will increase as follows:
• Chapter 7 filing fee increases to $335.00
• Chapter 9 filing fee increases to $1,717.00
• Chapter 11 filing fee increases to $1,717.00
• Chapter 12 filing fee increases to $275.00
• Chapter 13 filing fee increases to $310.00
• Chapter 15 filing fee increases to $1,717.00


It’s time to prepare H-1B visa petitions for fiscal year 2015

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will start accepting H-1B visa applications on April 1, 2014 for Fiscal Year 2015. H-1B visas are for foreign workers in specialty occupations with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.  Fiscal year 2015 starts on October 1, 2014. There is a numerical cap on H-1B visa, which for FY 2015 is 65,000 plus additional 20,000 for individuals who earned Master’s degree or higher from U.S. accredited educational institutions.   The cap will be filled very quickly, so it’s very important to start preparing the applications early.  Before the H-1B visa application can be submitted on April 1, certification of a labor condition application by the Department of Labor is required.  The Department of Labor may take up to seven business days to certify the labor condition application.   Therefore, it’s important to make decisions about hiring foreign workers quickly and start preparing the applications as soon as possible, so complete application can be submitted on April 1. If you want to make sure the H-1B visa application is prepared correctly, please call 480-425-2009 or contact us at today!


Will you lose your home if you file bankruptcy?

Lots of people considering filing for bankruptcy fear that they may lose their home.
First of all, there are several types of bankruptcies (for individuals – Chapter 7, chapter
11 and chapter 13). The answer to the above question may be different depending on which
bankruptcy you file. If you file Chapter 7, you are current on your mortgage and there is
no equity in your home (or equity up to certain exempt limit, which is different in each
state, e.g., $150,000.00 in Arizona), you should be able to keep your home. If you are
behind on your mortgage payments, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be better option for you.
Chapter 13 gives you a tool to cure the arrearage over time and thus, allows you to save and
keep your home. Chapter 11 is similar to Chapter 13, but it is more expensive type of
bankruptcy, mainly for people whose debts exceed the Chapter 13 debt limits. In summary,
the filing of the bankruptcy does not necessary mean losing your home. To the contrary,
certain types of bankruptcy may give you another tool to protect and keep your home. Since
your home is important to you and your family, our recommendation is to consult with an
experienced bankruptcy attorney how to protect your home. Contact us to schedule a free
bankruptcy consultation.


What is the difference between E-2 visa and EB-5 visa?

While E-2 visa are temporary visa always issued for a limited period of time (several
years), EB-5 visa are permanent visa. E-2 visa are based on treaty between the U.S. and the
country of investor’s citizenship. If there is no treaty between the U.S. and the country
of investor’s citizenship, the investor cannot get E-2 visa. EB-5 visa are not limited to
only investors from some countries. The investment amount for EB-5 visa is $1 million or
$500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area. There is no dollar limit for E-2 visa, but the
investment amount has to be “substantial”. In order to qualify for EB-5 visa, an investor
has to create 10 full time jobs for U.S. workers. E-2 investor has to create at least one
job for U.S. worker. For more information about E-2 and EB-5 visa, please visit or call our office to talk with an
experienced Investor Visa Attorney at 480-425-2009.



Judges required to inform non-U.S. citizen defendants of immigration consequences (12/1/13)

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures amended (effective December 1, 2013) following the U.S. Supreme Court decision Padilla v. Kentucky that required judges to inform non-U.S. citizen defendants that if convicted, they may be removed, denied citizenship, and denied admission to the U.S. in the future.

Green Card Lottery Registration ends on November 2, 2013:

Online registrations for the 2015 Diversity Visa (DV) Program ends on Saturday, November 2, 2013.  For more information, please visit U.S. Department of State website ( or call our office at 480-425-2009

U.S. brought 69,930 refugees to the United States in fiscal year 2013: (10/23/13)

That number is closer to the authorized ceiling – 70,000 in 2013 – than in any year since 1980.  The top five nationalities resettled to the United States in 2013 were Iraqi, Burmese, Bhutanese, Somali, and Cuban.  For fiscal year 2014, the President authorized the admission of up to 70,000 refugees from around the world. It is expected to admit more than 60 nationalities.

Bankruptcy Filings Fall 14% for the First Half of 2013, Commercial Filings Drop 25%(7/3/13)

The bankruptcy filings totaled 544,390 nationwide during the first 6 months of 2013, a 14% decrease from the same period a year ago. The 520,919 total consumer filings for the first half of 2013 represented a 13% drop from the first half of 2012. Total commercial filings during the first 6 months were 23,471, representing a 25% decrease from 2012. Commercial chapter 11 filings also fell during the first half of 2013 as the 3,445 filings represented a 16% decrease from the first six months of 2012.

Foreign nationals in same-sex marriages entitled to immigration benefits (7/2/13)

After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court on the Defense of Marriage Act, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents in same-sex marriages with foreign nationals can now sponsor their spouses for a family-based immigrant visa.  For more information, please call our office at 480-425-2009.

Attorney Irena Juras spoke on cross-cultural communication (5/6/13)

Attorney Irena Juras spoke on cross-cultural communication (Cross Cultural Magic: Overcoming International Blunders, Boo-Boos and Crises) at the Arizona International Growth Group meeting.

The Juras Law Firm PLC celebrates 9th anniversary (5/4/13)

Thank you everyone for your support!

Overhaul Immigration Reform Bill Introduced (4/16/13)

The bipartisan bill proposes to provide a path to a legal status to illegal immigrants who overstayed their visa or entered the U.S. illegally before December 31, 2011. Those undocumented immigrants would be able to apply for a registered provisional status if they pay $500 penalty and have not committed serious crime. After 10 years they can apply for green cards if they meet certain criteria. The provisional status and the ability to apply for a green card would be contingent upon creating and implementing tighten border security strategy with billion dollar price tag. This is only a proposal.  It’s expected that changes will be made to the bill before is considered in the full Senate.  For more information, contact our office.

H-1B Cap Reached for FY2014 (4/8/2013)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year 2014 within the first week of the filing period, which ended on April 5, 2013. USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.

Juras Law Firm PLC opens new Phoenix location (4/1/2013)

We are pleased to announce the opening of our new main location in Phoenix.  The address is 2398 E Camelback Rd, Suite 240.  The office is located on the NW corner of Camelback Road and 24th Street.


Attorney Irena Juras was invited again by Law Review CLE to teach Immigration Workshop: Conquering Family & Employment Immigration Forms, on September 6, 2012:


Deferred Action for DREAMers (8/15/12)

The USCIS will start accepting applications for Deferred Action on August 15, 2012.

Eligible individuals:

Were younger than 31 on June 15, 2012

Arrived in the U.S. before turning 16

Continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007, to the present

Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012

Entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or any lawful immigration status expired on or before June 15, 2012

Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety

One of the following applies on the date of application:

are in school,

have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school

have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate

are honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces

The filling fee is $465, of which $380 goes towards the Employment Authorization Document and $85 towards biometrics fee. A careful analysis of your eligibility and preparation of the application with appropriate supporting documents by a qualified immigration attorney is strongly advisable in order to avoid rejection of your application. Please contact an experienced immigration attorney Irena Juras at 480-425-2009.

Bankruptcy Filings Fall 14% in the First Half of 2012

Total bankruptcy filings totaled 632,130 nationwide during the first 6 months of 2012, a 14% decrease from the 731,500 total filings during the same period a year ago. 


Attorney Irena Juras was invited again by Law Review CLE to teach Immigration Workshop: Conquering Family & Employment Immigration Forms, on September 6, 2012:

Centralized adjudication of all E visas in Mexico (6/20/12)

Beginning July 1, 2012, the U.S. consular operations in Mexico will centralize all E-visas adjudications in Mexico at the following three visa posts: (a) U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, (b) U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey and (c) U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana.

Treaty Trader visas (E-1) and Treaty Investor visas (E-2) are non-immigrant visas for nationals of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation who wish to go to the United States to carry on substantial trade, principally between the United States and the treaty country (E-1); or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital (E-2). For more information, please visit


On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced that it will offer deferred action from deportation to undocumented foreign nationals who were brought to the country as minors and meet other specific requirements:

Are 15-30 years old, and have entered before age 16

Have been present in the U.S. for 5 years as of June 15, 2012

Have maintained continuous residence

Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or multiple minor misdemeanors

Be currently in school, graduated or have a GED, or iare honorably discharged veterans

Those who receive deferred action will be permitted to apply for work permits. For more information, call 480-425-2009, or contact us via email.

H-1B CAP REACHED for FY2013 (6/11/12)

As of June 11, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received a sufficient number of H-1B specialty occupation petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2013. As of June 7, 2012, USCIS already received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.

FY2013 H-1B Cap Count (5/31/12)

As of May 25, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service received nearly 48,400 H-1B petitions that are subject to 65,000 cap amount and 17,500 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees that are subject to 20,000 cap amount. H1-B visa are for foreign workers coming to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupations that require “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge”. Specialty occupations are for example computer programmers, engineers,  scientists or lawyers.

Bill introduced for EB-5 program to become permanent (5/24/12)

On May 24, 2012, Senator Patrick Leahy (D. Vt.) has introduced legislation asking to have the EB-5 Pilot Program become permanent. The bill was introduced with bipartisan support coming from Senator Chuck Grassley (R. IA.).  Senator Leahy has been an advocate of the EB-5 program, effectively seeking extensions of the program through Congress, with its latest extension due to sunset on September 30, 2012.  The EB-5 Visa Program allows certain individuals to seek permanent resident status in the United States based on their investment in commercial business enterprises.  For more information about EB-5 visa, visit

Juras Law Firm successfully reorganized a flooring company through Chapter 11(5/23/12)

The Chapter 11 reorganization took almost 3 years.  The Juras Law Firm was able to protect the company’s main asset, commercial building, by filing the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on the eve of foreclosure and negotiating an agreement with the lender.   The Chapter 11 plan was confirmed in 1.5 years after filing of the bankruptcy petition.  The confirmed planned restructured the company’s debts and preserved jobs.  The reorganized company emerged from bankruptcy on May 23, 2012.

Refinancing a loan does not destroy Anti-Deficinecy Protection ruled AZ Court of Appeals

The Arizona Court of Appeals held that refinancing a purchase money loan does not destroy purchase money status and forfeit anti-deficiency protection to the extent proceeds from the refinancing satisfy the underlying purchase money obligation (Helvetica Servicing, Inc. v. Pasquan, 1 CA-CV 10-0418).  A purchase money loan is a loan used to pay the purchase price. The Anti-Deficiency Protection prevents a lender from suing a person for a difference between the loan balance and the sale price at the foreclosure.


We are proud to announce that the Juras Law Firm, PLC celebrates its 8th anniversary.  The Juras Law Firm, PLC was formed on May 4, 2004.  Happy birthday!


Attorney Irena Juras will speak at seminar Immigration 101 (Family and Employment course will provide an overview and introduction into the the basic concepts of U.S. immigration law and procedurea) at Radisson Hotel Phoenix City Center on January 19, 2012, at 8:30 am. For more information visit

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Down 10% in 2011 (10/4/11)

U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 1,044,722 during the first 9 months of 2011, a 10% decrease from the 1,165,172 total consumer filings during the same period a year ago, according to the National Bankruptcy Research Center. September consumer bankruptcies decreased 17% nationwide from September 2010.

SSA disclosed Social Security numbers that are invalid or impossible to have  (9/6/11)

SSA disclosed Social Security numbers that are invalid or impossible to have because the numbers have never been assigned.  SSA never assigned SSN with certain first three digits, certain last four digits and certain second two digits.

Solar Firm Solyndra Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection (9/6/11)

Solyndra LLC, a solar panel maker which had received $535 million in federal loan guarantees, filed for chapter 11 protection at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware today. Solyndra is at least the third solar company to seek court protection from creditors since August. Solyndra couldn’t compete with foreign manufacturers funded by their governments.

Bankruptcy Claims-Trading Reaches $3.55 billion in July (8/25/11)

The value of bankruptcy claims trading privately in the secondary market reached $3.55 billion in July 2011, according to broker-dealer SecondMarket Holdings Inc., the most since July 2010 when a record $12.7 billion of claims were exchanged.  Claims tied to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., parent company of the failed investment bank, accounted for 58% of the 1,340 transfers recorded in July 2011.  Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s 5.625% bonds due 2013 are now trading around 24 cents on the dollar.

Work Permit For Undocumented Individuals in “Low Priority” Cases (8/22/11)

On August 18, 2011, the Obama Administration announced the creation of a high-level working group made up of Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice officials who are to review all cases already pending before the immigration courts. The “low priority” cases may be administratively closed and “high priority” cases will be prosecuted more aggressively. If a case is administratively closed, the individual will be able to apply for a work permit. At this time, there are no details, guidelines or instructions on how to apply for the work permit, or who will be eligible for the work permit. This is NOT an amnesty, it is NOT about granting legal status to those in the U.S. illegally. The best course of action is to consult an immigration lawyer.

Borders Authorized by Court to Auction Name & Leases (8/10/11)

A bankruptcy judge authorized Borders Group Inc. to auction its name and real estate assets, the latest step in the liquidation of the nation’s second-largest bookseller. The auction of intellectual property, including its trademarks, website, brand name and customer lists will be held on Sept. 14. The Borders name could live on as an Internet-based brand.

Total U.S. Bankruptcies in First Half of 2011 Down 8% over First Half of 2010 (8/8/11)

The total number of U.S. bankruptcies filed during the first six months of 2011 dropped 8% over the same six-month period in 2010. Total filings reached 745,968 during the first half of calendar year 2011, compared to 810,209 cases filed over the same period in 2010. Business filings decreased 15% for the first six months of 2011, to 24,680 from the first-half 2010 total of 29,059. Filings by individuals or households with consumer debt decreased 8% to 721,288 for the six-month period ending June 30, 2011, from the 2010 first-half total of 781,150.

Dodgers Judge Favors MLB’s Bankruptcy Loan Offer over JPMorgan’s (7/25/11)

Bankruptcy Judge ruled that the Los Angeles Dodgers cannot borrow $150 million from a JPMorgan Highbridge Capital Management LLC for its bankruptcy financing and must hold talks with MLB on its rival loan offer with a lower interest rate. MLB’s loan should not have any effect on the Dodgers’ plan to auction off the team’s TV rights. The sale of assets, especially the rights to show games on cable television, would pay creditors and allow the Dodgers to exit bankruptcy before the end of 2011.

Wells Fargo Fined $85 Million for Subprime Loans (7/21/11)

Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to pay a $85 million fine to settle Federal Reserve claims it steered borrowers into higher interest rate loans than they were eligible and used false documents to make it appear borrowers qualified for loans when their income made them ineligible . Wells Fargo will provide restitution to customers who may have been harmed.

Borders to Liquidate (7/21/11)

Bankruptcy court approved Borders Group Inc.’s liquidation plan today. The bankrupt bookstore chain will liquidate its 399 remaining stores after a bid fell through last week from a private equity firm.  Borders Group officially starts its going out of business sales at some stores Friday.

Perkins & Marie Callender’s plans to exit Chapter 11 this year (7/18/11)

Perkins & Marie Callender’s Inc., the owner of the restaurant chains of the same names, filed a plan of reorganization with the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, and plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy before the end of the year. The plan proposes to shed the company’s debt by giving noteholders equity. Perkins Restaurant & Bakery was founded in 1958 and has roughly 450 locations. The Marie Callender’s chain has roughly 87 locations. The company closed approximately 65 restaurants just before it filed for bankruptcy in June and said it continues to evaluate further restaurant closings.

Fiscal Year 2011 H-2B Visa Cap Count (6/28/11)

As of June 24, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received 28,387 petitions toward the 33,000 H-2B visa cap amount for the second half of the fiscal year. This count includes 27,706 approved and 681 pending petitions.

Bank of America Involuntary Chapter 11 Case Tossed (6/23/11)

Bank of America involuntary Chapter 11 brought by 34 creditors was dismissed by bankruptcy judge because a bank (with the exception of an uninsured state member bank) cannot be a debtor under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code and creditors were not eligible to file the involuntary petition.

Borders Gets More Time to Find Buyer (6/23/11)

Borders Group Inc. paid $1 million fee to extend deadlines in its $505 million bankruptcy loan and avoided being force to immediately start liquidating mostly profitable 40 stores.

Business Bankruptcies Fell 18% in May 2011 compared to May 2010 (6/14/11)

The number of business bankruptcies continue to decrease. According to Epiq Systems, Inc., in May 2011 6,569 business filed for bankruptcy, compared to 8,016 in May 2010.

Boise County Filed for Bankruptcy (3/3/11)

Boise County filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection after a multimillion dollar judgment was entered against it. Boise County is a small rural county in Idaho. Despite its name, it is not home to the Idaho capital city of Boise.

Borders Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (2/16/11)

Borders Group Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of New York. Borders is the second-largest U.S. bookstore chain. It listed assets of $1.28 billion and liabilities of $1.29 billion.

Immigration Scam Shut Down by FTC (2/7/11)

According to the Federal Trade Commission, defendants Immigration Center and Immigration Forms and Publications, Inc., set up websites that mimic official government sites, and used the fake sites to steer immigrants to their deceptive telemarketing operation. Consumers were transferred to a live person who answered, “USCIS or “U.S. Immigration Center.” The sites offered counseling and application forms. Adding to the consumers’ confusion, the defendants charged fees for application forms that were the same amount as the government processing fees, leading them to believe the fees covered the cost of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processing. The FTC charged the defendants with violating federal law by misrepresenting: that they were authorized to provide immigration and naturalization services; that they were affiliated with the U.S. government; and that the fees paid would cover all the costs associated with submitting documents to the USCIS. In addition, two of the defendants were charged with providing the others with the means and instrumentalities to further the illegal scheme. The correct website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is .

FY2011 H-2B Visa Cap Count (2/3/11)

As of 1/28/11, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services receipted 9,591 petitions toward the 33,000 H-2B visa cap amount for the second half of the fiscal year. This count includes 5,701 approved and 3,890 pending petitions. The H-2B temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.

Mesa Air Confirmed Chapter 11 Plan (1/21/11)

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved Mesa Air’s Chapter 11 plan yesterday. The reorganization plan allowed Mesa Air to reject more than 100 unnecessary aircraft leases and financing, eliminating about $700 million of leases and $50 million of debt. Mesa Air expects to emerge from Chapter 11 next month as a private company and issue new notes, common stock and warrants to creditors. Mesa Air has 76 aircraft and also operates as US Airways Express and United Express.

Irena Juras speaks at IMMIGRATION LAW FUNDAMENTALS seminar (1/19/11)

On January 20, 2011, Irena Juras will be speaking at the Immigration Law Seminar “IMMIGRATION LAW FUNDAMENTALS” on the topic of Family-Based Visas and Employment-Based Visas. The seminar will provide an overview and introduction into the basic concepts of U.S. immigration law and procedure. The seminar is organized by Law Review CLE and will take place at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix located at 122 North Second Street in Phoenix. For more information, please visit:

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increased 9 Percent Last Year (1/4/11)

Consumer bankruptcies in U.S. increased 9 percent in 2010 from 2009 according to National Bankruptcy Research Center’s data. The consumer filing in 2010 total 1,530,078 compared to the 1,407,788 in 2009.

GM’s Creditors Could Receive Additional Stock (12/30/10)

GM’s unsecured bankruptcy creditors whose claims are between $35 billion and $42 billion will receive up to an additional 2% of the new GM stock. That is on the top of the 10% of new GM stock and warrants to purchase up to an addition 15% of the share already slated for unsecured creditors, regardless of the claim amount.

New NY law allows debtors to protect more assets from creditors in bankruptcy(12/27/10)

New York residents and debtors who lived in New York for certain period of time prior to filing for bankruptcy will be able to protect more assets from creditors under new law. The new New York state law increases the dollar value of some exemptions. The debtors can protect their vehicles up to $4,000.00 above an associated car loan. They may also protect home equity of $75,000 to $150,000 depending on location.

Blockbuster Wants Control of its Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Through March (12/27/10)

The largest U.S. video rental chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2010 and its exclusive right to propose a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization expires on January 21, 2011. After that day, creditors can propose a competing plan of reorganization. Blockbuster Inc. asked the bankruptcy court to extend the exclusivity period to March 21, 2011 in order to assess how many of its roughly 2,900 will keep open. Blockbuster plans to wipe out most of its roughly $1 billion in debt by turning control to holders of its secured bonds.

Rush to Foreclose by Fannie, Freddie Helped Feed Problems with Legal Paperwork(12/23/2010)

Problems with documents handled by law firms representing Fannie and Freddie Mac are at the heart of federal and state probes over faulty foreclosure practices that now threaten to further undermine the housing market, reported today The Washington Post. Fannie and Freddie worked with law firms that were able to foreclosequickly and got paid based on number of foreclosures. Some firms engaged in legally questionable practices. T he Law Offices of David J. Stern in Florida built a $100 million-plus business foreclosing on borrowers who lost their homes in the housing crash. Read more:

Blockbuster plans to close 182 stores in 2011 (12/21/2010)

Blockbuster is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011 under new owners led by billionaire Carl Icahn. As part of the reorganization process Blockbuster Inc. has already closed more than 1,000 stores during last two years and plans to close another 182 stores by early 2011.

Movie Studio MGM Emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (12/21/2010)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)’s pre-packaged reorganization plan was approved by creditors on December 2, 2010. The Chapter 11 reorganization plan wiped out about $5 million debts in exchange for equity in the reorganized company. The reorganized MGM plans to make only a handful of films each year.

FY2011 H-1B Cap Count (12/17/2010)

As of December 17, 2010, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service received approximately 53,900 H-1B petitions that are subject to 65,000 cap amount and 19,700 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees that are subject to 20,000 cap amount. H1-B visa are for foreign workers coming to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupations that require “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge”. Specialty occupations are for example computer programmers, engineers, or scientists.

Arizona Supreme Court suspended Jeffrey Phillips of Phillips & Associates from practice of law (12/16/2010)

Jeffrey Phillips of Phillips & Associates, known from frequent local TV advertisements, is not allowed to practice law during his six-month suspension. Phillips & Associates cannot use his name in advertisements, letterhead and other communications. The State Bar of Arizona’s investigation found that Jeffrey Phillips had violated the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, including failure to keep clients informed, inappropriate intake and retention procedures, missed hearings and high caseloads.