NEWS AND ANALYSIS
REPORT: 20 SCHOOLS RESPONSIBLE FOR A FIFTH OF ALL GRADUATE SCHOOL DEBT
A new study from the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that 20 universities received one-fifth, or $6.5 billion, of the total amount of loans the government gave graduate students in the 2013-2014 academic year, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Those schools, however, only educate 12 percent of all graduate students. What’s striking about the Center's findings is that a majority of the debt taken to attend the 20 schools on its list is not for law or medical degrees that promise hefty paydays. Most graduate students at those schools are seeking master's degrees in journalism, fine arts or government, according to CAP. Students borrowed the most amount of money, $756 million, to attend Walden University, a for-profit school that specializes in offering graduate degrees in education, health care and business. The second-highest loan balance on the list is attributed to Nova Southeastern University, a private college in Florida where 59 percent of students are working toward graduate degrees online. Although online programs are billed as time- and cost-effective, schools like Nova and Liberty University prove otherwise. About 98 percent of graduate students at Liberty, founded by evangelical leader Jerry Falwell, are enrolled in online programs that led them to borrow $351 million in a single year. The government lets graduate students borrow far more than undergrads. Students pursuing a bachelor's degree can take out no more than about $27,000 from the government, unless they're married, over age 24 or otherwise independent from their parents. On the other hand, graduate students can borrow the full cost of attendance and wind up with six-figure debt by the time they earn a degree. Read more.
ANALYSIS: COAL INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO DECLINE
As U.S. power plants increasingly switch to natural gas, coal prices have crashed and investors are increasingly reluctant to lend to coal companies, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Coal bond prices tumbled 17 percent in the second quarter, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. It's the fourth consecutive quarter of price declines and the worst performance of any industry group by a long shot. About 17 percent of U.S. coal-fired power generation will disappear over the next few years, according to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Obstacles to coal industry recovery include the age of the plants, the abundance of cheap natural gas, and new EPA rules to cut pollution. Read more.
U.S. RETAIL SALES DECREASE IN JUNE
Sales at U.S. retailers decreased in June, curbing optimism about the strength of the rebound in consumer spending during the second quarter, Bloomberg News reported today. Purchases decreased 0.3 percent after a 1 percent advance in May that was smaller than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed today. The Commerce Department's report on sales showed that auto dealers, restaurants, furniture and clothing stores were among the retailers that showed declines last month. Read more.
OBAMA CALLS FOR MORE STATE LAWS TO MAKE RETIREMENT SAVING EASIER
President Obama said yesterday that he would instruct the Labor Department to help states pass laws to make retirement saving easier, after his own proposals in Congress went nowhere, the New York Times reported today. Obama also praised rules proposed by the Labor Department in April that would require more investment advisers to put their clients' financial interests ahead of their own, a shift that is intended to help cut down on fees that can reduce retirees' nest eggs. A handful of states have passed laws that require certain employers to automatically open retirement plans for employees when they are hired instead of waiting for workers to decide to do so on their own, and about 20 more are considering such laws. Obama said he wanted to encourage more of these laws to be passed. Read more.
THURSDAY: CASES AND ISSUES SURROUNDING "MAKE-WHOLE" PROVISIONS TO BE DISCUSSED ON ABI'S UTC COMMITTEE CALL
All members are welcome to join a special presentation on July 16 of ABI's Unsecured Trade Creditors Committee examining "make-whole" provisions in bankruptcy. While lenders have relied on the protections of make-whole provisions in their loan agreements in the voluntary-redemption context for years, what happens when a borrower files for bankruptcy and challenges the enforceability of such provisions in the bankruptcy context? What specific language do bankruptcy courts require to ensure enforceability? What strategies have creditors and creditors’ committees employed to challenge these provisions? Jon Pearson and Christine Barba of Ballard Spahr LLP will answer these questions and examine recent important decisions in Momentive Performance Materials, Inc. and Energy Future Holdings. Corp, et al. To join the UTC Committee teleconference on July 16 at 4 p.m. ET, please utilize the following dial-in:
Phone: (712) 432-1500
PIN: 6 9 2 9 3 3
ABI WORKSHOP TO FEATURE BANKRUPTCY JUDGES EXAMINING COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS ON RESOLVING COURT SPLITS
Which Chapter 11 Reform Commission recommendations are most likely to be well received by judges? The 2015 Bankruptcy Judges Roundtable, an ABI Workshop, will take place at ABI headquarters on Aug. 4 to examine the Chapter 11 Reform Commission's recommendations on resolving court splits. The Commission identified more than 30 splits in case law on important bankruptcy issues. Attend the program from 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET in person or via live webstream to hear five bankruptcy judges discuss the recommendations and issues surrounding the court splits. Speakers on the program are Bankruptcy Judges Dennis R. Dow (D. Mo.), Bruce A. Harwood (D. N.H.), Barbara J. Houser (N.D. Texas), C. Ray Mullins (N.D. Ga.) and Eugene R. Wedoff (N.D. Ill.). ABI will seek 1.5 hours of general CLE credit in 60-minute-hour states and 1.5 hours of credit in 50-minute-hour states for the program. A networking reception will follow from 5-7 p.m. ET for in-person attendees, and registration for just the reception is also available. Click here to register.
NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: GATEWOOD V. CP MEDICAL LLC (IN RE GATEWOOD; 8TH CIR.)
Summarized by Elizabeth Gunn of the Virginia Office of the Attorney General
The Eighth Circuit ruled that the filing of an accurate proof of claim for a time-barred debt containing all required information, including the timing of the debt, standing alone, is not a prohibited debt-collection practice under the FDCPA.
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: THE SUPREME COURT, THE FAIR HOUSING ACT AND THE RACISM DEBATE
A recent blog post thought that the Supreme Court made a noteworthy contribution to the national conversation about race in its recent Texas v. ICP Fair Housing Act decision. The Court affirmed that the Fair Housing Act prohibits not only explicit racial discrimination, but also policies and practices that have the effect of excluding or harming racial minorities. In marked contrast to its Voting Rights Act and other decisions, the Supreme Court (5-vote majority) in this case did not declare that racism has nearly ended, nor that the time for corrective laws is coming to an end.
To read more on this blog and all others on the ABI Blog Exchange, please click here.
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UTC Committee Telecon Presentation:
"Make-Whole" Provisions in Bankruptcy
July 16, 2015
Phone: (712) 432-1500
PIN: 6 9 2 9 3 3
20th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
July 23-26, 2015
ABI Workshop: 2015 Bankruptcy Judges Roundtable
Aug. 4, 2015
11th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop
Aug. 6-8, 2015
23rd Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
Sept. 10-12, 2015
41st Lawrence P. King & Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy and Business Reorganization
Sept. 16-17, 2015
20th Annual Views from the Bench Conference
Oct. 9, 2015
7th Circuit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
Oct. 12, 2015
35th Annual Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute
Oct. 15-16, 2015
Corporate Restructuring Competition
Nov. 5-6, 2015
Complex Financial Restructuring Program
Nov. 5, 2015
11th Annual Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
Nov. 11, 2015