How Kristen Wiig and Zach Galifianakis Got Mixed Up in a Real-Life Bankruptcy Drama

Kristen Wiig and Zach Galifianakis new film is caught up in a financial mess.

The film–called Masterminds and ironically about a bank heist–is one of a few projects made by Relativity Media, which filed for chapter 11 last summer and goes into bankruptcy court on Friday morning with an appeal to emerge from the protection, reports Variety.

But thats just the beginning of whats sure to be a long saga. One of the studios creditors, OneWestBank, loaned Relativity $24.1 million for the production of Masterminds, but before it could be repaid, the bank was purchased by CIT Group


. Now, the latter is tasked with recovering the $38.5 million it is owed due to backing the film and other projects, according to the Wall Street Journal.

CIT has been underperforming in recent years–a situation not helped by Relativitys bankruptcy–and now investors are calling for the financial firm to be dismantled.

Trucking company at L.A., Long Beach ports files bankruptcy

A major trucking company transporting goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach filed for bankruptcy, according to court records.

Premium Transportation Services Inc., also known as Total Transportation Services Inc., or TTSI, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after it suffered costly court losses over pay issues with independent contractor drivers, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

TTSI#x2019;s losses amounted to roughly $3.5 million in awards and damages, with an additional $4 million spent on legal fees, according to the bankruptcy filing obtained by that paper.

Calls for comment to TTSI and its parent company, Saybrook Capital LLC, were not immediately returned Thursday.

The company had been in court with truckers, who charged the company with unfair payment practices by misclassifying them as independent contractors.

#x201c;Recent court and DLSE rulings continue to affirm the Teamsters position that drivers moving containers at America#x2019;s ports are misclassified,#x201d; said Fred Potter, vice president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, in a statement. #x201c;Ultimately, misclassification damages all actors in the supply chain. Port drivers will not back down until true justice is served.#x201d;

John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership business advocacy group, released a study last fall on pay for both independent contractor drivers and full-time drivers at the local ports.

#x201c;I did a study examining the question of whether independent drivers or employee drivers made more money, and so what came out was three-quarters of the drivers made more as independent contractors than they would have as employees,#x201d; Husing said.#x201c;One quarter would do better as employees.#x201d;

Husing said he had looked the net income of 2,600 port-area drivers for his study.

#x201c;I looked at net, not gross, income after expenses, which included gasoline, and toll fees at the roads,#x201d; Husing said.

Husing said he suspects the labor issues that led to the bankruptcy will continue to persist at the ports.

#x201c;It is going to continue for a long time,#x201d; Husing said. #x201c;The Teamsters want to organize these drivers. It#x2019;s almost impossible to get a driver that wants to keep the status quo to go on the record, frankly, because they#x2019;re worried and don#x2019;t want to be identified as opposing the Teamsters.#x201d;

Understand the right numbers before buying a home

The stable growth of the UAE real estate market has supported the resource to attract true demand, which engrossed high levels of capital across the real estate investment spectrum. However, with all the constructive sign, it is prudent for potential home buyers to do planning and calculation providently, before stepping into an enormous investment of home ownership.

Buying a home is a blend of comfortability, affordability, preference and definitely, on large numbers upholds the decision. There are few points which must be underlined when buying a house. It is always well-off to have an expert guidance before buying a house or planning to take mortgage finance to support your purchasing, as it helps to envisage what you want to undertake and abet in setting the tactics to define checks.

Understand the market

In the current circumstances, home buyers are fastidious when they taking the decision to buy a house, as they dont want to have a deceitful conclusion. It is important in real estate as both a buyer and a seller to understand the market well and to recognise the best housing value.

Sellers market is considered when there are more home buyers than homes for sale in the market, whereas when the market has surplus housing inventory and buyers have the more negotiating power that is buyers market. The apt insight of buyers and sellers market gives you vantage in conferring your ideal deal during real estate investment.

Before shopping around it is wise to cognize the market, as seller need to know what the market will pay and buyers need to make smart bids to utilise the market condition. It is always advisable to buy during the depreciation in housing prices, wherein the demand is lower and the prices are reduced. Presently, the market is quite promising for home buyers.


Home buying is considered as the most expensive asset you might purchase, hence it is prudent to evaluate your finances and decide how much you can afford for a home purchase. And if you are mortgage depended, then you need to calculate the down payment and other potential closing costs, to make a smart buying decision. If we consider the current market dynamics it is substantial low to pay a mortgage equivalent to rent.

And one can easily cope to mortgage a home that prices between two to two-and-a-half time of their yearly gross income. Moreover, there should be a minimum cash standby of 25 per cent for the down payment and extra eight per cent transaction cost to be included in your budget if you planning to mortgage a property in Dubai.

Consider unexpected cost

When you buying and moving to your first home it is quite natural that you need extra furniture or you want to remodel your living room or kitchen. And as you start adjusting there, you may come across some added incidental expenses, which is inevitable. Hence, a wise planning can tranquil worries and reduce the financial stress. Smart home buyers always retain three to six months savings while taking out a mortgage to buffer some unforeseen or exigency life condition. It is prudent to plan financial budget in such a way that corpus account should meet partial principal amount. And if your current mortgage does not have any penalties on pre-payment then the same amount can be used to pay mortgage outstanding. Alongside, setting separately some fund every month can help you to manage unexpected home ownership cost.

Tick the right boxes

It is judicious to always buy a property from a reliable and known developers, as this guarantees the high yield on investment and further ascertain if the asset will latter provide future growth or not. It is significant that every home buyer must review some essential underline specks before investing such as your lifestyle, future liabilities, financial feasibility, adjoining infrastructure growth, apartment location, building maintenance, and certainly, the resale property value, to make a smart move towards your dream investment.

Down lines

Home ownership is actually recompensing if main and additional costs are well reckoned in advance. Therefore, if you think you have a good credit history and feel secure about your job, take an expert advice and based on your requirement they can direct you to pursue suitable option as per the market flow. Consider your subjective preferences too while climbing the property ladder and make an informed decision.

The writer is managing director at 4C Mortgage Consultancy. Views expressed by him are his own and do not reflect the newspapers policy.

Ayala eyes Indonesia

Elsewhere in the region, the group has existing offshore investments in Vietnam (water) and Malaysia (real estate).

In 2013, Ayala-led Manila Water Co. (MWC) planned to buy out the 51-percent stake held by French-controlled Suez Environment in PAM Lyonnase Jaya (Palyja), one of the two water utility operators in Jakarta, but the plan was foiled as the local government decided not to cede its stake to a foreign investor.

In Vietnam, MWC was contracted in the mid-2000s to plug pipeline leakages and has since found opportunity to invest in a couple of water treatment plants and water distribution. MWC has now invested $100 million in Vietnam, making it the biggest foreign direct investor in that country’s water space.

MWC likewise has a joint project with Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan and the Yangon City Development Council on a nonrevenue reduction program in Myanmar.

Property arm Ayala Land Inc., on the other hand, entered into a partnership with Myanmar’s City Mart Holdings, the leading local retailer there, to gain access to this new frontier market.

“Right now, it’s on hold because government approvals are hard to get,” Borromeo said, also pointing out to political changes in Myanmar.

During last year’s parliamentary elections, democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyis party won by a landslide in Myanmar, a country transitioning from over 50 years of military rule. But as the parliament now begins it presidential selection, Suu Kyi has been constitutionally barred from the presidency because she married a British citizen and her sons are British.

The search for investments in Indonesia is opportunistic, Borromeo said. “We want to diversify our portfolio,” he pointed out, adding that the group would enter this new market with a local partner.

It’s win-lose for Telstra chief executive Andy Penn as Philippines plan fizzles

This does not mean Penn is not under pressure to expand further into Asia. With margins under pressure in its core Australian mobile operations and competitive threats growing, Telstra needs to find new revenue streams.

The Philippines deal remains a logical deal strategically. San Miguel has the assets in the form of the spectrum band, which is the radio frequency used for 4G services, and Telstra has the expertise and the cash.

Telstra has long taken a conservative approach to offshore investments, which is what investors have wanted. Its last big Asia deal was a 76.4 per cent stake in Hong Kongs CSL, which was sold to Hong Kong Telecom as part of a $US2.4 billion deal in 2014. The stalemate highlights the challenges Australian companies face in trying to expand into Asia.

Twitter @MikeSmithAFR

4 Credit Tips for Buying a New Home

This may come as a surprise, but you dont need a perfect credit score to buy a home or get a mortgage.

In some cases, your credit just needs to be sufficient. Good, bad, ugly or indifferent, as long as your credit score matches the criteria of the mortgage size and property type you are looking for, you may be able to get financing.

Heres a quick cheat sheet of the top three most commons mortgages and their basic credit score requirements.

  • Conventional loans. You generally need a credit score of 620. However, anyone with a 620-679 credit score should expect to pay higher interest rates and fees.

Do your homework before buying a home

When you are buying a home, be sure all the permits are in place before you buy. You can call the Yuma County Development Services and ask them. We were not aware to do this when we bought our home. We used a real estate agent and she advertised and sold us a casita (small house). It has a full kitchen, bedroom, utility, bathroom, etc. They get their information not only from the owner of the property but from the Title Co., who gets the information from the tax assessor office. They all said it was a house. All of the discloser papers were filled out and signed by the owner of the property, stating that all of the permits for this house were purchased and in place. We found out later he was not actually truthful on the permits. He had a permit for the electrical and plumbing and for a RV support building with utilities. So that means it is not legal to cook or sleep in this building. A year after we bought we decided to do some remodeling, so went to the permit office to see if we could do this. We were then told that the correct permits had not been purchased and it was not legally a house. We had to get a variance before anything else could be done. They told us that the building was built too close to the property lines. So we applied for the variance. We went to the Title Co. to inquire about our title insurance. They told us that we had a legal claim but had to get the variance first. If we did not get the variance they would give us back the money we paid for the property but not for any improvements we had made to it.

After the variance was approved, we had to bring the house up to code. We found a very good licensed contractor. We are now over a year later and can now enjoy the house we thought we were buying in the first place.

Zimbabwe: It’s Not Companies but Gems That Are Forever

They are slow or they think the policies we are pursuing are not the correct ones and they are not happy and you have also quite some level of corruption in the system, private and public, he said.

The Presidents sentiments were confirmed by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr John Mangudya in his Monetary Policy Statement announced two days earlier. Dr Mangudya said almost $2 billion had been spirited out of the country in 2015. Corporates took away $1,2 billion, individuals the balance.

In his own words, this is how the money was siphoned out of the system: Bank statistics show that during the period January to December 2015 a total of $684 million was remitted outside Zimbabwe or externalised by individuals under the auspices of free funds for various dubious and unwarranted purposes that include remittances of donations to oneself, offshore investments, externalisation of export sales proceeds by corporates through individual accounts, leading to pervasive tax evasion and externalisation.

He observed: This rampant export of liquidity is not sustainable.

10 Important Legal Considerations When Buying a Home

Buying a home is likely one of the biggest legal transactions you’ll ever be involved in. From before you even find your desired house to the day you’re handed the keys, it’s important to know the legal requirements involved with real estate. Making sure you check all the boxes and complete each step will allow you to move forward as a homeowner with less stress and more excitement.

Mortgage Preapproval

The first thing you should do, before you even start looking for a home, is get preapproved for a mortgage. This will make it much easier for a seller to accept your offer, since they’ll know you have been approved for the financing you need.

The preapproval process is not very complex: The lender will take your personal information, proof of income, and run a credit report. You’ll need to know how much money you’re willing to put down as a cash down payment. The lender will provide you with a letter stating you’re preapproved for a specific time period, for a specific amount.

To be clear, preapproval does not mean you’re guaranteed a loan; it just means that you initially qualify for one. The lender will need more documentation to formally approve your loan.

Purchase Offer

The next step is to actually find the house of your dreams and put in a purchase offer. Your real estate agent can help you complete this document, which is an offer to buy the home. Carefully consider how much you want to offer. You may want to offer less than what the seller is asking; though, in some hot markets, you might have to offer more. The purchase offer is really a contract waiting for the seller’s signature, so it is a complex document. 

You may want to have an attorney who specializes in real estate law review the purchase offer. In most instances, your agent will have used a standard form approved in your county, but you want your attorney to make sure it includes everything necessary to protect you and that it is completed and executed properly.


After you’ve submitted an offer, the seller may counter it, reject it or accept it. If the seller counters and changes any of the conditions of the contract, such as striking out contingencies (more on those later), your attorney should review the revisions.

In most cases, the purchase offer requires you to put earnest money in escrow. As the name implies, this money is designed to ensure that you’re serious about wanting to buy the house. Should you back out of the deal, the seller can retain your earnest money, unless you can site a legitimate legal reason for canceling the offer. Don’t be lulled into thinking you have a three-day period to change your mind and cancel the contract – that’s a federal regulation that does not apply to real estate purchases.

Mortgage Approval

Once your offer is accepted, you’ll need to contact your lender with the details so that the mortgage approval process can begin. The lender will likely ask you for more documentation and information than you provided for preapproval.

Home Inspection

Nearly every contract for the sale of a home includes a provision for a home inspection before the contract is considered binding. Make sure your agent or attorney inserts a clause about this in your contract. This allows you, the buyer, to hire a home inspector to view and inspect the home (inside and out) to look for potential problems. If your inspector finds problems, your attorney can then ask the sellers to make the needed repairs for the sale to go forward. There may need to be further negotiation at this point. If the seller does not want to make repairs, you could counter with a lower purchase price.

In extremely hot housing markets, some buyers have been known to waive the inspection to try and outflank competitors. While this might better position you with the seller, it’s an exceedingly risky strategy, particular when purchasing an older home. Tread carefully.

Meeting Contingencies

Once the home inspection is over and the contract is final, you’ll need to meet other contingencies listed in the contract. The biggest one often is the sale of your current home. If you’re already a homeowner, you’ll probably want to sell your current home to be able to afford the second one, so the contract will state that the purchase is contingent on that sale.

Again, when dealing with a competitive home buying market, a contingent offer, as it’s called, can be a strike against you, as the seller may have other buyers who don’t have to sell an existing home before buying a new one. Of course, the alternative isn’t terribly appealing: You can sell your home in advance, but you’d have to find somewhere to live in the meantime. Balance priorities accordingly.

Title Insurance

Next you’ll need to purchase title insurance for the property, as required by the mortgage company. This insures that the title (ownership rights) you receive are valid.

Mortgage Closing

Once all the contingencies have been met and you’ve provided your lender with the appropriate documentation, your closing (also known as a settlement) will take place. During this meeting, you’ll close on the home and the mortgage. Your lawyer – or at least your real estate agent – should accompany you to the closing, if possible, to make sure that the documents you sign meet all the legal requirements and protect your interests. You’ll sign your name more times than you thought possible and review all the financials in detail.


As part of the closing, you’ll receive the deed to the home, which is your legal ownership. You’ll want to consult with your attorney about how you want to take ownership if you’re married or buying the home with someone else (some options include joint tenants, joint tenants by the entirety, joint tenants with right of survivorship).


Once all the paperwork is done, your purchase is still not complete until the documents have been filed with the county. Your attorney will handle this and your home purchase will be complete. Congratulations!

Brette Sember is a former attorney and author of more than 40 books, including “The Divorce Organizer amp; Planner,” “The Complete Divorce” and “How to Parent with Your Ex.” She writes often about law, parenting, food, travel, health and more. Brette also writes for Avvo, the leading online legal marketplace connecting consumers and lawyers.