Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Online Business | How to Start an Online Bankruptcy Forms Processing Service

Due to the dramatic increase in technology, business professionals now have the ability to outsource their skills and earn extra money working from home as a bankruptcy forms processor. Unlike an attorney or notary public, a bankruptcy forms processor does not have jurisdictional limits. In other words, a bankruptcy forms processor could live in Yellow Springs, Ohio and prepare bankruptcy petitions, pleadings, Motions and other court documents for attorneys practicing in California, New York or any other U.S. state.

In fact, a bankruptcy forms processor can set up a bankruptcy business in their home with very little money and earn a full-time income very quickly. This concept has also opened the door for attorneys practicing in other areas of law to open a sideline bankruptcy practice, and many of these attorneys seek a freelance forms processor to process their paperwork for them.

This is where you as a bankruptcy forms processor can fill a need that is becoming more popular as electronic filing procedures become more the norm. In fact, some states now require electronic filing of all court documents. Paper documents are only accepted by the court from consumers or in other rare circumstances. It will not be long before all the states will have electronic filing procedures in place and those resisting the change will be left behind.

A typical bankruptcy forms processing business might operate like this:

1. Client either downloads or is emailed a set of Client Intake Forms in PDF format to print and fill out at their leisure.

2. Client will fax or email their completed forms to the attorney or forms processor for review. If the attorney decides to accept the bankruptcy case, the forms processor can begin drafting the bankruptcy petition from the information provided on the Client Intake Forms.

3. Areas of the Client Intake Forms that are not properly completed by the client or containing statements that require a more detailed answer would be easy to take care of. The forms processor or attorney will simply call up the client and obtain the information. No appointment would be necessary.

4. After the drafting of the bankruptcy petition, the forms processor saves the document in PDF format and sends it to the attorney as an attachment on an email.

5. At this point the attorney may wish to meet with the clients to review their bankruptcy petition before filing, but it is not absolutely necessary. Some attorneys I worked for never meet the client face-to-face except when they showed up at court. They communicated with the client by email or telephone.

Note: Electronically filed documents do not require the client's signature so it is not necessary to meet the clients face-to-face before filing the bankruptcy petition. An attorney is provided with an electronic signature by the court that he uses to sign all electronic documents filed on behalf of the client he or she represents.

6. After the attorney receives the bankruptcy petition by email, he or she will save it on their computer under the client file name and begin the review. The attorney can either print out the bankruptcy petition and make changes with an ink pen, or review it on the computer screen and note any changes in an email to the forms processor.

7. After the attorney has approved or made changes to the bankruptcy petition, he or she will email it back to the forms processor. The forms processor will make the changes and prepare a final bankruptcy petition ready for electronic filing. The forms processor emails the final petition to the attorney for final approval.

8. Upon approval by the attorney, the forms processor will electronically file the bankruptcy petition with the proper court or email to the attorney for printing, copying and filing.

As you can begin to see, it would be very easy to start a forms processor service working from home. So if you were like me and are tired of the office politics and playing the mental games, you now have the opportunity to work from a peaceful home environment where you can focus more on each case and give your clients the personal touch that will set your business apart from the big companies.

** This article is a book excerpt from, "How to Start a Bankruptcy Forms Processing Service" by Victoria Ring, Certified Paralegal. More information is available online at

Victoria Ring is a Certified Paralegal and Notary Signing Agent. She started the first electronic bankruptcy paralegal service on the internet (The Lawyer Assistant) to serve attorneys nationwide. Visit her website at

Nigeria News: Investment Fund to Manage Excess Crude Proceeds - CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it is working on the establishment of a National Investment Fund (NIF) that will manage the excess crude proceeds account for the future benefit of the economy, especially when oil prices drop.

Speaking yesterday in Kaduna at the ongoing CBN seminar for finance correspondents and business editors, the apex bank's Director of Foreign Operations, Alhaji Mohammed Nda, also disclosed that between January and July this year, a total of N465.982 billion ($3.675 billion) crude oil revenue, accrued to the Federation Account, was monetised and shared among the three tiers of government.

Nda who was represented by a deputy director in his department, Mr Olu Adaramewa, said a NIF was necessary to manage the account into which the windfall realised from the ever rising oil prices in the international market would be deposited so that the country would be prepared for future fluctuations.

He disclosed that "the establishment of such a fund in Nigeria can serve the twin objectives of stabilising the volatility of fiscal revenues and creating a pool of capital that can provide an alternative source of foreign exchange earnings."

He also explained that, "it is a known fact that the build up in the nation's external reserves was attributed mainly to the upsurge in oil prices which is not sustainable. Indeed, high oil prices are already driving research into the exploitation and utilisation of alternative energy sources.

"Consequently, there has recently been a call for the nation to establish a National Investment Fund in which to invest excess earnings from oil in order to shield the nation from the uncertainty and volatility of oil prices."

According to him, "many countries have successfully established such a fund including Botswana, Venezuela, Norway and Sao Tome and Principe, to mention a few. In fact, most of these countries sterilise the proceeds from oil and other minerals and finance their budgets through other sources."

Also speaking further, Nda disclosed that between January and July this year, a total of N465.982 billion ($3.675 billion) crude oil revenue, accrued to the Federation Account, was monetised and shared among the three tiers of government, namely Federal, State and Local Governments.

The figure, he added, represented 20.98 per cent increase over N385.156 billion ($2.920 billion) recorded in the corresponding period of 2005.

He disclosed that, the un-monetised and unshared portion of the nation's burgeoning foreign reserves, (that is, the excess crude proceeds) meant for the Federation, as at the July 31, this year stood at $8.18 billion.

The apex bank's Foreign Operations director put the total value of the foreign reserves in the month under review at $38.07 billion, which also included $2.71 billion of Federal Government's component and $27.18 billion, representing CBN component.

He said the figure of the monetised and shared crude oil revenue for 12 months (January to December) in 2005 stood at N694.042 billion ($3.675 billion) as against N860.123 billion (N6.503 billion) of the corresponding period of 2004.

A breakdown of the figures showed that, in 2006, the amount monetised and shared in January totaled N75.188 billion ($589.714 million); N101.007 billion ($788.476 million) monetized and shared in February; N54.286 billion ($430.162 million) in March; N68.739 billion ($544.820 million) in April; N44.888 billion ($355.719 million) in May; N60.793 billion ($482.103 million) in June; and N61.078 billion ($484.521 million) in July.

Nda explained that the Federation component consisted of Sterilised Funds (un-monetised) held in the excess crude and petroleum profit tax (PPT)/royalty account at the CBN belonging to the three tiers of government.

This portion, he added, has not yet been monetised for sharing by the federating units. Adding that it "is ignorantly referred to as the reserves of the country."

He also said the Federal Government component consist of funds belonging to some government agencies such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), for financing of its Joint Venture expenses; Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and Ministry of Defence, for Letters of Credits (LCs) opened on their behalf, amongst others.

Similarly, he explained that the CBN portion consists of funds that have been monetised and shared and constituted 71.4 per cent of the reserves. This, he said, arose as the bank received foreign exchange inflow from crude oil sales and other oil revenues on behalf of the government.

According to him, "such proceeds are purchased by the bank and the naira equivalent credited to the Federation account and shared each month, in accordance with the constitution and the existing revenue sharing formula. The monetised foreign exchange thus belongs to the CBN. It is from this portion of the reserves that the bank conducts its monetary policy and defends the value of the naira."

While pointing out that the much-talked about accumulated reserves was dominated by the foreign exchange equivalent of the amounts that have been shared monthly among the three tiers of government for their annual budgets, Nda charged the Nigerian public to find out "how the monthly allocations of the federations reserves have been utilised as on the foreign exchange counterpart with the CBN."

"As the saying goes, you can eat your cake and have it. The criticism that the CBN is accumulating foreign reserves in the midst of poverty and unemployment is therefore misplaced," he said.

Nigeria News: Bitumen Fetches Federal Governent N3trn

Federal Government yesterday realised over N3 trillion ($20,498,115.39) from the financial bidding of two bitumen blocks and mining properties located across the nation.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Lesley Obiora, said at the financial bid for the Bitumen blocks and Mining Titles & Properties held in Abuja said the reformation in the solid mineral sector was the culmination of a major privatization exercise with four basic fundamental objectives.

Obiora disclosed that the privatisation exercise will eventually lead to creation of jobs and poverty reduction, while hoping that the two bitumen blocks can attract investments of $600 million each, over two years on exploration and production.

According to her, about $3 billion could be generated over five years if the investors build a local refinery, while the gold properties could attract investments of $25 to $100 million in exploration and development over a period of two years, adding that the

industrial minerals properties like Barytes could also attract investments of $3 to $5 million within a year of operation.

She announced that government will continue "to divest from ownership of mining operations, attract strong, credible players into mining sector, deliver fair value for past government investment and curtail huge waste of national resources."

According to her, the privatisation exercise was aimed to catalyze the rapid growth of the mining sector in the nation, noting that the privatised ones are relatively at more advanced stages of development than the Greenfield mining titles which are more readily available through the licensing procedure."Nigeria is endowed with at least 34 mineral resources in more than 450 locations across the country," noting that the growing global economic position of India and China is hinged on their ever increasing consumption of strategic minerals.

She noted, however, that despite the immense contribution of solid minerals in the nation before the oil discovery in 1956, the nation has experience "drastic decline in the level of revenue to one per cent"

In her remark, Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Irene Chigbue said the reform in the sector was done in collaboration with MSMD which had 60 prospective investors pre-qualified.

According to her, out of these, 35 bids were submitted by 10 companies out of which five emerged as winners, while five others fell out due to bidding below the reserved prices for the resources.

Culled from AllAFrica

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Obasanjo Seeks Senate’s Support for Transportation Project

President Olusegun Obasanjo has sought the understanding of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the Senate for the consideration of proposals for an inter-modal transportation system for the country.

The President had at a caucus meeting on Wednesday night at the Aguda House in Abuja, a stone’s throw from the Aso Rock Presidential Villa and the National Assembly Complex, appealed to the party’s senators to facilitate the passage of a supplementary budget seeking appropriations for the transportation system.

Speaking on the meeting yesterday, shortly after the Senate adjourned plenary to Tuesday next week, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, said the meeting did not have any political linkage.
He said it was essentially intended by the Presidency to brief the PDP Senate Caucus on its proposals for an inter-modal transportation system in the country.

He said: “Regarding our meeting with President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday (Wednesday night), we were briefed on the proposals for an inter-modal transportation system for the country.

“They took us through their target for the rail system, the inland waterways system and the road network and the airports also and how they can be interlinked to form a grid”.
Denying emphatically that the meeting had a secret political agenda, he stated: “I would like to say that there was no political discussion of any kind.”

Culled from Thisday

Friday, August 25, 2006

FG Licences 3 Power Generation Companies

Supertek Nigeria Limited, run by Mr. Joshua Gana, son of former Information and National Orientation Minister, Professor Jerry Gana, and three other private independent power companies were yesterday presented with Federal Government licenses empowering them to undertake electricity generation in the country. The three others are Farm Electric Supply Limited, which would be managed by a foreigner, Mr. Alistair Morrison, Ethiope Energy Limited, owned by Chief Olubiyi Sangowawa, and ICS Power Limited under the tutelage of Engr. Sam Uzoukwu. Supertek Nigeria Ltd will be located in Akwete in Abia State and is expected to produce 1000MW while Farm Electric Supply Ltd, will operate from Ota, Ogun State and was allotted 150MW.

Similarly, ICS Power Ltd, based in Alaoji, near Aba in Abia State is to generate 624MW and Ethiope Energy Ltd, situated in Ogorode, Sapele, Delta State, would produce 2,800MW. Minister of Power and Steel, Senator Liyel Imoke, who presided over the event, disclosed that with the additional capacity from these new companies, when merged with expected capacity of the various on-going Federal Government-sponsored integrated power projects, the country may well be on its way to meeting a target of 15,000MW national capacity by 2010. "With the generation capacity of over 4,000MW which will be added by these new licensees in the next few years, the country will certainly be making a big step towards achieving the target of 15,000MW by 2010", Imoke stated. According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC), these companies which had successfully scaled through the commission's technical and financial evaluation, will be adding a total of 4,574MW of electricity to the national power grid when their projects are completed.

One outstanding feature of the event, according to NERC, was that all the four companies are owned by Nigerians.
Speaking at the presentation of the licenses in Abuja, Imoke also said the fact that the first four IPP companies to be licensed are all indigenous companies is a reflection that Nigerians are rising up to the challenge of developing the power sector. He said the Federal Government has responded to this initiative of local entrepreneurs by setting up a committee charged with the task of evolving a power sector specific incentive package to encourage more private sector investors into the electricity industry. "The President has established a committee on power sector specific incentive package under the chairmanship of NERC Chairman, Dr. Ransome Owan, to structure these initiatives", said Imoke. The committee is to conclude deliberations within one month and is expected to submit its report and recommendations by end of September, he said.

While commending NERC for facing up with the unique challenges of the power sector regulation, the minister noted that "an efficiently regulated power sector is 'sine qua non' for attracting private sector investment in the sector".
Most of the Chief Executives of the new licensee firms, who spoke to THISDAY shortly after the ceremony said they hope to commence power generation within the next 2 years. The companies also said they would adopt a new technology in power generation known as 'Combine Cycle" method which would avail them the benefit of utilising both gas and ethanol energy sources to power their turbines. The Chief Executive Officer of Supertek Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Joshua Gana told THISDAY that the compamy intends to roll-out within the next two years. Managing Director of Ethiope Energy, Mr. Olubiyi Sangowawa called on government to assist the companies in cushioning the effect of the high risks involved in power projects through special incentives such as import duty waivers and gas price concessions. He also sought for a tax holiday of between 5-10 years for the pioneering power generation companies. He said the company would be making an investment of over $400m for it to achieve 1000MW target, adding that the first firing which will come in the next 12 months will gulp about $100m. Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, Mrs. Irene Chigbue, said Federal Government is in the process of putting up the necessary framework for a vibrant power sector, adding that the next stage of the process would be for the private sector to take up the challenge of setting up power projects.

Culled from Thisday

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