Atlantic City’s Revel Resort & Casino Files for Bankruptcy Again

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Last week, on June 19, 2014, Atlantic City’s Revel Resort and Casino filed for Chapter 11 Protection. Revel began as a centerpiece of New Jersey Governor Chis Christie’s effort to bring Las Vegas-quality gambling to Atlantic City’s declining gaming business. Revel opened in April 2012 to great fanfare, but revenues soon proved to be an immediate disappointment as the casino’s emphasis on attracting spa visitors and diners over gamblers backfired.

Revel filed for bankruptcy protection for the first time in March 2013, less than a year after the $2.4 billion resort and casino opened. It emerged from bankruptcy in May 2013 after securing court approval for a restructuring plan that slashed its debt load by $1.2 billion to less than $300 million. The plan was a debt-for-equity swap, meaning Revel’s creditors traded the debt they held for equity in the reorganized company. Three-quarters of its $1.5 billion debt was erased in exchange for the casino’s lenders gaining an 82 percent share of the property.

The high-end resort and casino stands at 47 stories high and is the tallest building in Atlantic City. Revel currently employs 3,140 people. According to court documents, Revel listed liabilities of between $500 million and $1 billion in its bankruptcy petition, filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden, N.J. It’s reported assets in the same range.

“The reality of the Revel situation today is that Revel has lost this year alone $75 million,” John Cunningham, a White & Case attorney who represents the casino, told Judge Gloria Burns. “Even in peak summer season, Revel losses $2 million a week and relies on borrowed funds.”

Revel has received court approval to borrow $23.9 million that it said would keep the 1,400-room resort operating for the coming month as it scrambles to find a buyer. Revel warned employees Thursday that it would lay them all off beginning on Aug. 18 if it could not find a buyer. The company will return to court on July 11 and could seek to increase the amount it borrows to $41.9 million.

Are You Unintentionally Damaging Your Credit Score?

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Given all the myths surrounding credit scores, from the (false) belief that married couples share a single score to the notion that each person only has one, it’s no wonder there’s also some confusion about just what can help or hurt a score. In fact, some people unintentionally lower their scores, which can lead to higher loan payments or even loan denials, through behaviors they could change. Here are six common mistakes that can accidentally hurt your credit score:

1. Avoiding credit altogether. While living a debt-free life sounds like a good idea, it can actually make it harder to take out a loan when you want to. That’s because lenders look for experience with managing debt. They want to see that you can make consistent, on-time payments each month before deciding whether or not to issue you any credit.

2. Comparison shopping. While checking around for the best price is a savvy move in theory, in practice, it can ding your score. When you call different lenders to check on mortgage rates or auto loans and they issue you a quote, they first check your credit history with the credit bureaus. That can look like you’re preparing to take on too much debt, which concerns lenders. While the impact isn’t huge, it can hurt people with limited credit histories more, because they don’t have much experience to balance out the negative impact from the credit checks.

3. Closing accounts. After paying off a credit card debt, you might be tempted to shut down the account for closure. But that move can actually hurt your credit score, because lenders look for experience with long-held accounts. If you’ve had that credit card for a long time, consider hanging onto it even after you pay it off, because it reflects well on your ability to manage credit over time.

4. Lowering your credit limit. While you might want to lower your credit limit, especially if you share a card with someone you think might overspend, such as a spouse or college student, to prevent a card from racking up a huge bill, think again: Lowering your credit limit can hurt your credit score. That’s because you appear more creditworthy if you are using only a small portion of your overall available credit.

5. Opening a retail card account to snag a discount. It might sound logical to open up that department store card so you can get the 10 percent discount on your purchase — but doing so could hurt your credit score. When a lender checks your credit history, that inquiry knocks off points. Also, opening new accounts can set off a red flag that you’re taking on too much debt, which can send lenders running in the other direction.

6. Maintaining a small credit card balance from month-to-month. Making only a minimum payment on a credit card, or paying anything below the full amount due, leads to more debt along with interest and fees. But some people carry that debt anyway, because they erroneously think it shows they can manage and maintain their accounts. To lenders, though, it can just look like the borrower is getting in over his head, which could eventually trigger higher interest rates on the account. So pay off that monthly balance whenever possible and as soon as possible. You’ll also save yourself money on interest in the short term.

Given all these misconceptions, it’s no wonder that credit reports can be extremely confusing. Financial experts recommend checking your credit report once a year, free of charge, at AnnualCreditReport.com, so you can ferret out any mistakes.

If you also want to commit to boosting your credit score, then focus on making regular payments each month. That’s the surest path to a stronger credit score, despite promises from score improvement companies that say they can quickly ramp up your score before a loan application. Instead, pay bills on time, and you won’t have to dread your next loan submission, whether it’s for a home, car or school tuition.

By Kimberly Palmer

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/06/03/are-you-unintentionally-damaging-your-credit-score?int=aa6a09&int=a86509