TCR_Public/000111.MBX    T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R
       
         Tuesday, January 11, 2000, Vol. 4, No. 7

                     
                     Headlines

AFP IMAGING: Cohen Sells Shares of Stock
APPLIED MAGNETICS: Files Voluntary Chapter 11 Petition
BAPTIST FOUNDATION: Committee Taps Fennemore Craig as Counsel
CADET MANUFACTURING: To Recall Electric Heaters
CHECKERS OF CHICAGO: Discontinues Operations

CONTINENTAL INVESTMENT: Court Agrees To Rescind Agreement
CONTINUCARE: Annual Meeting To Be Held February 15
FAMILY GOLF CENTERS: Stock Holdings Reported To SEC
FLORIDA COAST PAPER: Court Confirms Plan
FRUIT OF THE LOOM: Motion To Reject Sears Tower Leases

FRUIT OF THE LOOM: To Repay $65 Million Loan to Chairman
GANTOS: Announces Net Sales For 5 Week Period Ended January 1
HARNISCHFEGER: Selects Stalking Horse Bids For Beloit
IMPERIAL HOME: Case Summary & 20 Largest Unsecured Creditors
IMPERIAL HOME: Moody's Downgrades Ratings To Caa3

KAISER GROUP INTERNATIONAL: Making Interest Payment Due Dec. 31
LITTLE SWITZERLAND: Nasdaq Delists Stock
LOEWEN: Motion To Sell Certificates of Indebtedness
METROCALL: Page America No Longer Owns Securities
PAGE AMERICA GROUP: Court Confirms Prepackaged Plan

PAM CAPITAL: 2 Tranches Of Notes On Review For Downgrade
SPECIALTY RETAILERS: Moody's Downgrades Sr and Bank Debt
SYMONS INTERNATIONAL GROUP: Moody's Lowers Ratings To Caa From B3
UNITED COMPANIES: Duff & Phelps Withdraws Ratings
UNITED COMPANIES FINANCIAL: Signs Agreement For Sale

V COMPANIES: V Companies, VS Architects File Chapter 11
WASTEMASTERS: Court Agrees To Rescind Purchase Agreement
WHITE MOUNTAINS GROUP: Moody's Revises Its Outlook To Negative

Meetings, Conferences and Seminars


                     ********

AFP IMAGING: Cohen Sells Shares of Stock
----------------------------------------
Joseph A. Cohen, by virtue of having sold 112,000 shares of
common stock of AFP Imaging Corporation on December 29, 1999, has
ceased to be the beneficial owner of more than 5% of the
company's common stock.  Mr. Cohen holds 435,142 shares of common
stock of AFP in the aggregate, which amount represents 4.69% of
the outstanding common stock of AFP Imaging Corporation.


APPLIED MAGNETICS: Files Voluntary Chapter 11 Petition
------------------------------------------------------
Applied Magnetics Corporation (NYSE:APM) today announced that it
has filed a voluntary petition for protection under Chapter 11 of
the Federal Bankruptcy Code with the United States Bankruptcy
Court in Santa Barbara.

Operations at the Company's Goleta facility have been
discontinued and most of the employees there have been laid off.  
The Company expects to continue limited operations in Malaysia
and Korea for the purpose of fulfilling existing customer
commitments. The Company will continue to seek new financing in
an effort to resume full operations, but there is no assurance
its efforts will be successful.

"In the past two years, magnetic recording head manufacturers
have suffered from excess capacity and slowing demand from the
hard disk drive industry. These market conditions have severely
hampered the Company's efforts in qualifying its GMR technology
on new products and have prevented the Company from achieving its
planned sales volume," said Craig Crisman, Chairman and CEO of
the Company.

Applied Magnetics Corporation is an independent manufacturer of
magnetic recording heads, head-gimbal assemblies ("HGAs") and
headstack assemblies ("HSAs") for computer hard disk drives.
Founded in 1957, Applied Magnetics is the oldest independent
U.S.-based supplier of disk heads to the merchant market.
The Company has offshore facilities in Malaysia, Korea and China.


BAPTIST FOUNDATION: Committee Taps Fennemore Craig as Counsel
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Official Joint Committee of Unsecured Creditors (the
"Committee") for the debtors  applies for retention of the law
firm of Fennemore Craig as counsel for the Committee pursuant to
11 U.S.C.   1103(a) and Rule 2014(a), Federal Rules of Bankruptcy
Procedure and requests the Court to enter an Order approving this
Application.  It is contemplated that Fennemore Craig will
render the following legal services as counsel for the
Committee:
(a) Advise the Committee with respect to the powers and duties
of the Committee in these Chapter 11 cases;
(b) Consult with the trustee or Debtors concerning the
administration of these cases;
(c) Advise the Committee with respect to the powers and duties
of the Debtors in the continued operation of their businesses and
the management of their assets in these Chapter 11 cases;
(d) Investigate the acts, conduct, assets, liabilities, and
financial condition of the Debtors, the operation of the Debtors'
businesses and the desirability of the continuance of such
business, and any other matter relevant to the cases or to the
formulation of a plan;
(e) Participate in the negotiation, formulation, and drafting
of a plan of reorganization, including modifications and
amendments, and advise the Committee regarding the acceptance and
confirmation process;
(f) Advise the Committee with respect to requesting the
appointment of a trustee or examiner under 11 U.S.C.   1104;
(g) Prepare all necessary pleadings and papers pertaining to
matters of bankruptcy law or the cases, including, without
limitation, appeals and other litigation as is necessary to
represent the Committee;
(h) Participate in any proceeding or hearing in the Bankruptcy
Court, the District Court, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, the
Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, or any
other judicial or administrative forum in which any action or
proceeding may be pending which may affect the Debtors, their
assets, or the claims of their creditors;
(i) Advise the Committee with respect to the use, sale or lease
of property, financing and the rejection and assumption of
executory contracts and unexpired leases, among other things; and
(j) All other legal services that may be necessary during the
pendency of these Chapter 11 cases on behalf of the Committee.

The standard compensation rates for the year 2000 for the
Fennemore Craig attorneys who are expected to render services to
the Committee on this case are:  Cathy L. Reece, Director,
$265.00; Don J. Miner, Director, $250.00; Robert P. Robinson,
Director, $295.00; Bryan A. Albue, Director, $220.00; James J.
Trimble, Director, $205.00; Dewain D. Fox, Director, $185.00;
Julio Zapata, Associate, $125.00; Carol Levine, Legal Assistant,
$80.00.

Other Fennemore Craig attorneys and legal assistants may render
services on behalf of the Committee from time to time and their
standard compensation rates will be used.  Directors' rates range
from $185.00 to $325.00 per hour; associates' rates range from
$110.00 to $215.00 per hour.  

In addition, the Official Joint Committee of Unsecured Creditors
applied to employ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as financial
advisors and accountants for the Committee.


CADET MANUFACTURING: To Recall Electric Heaters
-----------------------------------------------
Cadet Manufacturing, a Vancouver, Wash., company, announced that
it will began a recall of 1.9 million electric heaters blamed for
house fires and three deaths as soon as the bankruptcy
court and the Consumer Product Safety Commission approve the
recall, according to the Associated Press. Cadet filed chapter 11
in January 1999, citing pressure from a 1997 class action
lawsuit. It is expected the recall will take place the first week
of February. Cadet plans to recall the heaters and sell customers
replacement units at a reduced cost. Founded 40 years ago,
Cadet had $23 million in sales in 1998, but sales dropped to $16
million last year with the bankruptcy filing. (ABI 10-Jan-00)


CHECKERS OF CHICAGO: Discontinues Operations
---------------------------------------------
CHECKERS DRIVE-IN RESTAURANTS, INC. (Nasdaq: CHKR) announced that
its subsidiary, Checkers of Chicago, Inc., a Delaware
corporation, has discontinued operations in the Chicago
metropolitan area and filed for relief under Chapter 7
of the United States Bankruptcy Code.  Checkers of Chicago, Inc.
had operated 8 restaurants as a general partner of certain
limited partnerships and three restaurants which it owned, all of
which are now closed.  The Company expects that a trustee will be
appointed today to distribute the subsidiary's assets to
creditors.

"This action was necessary in light of the significant on-going
losses being sustained at the locations operated by our Checkers
of Chicago subsidiary.  The nearly 1,000 other Checkers and
Rally's restaurants operated by Checkers Drive-In Restaurants and
its franchisees are not affected by this action and will remain
open," stated CEO Daniel Dorsch.


CONTINENTAL INVESTMENT: Court Agrees To Rescind Agreement
---------------------------------------------------------
WasteMasters, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: WAST) announced that the
bankruptcy court overseeing Continental Investment Corporation's
(OTC Bulletin Board: CICG) bankruptcy approved the agreement to
rescind a prior purchase agreement in which Continental acquired
5,000,000 shares of the Company's
Preferred Stock and 4,500,000 shares of its Common Stock.  The
5,000,000 shares of Preferred Stock were convertible into
25,500,000 shares of the Company's Common Stock. The agreement
had been previously announced pending approval from
the bankruptcy court.  Parties have ten days to appeal the
decision of the court. No appeal is expected.  Closing on the
rescission agreement will occur ten days following the appeal
period.

According to the terms of the rescission, WasteMasters, Inc. will
return shares it holds in Continental and one of its
subsidiaries, Continental Technologies Corporation as well as pay
$590,000 to Continental. WasteMasters, Inc. will receive an
operating landfill in Rye Creek, Missouri that was included in
the original transaction. This landfill is currently producing
approximately $600,000 in revenue and netting 7% in after tax net
income.  In addition, a warrant that would have given Continental
100,000,000 shares of WasteMasters Common Stock in exchange for
1,000,000 of Continental Common Stock will be cancelled.  
WasteMasters previously notified Continental that it would not
honor the warrant.  This move completely eliminates the
possibility of future litigation.

Douglas Holsted, President of the Company, stated:  "The long
time spent to completely separate Continental and WasteMasters is
finally coming to an end. This outcome is tremendous; we will
reduce our outstanding stock, bring in an operating asset, and
eliminate the outstanding warrant.  Continental wins also.
They separate from us, get their stock back and get enough cash
to allow them to concentrate on their difficulties.  It is a
pleasure to get the landfill back. Since its acquisition by
Continental no one has made any effort to improve the landfill's
operations.  We will be able to quickly build on the performance
of this landfill."

J.B. Morris, Chairman and President of Continental Investment
Corporation is satisfied with the outcome.  He claimed, "This
decision was an integral part in our ability to come out of
bankruptcy.  I could not be more pleased."

"Rye Creek is a vital landfill for WasteMasters in that the
operation generates revenues and net income.  This is not a
development or contingent on permitting -- it is a currently
operating landfill," said Leon Blaser, the Chairman of
WasteMasters.  "This is a small but significant step for re-
building WasteMasters' operations."

David Fuselier of The Ridgefield Group, WasteMasters' turn-around
consultant continued:  "Both companies and their management were
vigilant in resolving the largest singular dilemma of each
company.  This took an incredible amount of time and effort over
the past six months.  This one transaction substantially
stabilizes WasteMasters and certainly clears the balance sheet of
the convertible preferred and the 4,500,000 of common.  The
transaction will be financed via a loan from a third party
lender."


CONTINUCARE: Annual Meeting To Be Held February 15
--------------------------------------------------
The 1999 annual meeting of shareholders of Continucare
Corporation, a Florida corporation, will be held at 10:00 a.m.,
local time, on Tuesday, February 15, 2000, at a location yet to
be determined, in the city of Miami, Florida.  The meeting will
convene for the following purposes:

(1)   The election of three members to the company's Board of
Directors to hold office until Continucare's 2000 annual meeting
of shareholders or until their successors are duly elected and
qualified;

(2)   To approve the restructuring of the company's convertible
subordinated notes; and

(3)  The transaction of any other business that properly arises.

The Board of Directors has fixed the close of business on January
12, 2000 as the record date for determining those shareholders
entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the annual meeting.


FAMILY GOLF CENTERS: Stock Holdings Reported To SEC
---------------------------------------------------
The following entities hold common stock of Family Golf Centers
Inc. with shared voting and dispositive powers.  West Highland
Capital, Inc. holds 3,837,000 such shares, as does Lang H.
Gerhard.  This amount represents 14.7% of the outstanding common
stock of Family Golf Centers.  Estero Partners, LLC holds
3,606,419 shares, representing 13.9% of the outstanding common
stock of the company and West Highland Partners, L.P. holds
2,915,775 shares, 11.2% of the outstanding shares of common stock
of the company.  Buttonwood Partners, L.P. holds 690,644 shares,
representing 2.7% of the outstanding shares of common stock of
Family Golf Centers.

West Highland Capital is a California corporation, LLC is a
California limited liability company, West Highland Partners and
Buttonwood Partners are California limited partnerships and
Gerhard is a United States citizen.

West Highland Capital is a registered investment adviser whose
clients have the right to receive or the power to direct the
receipt of dividends from, or the proceeds from the sale of, the
stock.  Gerhard is the sole shareholder of West Highland Capital
and the Manager of LLC.  West Highland Capital, LLC and Gerhard
are the general partners of West Highland Partners and Buttonwood
Partners, which are investment limited partnerships.  No single
client of West Highland Capital, other than West Highland
Partners, holds more than five percent of the stock.


FLORIDA COAST PAPER: Court Confirms Plan
-----------------------------------------
On Jan. 5, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.,
confirmed Florida Coast Paper Holding Co.'s joint chapter 11 plan
of reorganization submitted by the linerboard mill operator,
its affiliates and an ad hoc committee of holders of 12.75
percent first mortgage notes due 2003. According to counsel to an
ad hoc committee of noteholders, the joint plan had the requisite
dollar amount of favorable votes, but a majority number of the
noteholders voted against the plan. Therefore, the plan had to be
crammed down on the noteholder class. Unusually, the noteholders
thus were proponents of both the plan and the cramdown. (The
Daily Bankruptcy Review and ABI Copyright c January 10, 2000)


FRUIT OF THE LOOM: Motion To Reject Sears Tower Leases
------------------------------------------------------
Under a 1990 Lease Agreement with Tower Leasing, Inc., Fruit of
the Loom, Inc., rented office space in the Sears Tower.  Between
1991 and 1994, the Lease Agreement was amended four times to
alter the amount of leased space.  The Debtors entered into
Sublease Agreements with Goldman Sachs Group, L.P., and William
F. Farley for portions of the leased space.  

As of the Petition Date, the Debtors no not occupy any space in
the Sears Tower.  Further, they have no use for the space now or
in the foreseeable future.  Moreover, rent payments required
under the Lease Agreement are set at above-market rates.  
Accordingly, by this Motion, the Debtors seek the Court's
authority, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Sec. 365, to reject all Sears
Tower Lease and Sublease Agreements as of the Petition Date.  

The burdens of the agreements outweigh their benefits, the
Debtors explain; rejection will relieve the Debtors of a
significant financial burden, they say.  Hence, rejection of
these agreements is a reasonable exercise of their business
judgment, consistent with the teachings in NLRD v. Bildisco and
Bildisco, 465 U.S. 513 (1984) and Sharon Steel Corp. v.
National Fuel, 872 F.2d 36 (3d Cir. 1989).  The business judgment
standard, the Debtors argue, requires that the Bankruptcy Court
approve their decision to reject unless that judgment is the
product of bad faith, whim or caprice, directing Judge Walsh's
attention to Lubrizol Enterprises v. Richmond Metal Finishes, 756
F.2d 1043 (4th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1057 (1986).  

Once the Lease Agreement is rejected, the Debtors observe that
the Sublease Agreements will be deemed rejected as a matter of
law, pointing to In re Chatlos Systems, Inc. v. Kaplan, 147 B.R.
96 (D. Del. 1992).  As a result, the Debtors suggest, the
Subtenants will have no remaining rights under the Lease
Agreement and may not elect to exercise any rights to remain in
possession pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Sec. 365(h)(1)(A).  To avoid
further litigation, the Debtors ask Judge Walsh to specifically
authorize their rejection of the Sublease Agreements.  
(Fruit of the Loom Bankruptcy News Issue 2; Bankruptcy Creditor's
Service, Inc.)


FRUIT OF THE LOOM: To Repay $65 Million Loan to Chairman
--------------------------------------------------------
Fruit of the Loom Inc.'s pre-bankruptcy debt of about $1.6
billion includes a guaranty to repay a $65 million secured
personal bank loan made in March to Chairman William Farley,
according to a newswire report. District of Delaware Chief
Bankruptcy Judge Peter Walsh signed orders Dec. 30 that detail
the loan and the rest of the debt. Farley had agreed to repay the
company for the secured loan from Bank of America and Credit
Suisse First Boston in March. In August, Farley resigned as
president and CEO. Fruit of the Loom and its 33 affiliates filed
chapter 11 on Dec. 29. Fruit of the Loom bankruptcy attorney Mark
Thomas of Katten Muchin Zavis, Chicago, said the loan to Farley
had been fully disclosed.


GANTOS: Announces Net Sales For 5 Week Period Ended January 1
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gantos, Inc. (Nasdaq: GTOS) today announced net sales for the
five week period ended January 1, 2000 of $18.5 million, a
decrease of 19 percent from the same period a year ago.  Net
sales for stores open throughout both periods decreased 20
percent from the same period a year ago.  Net sales for the
forty-eight week period ended January 1, 2000, were $136.7
million, a decrease of 4 percent from the same period a year ago.  
Net sales for stores open throughout both periods also decreased
4 percent from the same period a year ago.

Commenting on the sales announcement, President and Chief
Executive Officer Arlene Stern said, "December sales were
affected by reduced receipts in nearly all apparel categories.  
As announced on December 30, 1999, a $40 million debtor-in-
possession agreement was negotiated with Foothill Capital
Corporation and Paragon Capital, LLC to fund operations during
our voluntary reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United
States Bankruptcy Court."

Gantos, Inc. is a specialty retailer of quality women's wear and
accessories.  The Company currently operates 118 stores in 24
states.


HARNISCHFEGER: Selects Stalking Horse Bids For Beloit
-----------------------------------------------------
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin -- January 6, 2000 -- Harnischfeger
Industries, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: HRZI) announced the
selection of initial bids for the sale of assets of Beloit
Corporation, the company's pulp and papermaking equipment
manufacturing and servicing subsidiary. The company and its U.S.
subsidiaries, including Beloit, filed for reorganization under
Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on June 7, 1999.

The Beloit businesses are being sold through an auction to be
conducted on January 10, 2000 at the offices of Kirkland & Ellis
in Chicago. A hearing before the Bankruptcy Court to approve bids
that are accepted by Beloit at the auction is set for January 19,
2000. Government agency approvals may also be required.

The selected initial bids receive "stalking horse" protection in
the auction under "Bid Protection Procedures" previously approved
by the Bankruptcy Court. The Bid Protection Procedures provide
selected bidders with a topping fee of up to 3 1/2% of their
initial bids in the event the assets are sold to other parties
and require competing bids to be at least 1/2% greater than the
sum of the selected bid plus the topping fee.

The selected initial bids are:

-- Pulp and Finishing Divisions: Groupe Laperriere & Verreault
Inc.

-- Woodyard Division: Andritz AG

-- OASIS: Alignment Services of North America, Inc.

-- Paper Aftermarket and Roll Covers Division: Valmet Corporation

-- Paper Technology: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Inc.

Robert N. Dangremond, Chief Restructuring Officer for the company
and Beloit, is directing the Beloit sale process and
PricewaterhouseCoopers Securities LLC is acting as
Harnischfeger's investment banker to assist in the sale of
Beloit.  While the company continues to pursue the sale of the
Beloit businesses through the Bankruptcy Court approved auction
process, there can be no assurance as to whether or when any
transaction will take place. (Harnischfeger Bankruptcy News Issue
19; Bankruptcy Creditor's Service Inc.)


IMPERIAL HOME: Case Summary & 20 Largest Unsecured Creditors
------------------------------------------------------------
Debtor Affiliates:  The Imperial Home Decor Group, Inc.
                    The Imperial Home Decor Group(US) LLC
                    WDP Investment Inc.
                    Marketing Services, Inc.
                    23645 Mercantile Road
                    Cleveland, OH 44122

                    Imperial Home Decor Group Holdings, LLC
                    345 Park Avenue
                    New York, NY 10154

                    Vernon Plastics, Inc.
                    20 Shelley Road
                    Ward Hill
                    Haverhill, MA 01835

Type of Business:  Design, manufacture and market wallcovering,
products, flexible vinyl films and sheetings in the
United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Petition Date:  January 5, 2000    
Chapter 11
Court:  District of Delaware          
Judge:  Mary F. Walrath
Debtor's Counsel:

Thomas L. Ambro, Esq.
Daniel J. DeFranceschi, Esq.
Richards, Laylon & Finger, P. A.
One Rodney Square North
P.O. Box 551
Wilmington, Delaware 19896

David G. Helman, Esq.
Paul E. Harner, Esq.
Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue
North Point
901 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Total Assets:  $ 406,393,000.00
Total Debts:    $ 549,441,000.00

20 Largest Unsecured Creditors

State Street Bank & Trust Co.    Unsecured Notes     $ 49,000,000
Chase Bank of Texas              Unsecured Notes       19,350,000
Bankers Trust Co.                Unsecured Notes       14,500,000
Brown Bros. Harriman& Co.        Unsecured Notes       13,000,000
Citibank                         Unsecured Notes        8,550,000
Chase Manhattan Bank             Unsecured Notes        6,300,000
Investors Bank & Trust Co        Unsecured Notes        5,000,000
Bank of NY/First Union Safekeeping  Unsecured Notes     4,000,000
PNC Nat'l Center                    Unsecured Notes     2,000,000
Chase Securities Inc.           Unsecured Notes         1,368,000
Deloitte & Touche               Trade Debt              1,452,933
United Parcel Service   U.S.    Trade Debt              1,347,761
Formosa Plastics                Trade Debt              1,213,599
Hachette Home Group  Trade Debt                         1,035,000
Bank of NY                  Holder of Unsecured Notes   1,000,000
Folia                            Trade Debt               832,179
Exxon Chemical Americas          Trade Debt               824,781
AG Industries                    Trade Debt               817,161
Gencorp Polymer Products         Trade Debt               720,587
Laura Ashley Inc                 Trade Debt               702,181
Modern Int'l Graphics            Trade Debt               614,002
Diners Club                      Trade Debt               535,452


IMPERIAL HOME: Moody's Downgrades Ratings To Caa3
-------------------------------------------------
Approximately $425.0 Million of Debt Affected.

New York, January 07, 2000 -- Moody's Investors Service
downgraded the long-term debt ratings of the Imperial Home Decor
Group, Inc. The affected debt includes:

$75.0 million guaranteed senior secured revolving facility
maturing in 2004, to Caa3 from B1;

$65.0 million guaranteed senior secured tranche A term loan,
maturing in 2004, to Caa3 from B1;

$115.0 million guaranteed senior secured tranche B term loan,
maturing in 2005, to Caa3 from B1;

$45.0 million guaranteed senior secured tranche C term loan,
maturing in 2006, to Caa3 from B1;

$125.0 million of 11% senior subordinated notes, maturing in
2008, to C from B3.

The senior implied rating was downgraded to Ca and the senior
unsecured issuer rating was downgraded to C.

Imperial Home Decor Group, Inc., and its US affiliates, filed for
protection under Chapter 11 on January 5, 2000. Excluded from the
filing were its non-guarantor subsidiaries, The Imperial Home
Decor Group (Canada) ULC, and The Imperial Home Decor Group (UK)
Ltd. The petition lists $547 million in liabilities and $406.4
million in assets.

The new ratings reflect the poor recovery prospects for the debt
holders, particularly with almost 50% of tangible assets located
at foreign subsidiaries which also have significant liabilities,
operating losses, and serious business challenges. The rating
also reflects the Moody's expectation of continued asset write-
downs as aged inventory and excess UK capacity are addressed, as
well as continued tight liquidity.

The company has received bankruptcy court approval to borrow up
to $25 million domestically, and an additional $7million for its
UK operations, under a 2-year, $75 million DIP facility.

The borrower under the existing bank facility is the holding
company, except in the case of the revolving credit under which
one or more non-US subsidiaries may borrow up to $20 million. The
credit facility is guaranteed by the company's domestic
subsidiaries and by IHDG UK. The guarantees are secured by a
first priority security interest in substantially all pledgeable
tangible and intangible assets of the company, its US
subsidiaries and of IHDG UK, to the extent permissible by law. At
September 25, 1999, there were $87 million in liabilities at non-
guarantor subsidiaries and $43 million at domestic operating
subsidiaries, as well as inter-company loans.

The Imperial Home Decor Group Inc., a holding company based in
Cleveland, Ohio, is a global designer, producer and marketer of
wallcovering products (e.g. sidewalls and borders), flexible
vinyl films and sheetings. The company's residential wallcovering
products are marketed under such brands as Plexus, Shand Kydd,
Sunworthy, Imperial, Crown, Imperial Fine Interiors, Albert Van
Luit and others. The Imperial Home Decor Group Inc. markets its
products primarily in North America and Europe. Blackstone
Capital Partners owns 89% of the company's stock.


KAISER GROUP INTERNATIONAL: Making Interest Payment Due Dec. 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
On December 31, 1999, Kaiser Group International, Inc. announced
that, based on continuing discussions with representatives of its
noteholders concerning the means by which an acceptable credit
facility might be obtained and a modified restructuring of its
debt completed, it is making the interest payment due December
31, 1999 on the company's senior and senior subordinated notes.


LITTLE SWITZERLAND: Nasdaq Delists Stock
----------------------------------------
Nasdaq has delisted the common stock of Little Switzerland Inc.
from the SmallCap Market based upon the company's failure to meet
certain continued listing requirements, including obtaining
alternative asset-based financing to pay down existing debt and
for working capital purposes.  The action was taken as of the
close of business December 22, 1999.  The company's stock
was to be eligible to trade on Nasdaq's OTC Bulletin Board
beginning with the open of business December 23, 1999.

Little Switzerland's president and chief executive officer,
Robert Baumgardner, stated "We are disappointed with Nasdaq's
decision to delist the company's stock.  The company has made
significant progress in its restructuring.  However, because of
the adverse impact of Hurricane Lenny on the company's business,
we were unable to meet Nasdaq's continued listing requirements in
the time required."

The company is still engaged in active negotiations with an
asset-based lender to obtain alternative financing and, at this
time, indicates it anticipates closing on a new working capital
facility by the end of January 2000. The company is also in
active negotiations with its existing lenders to extend the terms
of the forbearance agreement through January 31, 2000. In
connection with the foregoing, the company has reduced the
amount of debt owed to its existing lenders.

As a result of Nasdaq's decision, Little Switzerland will not
effectuate the reverse stock split which was approved by the
company's stockholders at its annual meeting held on December 21,
1999.  At the annual meeting the company's stockholders also
elected Peter R. McMullin and Kenneth W. Watson as Class II
directors, each with a term expiring at the 2002 annual
meeting.

Little Switzerland, Inc. is a specialty retailer of brand name
watches, jewelry, crystal, china, fragrances and accessories,
operating 20 stores on six Caribbean islands, and two stores in
Alaska cruise ship destinations.  The company's primary market
consists of vacationing tourists attracted by free-port pricing,
duty-free allowances and a wide variety of high quality
merchandise.


LOEWEN: Motion To Sell Certificates of Indebtedness
---------------------------------------------------
The prospective buyers of these certificates of indebtedness, the
"Shipper Family," backed out of the original deal for these
certificates.  The Debtors now ask the Court to approve a revised
deal where:

(i) the Shipper family will pay $4,000,000 in cash minus any
amounts previously paid by them into and remaining in escrow;  

(ii) the Debtors will not verify the amount or indemnify the
Shipper family for any merchandise liabilities in connection with
the certificate sale; and

(iii) the properties covered by the certificates will be free of
long-term debt other than the certificates at closing.
(Loewen Bankruptcy News Issue 17; Bankruptcy Creditor's Service
Inc.)


METROCALL: Page America No Longer Owns Securitites
--------------------------------------------------
Effective January 3, 2000, Page America Group Inc., pursuant to
confirmation of its prepackaged liquidating Chapter 11 Plan,
distributed all shares of common stock of Metrocall Inc. owned by
it to its holders of 15% Subordinated Notes due 2003 and holders
of Series One Preferred Stock. As a result, effective January 3,
2000, Page America ceased to be the beneficial owner of any
securities of Metrocall Inc.


PAGE AMERICA GROUP: Court Confirms Prepackaged Plan
---------------------------------------------------
On December 21, 1999, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York confirmed a prepackaged liquidating
Chapter 11 Plan for Page America Group, Inc. and its
subsidiaries. The Plan became effective January 3, 2000. Under
the Plan, the company will be dissolved on the final distribution
date. All creditors of the company, except for the holders of the
company's 15% Subordinated Notes due 2003, will be paid all
amounts due to them. The remaining assets of the
company will then be distributed 70% to the holders of the
Subordinated Notes, 21% to the holders of Series One Preferred
Stock and 9% to the holders of common stock.

Page America has outstanding 16,024,585 shares of common stock,
286,381 shares of Series One Preferred Stock and $13,000,000
original principal amount of Subordinated Notes.

Immediately prior to confirmation of the Plan, the company had
assets totaling approximately $10,400,000 and liabilities
totaling  approximately $24,600,000.


PAM CAPITAL: 2 Tranches Of Notes On Review For Downgrade
-------------------------------------------------------
New York, January 07, 2000 -- Moody's Investors Service has
placed the following Notes on watch for possible downgrade: the
U.S. $141,250,000 Class B-1 Fixed Rate Second Senior Secured
Notes due 2010 and the U.S $121,250,000 Class B-2 Floating Rate
Second Senior Secured Notes due 2010 issued by PAM Capital
Funding LP. According to Moody's, this action results primarily
from deterioration in the credit quality of the collateral pool.
Moody's noted that almost 25% of the collateral pool is currently
rated Caa1or lower (including Defaulted Securities). Finally,
Moody's noted that while the overcollateralization ratio tests
are not in violation, it remains concerned about continued trends
in the quality of the collateral.

RATING ACTION: WATCH FOR DOWNGRADE
Issuer:PAM Capital Funding LP
Description:U.S. $141,250,000 Class B-1 Fixed Rate Second Senior
Secured Notes due 2010
Rating:Baa3
RATING ACTION: WATCH FOR DOWNGRADE
Issuer:PAM Capital Funding LP
Description:U.S $121,250,000 Class B-2 Floating Rate Second
Senior Secured Notes due 2010


SPECIALTY RETAILERS: Moody's Downgrades Sr and Bank Debt
--------------------------------------------------------
Approximately $500 Million of Debt Affected.

New York, January 07, 2000 -- Moody's Investors Service
downgraded the debt of Specialty Retailers, Inc. ("Stage"), the
operating subsidiary of Stage Stores Inc. The ratings were also
placed on review for possible further downgrade. The affected
ratings are as follows:

$200 million total revolving credit facilities maturing 2002 to
B2 from B1
$200 million 8.5% guar. senior debenture due 2005 to B2 from B1
Issuer rating to B2 from B1

$100 million 9.0% sr. sub. notes due 2007 to Caa2 from B3

The company's senior implied rating was also lowered to B2 from
B1.

The rating actions reflect Moody's concerns about the company's
near term financial condition and longer term market position
following disappointing holiday sales. Stage reported that same
store sales for the nine-week 1999 holiday period fell 6.7%
versus 1998, and that promotional activity was higher than
expected during this period. Moody's anticipates that lower sales
will be followed by clearance activity, which could cause
operating profits, cash flow, and debt levels for the year ending
February 2000 to be significantly below expectations.

The review will focus on prospects for liquidity given the
likelihood that the company will be unable to meet covenants
under its current bank facility. The company's liquidity was
recently bolstered by increasing its receivables-backed facility.
However, usage of this facility is tied to customer usage of
Stage's proprietary credit card, which in turn is linked to the
level of sales activity. Moody's will also consider Stage's
prospects for improving its market position, on its support from
vendors, and on the company's near term financial condition and
flexibility to respond to weather and other conditions which
influence apparel sales.  Other rating factors include the value
of Stage's relatively low-rent locations; its historic presence
in its markets, as well as competition from other retailers; and
the company's potential to continue expanding its label
offerings.

Stage Stores Inc., and its main operating subsidiary, Specialty
Retailers, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, operate about
680 department stores under the Stage, Bealls, and Palais Royal
names, largely in rural areas.  Revenues were about $1.1 billion
for the year ended January 1999.


SYMONS INTERNATIONAL GROUP: Moody's Lowers Ratings To Caa From B3
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Approximately $135 Million of Preferred Securities Affected.

New York, January 07, 2000 -- Moody's Investors Service has
lowered the preferred securities rating (to "caa" from "b3") of
Symons International Group, Inc. In addition, the financial
strength ratings of the Superior Group, and Pafco General
Insurance Company have been lowered (to B1 from Ba3). The rating
actions reflect the low capitalization and increased regulatory
attention at the non-standard auto operating subsidiaries and the
increased possibility of trust preferred dividends being
deferred, over the medium term. This rating action concludes a
review for possible downgrade initiated on October 29, 1999,
following the announcement by Symons that it was no longer
seeking a buyer for its crop and non-standard
auto operations. In view of the company's severely restricted
financial flexibility, the outlook for the ratings is negative.

Elaborating on its rationale, Moody's noted that increased
regulatory attention could have an adverse impact on the
operating flexibility of subsidiary insurers and on stability of
management fee income. The rating agency also expressed
uncertainty about the adequacy of Symons' internal controls,
given the scope of weaknesses reported in recent public filings.
Moody's also noted the reduced ability of the parent company,
Symons International Group, Inc. to provide support to its
insurance subsidiaries, due to its limited financial flexibility
and high debt obligations.  However, Moody's feels the issues
pressuring the non-standard auto operations are not as
significant for Symons' crop insurance subsidiary,
IGF, whose financial strength rating remains at Ba2.

The following ratings were downgraded:

SIG Capital Trust I - trust preferred securities to "caa" from
"b3";

Symons International Group, Inc. - senior subordinated notes to
Caa2 from B3;

Pafco General Insurance Company - insurance financial strength to
B1 from Ba3;

Superior Insurance Company - insurance financial strength to B1
from Ba3;

Superior American Insurance Company - insurance financial
strength to B1 from Ba3;

Superior Guaranty Insurance Company - insurance financial
strength to B1 from Ba3.

The following rating remains unchanged:

IGF Insurance Company - insurance financial strength at Ba2;

Symons International Group, Inc. is an Indianapolis, Indiana-
based holding company whose subsidiaries underwrite crop
insurance and nonstandard automobile insurance through
independent agents. For nine months ending September 30, 1999,
Symons International reported a net loss of $29.9
million and stockholders' equity of $27.9 million.


UNITED COMPANIES: Duff & Phelps Withdraws Ratings
-------------------------------------------------
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. (DCR) is withdrawing its ratings
for United Companies Financial Corporation (UC).  UC, which has
been operating in Chapter 11 reorganization since March 1, 1999,
recently announced intentions to sell its servicing operation to
EMC Mortgage, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bear Stearns
Companies, Inc., for approximately $895 million.  Previously, UC
sold its origination platform to Aegis Mortgage Corporation.

DCR is a leading global rating agency with 34 local market
offices providing ratings and research on debt issues and
insurance claims paying ability in more than 50 countries.  For
additional research, visit DCR's Web site at
http://www.dcrco.com. DCR's research is also available on  
Bloomberg at DCR and FirstCall's BondCall Direct/Research
Direct at http://www.firstcall.com,as well as through other  
third-party providers.


UNITED COMPANIES FINANCIAL: Signs Agreement For Sale
----------------------------------------------------
United Companies Financial Corporation, which has been operating
in chapter 11 reorganization since March 1, 1999, has signed a
letter agreement for the sale of substantially all of the assets
related to its mortgage servicing, whole loan portfolio and
residual interests to EMC Mortgage Corporation, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc.  The agreement
calls for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $895
million subject to adjustments. Cash on hand and certain other
assets are not included in the sale. The transaction is subject
to the negotiation and execution of definitive documentation,
which is expected to be completed in January 2000. The sale is
further subject to the approval of the United States Bankruptcy
Court and the submission of higher or better offers pursuant to
bidding procedures to be established by the Bankruptcy Court, as
well as the satisfaction of certain other conditions. The letter
agreement also provides that United Companies may bifurcate the
proposed transaction and sell its whole loan portfolio to another
bidder or accelerate the sale of the whole loan portfolio to EMC.

On June 1, 1999, United Companies sold its loan origination
platform to Aegis Mortgage Corporation. Since that time, United
Companies has continued to service a multi-billion dollar
portfolio of home equity and manufactured housing loans while
developing strategies to address its financial difficulties.

"The EMC transaction will allow the company to move closer to
completing its reorganization efforts. We believe that this
transaction, and the Bankruptcy Court approval process, will
maximize the value of United Companies," said Lawrence J.
Ramaekers, Chief Executive Officer of United Companies.

United Companies is a specialty finance company that services
non-traditional consumer loan products.  


V COMPANIES: V Companies, VS Architects File Chapter 11
-------------------------------------------------------
The V Companies and VS Architects Inc., commonly known as the V
Group, filed chapter 11 late Friday in order to allow the firms
to recover from the cost of litigation involving their role in
the design and construction observation of the Jefferson County
Jail in Steubenville, Ohio, according to a newswire report. Paul
V. Voinovich, owner of both companies, said, "A long list of
companies, including several in Northern Ohio, resurrected under
chapter 11 reorganization and are now flourishing. We plan to do
the same. "He also said the filing would have no effect on
the company's capability to meet commitments to customers and
employees. In December a jury returned a $13.3 million judgment
against the two companies involving their contracts for design
and as architect's project representative for the jail's
construction. Voinovich said the companies disagree with the
verdict and will continue pursuing their legal rights. (ABI 10-
Jan-00)


WASTEMASTERS: Court Agrees To Rescind Purchase Agreement
--------------------------------------------------------
WasteMasters, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: WAST) announced today
that the bankruptcy court overseeing Continental Investment
Corporation's (OTC Bulletin Board: CICG) bankruptcy approved the
agreement to rescind a prior purchase agreement in which
Continental acquired 5,000,000 shares of the Company's
Preferred Stock and 4,500,000 shares of its Common Stock.  The
5,000,000 shares of Preferred Stock were convertible into
25,500,000 shares of the Company's Common Stock. The agreement
had been previously announced pending approval from
the bankruptcy court.  Parties have ten days to appeal the
decision of the court. No appeal is expected.  Closing on the
rescission agreement will occur ten days following the appeal
period.

According to the terms of the rescission, WasteMasters, Inc. will
return shares it holds in Continental and one of its
subsidiaries, Continental Technologies Corporation as well as pay
$590,000 to Continental. WasteMasters, Inc. will receive an
operating landfill in Rye Creek, Missouri that was included in
the original transaction. This landfill is currently producing
approximately $600,000 in revenue and netting 7% in after tax net
income.  In addition, a warrant that would have given Continental
100,000,000 shares of WasteMasters Common Stock in exchange for
1,000,000 of Continental Common Stock will be cancelled.  
WasteMasters previously notified Continental that it would not
honor the warrant.  This move completely eliminates the
possibility of future litigation.

Douglas Holsted, President of the Company, stated:  "The long
time spent to completely separate Continental and WasteMasters is
finally coming to an end. This outcome is tremendous; we will
reduce our outstanding stock, bring in an operating asset, and
eliminate the outstanding warrant.  Continental wins also.
They separate from us, get their stock back and get enough cash
to allow them to concentrate on their difficulties.  It is a
pleasure to get the landfill back. Since its acquisition by
Continental no one has made any effort to improve the landfill's
operations.  We will be able to quickly build on the performance
of this landfill."

J.B. Morris, Chairman and President of Continental Investment
Corporation is satisfied with the outcome.  He claimed, "This
decision was an integral part in our ability to come out of
bankruptcy.  I could not be more pleased."

"Rye Creek is a vital landfill for WasteMasters in that the
operation generates revenues and net income.  This is not a
development or contingent on permitting -- it is a currently
operating landfill," said Leon Blaser, the Chairman of
WasteMasters.  "This is a small but significant step for re-
building WasteMasters' operations."

David Fuselier of The Ridgefield Group, WasteMasters' turn-around
consultant continued:  "Both companies and their management were
vigilant in resolving the largest singular dilemma of each
company.  This took an incredible amount of time and effort over
the past six months.  This one transaction substantially
stabilizes WasteMasters and certainly clears the balance sheet of
the convertible preferred and the 4,500,000 of common.  The
transaction will be financed via a loan from a third party
lender."


WHITE MOUNTAINS GROUP: Moody's Revises Its Outlook To Negative
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cites Increased Risk Profile Suggested by Acquisition of PCA

New York, January 07, 2000 -- Moody's Investors Service has
revised its outlook on the ratings of White Mountains Insurance
Group, Ltd. (senior debt at Baa2) and its main operating
subsidiary Folksamerica Reinsurance (insurance financial strength
at A3), from stable to negative. This action follows the recent
announcement by Folksamerica Re that it has signed a definitive
agreement to acquire PCA Property & Casualty Insurance Company
(PCA), a subsidiary of Humana, Inc. for $125 million. PCA is a
Florida-based insurance company that until late 1996, assumed
workers' compensation business written mainly through self-
insurance funds. Until recently, PCA was under state supervision;
it is currently in run-off. The rating agency expressed concern
over the higher reserve leverage as a result of the transaction,
and substantial increase to Folksamerica Re's reserve risk, given
the long-tail nature of the liabilities assumed.

Elaborating on the outlook, Moody's cited the somewhat diminished
capital strength at Folksamerica resulting from higher reserve
leverage, and the potential for adverse reserve development,
related to the assumed loss portfolio. Although reserving risk is
substantial, it is somewhat offset by the discount purchase
price. The rating agency noted that while the White Mountains
Insurance Group has a good track record for assuming books of
business (most recently USF Re and the Consolidated Insurance
Group) the magnitude of this particular transaction, and its
potential impact on Folksamerica Re's financial strength warrants
the change in outlook. Folksamerica Re is a wholly owned
subsidiary of the White Mountains Insurance Group, and one of the
main operating units within the group.

Folksamerica ranks among the top 20 largest broker market
reinsurers in the USA, and its business profile consists of a
balanced mix of property and casualty business, predominantly in
the U.S. It is the largest insurance operating subsidiary of
White Mountain Insurance Group, Inc. (formerly Fund American
Enterprises Holdings, Inc.), a Bermuda-based holding company with
consolidated shareholders' equity of $623.7 million as September
30, 1999. For the first nine months of 1999, White Mountains
reported consolidated net income of $104.6 million, which
includes a $52.8 million gain from the sale of the Valley Group
insurance operations.


Meetings, Conferences and Seminars
----------------------------------

January 13-15, 2000
   AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE
      Real Estate Financing Documentation:
      Coping with the New Realities
         Doubletree La Posada Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona
            Contact: 1-800-CLE-NEWS

February 24-26, 2000
   AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE
      Chapter 11 Business Reorganizations
         Walt Disney World, Orland, Florida
            Contact: 1-800-CLE-NEWS

February 27-March 1, 2000
   NORTON INSTITUTES ON BANKRUPTCY LAW
      Norton Bankruptcy Litigation Institute I
         Olympic Park Hotel, Park City, Utah
            Contact: 1-770-535-7722

March 2-5, 2000
   COMMERICAL LAW LEAGUE OF AMERICA
      1st Annual Winder Conference
         Radisson Resort Hotel, Scottsdale, Arizona
            Contact: 1-561-241-7301 or 1-213-487-7550

March 9, 2000
   NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEES
      Spring Seminar
         Somewhere in New Orleans, Louisiana
            Contact: 1-803-252-5646 or info@nabt.com

March 9-10, 2000
   RENAISSANCE AMERICAN CONFERENCES & BEARD GROUP, INC.
      Healthcare Restructurings: Successful Strategies
      for Managing Distressed FinancesConference on
         The Regal Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago, Illinois
            Contact: 1-903-592-5169 or ram@ballistic.com   
   
March 23-25, 2000
   SOUTHEASTERN BANKRUPTCY LAW INSTITUTE, INC.
      26th Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute
         Marriott Marquis Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia
            Contact: 1-770-451-4448

March 30-April 2, 2000
   NORTON INSTITUTES ON BANKRUPTCY LAW
      Norton Bankruptcy Litigation Institute II
         Flamingo Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
            Contact: 1-770-535-7722

April 3-4, 2000
   PRACTISING LAW INSTITUTE
      22nd Annual Current Developments in
      Bankruptcy and Reorganization Conference
         PLI Conference Center, New York, New York
            Contact: 1-800-260-4PLI

April 5-8, 2000
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Spring Conference
         The Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
         Phoenix, Arizona
            Contact: 1-312-822-9700 or info@turnaround.org
         
April 6-7, 2000
   AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE
      Commercial Securitization for Real Estate Lawyers
         Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
            Contact: 1-800-CLE-NEWS

April 10-11, 2000
   PRACTISING LAW INSTITUTE
      22nd Annual Current Developments in
      Bankruptcy and Reoorganization Conference
         Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Francisco, California
            Contact: 1-800-260-4PLI

May 4-5, 2000
   RENAISSANCE AMERICAN CONFERENCES & BEARD GROUP, INC.
      Bankruptcy Sales & Acquisitions
         The Renaissance Stanford Court Hotel
         San Francisco, California
            Contact: 1-903-592-5169 or ram@ballistic.com   

June 29-July 2, 2000
   NORTON INSTITUTES ON BANKRUPTCY LAW
      Western Mountains Bankruptcy Law Institute
         Jackson Lake Lodge, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
            Contact: 1-770-535-7722

August 14-15, 2000
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Advanced Education Workshop
         Loewes Vanderbilt Plaza, Nashville, Tennessee
            Contact: 1-312-822-9700 or info@turnaround.org
         
September 12-17, 2000
   NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEES
      Convention
         Doubletree Resort, Montery, California
            Contact: 1-803-252-5646 or info@nabt.com

September 21-22, 2000
   RENAISSANCE AMERICAN CONFERENCES & BEARD GROUP, INC.
      3rd Annual Conference on Corporate Reorganizations
         The Regal Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago, Illinois
            Contact: 1-903-592-5169 or ram@ballistic.com   


November 2-6, 2000
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Annual Conference
         Hyatt Regency, Baltimore, Maryland
            Contact: 312-822-9700 or info@turnaround.com

The Meetings, Conferences and Seminars column appears
in the TCR each Tuesday.  Submissions via e-mail to
conferences@bankrupt.com are encouraged.  


                     *********


A listing of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears each
Tuesday in the TCR.

Bond pricing, appearing each Friday, is supplied by DLS Capital
Partners, Dallas, Texas.

                     *********

S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published
by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, NJ, and Beard
Group, Inc., Washington, DC.  Debra Brennan, Yvonne L. Metzler,
Edem Alfeche and Ronald Ladia, Editors.

Copyright 2000.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1520-9474.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.  Information
contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 301/951-6400.


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