NEWS AND ANALYSIS
REVAMPED CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FORMS OUT FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
The Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure is asking for comment on the first proposed modernization of bankruptcy forms in two decades, according to a Department of Justice press release today. The revised forms, published for comment, are all used by individual debtors and include the fee waiver and installment fee forms, income and expense forms, and the means test forms, replacing previous forms. The comments, submitted by the public, will be reviewed over the coming months and will be used to fine-tune the forms. The deadline for submitting comments is Feb. 15. Click here to review the revised forms.
ANALYSIS: APPEALS COURT RULING ON ROTHSTEIN FORFEITURE COULD SET PRECEDENT IN BANKRUPTCY CASES
A new federal court case could overturn U.S. District Judge James Cohn's 2009 decision allocating which victims of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein would receive proceeds from an asset sale, the South Florida Business Journal reported yesterday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit could rule instead that a bankruptcy trustee overseeing the dissolution of Rothstein’s defunct law firm, Hebert Stettin, had the authority to corral and distribute Rothstein's loot. The outcome of the case could set a precedent that would further define the powers of a bankruptcy court-appointed trustee versus the U.S. Department of Justice in a complicated financial criminal case. Rothstein’s $1.4 billion fraud came to light at the end of October 2009. The feds moved quickly to seize cars, boats and luxury goods from Rothstein’s home. Rothstein’s law partners voluntarily sought a receiver to take over the firm on Nov. 1, 2009. Stettin was named a receiver under state court authority on Nov. 2. By Nov 10, investors who lost money in the scheme filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition, and Stettin became a bankruptcy trustee by order of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Raymond Ray. Read more.
SWAP TRADERS CLOSE TO WINNING U.S. PORTFOLIO COLLATERAL OFFSET
U.S. regulators plan to allow hedge funds and other credit-swap traders to reduce the amount of collateral needed to back transactions through the use of accounts that offset different types of trades, Bloomberg News reported today. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are close to allowing collateral offsets for credit swaps that are tied to indexes and single securities through a process known as “portfolio margining.” Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange Inc., owner of the largest clearinghouse for credit swaps, Citadel LLC and other hedge and mutual funds and banks, spent more than a year pushing regulators to support the system for client trades. The regulation was issued by the SEC for comment on Dec. 14, and a companion measure could be approved by the CFTC as soon as this week. Dodd-Frank Act requirements that credit swaps be guaranteed at clearinghouses are set to take effect mid-March. The central counterparties stand between buyers and sellers and accept collateral to limit the risk from a trade default spreading throughout the financial system. Read more.
COMMENTARY: MADOFF ASIDE, FINANCIAL FRAUD DEFIES POLICING
The challenge of financial fraud oversight is not getting any easier, as the ranks of financial advisers are swelling, according to a commentary in the New York Times DealBook blog yesterday. As new regulations instituted following the 2008 financial crisis put a crimp on profits, big banks like Wells Fargo are ramping up their brokerage businesses in an effort to make up for lost revenue. Amid the renewed focus, banks have spent millions of dollars to beef up their compliance systems and improve their oversight. Regulators, too, have bolstered their efforts, increasing enforcement and adopting new measures. Every month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a Wall Street watchdog, penalizes more than 100 brokers for various actions, including unauthorized trading and fraudulent activities, as well as smaller violations. "Theft, Ponzi schemes and other financial scams continue to happen at an alarming rate," according to plaintiff's lawyer Thomas Ajamie. Read more.
LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES TREATMENT OF PERSONAL INDEBTEDNESS AROUND THE WORLD
ABI's latest podcast features ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano speaking with Professor Jason Kilborn of the John Marshall Law School (Chicago). Prof. Kilborn, the ABI Resident Scholar for the 2011 Fall Semester, chairs a drafting group for the World Bank to study and report on the various ways that nations approach personal indebtedness. Prof. Kilborn discusses the project and the initial report that was presented last month at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Click here to listen.
LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SULLIVAN V. COSTA (IN RE COSTA; 1ST CIR.)
Summarized by Samuel Mushell, The Kelly Firm, P.C
The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit affirmed a bankruptcy court ruling that held that a creditor's untimely filing of a motion objecting to discharge had lapsed.
There are more than 700 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: COULD 2013 SEE LEHMAN BEING PUT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN?
The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new post examines a case in which the BAP for the Sixth Circuit dismissed a debtor's chapter 11 petition because the debtor's filing was abusive.
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
A licensee of a trademark has the right to retain the license even when a debtor rejects the underlying contract creating the license. (Sunbeam Products, 7th Cir.)
Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.
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