|NEWS AND ANALYSIS
ABI’S "PUERTO RICO IN DISTRESS" WEBSITE PROVIDES LATEST NEWS, ANALYSIS AND MORE ON PUERTO RICO'S DEBT CRISIS
As Puerto Rico continues to map out plans to restructure nearly $72 billion in municipal debt, ABI has launched the "Puerto Rico in Distress" website to help navigate the news and analysis of the island's ongoing debt crisis. The site draws upon a number of resources to provide the latest news and analysis on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, as well as proposals for restructuring its municipal debt (as a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is not eligible to restructure its debts under chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code). Sections featured on the new site include:
- Puerto Rico in the News: Latest news from around the Internet.
- Twitter Feed: All Twitter posts on Puerto Rico's debt crisis.
- Video Features: In-depth selected videos.
- Selected Articles/Analysis/Reports: Articles featured on Puerto Rico in the daily ABI Headlines, as well as special reports about the Commonwealth and chapter 9 bankruptcy.
- Podcast: ABI Executive Director Sam Gerdano interviewing Sonia Colòn and Javier Vilariño Santiago of Ferraiuoli LLC in Puerto Rico about the "Puerto Rico Recovery Act" and issues surrounding PREPA. (Aug. 14, 2014)
- Analysis: Select articles on Puerto Rico from the ABI Journal, research and studies, and op-eds and commentaries.
- Bloomberg Briefs: Updated news, charts and statistics from Bloomberg Briefs' Puerto Rico Special newsletter.
- Legislative News: Legislation and hearings on allowing Puerto Rico access to chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
- Court Opinions: U.S. District Court ruling from February 2015 striking down Puerto Rico's Recovery Act, along with the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling from July 2015 upholding the U.S. District Court.
- ABI Bankruptcy Brief: Select editions of the ABI Bankruptcy Brief featuring news, commentary or analysis of Puerto Rico’s financial crisis.
For updated news and analysis on Puerto Rico's debt crisis, be sure to visit, and bookmark, ABI's "Puerto Rico in Distress" website.
NEW WEEKLY SCHEDULE FOR BANKRUPTCY BRIEF AND MEMBERSHIP INSIGHTS NEWSLETTERS
Beginning next week, ABI is pleased to announce the launch of a new weekly newsletter, Membership Insights, a digest that will include all of the most recent and timely content from abi.org, in addition to highlights and tips on using our services and products. Membership Insights will debut on Tuesday, September 8.
ABI Bankruptcy Brief -- featuring a fresh, new design -- will continue to provide ABI members with the same timely news and analysis they have come to expect, now in one succinct email per week, beginning on Thursday, September 10.
ANALYSIS: WALL STREET POLICY POSES A CHALLENGE FOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
Even seven years after the financial crisis, Wall Street has lost none of its ability to stir partisan rancor, according to an analysis in the Sunday edition of the New York Times. The Republican presidential candidates are almost entirely unified behind repealing the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation approved by a Democratic-controlled Congress after the 2008 collapse. Pushing in the opposition direction, Hillary Rodham Clinton's two challengers for the Democratic nomination have made it a priority to bring back a Depression-era law that would force the biggest banks to break up. Clinton has joined the chorus of Democrats demanding more oversight of Wall Street, recognizing that the issue has become a rallying cry among progressive activists and is bound up in the broader debate on income and wealth inequality. But Clinton, who has won strong financial support from Wall Street in the past, has been piecing together a more unexpected set of policy proposals -- including a change in the way capital gains, or profits on investments, are taxed. The array of views emerging from the presidential primaries suggests that the financial industry — as well as investors and consumers -- could face sharply different futures depending on which party ends up in the White House. Read more.
CRACKDOWN ON RACIAL BIAS COULD BOOST DRIVERS' COSTS FOR AUTO LOANS
A federal regulator's campaign to fight bias against minorities is changing the way many car loans are priced, a move that is increasing costs for some consumers, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reached more than $200 million in anti-discrimination agreements since 2013 with several large car-financing companies, including Ally Financial Inc. and American Honda Finance Corp., over allegations that dealers charged higher interest rates -- in some cases adding up to $300 more in interest payments, on average -- for African-Americans, Hispanics and other minority buyers. At least another eight large lenders are under federal investigation by the CFPB or the Justice Department. They include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Fifth Third Bancorp and Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc., which is majority-owned by a unit of Banco Santander SA. Efforts by the CFPB to police the fairness of auto loans have accelerated in recent years under Director Richard Cordray. Critics accuse the agency of overreaching. The Dodd-Frank law that created the bureau in the wake of the financial crisis specifically excludes car dealers from its oversight, and critics said the bureau is holding lenders responsible for dealers' alleged actions. Patrice Ficklin, director of the bureau's Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, said that the CFPB is responsible for enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which outlaws discrimination by creditors. She said that the CFPB has taken up the issue because car-loan lenders' policies can lead to unlawful discrimination. Read more. (Subscription required.)
BITCOIN TECHNOLOGY PIQUES INTEREST ON WALL STREET
Nowhere is there more money and resources being spent on Bitcoin than on Wall Street -- the very industry that the technology was created to circumvent, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. "There is so much pull and interest on this right now," said Derek White, the chief digital officer at the British global bank Barclays, which has a team of employees working on about 20 experiments that explore how the technology underlying Bitcoin might change finance. For people like White, Bitcoin isn't just a digital token to use for online purchases. Instead, many of the top minds in finance have come to believe that the software that brought the virtual currency into existence also enables a fundamentally new way of transacting and maintaining records online -- allowing people and banks to directly exchange money and assets like stocks and bonds without having to rely on a long chain of expensive middlemen. A few banks have gone public with their work, but most of the activity has been happening behind the scenes. Central banks like the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have their own teams looking at the technology. "A year ago, it was more of an idea," said Max Neukirchen, the head of corporate strategy at JPMorgan Chase. "Now, it is a real opportunity. You test it and realize that this can play a big role in our thinking about how our own infrastructure will evolve." Read more.
LATEST ABI PODCAST: RESEARCHER EXAMINES WHETHER BAPCPA FORCES CHAPTER 11 DEBTORS TO EMERGE TOO SOON
The latest ABI Podcast features ABI Executive Director Sam Gerdano speaking with Foteini Teloni of Shearman & Sterling LLP (New York) about whether the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) forces debtors to exit chapter 11 before they are truly rehabilitated. Teloni, previously an adjunct professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, authored "Chapter 11 Duration, Pre-Planned Cases, and Refiling Rates: An Empirical Analysis in the Post-BAPCPA Era," which appears in the Summer 2015 ABI Law Review. Click here to listen.
To read Teloni's analysis in the Summer 2015 ABI Law Review, please click here (ABI log-in required).
IRELAND'S FORMER PRIME MINISTER JOHN BRUTON TO KEYNOTE INTERNATIONAL INSOLVENCY & RESTRUCTURING SYMPOSIUM!
Ireland's Former Prime Minister John Bruton will be the keynote speaker at ABI's Eleventh Annual International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium in Madrid, Spain. The Symposium, taking place on Oct. 23 at the Hotel Ritz Madrid, provides attendees with an interactive learning experience led by a faculty of prominent international insolvency practitioners. The advisory board for the program is chaired by Ian G. Williams of Baker Tilly Restructuring & Recovery LLP (London, England). Sessions at the Symposium will include:
- America Now! Current U.S. Restructuring Trends
- What's Wrong with U.S. Chapter 11? A Guide for European Practitioners
- Current Restructuring Issues in Southern Europe
- Investing in Distressed Assets and Infrastructure in Europe: Market Trends, Successes and Failures
ABI WANTS TO SEE YOU IN PHOENIX THIS DECEMBER FOR THE WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE!
Join ABI on Dec. 3-5, 2015, at the historic Arizona Biltmore in downtown Phoenix for the 27th Annual Winter Leadership Conference. This can't-miss event is always a member favorite and this year will be no exception! There will be topics designed for consumer and business practitioners, as well as financial advisors. Earn up to 12/14 hours of CLE/CPE credit and 2.75/3 hours of ethics, and enjoy a plethora of social and networking events.
Highlights from the conference include:
- Optional events, including a golf tournament, kayaking, tennis, horseback riding and much more
- Great Debates on chapter 11 plans, whether a bankruptcy judge can disband a creditors' committee and must a creditor file a proof of claim
- BAPCPA Consumer Issues: 10-Year Anniversary Special
- Nine joint committee sessions, provided by ABI's 18 committees
- A live Bloomberg "Eye on Bankruptcy" luncheon presentation
- A special Casino Night!
- A judges' roundtable on hot-button issues
Early-bird registration ends Oct. 2 so be sure to register to take advantage of the savings!
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ON-DEMAND VIDEO COURSE HELPS YOU PREPARE FOR THE ABC BOARD CERTIFICATION TEST!
Achieving American Board Certification (ABC) means you have met the rigorous, objective standards of a top professional in the areas of bankruptcy and/or creditors' rights. The ABC Exam is the essential step in this process, and this 5-part on-demand course will prepare you for the test. This intro video explains the benefits of ABC certification, the steps in the process and what to expect in the exam. The full exam prep course will qualify for 6 hours of CLE credit (where permitted for online learning), including 1 hour of ethics. The course is $295 for ABI members; $395 for non-members. The non-member $395 fee also includes 1 year of ABI Membership (a $295 value). Click here for more information and to purchase the course.
NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: FIRST CITIZENS BANK AND TRUST COMPANY INC. V. RIVER WALK FARM LP, ET AL. (11TH CIR.)
Summarized by Paul Avron of Berger Singerman, LLP
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's finding that the assignee of underlying loans, promissory notes, deeds and guarantees had presented sufficient evidence to establish the damages it was owed resulting from a payment default by the obligor and the guarantors' failure to meet their contractual obligations.
There are more than 1,800 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI's Volo website.
NEW ON ABI'S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: AUGUST 2015 PONZI SCHEME ROUNDUP
A recent post by Kathy Bazoian Phelps to The Ponzi Blog summarizes Ponzi scheme activity reported for August 2015.
For further analysis of Ponzi schemes and fraud in bankruptcy cases, be sure to pick up a copy of ABI's Fraud and Forensics: Piercing Through the Deception in a Commercial Fraud Case. Phelps is a co-author and editor of the book.
To read more on this blog and all others on the ABI Blog Exchange, please click here.
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