In The News

Reports from Wall Street have been bleak this week. So, news that bankruptcy filings were down compared to last year might appear to be some good news. But as VPR’s Nina Keck reports, experts say the reasons behind the decline are troubling. The number of Vermonters filing for bankruptcy this year has dropped dramatically – 30 percent fewer filings than last year. (Kainen) “I think you very much need to look behind the numbers to see why that is.”  Attorney Michelle Kainen is chair of the Vermont Bar Association’s bankruptcy section. She says that while the number of people seeing her for a bankruptcy consultation hasn’t changed, fewer people are actually going through with the process. (Kainen) “I think there’s a degree of apathy that’s come over a segment of the population and they just don’t care anymore. They have just surrendered to their situation.”  Vermont Public Radio – 8/15/11

“‘True permanent loan modifications are about as common as sightings of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster,’ said Michelle Kainen, a bankruptcy attorney in White River Junction who is not involved in McGuiness’ or the Fergusons’ cases.  More common, she said, are stories similar to McGuiness’, in which frustrated homeowners are led down a primrose path toward promises of financial relief that never comes.”  Valley News – 3/27/11

Kainen on Bankruptcy – State of Vermont Treasurer’s Office


“Kainen wrote in Monday’s bankruptcy filings that she ‘engaged in significant negotiations with both secured lenders . . . and worked cooperatively with both in the hopes that a bankruptcy could be avoided for the entities entirely. Unfortunately, conflict between the lenders resulted in the need to file’ for bankruptcy.”   Concord Monitor – 4/22/10

“According to Michelle Kainen, an attorney for owner Russ McDonough, Peter Christian’s Tavern shut down last week because a car accident two months earlier left its owner unable to manage the popular restaurant and ensure it would meet its loan and other obligations. Although the tavern is current on its payments, hasn’t defaulted on its debts and isn’t yet subject to foreclosure. ‘It would have eventually reached a point where he would not have been able to meet his current ongoing obligations,’ Kainen said.  ‘Rather than have it reach that point it seemed reasonable to just shut it down.’ Kainen believes the best-case scenario, is that someone quickly take over the restaurant, assume its financial obligations and keep it in business. She has been in contact yesterday with the tavern’s creditors to try to reach a good resolution.”  The Messenger – 2/19/10

“Michelle Kainen, a bankruptcy lawyer in White River Junction, said the surge in bankruptcies reflects the financial dead end many families have reached. ‘They haven’t been able to live for some time and they’ve been supplementing, some of them, their budgets with credit cards,’ Kainen said, ‘and then it reaches a point where it can’t happen anymore.'” Times Argus – 11/23/08

  • Michelle Kainen