Where are the Notes on the Notes?

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
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Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

 

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
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The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to protect and maximize them.

 
Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day”- March 29th

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To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports at: www.neilsiskindsupports.com

You can read what clients and associates are saying about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:
Volunteer, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

Help Neil Siskind help children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/champion-children/

Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono Work:
Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com
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Senior FreeStart Business- Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

Veteran FreeStart Business- Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

Neil Siskind’s Philanthropic & Environmental Work:

-Hudson Riverfront Land Conservation: The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River.

-Founder & Chairman, The Fatherhood Assignment: A think tank to educate the public about, and advocate for the children of absentee fathers. http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

-Founder and Developer of “National Fatherhood Day” (TM), observed annually on March 29th, to encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

-Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
-Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
-Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Established and operated a temporary legal clinic offering inexpensive legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, plan estate matters, organize finances, start small businesses and obtain governmental assistance such as Medicaid.

Neil Siskind’s linkedin URL: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/

 

Article:

On a recent re-run of The Profit about a company called Mr. Green Tea in which Marcus Lemonis invests, I took note of an issue on “a note”.

the missing $ 400000 the profit episode about the popcorn business ...

The company was trying to buy a building from a bank to use as a factory to make ice cream. They were failing to get the building for the price they wanted. Lemonis came up with the idea that instead of buying the building for more money than he wanted to pay, the company would buy from the bank the note secured not only by the building, but also by 3 other properties. The bank agreed to the transaction.

In the next scene, Lemonis says that 48 hours after talking to the bank and making the deal, he toured the building and was ready to sign the loan sale agreement and the building would be “officially ours”. But that’s not true. First, preparation of a contract for a note secured by mortgages on several buildings and the related due diligence normally takes weeks or months….but, in this case, where the company bought the note- and not the underlying real estate- not only do they need contracts and due diligence, to own the buildings there would need to be a foreclosure judgment and likely a foreclosure sale of some sort on every building. This can take months- or even a couple of years. Lemonis goes further to tell the company that he has a construction crew coming the next morning- the morning after the closing of the loan sale- to clean up the building. This is absurd. He had no right to do this prior to a foreclosure judgment and sale.

If the bank owned the properties due to their own prior foreclosure action, there would be no issues. There would have been straight real estate transactions and property deed transfers. But if the bank sold the note while the properties were still being foreclosed upon, then the bank does not yet own the actual real estate, and, thus, the note buyer does not yet own the real estate- the buyer only buys the bank’s position which gives the buyer of the note the right to foreclose- not ownership and the right to renovate a property.

If the bank only owns the note, which seems to have been the case, it makes it hard to understand how the company was negotiating to buy the “building” from the bank, rather than the note, in the first place. The same party can not own both the note and the property. If Lemonis and Mr. Green Tea had entered into a contract of sale for the property, the contract would have been unenforceable by the buyers, since the seller, the bank, had no title and no right to contract for the sale of that property or any of the other properties that secured the note. The situation, as presented, is perplexing.

I presume that for entertainment purposes, time frames were crunched. They would have to be. But if the show is to explain a business transaction properly and accurately, viewers should understand that you can not buy a note for four properties (or even for one) and suddenly own the properties. As the lender (or assignee or purchaser of a note from a lender), one would need to foreclose on the properties and effectively buy them at a foreclosure sale in order to actually own them. Foreclosures can be challenging, complex, expensive and take months, if not years. Even in the simplest of cases, they takes months. Likewise, before a lender can contract for the sale of property, it needs to own the property, which requires a completed foreclosure action, not just ownership of a non-performing note.

Business television is entertaining- but not always clear, communicative or accurate on the way things really work.

 

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Shark “Robert” Is Fishing in the Wrong Spot

By: Neil Siskind, New York Lawyer http://www.siskindlawfirm.com

Neil Siskind is the Founder of The Fatherhood Assignment
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Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

Review Neil Siskind’s personal and professional references at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/

Article:

Shark “Robert” previously invested in a company called Tipsy Elves. The company claims to have gone from 800 thousand dollars in sales to 7.5 million dollars in sales since appearing on Shark Tank. But it is unclear-or unknown- if there was profit on the 7.5 million dollars. Since Robert is a tech guy, it would not be a stretch to say that he is prone to focusing on customer acquisition and revenues at the expense of profits. Was most of the cash flow reinvested into marketing in order to acquire more customers and more revenue such that the 7.5 million in revenues resulted in little profit? Hard to know. If achieving greater revenues required spending every dime of profits on marketing and sales – what’s that worth? What has been the customer acquisition cost?

A company that was built on a niche category of sweaters is now going into the t-shirt with party slogan and college logo business- because it can’t seem to figure out what else to do. This is the lowest hanging fruit of the apparel business. The owners seemed neither clear on how to grow the business nor mentally committed to leaving their jobs to do so.

Robert believes that this company is, at its essence, a “design” company- and I think this is where his thinking went awry. I also think his defining it as a “smart humor” company is also wrong. I would say that this company at its core is a “quirky holiday season product” company. Its success has been as a holiday business- not a mass apparel merchandiser. And what happened to the company-defining-hook, “ugly” from the ugly Christmas sweaters? The company should not go off designing clothing for the mass market. It should continue enhancing the holiday season experience. (And forget the USA costumes too. I don’t think that the Tipsy Elves lend themselves to Patriotic clothing products.) If you look at FUBU, for example, the company knew who its niche audience was and did not stray from the core products or customers. Tipsy Elve’s audience is the holiday crowd looking for fun and cheery holiday items. Robert should encourage the business to stay true to the customer and stay true to their mission. This is what is working.

According to Robert, the company is primed to go from 7.5 million dollars in sales to 100 million dollars selling t-shirts with slogans and college logos. As someone who has counseled many apparel businesses over the years, I would say, “Good luck.” That’s a great formula for going out of business. Long-deceased FUBU is probably turning over in its grave listening to this strategy.

Robert preaches that one should invest only in what they know and should “be great at one thing and not try be great at multiple things”. Then why is an Internet security mogul investing in a clothing company run by a dentist and a lawyer? Hard to understand.

This company has a niche in holiday fun. In my judgment, the strategy would be to stay vertical in that niche and develop additional holiday products including socks, hats, books, wrapping paper, calendars, Christmas ornaments, video games, holiday pet products, tech accessories to use at holiday time such as smartphone cases and wallpaper, holiday apps, Tipsy Elves gift cards, greeting cards, candies, plush toys, funny Tipsy Elves Christmas song ring tones, coffee and beer mugs and all things that bring fun holiday cheer. The holiday season, of course, also lends itself to gift-giving, a multi-billion dollar industry. Promote Tipsy Elves products as gifts. Perhaps down the line, the company could acquire a flower, gift basket or plush toy delivery company for holiday deliveries and add proprietary Tipsy Elves floral designs, Tipsy Elves chocolates, Tipsy Elves eggnog and Tipsy Elves plush toys to the mix.

The company started as a “fun sweaters company” for the holiday season and should grow into a fun “everything” company for the holiday season with the Tipsy Elves. For some reason, Robert believed he was investing in a clothing company- which confounds me. It is clear that this investment was in “a quirky holiday product” that found an audience…..and not in an apparel manufacturer. In other words: Tipsy elves and ugly Christmas sweaters do not equal “clothing company”. Tipsy elves and ugly Christmas sweaters = “Holiday Fun”.

And where are the images of the actual tipsy elves? I don’t see any elves on the website at all. For a brand name that evokes visuals of care-free, dancing elves (which could be valuable trademarks and images for holiday products and services), there are no tipsy elves on the logo, no tipsy elves on the products and no tipsey elves on the website. Where’s the branding? Such a lost opportunity.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TIPSY ELVES, ROBERT! THEY CAN BE FUNNY, SILLY, UGLY- THEY SHOULD BE THE FACES OF THE BRAND! THE TIPSY ELVES CHARACTERS CAN BE THE DIFFERENTIATOR- THE HOOK. THINK CARTOONS, COMMERCIALS, BEVERAGES AND PARTY DECORATIONS. THINK RINGTONES, VIDEO GAMES, APPS, AND CHRISTMAS MUSIC CD’S- LIKE THE CHIPMUNKS. THE TIPSY ELVES ARE YOUR CORE ASSET! THE TIPSY ELVES SHOULD BE ON ALL PRODUCTS AND ON ALL MARKETING MATERIALS. THE TIPSY ELVES ARE THE BRANDING TOOL THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO EXTEND INTO NEW PRODUCT CATEGORIES. THEY CAN BECOME BELOVED AND VALUABLE TRADEMARKS AND COPYRIGHTS THAT PROVIDE A CHARACTER AND CONTENT LICENSING BONANZA.

Look at the Keebler elves. Elves can be a year round business asset.

St. Patty’s Day and college t-shirts and patriotic clothes are likely not going to be the engine to get to 100 million dollars in revenues profitably- or at all. People can make their own t-shirts online using many online services. In any event, without the personality and branding of the tipsy elves characters on products, there is no real brand to leverage upon, even for clothing.

Robert should focus on his technology ventures…and leave clothing strategies to the shmata guys of the world. I’m sure he has Daymond’s number.