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Federal Reserve Headquarters in Washington DCThe Federal Reserve recently made the surprising decision not to raise interest rates this month, instead choosing to push back a rate hike until December. This has raised concerns that the economy could continue to struggle, which could lead to a rise in the total number of bankruptcies filed by individuals who are dealing with enormous debts.

The Fed’s non-decision was made at a two-day policy meeting of members of the Federal Open Market Committee, with members on the 10-person committee voting to maintain the current federal funds rate of between 0.25 percent and 0.50 percent.

In a statement, the Fed indicated that there is a need “to wait for further evidence of continued progress” before significantly raising interest rates to between 0.50 percent and 0.75 percent.

18 hours 58 min ago

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Caesars (photo by Marilyn Swanson)

Judge Goldbar is right.

Bankruptcy Judge A. Benjamin Goldbar, of Chicago, received lots of grief in recent days over the resignation of the Caesars mediator.  The resignation letter focuses on “atypical” language on mediation confidentiality that Judge Goldbar used to support his order terminating a stay of legal action against the Caesars parent company.  Here’s an article on the resignation.

But subsequent developments show that Judge Goldbar was right on the merits of the stay termination.

Judge Goldbar found the stay’s continuing existence to be an impediment to settlement–indicating that the stay’s termination would apply pressure toward achieving a settlement.

So, he terminated the stay (and used the offending mediation confidentiality language as part of the rationale for doing so).  Judge Goldbar is now proven to be correct that stay termination would improve settlement possibilities:

Read More from: Mediatbankry

19 hours 34 min ago
  Judge Gravelle of the Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey ruled that a 2nd mortgage secured by property that was owned by debtor and a non-filing ex-spouse of the Debtor can be stripped in a chapter 13 case.  In re Mensah-Narh, No. 15-33385 (CMG), 2016 WL 5334973 (Bankr. D.N.J. Sept. 23, 2016).  The motion was filed as to the Debtor's residence.  The ex-spouse signed his interest to the Debtor by quit-claim deed after the bankruptcy was filed.  Both the note and mortgage were signed by both the Debtor and the ex-spouse.  There was no evidence the the record as to any requirement in the divorce for him to transfer his interest in the property to the Debtor.
  Section 506(a)(1) of  the Bankruptcy Code permits debtors to modify secured claims by stripping down the secured portion of the claim where the value of the property is less than the secured portion.  Nobleman v. Am Sav. Bank, 508 U.S. 324, 328 n.3 (1991) made this available to debtors in chapter 13 cases.  While this is not available when there is any equity in the property after the prior mortgages per 11 U.S.C. 1322(b)(2); where the mortgage to be stripped is wholly unsecured, the relief is still available.  In re McDonald, 205 F.3d 606 (3rd Cir. 2000).  

Read More from: Tampa Bankruptcy

22 hours 15 min ago

new paper by Franceso D'Acunto and Albert Rossi, both at the University of Maryland's Department of Finance, contends that the Dodd-Frank Act resulted in "a substantial redistribution of credit from middle-class households to wealthy households", as lenders reacted to regulations by reducing credit to middle-class households and increasing it to wealthy households.  This conclusion is based on a regression analysis of loan and ZIP-code level HMDA data.  The redistribution point is a serious charge to be leveled at the Dodd-Frank Act, and you can bet that this paper is going to be repeatedly cited by Congressional Republicans in their attempts to repeal Dodd-Frank. 

Read More from: Credit Slips

23 hours 1 min ago

Concerns about cross-selling run deeper than the risk of misbehavior. The practice also has a questionable economic rationale.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 1 min ago

The bad-news stories about the largest institutions are worrisome in light of housing finance proposals that could benefit the big banks even more.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 2 hours ago

Kathryn DavisITT Technical Institute closed down in early September, leaving more than 35,000 students without a school, and leaving thousands of employees without a job.  Following the closure, the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indiana.  ITT Tech is the second major for-profit college that has filed for bankruptcy in the past two years.  Corinthian College filed in May 2015.

ITT Tech Barred From Accepting Student’s Federal Aid

ITT Tech blamed the closure on new requirements imposed by the U.S. Department of Education.  In August, the agency barred ITT Tech from enrolling new students using federal financial aid.  ITT Tech relied heavily on federal financial aid for its funding.  When announcing this action, the Department pointed out that ITT Tech had been twice found out of compliance with its acceditor’s standards in 2016 alone.  In the Department’s eyes, this put the students and millions of dollars at risk.

Read More from: Bonds & Botes, P.C.

1 day 2 hours ago

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Good news, bad news: Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo had some good news and some bad news for U.S. commercial banks on Monday. First, he said the Fed is proposing easing stress-test requirements for banks with less than $250 billion in assets that don't engage in significant nonbank or international activity. But the central bank is also considering a separate proposal, to be issued sometime next year, that would have the effect...

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 3 hours ago

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Mediation Desert (photo by Justin Swanson)

By: Donald L. Swanson

“Food deserts” are “places where many residents don’t have access to a full-service grocery store within a mile of home in urban areas or 10 miles in rural ones.”

–Wall Street Journal, 7/12/2015

“Mediation deserts” are courts that don’t (or won’t) provide access, by rule or statute, to mediation as a dispute resolution tool.

It’s hard to imagine that a mediation desert can exist these days in any court, anywhere, in the United States: state court, county court, city court, Federal court – any court.

But to have multiple mediation deserts within the Federal court system is astonishing!

–The last numbers I’ve seen indicate that nearly 50% of all bankruptcy courts operate without a local mediation rule.  Here’s hoping this percentage is grossly incorrect!

And, of course, there is no express provision for mediation in the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (other than Rule 8027 regarding appeals).

Read More from: Mediatbankry

1 day 5 hours ago

Your house and bankruptcy covers a lot of issues. A new client has one scenario:  has a house that is underwater (not ice yet, like the picture displayed) being worth less than what is owed on that house. So, they rent a different house for their residence. But, those tenants are not paying their rent. [...]

The post House and Bankruptcy appeared first on Detroit Bankruptcy Lawyer Kurt O'Keefe.

Read More from: Stop Creditor

1 day 7 hours ago
I'm not an oenophile.  But some folks are, and some of them spend very large amounts of money on wine, even without knowing how it tastes.  Not surprisingly, this is a market vulnerable to fraud. One fraud varietal is simply to market swill as high-end wine.  But another is to sell wine before it's even been made--basically forward contracts on wine--collecting the money at time 1 and then never delivering at time 2.  It's a simple Harold Hill (The Music Man) type scam.  It can also be rolled over into a Ponzi scheme whereby later customers are funding the purchases of the initial customers.  And that seems to be what happened with an outfit called Premier Cru, which ultimately filed for bankruptcy. 
 

Read More from: Credit Slips

1 day 16 hours ago

bitcoinsIn the latest opinion to wrestle with the question of whether virtual currency should be considered money, Judge Aliso

Read More from: eSQUIRE Global Crossings

2 days 1 hour ago

linda-hughesAs corny as it may sound, I like to think of the folks I work with as family. Many of the attorneys and staff members at Bond & Botes have been with us for a long time. We have shared good times and bad. There have been weddings, children born, graduations, birthdays and so much more. Not everybody can say that they enjoy what they do for a living and the people that they do it with. I know that I am fortunate to be able to say both and thank God daily for his blessings.

Read More from: Bonds & Botes, P.C.

2 days 1 hour ago

Up until now, no fintech company has succeeded on a mass scale to offer solutions beyond its core product. But disruptors are trying to go in that direction, and banks should watch their efforts closely.

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 2 hours ago

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Backwater no longer: Payment systems have long been a backwater of finance, but all that is changing, the Financial Times says in a special report on "The Payments Revolution." While the expansion of online shopping and mobile payment devices has spurred massive growth, "the industry is entering a period of extreme disruption. The dominant players — the banks and credit card companies — face an uncertain future. A fast-growing group of upstart...

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 3 hours ago

This year, KeyCorp executed the second-largest bank acquisition by deal value since the financial crisis and announced a groundbreaking commitment to do $16.5 billion of lending to low- and moderate-income communities across several states. Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney also purposely raised the visibility of other executives at her company, to bring more diversity of thought into the companyÂ's decision-making process. But Mooney doesn't see an end to her days of trailblazing yet.

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 13 hours ago

The staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission is working on a proposal to amend the current diversity disclosure rule to require more specificity, including information on the race, gender and ethnicity of board members and nominees. Here's why.

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 13 hours ago

Elkhorn bankruptcy attorney Shannon Wynn knows that fall and winter are the hardest times of year to save money. Your gas bill goes up. Your electric bill skyrockets. Your vehicle is using more gas. You’re spending money on holiday dinners and holiday gifts. Property taxes are due just one short month after Christmas. How can anyone be expected to actually save money during this time? It seems impossible. Our Elkhorn bankruptcy attorney, Shannon Wynn, has put together a list of strategies to help you save money during fall and winter.

 

Read More from: Wynn at Law, LLC

3 days 8 hours ago

John Dizard has a useful, and clearly written, piece on the lay of the land in this morning's FT. What puzzles me is why PDVSA, the national oil company,  has not done a UK scheme of arrangement or a US prepack to exchange the bonds, instead of messing around with an exchange offer. But the entire situation is rather opaque.

Read More from: Credit Slips

4 days 59 min ago

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