REPORT: FEWER MORTGAGE LOANS PAST DUE, IN FORECLOSURE
Lender Processing Services (LPS), which provides mortgage and consumer loan processing services and default solutions, said that mortgage delinquencies are down by more than 10 percent over the past year, although more than one homeowner in 10 remains at risk of losing their home, MortgageLoan.com reported yesterday. The nation’s mortgage delinquency rate fell to 6.87 percent in August to 3.43 million, according to new figures from LPS. That represents a 10.6 percent decline over the past year and a 2.3 percent drop from the July figure. Delinquent mortgages in the LPS survey include loans that are at least 30 days past due but not in foreclosure. Meanwhile, the national foreclosure rate fell to 4.04 percent, representing 2.02 million homes in foreclosure but not yet repossessed. That number is down 2.0 percent from the August 2011 level and 1.0 percent from July’s figures. Click here.
CONSUMERS GIVEN DIFFERENT CREDIT SCORES THAN WHAT IS PROVIDED TO LENDERS, CFPB SAYS
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a study today that found that one in five U.S. consumers is likely to receive a credit score that is different than the one provided to lenders, potentially closing off access to credit for millions of Americans who believe that they are eligible for it, Bloomberg News reported today. The study comes five days before the consumer agency, created by the Dodd-Frank law of 2010, begins supervising credit-reporting companies' records and practices. The work involves direct examination of about 30 businesses, including the three biggest, Equifax Inc., Experian Plc and TransUnion Corp. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report each year. Consumer advocates have long charged that credit-reporting companies provide varying scores to lenders, potentially driving the cost of credit higher or depriving consumers of it entirely. Specifically, the bureau found that one in five consumers likely receive a "meaningfully different" score than the one their lender receives from credit bureaus, and consumers are unlikely to know about the discrepancy. Read more.
MOODY'S: CARD CHARGE-OFFS, LATE PAYMENT RATE FELL IN AUGUST
Moody's Investors Service said yesterday that the rate of U.S. credit card charge-offs fell to 4.19 percent in August from 4.56 percent in July, the Associated Press reported. Moody's index of credit card delinquencies, or those balances with a monthly payment more than 30 days past due, also improved. The rate declined to 2.32 percent in August from 2.36 percent the previous month. August's card delinquency rate is at a record low, which points to lower charge-offs in coming months, Moody's said. As delinquencies drop, Moody's data shows that card users are increasing the size of their payments. The average amount of principal that cardholders paid as a percentage of their balance hit a new high in August, rising to a rate of 22.71 percent from 22.47 percent a month earlier, the firm said. Read more.
ANALYSIS: PENSION CRISIS LOOMS DESPITE CUTS
Almost every state in the U.S. has made cuts to its public-employee pensions, seeking to dig their way out from the economic downturn, but so far the measures have fallen well short of bridging a nearly $1 trillion funding gap, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Since 2009, 45 states have rolled back pension benefits for teachers, police, firefighters and other public workers, including cuts by Michigan and California this month. Next week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is expected to sign legislation requiring, for example, that certain teachers work longer and pay more toward their pensions. The state measures show how economic forces are reshaping traditional rivalries, convincing lawmakers and labor leaders that past public pension plans are unsustainable. Read more. (Subscription required.)
SYMPOSIUM ON OCT. 19 TO EXAMINE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BANKRUPTCY AND RACE
ABI, St. John's Center for Bankruptcy Studies and The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development are going to hold a symposium titled "Bankruptcy and Race: Is There a Relation?" on Oct. 19 from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET at the St. John's School of Law. In a recent study of personal bankruptcy cases and practitioners, Profs. Jean Braucher, Dov Cohen and Robert Lawless made a troubling finding: the debtor's race appears to affect the advice that lawyers give about whether to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 or chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Is this finding correct? And if so, what are its implications for bankruptcy law and policy? This symposium will bring together leading bankruptcy, empirical, and race scholars to address these questions through commentary on the Braucher study and a reply from the primary study authors. The papers will be published in the winter issue of the ABI Law Review. There is no fee to attend the symposium, but advance registration is required. To register, please complete and submit the online registration form by Oct. 15.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR STEVEN GOLICK, A COLLEAGUE AND ABI LEADER
Our friend Steven Golick (Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto) is facing a medical crisis. He has been diagnosed with a serious brain tumor, requiring complex surgery and treatment. Steven’s spirits are very strong and he and his family remain optimistic, but he can use our support. A prominent international restructuring attorney and an ABI member since 1994, Steven is also a founding member of the ABI house band, the Indubitable Equivalents. Because the band is important to Steven, his fellow band-mates have organized a new Blog site for Steven's friends and colleagues to show their love and support at this critical time. Please click on this link to share your thoughts with many others, and post as often as you'd like.
MEMBERS WILL NOT WANT TO MISS ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING ON OCT. 26
Members planning to attend the 86th Annual NCBJ Annual Conference in San Diego from Oct. 24-27 will not want to miss the exciting line-up scheduled for the ABI program track on Oct. 26. In addition to roundtable discussions on the hottest consumer and business bankruptcy topics, ABI will be hosting a ticketed luncheon that will feature the presentation of the 7th Annual Judge William L. Norton, Jr. Judicial Excellence Award and entertainment by Apollo Robbins, a sleight-of hand artist, security consultant and self-described gentleman thief. Robbins gained notoriety after pick-pocketing Secret Service agents accompanying former president Jimmy Carter. Click here to register for the Conference.
ABI's Chapter 11 Reform Commission will also be holding a public hearing on Oct. 26 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. PT at the San Diego Marriott. Interested parties have the opportunity to submit testimony at the hearing. For further information, please contact ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano at [email protected]
LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: OLICK V. KEARNEY (IN RE OLICK; 3D CIR.)
Summarized by George Utlik of Arent Fox LLP
Affirming three decisions from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that: (1) plaintiff-appellant waived his objections to the summary judgment order and oral opinion rendered from the bench in March 2008 because he had failed to secure a transcript of proceedings in the bankruptcy court, despite having ample time to do so and despite having the option of moving for transcripts to be provided at the government's expense under 28 U.S.C. § 753(f)); (2) plaintiff-appellant failed to meet his burden of showing that defendants’ proffered reason for an adverse employment action (poor employment performance) was pretext because no reasonable jury would find that defendants-appellees acted with discriminatory intent when they terminated him; (3) with respect to plaintiff-appellant’s claim under Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), no causal connection existed between plaintiff-appellant’s protected activity and the termination of his field-agent contract.
There are more than 600 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: LEHMAN TO PAY LEGAL FEES OF PAULSON GROUP, GOLDMAN
The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines how a number of Wall Street banks and hedge funds—including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Paulson & Co. and Mark Brodsky’s Aurelius Capital—received bankruptcy court approval to have Lehman’s estate cover their legal fees.
Be sure to check the site several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new story, a link to the story will appear on the top. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.
ABI Quick Poll
Bankruptcy courts should have unfettered discretion in adjusting fee applications, even when no party-in-interest has raised objections.
Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.
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Bloomberg Law's video podcasts feature top experts speaking about current bankruptcy topics. The podcasts are available via Bloomberg Law's YouTube channel so that you can access the programs from your computer or device of your choice! Click here to view the Bloomberg Law video podcasts.
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