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Attorney Suzanne ShinnThis writing may be a bit premature for the Thanksgiving season, but several things have happened within the last seven to ten days and the above statement “gratitude costs you nothing” is a phrase that kept coming up in my mind over and over again. I wish I could take credit for that phrase but it is not my own, however, this phrase reminds me of a writer in the Bible that wrote:

“Be thankful, IN ALL THINGS” (emphasis mine); and

“I have learned how to abased (be lacking) and I how to abound (be increasing), and in ALL things I have learned how to be content in whatever state I am in.” (emphasis mine)

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

19 hours 55 min ago

Discussions around reinstating the Depression-era law are headline-grabbing, but Glass-Steagall has no merit in our current financial environment.

Read More from: BankThink

20 hours 34 min ago


Focus on the AB InBev and SABMiller merger

Having received the sanction of antitrust regulators in Europe, the U.S., China and South Africa, the planned merger of brewing giants AB InBev and SABMiller was scrutinised this week by the High Court in London on a topic very familiar to those acquainted with English law restructurings: class composition. The outcome of the hearing, that not all members of SABMiller should be considered to be in the same class for scheme voting purposes, raises some interesting questions around class composition because of the unusual circumstances of the proposed merger.


The merger, valued at a British record of £79 billion, is set to be carried out by an English law scheme of arrangement. Similar to their use in the restructuring market, schemes are frequently used in mergers because of their ability to force dissenting members to sell their shares whether or not they vote in favour of a scheme, thereby offering certainty of acquisition of 100% of the target for the bidder.

22 hours 8 min ago

man-316917_1280_optWill the judge approve my bankruptcy case?

Do I have to explain to the judge why I’m in bankruptcy?

What if the judge makes a plan I can’t pay?

When you’re considering bankruptcy, you start to think about your upcoming encounter with a federal bankruptcy judge.

Black robes.  Sober face.  Gobs of power over your finances.

It can be unnerving.

Relax. Chances are, you’ll never even meet a bankruptcy judge in the flesh.

You’ll collect the judge’s signature on the important orders in your case, but you’ll never come face to face.

Job of a bankruptcy judge

Think of the bankruptcy judge as an umpire.  He enforces the rules of the game and decides disputes.  Safe?  Out?

22 hours 43 min ago

Screen scraping is an out-of-date way to share transaction data with mobile apps and services. It's high time for banks to invest in OAuth, a protocol that lets customers access their financial data in a portal of their choosing and is secure.

Read More from: BankThink

23 hours 4 min ago

Wall Street Journal

Arbitration rule comments: The CFPB received nearly 13,000 comments on its proposed rule that would restrict the use of mandatory arbitration clauses and make it easier for consumers to sue banks. The rule would prohibit financial services companies from using the clauses to block class-action suits, although consumers would still be required to use arbitration to resolve individual disputes. The agency is expected to issue a final rule next year after it reviews...

Read More from: BankThink

23 hours 34 min ago

bankruptcy-attorney-brad-botesFor many of our clients, the automatic stay is the best thing that has happened to them in a long, long time. In fact, in my opinion, there is no other provision of the law that can do more good for an individual more quickly than the automatic stay.

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

23 hours 57 min ago

In re Lake Michigan Beach Pottawattamie Resort LLC, 547 B.R. 899 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2016) – A mortgage lender moved to dismiss a chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed on the eve of foreclosure without the lender’s consent (in its role … Continue reading

1 day 2 hours ago

New Jersey does poorly when it comes to the average amount of student loan debt that state residents have accumulated, according to a recent study of student loans taken out by people across the United States.

The study was conducted by LendEDU, a popular independent marketplace for student loans and student loan refinancing. According to data compiled by the LendEDU researchers who focused on 1,300 U.S. colleges and universities, New Jersey had the ninth-worst average student loan debt among residents who attended college in 2015. The average student loan debt accumulated by borrowers in New Jersey was in excess of $30,000, which was more than $2,000 higher than the average debt accumulated by student loan recipients on a national level.

In addition to the fact that NJ students are racking up significant debts while trying to earn college degrees, there is another, potentially more significant problem: a high percentage of college students in New Jersey find themselves taking out student loans in the first place. According to the LendEDU study, approximately 63 percent of all New Jersey college students have to borrow in order to attend university.

1 day 15 hours ago

I came across a woman recently who was considering chapter 7 bankruptcy. She had a home that was underwater by more than $175,000. She had absolutely no intention of keeping the home. Her goal was to stay in the home for as long as possible, surrender it to the lender after a sheriff sale, and+ Read More

The post When Assets Are Potentially At Risk, Stick With Chapter 13 appeared first on David M. Siegel.

1 day 19 hours ago

Companies like Prosper have revolutionized the front end of the consumer lending experience, but they have not proven able to handle even minor financial bumps without running off the road.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 19 hours ago

California small business

Small businesses stand to gain a bit of protection from adverse financial events if the California Assembly passes S.B. 308.

Cash, inventory, or receivables up to $5,000 would be protected under the proposed bill should the entrepreneur get into financial trouble.  The amount is modest, but current law has no protection for the basics of running a business.

So even a bit is more than small businesses have now.

However, small business owners will continue to face business-ending legal action unless the Assembly passes S.B. 308 before the end of this session.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses has joined the push for California exemption reform.

NFIB’s announcement of support reminded Assembly members:

1 day 22 hours ago

Sure, there is an inherent business tension between banks' digital offerings and personal financial management software. However, the ground rules for making account data available to consumers for use in external software products and apps are in place and the so-called rivalry is overblown.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 22 hours ago

Wall Street Journal Paying for convenience: More than 20% of bank customers would be willing to pay as much as $3 a month to use their bank's mobile app while about 40% would be in at $1 a month, according to a survey by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Banks could generate as much as $500 million in annual revenue by charging customers, S&P says, with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase the biggest winners. Â...

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 7 min ago

A failure to cooperate

By: Donald L. Swanson

Two local municipal authorities in Ohio are not cooperating.  So, a local judge orders them to mediate the dispute between them, according to this news report from The Athens Messenger.

The Facts

One municipality, a local school district, wants to connect a proposed wellness center into the sewer system of the local village.

The local village says it can’t allow the proposed sewer connection, unless the village is able to annex the proposed wellness center.

Apparently, the school district is opposed to annexation but wants the sewer connection anyway, so it sues the village to get its way.

The Court’s Ruling

The village files a motion to dismiss the school district’s lawsuit.

Read More from: Mediatbankry

2 days 2 hours ago

Attorney Mary PoolAs most Alabamians know, on Friday, the Alabama Senate passed Governor Bentley’s lottery bill.  It is now up to the House to decide if the people of Alabama will be able to vote upon Governor Bentley’s lottery.  A vote for Governor Bentley’s proposed lottery will require that the anti-gambling clause of the Alabama Constitution be repealed.  If the anti-gambling verbiage is removed from Alabama’s Constitution then that could and likely would open the door for all gambling.

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

2 days 17 hours ago

Bankruptcy filings by major cities have reinvigorated attention to municipal bankruptcy. As chapter 9 and its application have become more like chapter 11, a wide range of creditors are being swept into the process. As written before, city cases now have classes of general unsecured creditors. Those classes also have been including plaintiffs in civil rights lawsuits alleging unconstitutional police conduct. The proposed payouts vary.  San Bernardino's bankruptcy plan, which seeks to release the liability of non-debtor officers as well as the debtor, has been proposing a 1% payout. The confirmation hearing is currently set for October 2016.  Some cities with systemic police practice problems - Ferguson, Chicago - also are known to have pervasive financial difficulties. I am not suggesting or predicting they will end up in bankruptcy, but it is another reminder that civil rights advocates need to be up to speed on the impact of chapter 9, if only to be able to bargain in its shadow as other types of creditors do.

Read More from: Credit Slips

2 days 20 hours ago

I'm trying something new this year. My consumer bankruptcy policy seminar students will read many great articles by many wonderful academics on this blog, as well as others, but this year, their "reading" will also include a great deal of YouTube.

90% of the videos are John Oliver segments from his excellent show on HBO, Last Week Tonight. They cover particular "products" (student loans, credit reports, debt buying, payday loans, auto loans, retirement plans and financial advisors) and middle class issues (minimum wage, wage gap, wealth gap, paid family leave).

Read More from: Credit Slips

2 days 22 hours ago

Despite headwinds working against the mortgage insurance industry, this business could be the catalyst for bringing private capital back to the mortgage market.

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 23 hours ago

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Blame it on bitcoin: Bitcoin may be fueling the recent surge in ransomware attacks, which have quadrupled in the past year to about 4,000 a day, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, "Attacks spiked this year amid the growing use of bitcoin and improved encryption software," the Wall Street Journal said. "Bitcoin is now the preferred payment method of most ransomware infections because it allows users to send and receive money...

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 23 hours ago