ABI Blog Exchange

People (and institutions) like rules that give them a competitive edge. You need only to look at the recent headlines and the media coverage of “Deflate Gate” to understand this basic concept. Reportedly, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and other quarterbacks lobbied the NFL to allow each team to supply its own set of footballs for use by that team’s quarterback during games. Note—I am not suggesting ill motive on the part of either Brady or Manning (or the others).  Although I never played quarterback, I can understand a quarterback’s desire to select personally his own game-day equipment.  How does any of this relate to chapter 11 reform? To answer that question, ask yourself a different one: Do you like how chapter 11 currently resolves your client’s key issues in most instances? If you answered “yes,” you likely see no reason for reform. If you answered “no,” you likely would favor reform, but perhaps only those aspects of reform beneficial to your client. Therein lies the ever-present dilemma for policymakers:  implementing the best policy for the overall federal bankruptcy system in the midst of so much noise.

Read More from: Credit Slips

3 hours 42 min ago
The SEC has announced that it will host a roundtable on February 19 on ways to improve the proxy voting process. 
16 hours 54 min ago
“I am broke.” I’m sorry about that. But you can probably fix it. The Los Angeles bankruptcy law firm of Bayer Wishman Leotta  has built a 34 year reputation for getting clients out of debt. I know. Bankruptcy is the last thing you want to think about. I want to explain why a lawyer makes a career in the practice of bankruptcy law. If you can understand that, then I think you will understand why a bankruptcy case is a valuable consumer tool. And, that a bankruptcy case is nothing you should fear.
Why we practice bankruptcy law. We don’t do it for the money. You think a lawyer gets rich representing folks who are broke? Please, tell me how to do that. The fact is a lawyer does not make a mint doing bankruptcy work. I won’t deny that we make a comfortable living. But that comes from decades of putting in 12 to 14 hour work days. Often, six days a week. And, many years of difficult study and passing a bar exam.  (Roughly half of all bar takers fail to pass.)  But nobody we gets rich doing this. How can you, when your clients are broke? Lawyers that go into law to make money wind up doing divorces. Accidents. Corporate and entertainment law. They get jobs on Wall Street. The gold diggers are smart enough not to go into bankupcy law. And, that’s a good thing. Making a lot of money is the wrong reason to be a bankruptcy lawyer. Here’s why.

Read More from: Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog

20 hours 15 min ago
In this installment of the Bankruptcy Blog’s series on the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, we turn our attention to the recommendations and findings on the trustee’s avoiding powers (section V.C.), the standard for reviewing settlements and compromises (section V.G.), and the in pari delicto doctrine (section V.H.). Avoiding Powers The ABI Commission focused on two aspects of the trustee’s powers of avoidance under the Bankruptcy Code: the trustee’s ability to pursue preference claims under section 547 and to recover property involved in any avoided transfers (or the value of such property) under section 550. A preference is a transfer of property to or for the benefit of a creditor, made within 90 days of the filing of the bankruptcy petition by an insolvent debtor on account of a preexisting debt, which allows the transferee to receive more than it would have received in a chapter 7 liquidation. A preference defendant can rebut the showing of a prima facie preference by establishing certain defenses.
21 hours 8 sec ago
In this installment of the Bankruptcy Blog’s series on the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, we turn our attention to the recommendations and findings on the trustee’s avoiding powers (section V.C.), the standard for reviewing settlements and compromises (section V.G.), and the in pari delicto doctrine (section V.H.). Avoiding Powers The ABI Commission focused on two aspects of the trustee’s powers of avoidance under the Bankruptcy Code: the trustee’s ability to pursue preference claims under section 547 and to recover property involved in any avoided transfers (or the value of such property) under section 550. A preference is a transfer of property to or for the benefit of a creditor, made within 90 days of the filing of the bankruptcy petition by an insolvent debtor on account of a preexisting debt, which allows the transferee to receive more than it would have received in a chapter 7 liquidation. A preference defendant can rebut the showing of a prima facie preference by establishing certain defenses.
21 hours 8 sec ago
A spate of recent account closings at churches and charities suggests that Operation Choke Point and other de-risking directives are causing collateral damage to faith-based organizations.

Read More from: BankThink

23 hours 8 min ago
SkyMall files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection | January 23, 2015 SkyMall filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code on January 23, 2015 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona under Case No. 15-00679-BKM. The Debtors in the proceedings are SkyMall, LLC (“SkyMall”); Xhibit Corp. (“Xhibit”); Xhibit Interactive, LLC; FlyReply Corp.; SHC Parent Corp.; SpyFire Interactive, LLC; Stacked Digital, LLC; and SkyMall Interests, LLC. Scott Wiley is the Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) and Acting Chief Executive Officer (“Acting CEO”) of Xhibit Corp. (“Xhibit”). I have been the CFO of Xhibit, Xhibit Interactive, LLC, FlyReply Corp., SpyFire Interactive, LLC, and Stacked Digital, LLC since September 11, 2013. He has been the CFO of SkyMall, LLC (“SkyMall”), SkyMall Interests, LLC, and SHC Parent Corp. (collectively, the “SkyMall Companies”) since October 5, 2009. He became the Acting CEO of Xhibit and SkyMall on November 16, 2014, after the resignation of Kevin Weiss, the former Chief Executive Officer. Xhibit Interactive, LLC is managed by its Manager, Xhibit. SpyFire Interactive, LLC is managed by its Manager, Xhibit Interactive, LLC. Stacked Digital, LLC is managed by its Manager, Xhibit Interactive, LLC. Scott Wiley discusses the filing: Organizational Structure “Xhibit, f/k/a NB Manufacturing, Inc., was incorporated on September 19, 2001 in the State of Nevada.

Read More from: Richard G. Grant, P.C.

23 hours 17 min ago
Authored by Samantha Alves Orender of Rogers TowersOn January 1, 2015, United States District Judge Hinkle issued an Order  ruling that all Florida counties are to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as of January 6, 2015. The implications of this ruling are significant for same-sex couples, and their creditors as well. There are various legal aspects to consider as Florida law adjusts to incorporate same-sex married couples into the fold, but one question is whether the protections of The Equal Credit Opportunity Act  (the “ECOA”) will apply to individuals married under Florida law.

Read More from: Florida Banking Law Blog

1 day 22 min ago
The United States Bankruptcy Court District of Montana Case Management – Electronic Case Filing System (CMECF) will be down for equipment relocation from Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 05:00 PM until Monday, February 2, 2015 at 08:00 AM.             
1 day 34 min ago
A bronze statue of Caesar is seen at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Zuma Press
Creditors of Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s largest unit lined up Monday to challenge the gambling company’s bid to work through its $18.4 billion debt load in a bankruptcy court in Chicago. The Wall Street Journal has the Daily Bankruptcy Review article here. (Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) A former Lehman Brothers trader is still fighting for bonus money he says is owed him from 2008, DBR reports in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 56 min ago
A bronze statue of Caesar is seen at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Zuma Press
Creditors of Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s largest unit lined up Monday to challenge the gambling company’s bid to work through its $18.4 billion debt load in a bankruptcy court in Chicago. The Wall Street Journal has the Daily Bankruptcy Review article here. (Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) A former Lehman Brothers trader is still fighting for bonus money he says is owed him from 2008, DBR reports in WSJ.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 56 min ago
The traditional method of measuring mortgage denials is fundamentally flawed. Evaluating not just the quantity but also the quality of mortgage applicants can give a clearer picture of actual denial rates.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 1 hour ago
Wal-Mart Stores is appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to vacate a mandatory injunction that requires Wal-Mart to include a shareholder proposal in its 2015 proxy materials, and the declaration that Wal-Mart should not have excluded the proposal in 2014.  
1 day 1 hour ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Pushback Against ECB Rules: Last week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, gave European bankers unhappy with stricter capital rules a chance to air their grievances. The Financial Times reports bankers in Davos argued that tough capital requirements will render the European Central Bank's quantitative easing less effective. They say the initiatives work at cross-purposes: QE is meant to encourage investors to take on riskier assets that invigorate the economy, while the...

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 2 hours ago
Can a company really melt? Putting aside a business with a perishable product or inventory, does management really wake up one morning and say, “Wow, if we do not sell this company in 30 days or less, we will lose significant value for our stakeholders.” I highly doubt it. Rather, I think a company “melts” because management leaves the freezer door open too long, or perhaps a particular stakeholder has its foot in the door. (For a thoughtful article on the melting ice cube issue, see here.) 

Read More from: Credit Slips

1 day 3 hours ago
In re Sterling Bluff Investors, LLC, 515 B.R. 902 (Bankr. S.D. Ga. 2014) – A mortgagee moved to dismiss a real estate debtor’s chapter 11 case, or in the alternative for relief from the automatic stay.  It contended that the debtor filed … Continue reading →
1 day 4 hours ago
Sometimes you’ve got a question you need answered before you make the decision to hire a lawyer. Questions such as:
  • Can I transfer property out of my name to protect it from a bankruptcy filing?
  • Can I get a mortgage after filing bankruptcy?
  • Can a school withhold my transcripts for not paying a student loan?
  • Is it a good idea to have my parents co-sign for my student loans?
  • How do I stop a debt collector from calling me?
  • How long does negative information remain on my credit report?
It used to be that you had two choices when you needed those questions answered – you could sit on the Internet all day trying to figure out which website had the right answer, or you could drag yourself into a lawyer’s office and waste a few hours of your time. I’m happy to tell you that you now have a third choice – Money Go Roundtable. Money Go Roundtable is a podcast that I cohost with my friend and colleague Gene Melchionne. Each work day we choose a question like the ones above (in fact, we answer those exact questions on the show) in ten minutes. It’s free to subscribe, free to listen, and free to ask your general question. Just click the button to subscribe in iTunes.
1 day 6 hours ago
The following is from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Banks to Pay $35.7 Million After Loan Officers Illegally Traded Referrals for Cash and Marketing Services The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Maryland Attorney General took action against Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase for an illegal marketing-services-kickback scheme they participated in with Genuine Title, a now-defunct title company. The Bureau and Maryland also took action against former Wells Fargo employee Todd Cohen and his wife, Elaine Oliphant Cohen, for their involvement.  Genuine Title gave the banks’ loan officers cash, marketing materials, and consumer information in exchange for business referrals. The proposed consent orders, filed in federal court, would require $24 million in civil penalties from Wells Fargo, $600,000 in civil penalties from JPMorgan Chase, and $11.1 million in redress to consumers whose loans were involved in this scheme. Cohen and Oliphant Cohen also will pay a $30,000 penalty.
1 day 16 hours ago
The Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules has devised and proposed a national chapter 13 plan form. The newest version of the form has been published for comment. The comment period expires February 17, 2015. A copy of the form can be found here. proposed chapter 13 plan Comments about the proposed may be submitted online at this address.
1 day 16 hours ago
B-I-C Evan Flaschen and Ilia O’Hearn recently co-authored the United States Q&A for Practical Law‘s Restructuring and Insolvency Multi-jurisdictional Guide. For the full Q&A click here. By: Bracewell & Giuliani LLP

Read More from: Basis Points

1 day 20 hours ago

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