Business Reorganization

State Bankruptcy Debate Returns

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 6 2012
 
  

November 13, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

STATE BANKRUPTCY DEBATE RETURNS

Nearly two years after a "fierce" debate that "fizzled as quickly as it started," University of Pennsylvania law professor David Skeel is arguing that the idea of giving states a way to file for bankruptcy remains relevant and necessary, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. In addition to corporations and consumers, the Bankruptcy Code allows municipalities to seek chapter 9 protection. But there is currently no chapter set aside for states that find themselves teetering on the brink of insolvency, nor have states needed one. Yet with major budget deficits, underfunded pensions and declining tax revenues, some say that states should have a legal framework within which to restructure. Skeel advocated the idea of state bankruptcy in The Weekly Standard, as well as in the pages of the Wall Street Journal between November 2010 and January 2011, and the view picked up steam once Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush added their voices. "Creditors of states have a great deal [of difficulty] collecting from the state," Skeel said recently in resurrecting the idea of state bankruptcy. "It's really hard to get a state to pay you because of sovereign immunity." Read more. (Subscription required.)

REGULATOR FACES ANOTHER LAWSUIT OVER DODD-FRANK

The Obama administration's new rules for Wall Street suffered another setback this week as the financial industry leveled a lawsuit challenging a crucial piece of the regulatory overhaul, the New York Times DealBook blog reported on Friday. The CME Group, a giant Chicago exchange, sued its regulator last Thursday over a new rule that aims to shed light on the murky derivatives trading industry. The regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, drafted the rule in January under guidance from the Dodd-Frank Act. The case is part of the financial industry's broader legal assault on Dodd-Frank. As regulators hash out the final details of some 400 rules, Wall Street has shifted the fight from backroom lobbying to the courtroom. The trading commission has already been sued twice over Dodd-Frank rules, and Wall Street plans to turn up the heat on the Obama administration next year with a bevy of other legal challenges. Read more.

ANALYSIS: CHILD'S EDUCATION, PARENTS' CRUSHING LOANS

There are record numbers of student borrowers in financial distress, but millions of parents who have taken out loans to pay for their children's college education make up a less-visible generation in debt, the New York Times reported yesterday. For the most part, these parents did well enough through midlife to take on sizable loans, but some have since fallen on tough times because of the recession, health problems, job loss or lives that took a sudden hard turn. In the first three months of this year, the number of student loan borrowers aged 60 and older was 2.2 million, a figure that has tripled since 2005. That makes them the fastest-growing age group for college debt. All told, those borrowers owe $43 billion, up from $8 billion seven years ago, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Read more.

TWO MILLION COULD LOSE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS UNLESS CONGRESS EXTENDS PROGRAM

More than 2 million Americans stand to lose their jobless benefits unless Congress reauthorizes federal emergency unemployment help before the end of the year, the Washington Post reported today. The people in danger of having their unemployment checks cut off are among those who have benefited least from the slowly improving job market: Americans who have been out of work longer than six months. These workers have exhausted their state unemployment insurance, leaving them reliant on the federal program. In addition to those at risk of abruptly losing their benefits in December, 1 million people would have their checks curtailed by April if the program is not renewed, according to lawmakers and advocates pushing for an extension. Read more.

ANALYSIS: DEEP DISCOUNTS ON FORECLOSED HOMES DISAPPEARING

A market analysis by Zillow found that the average national discount on a foreclosure in September has fallen to only about 8 percent below market value, the Washington Post reported today. That is a significant change from the 24 percent average markdown reported in 2009 during the depths of the housing bust, and another signal that the country's housing market is inching toward recovery. "There’s no such thing as a fire sale on a foreclosure right now," said Marc Joseph, a real estate agent in Fort Myers, Fla. "We’re getting back to that point where if something good hits the markets, we’re getting multiple offers again." According to Zillow, the deepest discounts can be found on foreclosures in the Pittsburgh area, at 27 percent. Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore have average markdowns on foreclosures topping 20 percent. But in many hard-hit markets, particularly ones where home prices fell sharply and investors and buyers have swooped in to buy up foreclosures, discounts have all but vanished. Zillow found that in Las Vegas and Phoenix, there is "no discernible difference" between foreclosure and non-foreclosure sales. Read more.

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING ON CHAPTER 11 REFORM AT ABI'S WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 will hold a public hearing on Friday, Nov. 30, at 11:15 a.m. (MT) during the Winter Leadership Conference in Tucson, Ariz., at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort. Members are welcome to provide testimony on their suggestions for ways to improve the operation of chapter 11. The hearing is the fifth in a series of public field hearings. Statements and video from all the recent hearings can be found at the Commission website at http://commission.abi.org.

Interested members should contact Sam Gerdano at [email protected] for more details about in-person testimony. Those interested may also file written statements of any length for consideration by the Commission. All materials will be part of the Commission's record to be transmitted to Congress following the two-year investigation and report. Please consider this great opportunity to become part of the legal reform of the Bankruptcy Code.

The next public hearing will be Thursday, Nov. 15, at the CFA Annual Convention in Phoenix. For future Commission hearings, please click here: http://commission.abi.org/.

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: OVERSTREET V. JOINT FACILITIES MANAGEMENT, LLC (IN RE CRESCENT RESOURCE LLC; 5TH CIR.)

Summarized by Eric Lockridge of Kean Miller LLP

The Fifth Circuit ruled that an untimely Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend a district court's judgment affirming a bankruptcy court's dismissal order does not extend the 30-day deadline to file a notice of appeal of the district court's judgment.

There are nearly 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: DEWEY LEBOEUF AVOIDS LITIGATION MORASS OF MOST LAW FIRM BANKRUPTCY CASES

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines how the settlement in the Dewey LeBoeuf case has helped the firm avoid the failures that typically produce lengthy and litigious bankruptcy cases. For more on issues related to large firm bankruptcies, listen to a recent ABI podcast here.

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

Despite the "free and clear" language of Sect. 363(f), purchasers of assets in 363 sales may still be liable for injuries to unidentifiable future claimants. (In re Grumman Olson Indus, S.D.N.Y.).

Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

HAVE YOU TUNED IN TO BLOOMBERG LAW'S VIDEO PODCASTS?

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.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

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SE 2012
Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2012
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MT 2012
Dec. 4-8, 2012
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WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Jan. 24-25, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

November
- Winter Leadership Conference
     November 29 - December 1, 2012 | Tucson, Ariz.

December
- Forty-Hour Bankruptcy Mediation Training
     December 4-8, 2012 | New York, N.Y.

2013

January
- Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     January 21, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
     January 24-25, 2013 | Denver, Colo.


  

 

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
     February 7-9, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- Kansas City Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
     February 17-19, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.
- VALCON 2013
     February 20-22, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.


 
 
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U.S. District Judge Limits Bankruptcy Courts Powers on Claims for Fraudulent Transfers

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | May 10, 2012
 
  
May 10, 2012
 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE LIMITS BANKRUPTCY COURTS' POWERS ON CLAIMS FOR FRAUDULENT TRANSFERS

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, ruling yesterday in a case involving the Refco litigation trust, said that bankruptcy judges do not have the power to make final rulings on claims for fraudulent transfers and unjust enrichment, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Stern v. Marshall case, Bloomberg News reported today. Bankruptcy judges can only issue reports and recommendations to district judges, Rakoff said in the Refco opinion. In their requests to have cases moved from bankruptcy court to district court, some Madoff defendants have cited Stern, which stopped the former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith’s heirs from collecting millions of dollars from Texas billionaire J. Howard Marshall's estate and put district judges in control of more bankruptcy issues. Judge Rakoff, who let the New York Mets owners move their dispute with the Madoff liquidator to his court, received more than 400 requests during the week ended April 2 from companies sued by trustee Irving Picard. Those seeking to move cases included HSBC Holdings Plc, UniCredit SpA and Merrill Lynch, as well as former spouses of Madoff's sons. The transfer of cases has undercut Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland's power to reverse some fraudulent transfers and limited Picard's ability to collect money to pay victims of Madoff’s $52 billion Ponzi scheme, the largest in U.S. history. This month, Rakoff sent 84 lawsuits against investors back to bankruptcy court, limiting the trustee to trying to take back two years of fake Ponzi profits rather than six years of payouts from the scheme. Read more.

WITNESSES AT HOUSE HEARING SAY ASBESTOS TRUST FUNDS NEED GREATER TRANSPARENCY TO PREVENT FRAUD

The congressionally created system of asbestos trust funds needs greater transparency to prevent potential fraud, a series of witnesses told the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law at a hearing examining H.R. 4369, the "Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2012," BusinessInsurance.com reported today. The bill, which was introduced in April by Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), would require federal asbestos bankruptcy trusts under §524(g) to make quarterly public reports about claims, payouts and other activities to bankruptcy courts. S. Todd Brown, an associate professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School, said that fraudulent claims paid out in secret by trust administrators threaten the ability of the trust to handle future claims, and nothing in the bill requires more information than is required in bankruptcies every day. Marc Scarcella, manager at Bates White Economic Consulting, testified that transparency in the operation of the asbestos trusts is "critical" and that the measure would provide a "cost-effective, efficient" way to deal with claims. Charles Siegel, a partner in the Dallas-based law firm of Waters Kraus & Paul L.L.P. who represents claimants in mass tort cases, testified against the bill, saying that H.R. 4369 was "designed to slow down the payment of claims" to people suffering from mesothelioma. Siegel said that if the bill becomes law, it would impose "onerous" administrative burdens on the trusts. Click here to read the prepared witness statements.

NEW CFPB RULES MAY CURTAIL SOME FEES IN MORTGAGES

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said that it planned to propose tighter mortgage lending regulations that would limit the ability of banks and mortgage brokers to charge certain transaction fees, the New York Times reported today. Bureau officials said that the rules, which were released yesterday ahead of formal introduction this summer, would ban mortgage companies from charging origination fees that vary with the amount of the loan. The consumer bureau also said that it would require that lenders offer a reduced interest rate when a consumer opted to pay upfront discount points and would require lenders to offer a loan option without points. During the financial crisis, some lenders charged the points without lowering the interest rate. Changing that rule, the bureau believes, will make it easier for consumers to weigh offers from multiple lenders. Click here to read the CFPB's press release.

VOLCKER DEFENDS RULE BARRING BANKS FROM PROPRIETARY TRADING

Paul A. Volcker, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, defended the regulatory rule that bears his name, telling the Senate Banking Committee yesterday that the Volcker Rule was a "solid step toward reining in" banks that are considered too big to fail, the New York Times’ DealBook blog reported yesterday. Volcker has championed efforts to bar banks from trading with their own money, a practice known as proprietary trading, which is outlawed under the new policy. The Volcker Rule, a crucial component of the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul law, was rooted in his belief that banks should not place risky bets while enjoying government deposit insurance and other backing. Volcker argued yesterday that his namesake rule would make a serious dent, not only in outsize risk-taking, but in the likelihood of future Wall Street bailouts. Read more.

REGISTER FOR THE LABOR & EMPLOYMENT COMMITTEE'S "EVOLVING LABOR ISSUES IN CHAPTER 11" WEBINAR

Make sure to mark your calendars for May 23 from 2-3 p.m. ET for the ABI Labor and Employment Committee's "Evolving Labor Issues in Chapter 11" Webinar. A panel of experts will be discussing recent developments in several large complex bankruptcy cases, including Hostess, Kodak, Nortel and American Airlines. The expert panel includes Babette A. Ceccotti of Cohen, Weiss & Simon LLP (New York), former chief counsel of the PBGC Jeffrey B. Cohen of Bailey & Ehrenberg PLLC (Washington, D.C.), Marc Kieselstein of Kirkland & Ellis LLP (New York) and Ron E. Meisler of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Issues to be discussed include:

• Hostess' efforts to eliminate their multi-employer pension plan contribution liability through motions to reject their labor agreements under Section 1113.
• Kodak's attempt to terminate retiree health benefits.
• The effect of the automatic stay upon efforts by the U.K. Pension Protection Fund and the U.K. Nortel Pension Plan to enforce its powers under the U.K. Pensions Act.
• American Airlines' efforts to reduce legacy costs in bankruptcy.

Click here to register.

U.S. TRUSTEE PROGRAM RE-OPENS COMMENT PERIOD ON PROPOSED GUIDELINES FOR ATTORNEY COMPENSATION IN LARGE CHAPTER 11 CASES

The U.S. Trustee Program has re-opened the comment period until May 21, 2012, on proposed guidelines for reviewing applications for attorney compensation in large chapter 11 cases ("fee guidelines"). The USTP also scheduled a public meeting for June 4, 2012, at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. on the proposed fee guidelines. Click here for more information on submitting comments or attending the public hearing.

ABI IN-DEPTH

JUNE 5 WEBINAR WILL EXAMINE HOW TO HANDLE AN ADMINISTRATIVELY INSOLVENT ESTATE

Panelists from one of the top-rated sessions at the 2011 Winter Leadership Conference are going to reconvene for an ABI and West LegalEd Center webinar on June 5 titled "Handling the Administratively Insolvent Estate- What to Do When Your Chapter 11 Goes South?" CLE credit will be available for the webinar that will last from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET.

Speakers include:

Robert J. Feinstein of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (New York)
Cathy Rae Hershcopf of Cooley LLP (New York)
Robert L. LeHane of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP (New York)

Robert J. Keach of Bernstein Shur (Portland, Maine) will be the moderator for the webinar.

The webinar costs $115 and purchase provides online access for 180 days. If you are purchasing a live webcast, you will receive complimentary access to the on demand version for 180 days once it becomes available. Click here for more information.

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: GORDON V. OFFICIAL COMMITTEE OF UNSECURED CREDITORS (IN RE ROYAL MANOR MANAGEMENT, INC.; 6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Dean Langdon of DelCotto Law Group PLLC

In an opinion not recommended for full-text publication, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed decisions by the District Court and Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio that denied creditors' claim and their motion to file a new claim.

Nearly 500 appellate opinions are summarized on Volo typically 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: CHAPTER 15 OFFERS SAFE HARBOR BUT NOT COMPLETE REFUGE FROM FOREIGN COURT RULINGS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A blog post discusses a recent decision out of the Southern District of Florida regarding a shipping reorganization, SNP Boat Serv. S.A. v. Hotel Le St. James, in which the district court found that the bankruptcy court abused its discretion in not properly granting comity to a foreign reorganization proceeding.

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
The debtor-in-possession model has proven too susceptible to abuse; a trustee should be appointed in every chapter 11 case, at least as a check on a DIP with more limited management authority. Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

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NEXT EVENT

ABI_TMA_LS12
May 15-18, 2012
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COMING UP

 

ABI'S "Evolving Labor Issues in Chapter 11" Webinar
May 23, 2012
Register Today!

 

MEMPHIS 12
June 1, 2012
Register Today!

 

ABI'S "Handling the Administratively Insolvent Estate- What to Do When Your Chapter 11 Goes South?" Webinar
June 5, 2012
Register Today!

 

CS 2012
June 7-10, 2012
Register Today!

 

NE 2012
July 12-15, 2012
Register Today!

 

SE 2012
July 25-28, 2012
Register Today!

 

MA 2012
August 2-4, 2012
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS

May
- ABI Labor and Employment Committee's "Evolving Labor Issues in Chapter 11" Webinar
     May 23, 2012

June
- Memphis Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     June 1, 2012 | Memphis, Tenn.
- ABI'S ""Handling the Administratively Insolvent Estate- What to Do When Your Chapter 11 Goes South?" Webinar
     June 5, 2012
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 7-10, 2012 | Traverse City, Mich.

  


July
- Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Northeast Consumer Forum
     July 12-15, 2012 | Bretton Woods, N.H.
- Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
     July 25-28, 2012 | Amelia Island, Fla.

August
- Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop
     August 2-4, 2012 | Cambridge, Md.

 
 
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Analysis How Chapter 11 Saved the U.S. Economy

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 26 2013
 
  

March 26, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: HOW CHAPTER 11 SAVED THE U.S. ECONOMY

Harvard Business School Prof. Stuart C. Gilson’s recent study of the 2008 financial crisis says that restructuring and chapter 11 played a heroic role in helping the country rebound. In his article in the 2012 Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Gilson writes that the "amount of debt that needed to be restructured posed a seemingly insurmountable challenge." At one point, "$3.5 trillion of corporate debt was distressed or in default. [Between] 2008 and 2009, $1.8 trillion worth of public company assets entered chapter 11 bankruptcy protection—almost 20 times more than during the prior two years," according to Gilson. A significant portion of the private-equity industry, he says, was "widely believed to be on the verge of extinction." Instead, in a relatively short time, much of the corporate debt that defaulted during the financial crisis has been managed down, mass liquidations have been averted, and corporate profits, balance sheets and values have rebounded with remarkable speed, according to Gilson's analysis. Read more.

REPORT: U.S. STUDENT LOAN WRITE-OFFS HIT $3 BILLION IN FIRST TWO MONTHS OF 2013

An Equifax study showed that U.S. banks wrote off $3 billion of student loan debt in the first two months of 2013, up more than 36 percent from the same period a year ago, Reuters reported yesterday. The credit reporting agency also said that student lending has grown from last year because more people are going back to school and the cost of higher education has risen. "Continued weakness in labor markets is limiting work options once people graduate or quit their programs, leading to a steady rise in delinquencies and loan write-offs," Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts said in a statement. U.S. student loan debt reform has become a more pressing issue since the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported in March 2012 that the total surpassed $1 trillion by the end of 2011 and as interest rates on subsidized Stafford loan rates are set to double in July. The cost of earning a 4-year undergraduate degree has gone up by 5.2 percent per year in the last decade, according to the CFPB, forcing more students to take out loans. Read more.

For more information, be sure to register for ABI's "Student Loans: Bankruptcy May Not Have the Answers – But Does Congress?" webinar presented by ABI's Consumer Bankruptcy Committee on April 10 from noon-1:15 ET. Click here for more information.

U.S. CRACKS DOWN ON "FORCED" INSURANCE

A U.S. housing regulator is cracking down on a little-known practice that has hit millions of struggling borrowers with high-price homeowners' insurance policies arranged by banks that benefit from the costly coverage, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, plans to file a notice today to ban lucrative fees and commissions paid by insurers to banks on so-called force-placed insurance. Such "forced" policies are imposed on homeowners whose standard property coverage lapses, typically because the borrower stops making payments. Critics say that the fee system has given banks a financial incentive to arrange more expensive homeowners' policies than are necessary. FHFA's move would apply nationwide to all mortgages guaranteed or owned by Fannie and Freddie—about half of the housing market. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: IS IT ALREADY TIME TO WEAKEN DODD-FRANK?

A key effort in the Dodd-Frank financial reform act has been to bring transparency and reforms to the complex market of derivatives, but Republicans and Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday approved seven bills that would roll back parts of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, according to a commentary in Sunday's Washington Post. However, Dodd-Frank's regulation of derivatives is crucially important to alleviate future financial crises and set a proper course for reform, according to the commentary. The bills now headed to the House floor for a vote weaken Title VII of Dodd-Frank, which is the part that regulates derivatives. "Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal," financier Warren Buffett said. Bill Clinton said that he was wrong to avoid regulating derivatives when he had the chance. These financial instruments played a central role in the financial crisis, culminating in the collapse and bailout of AIG. Since Dodd-Frank, there has been extensive debate about the new rules for derivatives, which range from collateral to price transparency. But there has also been a counter-debate about who has to follow the new rules. Those who fall under "end-user exemptions" are largely able to forgo following the Dodd-Frank rules, and the easiest way to understand the bills passed out of the Agriculture Committee is to note that they seek to expand the scope of those exemptions. One bill would weaken cross-border regulations, allowing U.S. firms that run their derivatives in other countries to avoid following the new derivative rules. In the age of electronic trading and overlapping jurisdictions, this limits the ability of regulators to make sure that prudential standards are set in this country. Read more.

LAWSUIT SHEDS LIGHT ON ALLEGED INFLATION OF LEGAL BILL

The thorny issue of law firm billing is at the heart of a lawsuit involving a fee dispute between a law firm and Adam H. Victor, an energy industry executive, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. After DLA Piper sued Victor for $675,000 in unpaid legal bills, Victor filed a counterclaim, accusing the law firm of a "sweeping practice of overbilling." Victor's feud with DLA Piper began after he retained the firm in April 2010 to prepare a bankruptcy filing for one of his companies. The lawsuit has brought to light e-mails from DLA Piper’s lawyers about how the bill was running way over budget. Another described a colleague’s approach to the assignment as "churn that bill, baby!" Legal ethics scholars said that it is highly unusual to find documentary evidence of possible churning — the creation of unnecessary work to drive up a client's bill. Read more.

HOTEL BLOCK FOR ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING ALMOST SOLD OUT! REGISTER TODAY!

The hotel block at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., is almost sold out for ABI’s 2013 Annual Spring Meeting! Held April 18-21, 2013, ASM features a roster of the best national speakers, while the depth and scope of topics offer something for everyone. Specifically, four concurrent workshops will cover various “tracks,” including programs for attorneys in commercial cases, a track for restructuring professionals, a track of professional development programming and a track dealing solely with consumer issues. More than 16 hours of CLE/CPE is offered in some states, along with ethics credit totaling 3 hours, making the cost only about $50 per credit. In addition, committee sessions will drill down on other topics to provide you with the most practical and varied CLE/CPE experience ever. Sessions include:

• 17th Annual Great Debates
• Mediation: An Irrational Approach to a Rational Result
• Creditors’ Committees and the Role of Indenture Trustees and Related Issues
• Current Issues for Financial Advisors in Bankruptcy Cases
• The Individual Conundrum: Chapter 7, 11 or 13?
• The Power to Veto Bankruptcy Sales
• Real Estate Issues in Health Care Restructurings
• How to Be a Successful Expert
• The Ethical Compass: Multiple Ethical Schemes Applicable to Financial Advisors
• Chapter 9s, Nonprofits and Other Nontraditional Restructuring Processes
• And much more!

The Spring Meeting will also feature a field hearing of the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, a report from the ABI Ethics Task Force, a luncheon panel discussion moderated by Bill Rochelle of Bloomberg News, and a Final Night Gala Dinner featuring a concert by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts!

Make sure to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

Starting with the Annual Spring Meeting, ABI will offer conference registrants the option to participate in the ABI Golf Tour. The Tour will take place concurrently with all conference golf tournaments. The Tour is designed to enhance the golfing experience for serious golfers, while still offering a fun networking opportunity for players of any ability. As opposed to the format used at ABI’s regular conference events, Tour participants will "play their own ball." They will be grouped on the golf course separately from other conference golf participants and will typically play ahead of the other participants, expediting Tour play. Tour participants will be randomly grouped in foursomes, unless otherwise requested of the Commissioner in advance of each tournament. Prizes will be awarded for each individual Tour event, which are sponsored by Great American Group. The grand prize is the "Great American Cup," also sponsored by Great American Group, which will be awarded to the top player at the end of the Tour season. Registration is free. Click here for more information and a list of 2013 ABI Golf Tour event venues.

NEW BANKRUPTCY PROFESSIONALS: DON'T MISS THE NUTS AND BOLTS PROGRAM AT ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING! SPECIAL PRICING IF YOU ARE AN ASM REGISTRANT!

An outstanding faculty of judges and practitioners explains the fundamentals of bankruptcy in a one-day Nuts and Bolts program on April 18 being held in conjunction with ABI's Annual Spring Meeting. Ideal training for junior professionals or those new to this practice area!

The morning session covers concepts all bankruptcy practitioners need to know, and the afternoon session splits into concurrent tracks, focusing on consumer and business issues. The session will include written materials, practice tip sessions with bankruptcy judges, continental breakfast and a reception after the program. Click here to register!

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: NORTH AMERICAN BANKING CO. V. LEONARD (IN RE WEB2B PAYMENT SOLUTIONS INC.; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Brendan Gage, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern & Western Districts of Arkansas

Affirming the bankruptcy court, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Eighth Circuit held that a creditor loses its possessory lien in deposit accounts when it turns over the account funds to the trustee without requesting a court to adequately protect its lien in the funds.

There are more than 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: WHAT IS NEXT FOR CREDITORS OF DETROIT?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines the potential next steps for creditors of financially distressed Detroit.

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

Who will win the NCAA basketball tournament?

Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT EVENT:

 

 

 

BBW 2013
April 5, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

 

BBW 2013
April 10, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM NAB 2013
April 18, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
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NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
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ASM 2013
July 18-21, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

April
- ABI Live Webinar: "Legacy Liabilities : Dealing with Environmental, Pension, Union and Similar Types of Claims"
     April 5, 2013
- ABI Live Webinar: "Student Loans: Bankruptcy May Not Have the Answers - But Does Congress?"
     April 10, 2013
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM
     April 18, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.
- Annual Spring Meeting
     April 18-21, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.

May
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at NYCBC
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- ABI Endowment Cocktail Reception
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- New York City Bankruptcy Conference
     May 16, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Litigation Skills Symposium
     May 21-24, 2013 | Dallas, Texas


  

 

June
- Memphis Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     June 7, 2013 | Memphis, Tenn.
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 13-16, 2013 | Grand Traverse, Mich.

July
- Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Northeast Consumer Forum
     July 11-14, 2013 | Newport, R.I.
- Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
     July 18-21, 2013 | Amelia Island, Fla.


 
 
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Revamped Consumer Bankruptcy Forms Out for Public Comment

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 8 2013
 
  

January 8, 2013

 
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  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.

ABI IN-DEPTH

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.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

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NEXT EVENT:

 

 

WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Jan. 24-25, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
Registration Deadline Extended to Friday, Jan. 11!

 

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
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BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

January
- Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     January 21, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
     January 24-25, 2013 | Denver, Colo.

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
     February 7-9, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- Kansas City Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
     February 17-19, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.


  

- VALCON 2013
     February 20-22, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.

March
- 37th Annual Alexander L. Paskay Seminar on Bankruptcy Law and Practice
     March 7-9, 2013 | St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
     March 22, 2013 | Los Angeles, Calif.

April
- Annual Spring Meeting
     April 18-21, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.


 
 
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Analysis Foreclosure Wave Averted as Doomsayers Defied

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 27 2012
 
  

November 29, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: FORECLOSURE WAVE AVERTED AS DOOMSAYERS DEFIED

The U.S. has not seen the surge of delinquent homes predicted by market researchers, academics and Wall Street analysts following the settlement of the government's investigation into faulty mortgage practices, Bloomberg News reported today. The flood failed to materialize, even after the five biggest U.S. mortgage servicers reached a $25 billion settlement with federal and state regulators in February. Instead, the number of properties for sale shrank to the fewest in a decade, prices appreciated at the fastest pace since 2005, and the gradual healing of the housing market helped boost consumer confidence and the economy. Banks have stepped up foreclosure alternatives to avoid legal challenges. They are forgiving debt, modifying payment plans and approving short sales that allow homeowners to sell for less than they owe. Read more.

U.S. MORTGAGE-BACKER ROLE GROWS AS FISCAL TALKS DELAY FIX

The federal government's role as the backer of most U.S. home loans is becoming entrenched as fiscal issues divert Congress and the White House from a housing-finance overhaul that would shift more risk to private capital, Bloomberg News reported today. At the core of such an overhaul is the future of Washington, D.C.-based Fannie Mae and McLean, Va.-based Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that provide market liquidity by buying home loans and bundling them into securities. As they neared collapse in 2008, the companies were placed into federal conservatorship. "It is vital to the long-term health of our country’s housing and financial markets that our elected leaders seek to bring the conservatorships to a conclusion, and to define the government's role and requirements for housing finance in the future," said Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Edward J. DeMarco. Housing-finance reform is only “number two or three” on the agenda for Congress, Jim Millstein, the former U.S. Treasury Department chief restructuring officer who now runs advisory firm Millstein & Co., said. "The reality is that a now-four-year-long conservatorship is no longer even threatening to become a nationalization of the mortgage market," said Millstein. "It is becoming the nationalization of the mortgage market." Read more.

DODD-FRANK SWAP-CLEARING RULE GETS CFTC FINAL APPROVAL

Wall Street's largest swap dealers, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., will be required to guarantee trades at clearinghouses starting in March under a rule made final by the top U.S. derivatives regulator, Bloomberg News reported today. The five-member Commodity Futures Trading Commission voted unanimously in a private process yesterday to complete the final determinations, the agency said. The rule, which had been scheduled for a public vote, determines which credit and interest-rate swaps must be guaranteed at clearinghouses owned by LCH.Clearnet Group Ltd., CME Group Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. "Central clearing lowers the risk of the highly interconnected financial system," CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler said. "It also democratizes the market by eliminating the need for market participants to individually determine counterparty credit risk, as now clearinghouses stand between buyers and sellers." Read more.

FINAL VOLCKER RULE TO BE DELAYED UNTIL 2013

Due to the complexity of the Volcker rule, the challenges of agency coordination and the volume of feedback regulators received, government officials are now pointing to the first quarter of 2013 as a more likely deadline over the year-end goal shared previously by participants like Martin Gruenberg, acting chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., CNBC.com reported yesterday. "Our goal is to achieve a strong and consistent rule, although the process is not as easy or simple as any of us would like," said Treasury Undersecretary Mary Miller. Miller noted that regulators had received more than 18,000 comment letters on the proposed rule, but they were making "steady progress" toward its implementation. The rule, part of the Dodd-Frank Act, aims to restrict banks from making certain speculative investments for their own gain — also known as proprietary trading. Such practices came under harsh scrutiny during the financial crisis when banks made big bets based on the direction of the economy, while advising clients otherwise. Read more.

EXPERTS SAY BANKRUPTCY AN UNATTRACTIVE OPTION FOR DETROIT

While Detroit appears to be headed toward chapter 9 bankruptcy as political and legal battles continue to stall fiscal reforms required by the state for the release of millions in critical bond funding, financial and legal experts warn that the city should avoid bankruptcy, the Detroit News reported today. Experts say that Detroit, which would be the biggest city ever to file for bankruptcy protection in American history, should steel itself for a long, costly process involving a litany of unknowns if the state allows it to proceed with a chapter 9 filing. "The way the laws are now, it's a really messy option," said Kenneth Whipple, a retired businessman and member of the city's Financial Advisory Board created by Gov. Rick Snyder to help monitor Detroit's finances. "There aren't any cities as big as Detroit in as complicated a legal structure that have gone that way." The city and state have been at an impasse over the specific reforms Detroit must meet as part of a "milestone agreement" to claim $30 million in state bond funding that is currently being held in escrow. Detroit needs the funds to get through yet another short-term cash crunch, but the Snyder administration seems unwilling to budge. Read more.

LIVE WEBCASTS AVAILABLE TOMORROW FROM ABI'S WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE!

Not able to attend ABI’s Winter Leadership Conference starting today in Tucson, Ariz.? You will not want to miss two events tomorrow available via live webstream: ABI’s Chapter 11 Commission and a concert by ABI’s Indubitable Equivalents dedicated to Steven Golick.

• At 1:15 p.m. ET (11:15 a.m. MT), ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 will hold its final public hearing of 2012. Members are encouraged to watch the hearing via a live webstream available at http://commission.abi.org. All materials are part of the Commission's record to be transmitted to Congress following the two-year investigation and report.

• At 11:30 p.m. ET (9:30 pm MT), ABI’s Indubitable Equivalents will perform a concert dedicated to ABI member, leader and band mate, Steven Golick, who has recently undergone successful surgery to remove a brain tumor. Steve will be watching from his home in Toronto. Watch the concert live at www.abiband.com.

RICHMOND BAR CALLING FOR NOMINATIONS TO FILL JUDICIAL VACANCY; SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DEC. 13

The Judiciary Committee of the Richmond (Va.) Bar Association invites ABI members to submit nominations to fill a judicial vacancy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond. The court is looking to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Bankruptcy Judge Douglas O. Tice, Jr. Suggestions must be in writing and should be mailed to Virginia H. Grigg, Esq., c/o Richmond Bar Association, P.O. Box 1213, Richmond, Virginia 23218 or hand-delivered to her at the Bar office located at 707 E. Main Street, Suite 1620, Richmond, VA 23219. Nominations must be received by 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 13, 2012 in order to be considered.

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: KEYSER V. WASATCH TOWERS CONDOMINIUM OWNERS ASSOCIATION INC. (IN RE KEYSER; 10TH CIR.)

Summarized by Brendan Gage of St. John's University School of Law

Affirming the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, the Tenth Circuit dismissed an appeal by debtor Steven Keyser for lack of jurisdiction because his notice of appeal was untimely under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8002(a).

There are over 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: COURT DECISION SPELLS WIN FOR VITRO BONDHOLDERS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines a U.S. appellate court decision yesterday that upheld a bankruptcy court decision to reject Mexican glassmaker's Vitro SAB’s controversial bankruptcy plan. The decision represented a win for bondholders that have been sparring with the company for years over its debt restructuring plan.

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.

LATEST BLOOMBERG LAW VIDEO: BILL ON BANKRUPTCY- PATRIOT COAL CASE KICKED FROM MANHATTAN TO ST. LOUIS

The decision sending the Patriot Coal Corp. reorganization to St. Louis will focus debate on the near impossibility of convincing a judge in New York or Delaware to send a bankruptcy somewhere else, as Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle discuss on their new video. Click here to watch.

ABI Quick Poll

Despite the "free and clear" language of Sect. 363(f), purchasers of assets in 363 sales may still be liable for injuries to unidentifiable future claimants. (In re Grumman Olson Indus, S.D.N.Y.).

Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

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TOMORROW:

LIVE WEBCASTS AVAILABLE TOMORROW FROM ABI'S WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE:

• ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 public hearing at 1:15 p.m. ET (11:15 a.m. MT).
Click here to access.

• ABI’s Indubitable Equivalents concert dedicated to ABI member, leader and band mate, Steven Golick at 11:30 p.m. ET (9:30 pm MT).
Click here to access.

 

COMING UP:

 

 

MT 2012
Dec. 4-8, 2012
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WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Jan. 24-25, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

December
- Forty-Hour Bankruptcy Mediation Training
     December 4-8, 2012 | New York, N.Y.

2013

January
- Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     January 21, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
     January 24-25, 2013 | Denver, Colo.

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
     February 7-9, 2013 | Miami, Fla.


  


- Kansas City Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
     February 17-19, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.
- VALCON 2013
     February 20-22, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.

March
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
     March 22, 2012 | Los Angeles, Calif.


 
 
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Pension Proposal Aims to Ease Future Burden on States and Cities

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | July 9, 2013
 
  

July 9, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

PENSION PROPOSAL AIMS TO EASE FUTURE BURDEN ON STATES AND CITIES

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is set to introduce legislation that would allow states and cities to exit the pension business while still giving public workers the type of benefits they want, the New York Times DealBook blog reported today. It involves a tax-law change that would enable governments to turn their pension plans over to life insurers. Big players like MetLife and Prudential, to cite just two, might thus step into shoes now occupied by the likes of CalPERS, California’s giant state pension system. Any such change would be voluntary, said Hatch, who along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is committed to working on a tax overhaul package this year, and the public-pension change could be one part of that. Working with insurers would not suddenly make trillions of dollars appear, but Hatch said that it would make costs more predictable and protect both retirees and taxpayers. The proposal “does not include an explicit or implicit government guarantee,” he said. Read more.

ANALYSIS: FINANCIAL CRISIS JUST A SYMPTOM OF DETROIT'S WOES

As officials in Detroit negotiate urgently with creditors and unions in a last-ditch effort to spare Detroit from plunging into the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history, residents say that the city has worse problems than its estimated $18 billion debt, the New York Times reported today. The Detroit police’s average response time to calls for the highest-priority crimes this year was 58 minutes, officials now overseeing the city say. The department’s recent rate of solving cases was 8.7 percent, far lower, the officials acknowledge, than rates in cities like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and St. Louis. Kevyn D. Orr, the state-appointed emergency financial manager for Detroit, has said that the chances of filing for bankruptcy, a possibility that could be decided as early as this month, stand at 50-50. The prospect of a bankruptcy filing — a move that is extremely rare for cities and one that has never happened to an American city as populous as Detroit, with about 700,000 people — worries some residents. They say they fear that bankruptcy would add more stigma to a city that has contracted alarmingly in the decades since it was the nation’s fourth largest, starting in the 1920s, and that it might worsen already bare-bones services. Read more.

CFTC WEIGHS DELAY OF SWAPS RULES

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Gary Gensler is proposing to partially delay controversial cross-border derivatives rules slated to go into effect Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The move is an about-face for Gensler, who previously refused to delay a requirement that U.S. banks operating abroad comply with U.S. swaps rules, despite mounting pleas from fellow commissioners, lawmakers and overseas policy makers. Gensler now is floating a compromise that would implement some provisions almost immediately and delay others until the end of the year. The agency may vote as soon as Friday on the rules, which require that firms trading derivatives hold more capital and post collateral to a clearinghouse that secures the deal. Gensler's proposal comes after a tense meeting last week with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White. Lew pressed Gensler and White to better coordinate adoption and implementation of U.S. swaps rules. Lew has received complaints from policy makers and others about a lack of coordination between U.S. and foreign governments. Read more. (Subscription required.)

DODD-FRANK EXECUTIVE PAY RULE STILL IN LIMBO AMID PUSHBACK FROM CORPORATE AMERICA

Soon after Congress in 2010 approved the largest overhaul of financial regulation in generations, the Securities and Exchange Commission moved to enforce a provision requiring companies to disclose how much more their chief executives made than other employees, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. The agency just had to write a rule telling firms how to comply, but nearly three years later, the rule remains unfinished, with no sign of when it will be done. Within six months of the law’s passage in 2010, SEC staffers had circulated an early blueprint for the pay rule. They set a deadline for completing it by the end of 2011. The public was outraged over runaway executive compensation, and the pay disclosure seemed relatively straightforward, at least compared with many of the law’s other requirements. What the agency did not count on was the resistance mounted by big business. A lobbying campaign waged by business executives and the nation’s most prominent corporate associations undercut the momentum and effectively brought the agency’s work on the rule to a standstill. The efforts of business groups to influence the SEC’s work was especially effective because of their success in pressing a court challenge to another part of the financial overhaul legislation — in essence, an extension of their lobbying efforts. The threat of additional lawsuits has hung over the discussion between lobbyists and agency officials about the pay rule, and some opponents have warned that the agency could be sued again if it enforces it. Read more.

DELAWARE-ONLY BYLAWS ON SHAREHOLDER SUITS TO CHANGE LEGAL LANDSCAPE

A recent ruling in Delaware is poised to change the landscape in big-ticket corporate litigation—to the delight of many companies and the likely chagrin of some shareholders, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Chancellor Leo Strine of the Delaware Court of Chancery late last month ruled that corporate boards may adopt bylaws requiring that most shareholder lawsuits against the companies be filed in Delaware. The ruling effectively gives the thousands of businesses incorporated in Delaware home-field advantage in shareholder suits. The Delaware Chancery Court, one of the country's most influential business courts, doesn't use juries and is regarded as relatively business friendly compared with other courts. Forcing shareholders to sue in Delaware—and only Delaware—is a way to forestall a wave of lawsuits getting filed in several courts every time a merger or other major corporate action is announced. Roughly 300 corporations have adopted Delaware-only provisions in recent years to stem a rising tide of multicourt shareholder litigation. Mergers and acquisitions, in particular, have provided fodder for suits outside of Delaware, with shareholder plaintiffs demanding jury trials in a variety of states to challenge deals. Read more. (Subscription required.)

MAKE SURE TO PRE-ORDER ABI'S NEWEST PUBLICATION UNDERSTANDING ORDINARY: A PRIMER ON FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS FOR ORDINARY COURSE DEFENSES TO PREFERENCE ACTIONS

Understanding Ordinary: A Primer on Financial and Economic Considerations for the Ordinary Course Defenses to Bankruptcy Preference Actions provides practitioners and others exposed to bankruptcy preference matters with an overview of bankruptcy preference basics, as well as a detailed discussion of the ordinary course of business defense – both between parties and within industries. Nearly every chapter includes a legal note written by an expert in the field, and the book is replete with charts that help illustrate many of the book's concepts. The 168-page softbound publication will ship in late July. To pre-order, please click here (be sure to log-in to receive ABI member pricing).

NEW ABI LIVE WEBINAR ON JULY 15 TO FOCUS ON THE § 1111(b) ELECTION, PLAN FEASIBILITY AND CRAMDOWN ISSUES

Utilizing a case study, ABI's panel of experts will explore issues surrounding a lender’s decision on whether or not to make an election under § 1111(b), plan feasibility and voting. The abiLIVE panel will also walk attendees through the necessary mathematical analyses used to analyze these issues. The webinar will take place on July 15 from 1-2:15 p.m. ET. Special ABI member rate available! Click here to register.

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; NEXT STOP IS THE NORTHEAST BANKRUPTCY CONFERENCE ON FRIDAY

The next stop for the ABI Golf Tour is the famed Newport National course in Newport, R.I., in conjunction with the Northeast Bankruptcy Conference on July 12. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup—sponsored by Great American Group—is based on your top three scores at seven scheduled ABI events, so play as many as you can before the tour wraps up at the Winter Leadership Conference in December. See the Tour page for details and course descriptions. The ABI Golf Tour combines networking with fun competition, as golfers "play their own ball." Including your handicap means everyone has an equal chance to compete for the glory of being crowned ABI's top golfer of 2013! There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour.

ABI IN-DEPTH

NORTON JUDICIAL EXCELLENCE AWARD NOMINATIONS OPEN

Nominations are now open for the 8th Annual Judge William L. Norton Judicial Excellence Award, to be presented during the ABI luncheon at the annual meeting of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges on Nov. 1, 2013. The award is presented by ABI and Thomson Reuters each year to the current or retired bankruptcy judge whose career embodies the same continued dedication and outstanding contributions to the insolvency community as the award’s namesake, Judge Norton. Nominations are considered by a committee made up of representatives from the Norton treatise and past ABI presidents. Nomination forms are available from Clay Mattson at Thomson Reuters ([email protected]).

NEW ABI "BANKRUPTCY IN DEPTH" ON-DEMAND CLE PROGRAM LOOKS AT PRINCIPLES OF PROPERTY OF THE ESTATE: DEMYSTIFYING EQUITABLE INTERESTS

In this 90-minute seminar, Profs. Andrew Kull of Boston University School of Law and Scott Pryor of Regent University School of Law provide an in-depth analysis of a legal principle that has become, in their words, "a long-lost area of the law": § 541 of the Bankruptcy Code. Seeking to demystify what is meant by "property of the estate" and, in particular, the distinction between legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property, Kull and Pryor describe the legal entanglements that ensue when legal title belongs to one person but the equitable title belongs to someone else. The cost of the seminar, which includes written materials and qualifies for 1.5 hours of CLE, is $95. To order or to learn more, click here.

ASSOCIATES: ABI'S NUTS & BOLTS ONLINE PROGRAMS HELP YOU HONE YOUR SKILLS WHILE SAVING ON CLE!

Associates looking to sharpen their bankruptcy knowledge should take advantage of ABI's special offer of combining general, business or consumer Nuts & Bolts online programs. Each program features an outstanding faculty of judges and practitioners explaining the fundamentals of bankruptcy, offering procedures and strategies tailored for both consumer and business attorneys. Click here to get the CLE you need at a great low price!

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: RYAN V. U.S. (IN RE RYAN; 7TH CIR.)

Summarized by Penelope Bach of Sulaiman Law Group

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the the bankruptcy court holding that the bankruptcy court's interpretation of § 506(d) as stated in Dewsnup v. Timm (502 U.S. 410 (1992)) applies in chapter 13 cases as well as chapter 7 cases.

There are more than 900 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: SUPREME COURT TO CONSIDER WHETHER STERN ALLOWS WAIVER OR CONSENT

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post takes a closer look in at Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison, No. 12-1200, which was granted certiorari on June 24. The post said that the Supreme Court has set the stage to flesh out the practical impact of Stern v. Marshall because it squarely raises the issue of whether a party can waive its right to insist on a trial before an Article III tribunal and the related question of whether consent is permissible.

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

When will the dowward trend of consumer bankruptcy filings turn around?

Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

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NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
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abiLIVEJuly
July 15, 2013
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July 18-21, 2013
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Aug. 8-10, 2013
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Aug. 22-24, 2013
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Sept. 10, 2013
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Sept. 12, 2013
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Sept. 18-19, 2013
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Oct. 11, 2013
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Oct. 14, 2013
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Nov. 11, 2013
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Dec. 8-12, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

July
- Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Northeast Consumer Forum
     July 11-14, 2013 | Newport, R.I.
- abiLIVE Webinar
     July 11-14, 2013 | Newport, R.I.
- Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
     July 18-21, 2013 | Amelia Island, Fla.

August
- Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop
    August 8-10, 2013 | Hershey, Pa.
- Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
    August 22-24, 2013 | Incline Village, Nev.

September
- ABI Endowment Golf & Tennis Outing
    Sept. 10, 2013 | Maplewood, N.J.
- ABI Endowment Baseball Game
    Sept. 12, 2013 | Baltimore, Md.
- Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
    Sept. 18-19, 2013 | New York
- Bankruptcy 2013: Views from the Bench
    Sept. 27, 2013 | Washington, D.C.


  


October
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program and Midwestern Consumer Forum
    Oct. 4, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.
- ABI Endowment Football Game
    Oct. 6, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- Professional Development Program
    Oct. 11, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Oct. 14, 2013 | Chicago, Ill.

November
- Austin Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
   Nov. 10-12, 2013 | Austin, Texas
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
   Nov. 11, 2013 | Detroit, Mich.

December
- ABI/St. John’s Bankruptcy Mediation Training
    Dec. 8-12, 2013 | New York


 
 
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More Homeowners Emerge from Underwater Status

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 19 2013
 
  

March 19, 2013

 
home  |  newsroom  |  chart of the day  |  blogs  |  bankruptcy code and rules  |  statistics  |  legislative news  |  volo
  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: MORE HOMEOWNERS EMERGE FROM "UNDERWATER" STATUS

Rising home values have lifted more borrowers out of the hole of owing more than their properties are worth, an encouraging sign for an economy still closely tied to the health of the housing market, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The number of "underwater" homeowners in the fourth quarter of 2012 declined by 1.7 million from a year earlier, meaning 1.7 million U.S. households have regained home equity, according to data released Tuesday by CoreLogic, a research company. Overall, the company said 21.5 percent of households with a mortgage were underwater at the end of 2012, down from 25.2 percent at the end of 2011. While the trends are encouraging, some newly above-water households are just barely at breakeven and therefore are a long way off from being able to change their finances in any significant way. And the overall ranks of those underwater remain large, at about 10.4 million, down from 12.1 million at the end of 2011, according to CoreLogic. Read more. (Subscription required.)

To see a state-by-state analysis of CoreLogic's 4Q 2012 data, be sure to check out ABI's Chart of the Day site.

FANNIE MAE SEES WAY TO REPAY BILLIONS TO U.S. TREASURY

The rebounding housing market has helped return Fannie Mae to profitability and now might allow the government-controlled mortgage-finance company to repay as much as $61.5 billion in rescue funds to the U.S. Treasury, the Wall Street Journal reported. The potential payment would be the upshot of an accounting move whereby the company would reclaim certain tax benefits that were written down shortly after the company was placed under federal control in 2008. The potential move was disclosed last week in a regulatory filing in which the company said that it would delay the release of its annual report, due yesterday, as it tries to reach a resolution with its accountants and regulator over the timing of the accounting move. The debate about when Fannie should be allowed to reclaim the deferred-tax assets comes as Fannie and its smaller sibling, Freddie Mac, are likely to show large profits in the coming quarters as the housing market gradually recovers from its prolonged bust. The potential payment also has political implications as lawmakers and regulators wrangle over the fate of the firms, which were placed into a federal conservatorship amid soaring losses. The Obama administration has publicly said that the two companies eventually would be wound down and has blocked them from retaining profits, but has done little to de-emphasize their role in the mortgage market. Read more. (Subscription required.)

CFPB ISSUES PROPOSAL TO SUPERVISE STUDENT LOAN SERVICERS

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Friday issued a proposal to supervise nonbank servicers of private and federal student loans that qualify as "larger participants" in the student loan servicing market, according to an analysis yesterday by Ballard Spahr LLP. The proposal represents an attempt by the CFPB to significantly expand its supervisory authority over student loan servicers. Because it already has supervisory authority over larger banks and nonbank private student lenders, the CFPB believes it should oversee student loan servicing by those entities. The CFPB's current authority to supervise nonbank private student lenders, however, does not allow it to supervise the nonbank student loan servicers that do not offer or provide private student loans. The proposal would allow the CFPB to supervise servicing of private and federal student loans by such nonbank servicers. Comments on the proposal will be due 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. Click here to read the proposal.

OBAMA CUTS STUDENT-DEBT COLLECTOR COMMISSIONS TO AID BORROWERS

President Barack Obama's administration slashed the commissions paid to private collection companies that chase overdue student loans, reducing an incentive to squeeze borrowers, Bloomberg News reported today. Previously, the U.S. Education Department paid a commission as high as 16 percent of the entire loan amount only if collectors convinced defaulted borrowers to make stiff monthly payments. Starting this month, the fee dropped to as low as 11 percent, regardless of payment size. With $77.4 billion worth of student loans in default, the federal government turns to an army of private collectors to pursue borrowers. These companies, which receive about $1 billion annually in commissions, have sparked growing complaints that they insist on high payments, even when borrowers qualify for leniency. Under the new schedule, collectors will no longer have an incentive to avoid offering affordable payments tied to borrowers' incomes. Read more.

PLASTIC-SHY YOUNG IN U.S. SPUR MOVE TO USE NEW CREDIT DATA

Thirty-nine percent of undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24 owned a credit card in 2012, down from 49 percent in 2010, a Sallie Mae and Ipsos Public Affairs survey found, Bloomberg News reported today. And young adults who do have credit cards are carrying smaller balances: A median of $1,600 in 2010 compared with $2,500 in 2001 for under-35 households, according to Federal Reserve data. The trend, rooted in stricter lending rules and weaker job outlooks for young Americans since the 2008-09 recession, has implications for the strength of the economy. Fewer are building the traditional credit histories that would help them obtain financing for the purchases of homes and cars, which is critical to economic growth. Credit bureaus and the lending industry are stepping up their search for new ways to bolster credit files, and young people who do not pay credit card bills often do pay mobile phone bills. As reporting agencies gather data from telephone, rent and other payments, some scoring models incorporate this information to help assess candidates' creditworthiness. Read more.

ANALYSIS: WORKERS SAVING TOO LITTLE TO RETIRE

Workers and employers in the U.S. are bracing for a retirement crisis, even as the stock market sits near highs and the economy shows signs of improvement, the Wall Street Journal reported today. New data show that powerful financial and demographic forces are combining to squeeze individuals and companies that are trying to save for the future and make their money last. Fifty-seven percent of U.S. workers surveyed reported less than $25,000 in total household savings and investments excluding their homes, according to a report to be released Tuesday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Only 49 percent reported having so little money saved in 2008. The survey also found that 28 percent of Americans have no confidence they will have enough money to retire comfortably—the highest level in the study's 23-year history. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NUMBER OF CASES FILED BY SEC SLOWS

The Securities and Exchange Commission is filing significantly fewer civil fraud cases this year as its efforts to punish misconduct related to the financial crisis start to ebb, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The agency is likely to fall short this fiscal year of its record-breaking number of enforcement actions in the previous two years. The expected drop in the numbers could be a headache for Mary Jo White, the former prosecutor nominated by President Barack Obama to be SEC chairman. A Senate panel is set to approve White's appointment today, the last step before the full Senate votes on it. White last week told a Senate hearing that she would strengthen the SEC's enforcement function to ensure that "all wrongdoers … will be aggressively and successfully called to account." The slowdown in enforcement actions reflects changes in the economic cycle, according to SEC officials. "We're at a point of inflection in our enforcement program," George Canellos, acting SEC enforcement head, said last month. Market meltdowns on the scale of the 2008 crisis, when companies implode and trillions of dollars are wiped off asset values, tend to expose major frauds and produce big cases, Canellos said. "We're now in a different era," he added. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NEW ABI BOOK EXPLORES THE DEPTHS OF DEEPENING INSOLVNECY

Any company executive juggling the competing demands of the troubled firm and its obligations to investors, as well as litigators practicing on either side of the insolvency aisle, will be interested in ABI’s latest publication, The Depths of Deepening Insolvency: Damage Exposure for Officers, Directors and Others. Authors Kathy Bazoian Phelps (Diamond McCarthy LLP) and Prof. Jack F. Williams (Mesirow Financial) wrote the book from both the plaintiffs' and defendants' perspectives to offer a deep analysis of the legal principle known as "deepening insolvency." The book also provides potential defenses that may be asserted to deepening insolvency allegations, as well as a state-by-state list of significant case law on this issue. To find out more about the book or to pre-order your copy, please click here. (Make sure to log in using your ABI member credentials to obtain the ABI member discount.)

DON'T MISS ACB'S FREE EVENT, "THE AUTO BANKRUPTCIES: CHECKING THE REARVIEW MIRROR," ON MARCH 22!

ABI members are encouraged to register for the American College of Bankruptcy's "The Auto Bankruptcies: Checking the Rearview Mirror" on March 22 at Boston College Law School in Newton, Mass. The afternoon event will feature key players looking back at the events that led to GM and Chrysler being placed into bankruptcy and the lessons that have been learned from the cases. Panelists include:

Corinne Ball of Jones Day (New York), who served as lead bankruptcy counsel to Chrysler.

Matthew A. Feldman of Willkie Farr and Gallagher LLP (New York), who served as chief legal advisor to the Obama administration's Task Force on the Auto Industry.

• Hon. Arthur J. Gonzalez, a Senior Fellow at New York University School of Law and formerly the Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, who presided over the Chrysler chapter 11 proceedings.

Harvey R. Miller of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (New York), who served as lead bankruptcy counsel to GM.

The moderator will be Mark N. Berman of Nixon Peabody LLP (New York).

Registration for the afternoon event is free, so be sure to sign up today before it reaches capacity!

HOTEL BLOCK FOR ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING ALMOST SOLD OUT! REGISTER TODAY!

The hotel block at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., is almost sold out for ABI’s 2013 Annual Spring Meeting! Held April 18-21, 2013, ASM features a roster of the best national speakers, while the depth and scope of topics offer something for everyone. Specifically, four concurrent workshops will cover various “tracks,” including programs for attorneys in commercial cases, a track for restructuring professionals, a track of professional development programming and a track dealing solely with consumer issues. More than 16 hours of CLE/CPE is offered in some states, along with ethics credit totaling 3 hours, making the cost only about $50 per credit. In addition, committee sessions will drill down on other topics to provide you with the most practical and varied CLE/CPE experience ever. Sessions include:

• 17th Annual Great Debates
• Mediation: An Irrational Approach to a Rational Result
• Creditors’ Committees and the Role of Indenture Trustees and Related Issues
• Current Issues for Financial Advisors in Bankruptcy Cases
• The Individual Conundrum: Chapter 7, 11 or 13?
• The Power to Veto Bankruptcy Sales
• Real Estate Issues in Health Care Restructurings
• How to Be a Successful Expert
• The Ethical Compass: Multiple Ethical Schemes Applicable to Financial Advisors
• Chapter 9s, Nonprofits and Other Nontraditional Restructuring Processes
• And much more!

The Spring Meeting will also feature a field hearing of the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, a report from the ABI Ethics Task Force, a luncheon panel discussion moderated by Bill Rochelle of Bloomberg News, and a Final Night Gala Dinner featuring a concert by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts!

Make sure to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

Starting with the Annual Spring Meeting, ABI will offer conference registrants the option to participate in the ABI Golf Tour. The Tour will take place concurrently with all conference golf tournaments. The Tour is designed enhance the golfing experience for serious golfers, while still offering a fun networking opportunity for players of any ability. As opposed to the format used in the regular ABI conference events, Tour participants will "play their own ball." They will be grouped on the golf course separately from other conference golf participants and will typically play ahead of the other participants, expediting Tour play. Tour participants will randomly be grouped in foursomes, unless otherwise requested of the Commissioner in advance of each tournament. Prizes will be awarded for each individual Tour event, which are sponsored by Great American Group. The grand prize is the "Great American Cup," also sponsored by Great American Group, and will be awarded to the top player at the end of the Tour season. Registration is free. Click here for more information and a list of 2013 ABI Golf Tour event venues.

NEW BANKRUPTCY PROFESSIONALS: DON'T MISS THE NUTS AND BOLTS PROGRAM AT ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING! SPECIAL PRICING IF YOU ARE AN ASM REGISTRANT!

An outstanding faculty of judges and practitioners explains the fundamentals of bankruptcy in a one-day Nuts and Bolts program on April 18 being held in conjunction with ABI's Annual Spring Meeting. Ideal training for junior professionals or those new to this practice area!

The morning session covers concepts all bankruptcy practitioners need to know, and the afternoon session splits into concurrent tracks, focusing on consumer and business issues. The session will include written materials, practice tip sessions with bankruptcy judges, continental breakfast and a reception after the program. Click here to register!

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: GORDON V. PAPPALARDO (IN RE GORDON; 1ST CIR.)

Summarized by Jennifer L. Saffer of J.L. Saffer, P.C.

In this appeal by a debtor in her chapter 13 case, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) for the First Circuit affirmed, after de novo review, the bankruptcy court’s order sustaining the chapter 13 trustee’s objection to the debtor's claimed exemption in a scheduled remainder interest in real estate. Affirming the decision of the bankruptcy court, the BAP determined that the property claimed as exempt was not "owned" by the debtor as required by and within the meaning of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 188, § 3(a); the debtor had elected Massachusetts exemption rules rather than the federal, as was her option under 11 U.S.C. § 522(b).

There are more than 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: CONGRESS, NOT FHFA, SHOULD BE REFORMING THE GSEs

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post found that while there is an emerging bipartisan consensus on the way forward for the secondary mortgage market, Congress has punted on what should be done with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the (Federal Housing Finance Agency) FHFA is taking significant steps without hearings or public discussion.

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

Who will win the NCAA basketball tournament?

Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

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BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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April 5, 2013
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April 10, 2013
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ASM NAB 2013
April 18, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
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NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
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ASM 2013
July 18-21, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

March
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
     March 22, 2013 | Los Angeles, Calif.
- ACB's Free Event, "The Auto Bankruptcies: Checking the Rearview Mirror" Program
     March 22, 2013 | Newton, Mass.

April
- ABI Live Webinar: "Legacy Liabilities : Dealing with Environmental, Pension, Union and Similar Types of Claims"
     April 5, 2013
- ABI Live Webinar: "Student Loans: Bankruptcy May Not Have the Answers - But Does Congress?"
     April 10, 2013
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM
     April 18, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.
- Annual Spring Meeting
     April 18-21, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.


  

 

May
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at NYCBC
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- ABI Endowment Cocktail Reception
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- New York City Bankruptcy Conference
     May 16, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Litigation Skills Symposium
     May 21-24, 2013 | Dallas, Texas

June
- Memphis Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     June 7, 2013 | Memphis, Tenn.
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 13-16, 2013 | Grand Traverse, Mich.

July
- Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Northeast Consumer Forum
     July 11-14, 2013 | Newport, R.I.
- Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
     July 18-21, 2013 | Amelia Island, Fla.


 
 
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February Bankruptcy Filings Decrease 21 Percent from Previous Year Commercial Filings Fall 29 Percent

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 5 2013
 
  

March 5, 2013

 
home  |  newsroom  |  chart of the day  |  blogs  |  bankruptcy code and rules  |  statistics  |  legislative news  |  volo
  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

FEBRUARY BANKRUPTCY FILINGS DECREASE 21 PERCENT FROM PREVIOUS YEAR, COMMERCIAL FILINGS FALL 29 PERCENT

Total bankruptcy filings in the United States decreased 21 percent in February over last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 82,285 in February 2013, down from the February 2012 total of 104,537. Consumer filings declined 21 percent to 78,611 from the February 2012 consumer filing total of 99,378. Total commercial filings in February 2013 decreased to 3,674, representing a 29 percent decline from the 5,159 business filings recorded in February 2012. Total commercial chapter 11 filings also decreased 21 percent, to 609 filings in February from the 756 commercial chapter 11 filings recorded in February 2012.

While bankruptcies were down from a year ago, February’s bankruptcy filings trended upward from January. Total bankruptcy filings for the month of February represented a 5 percent increase over the 78,565 total filings registered in January 2013. The total noncommercial filings for February also represented a 5 percent increase from the January 2013 noncommercial filing total of 74,831. Although the February commercial filing total represented a 2 percent decline from the January 2013 commercial filing total of 3,734, February commercial chapter 11 filings represented a 27 percent increase when compared to the 481 filings the previous month. Read the ABI press release.

STATES, PRIVATE PLAINTIFFS PRESS SUIT AGAINST WALL STREET REFORM LAW

The plaintiffs that are challenging the constitutionality of the Wall Street reform law and the leadership of the Obama administration's new consumer protection agency are fighting to keep alive a suit in Washington, D.C., federal district court, the Legal Times reported on Friday. The private plaintiffs, including advocacy group Competitive Enterprise Institute and Texas-based State National Bank of Big Spring, on Feb. 27 responded to the U.S. Justice Department's effort to end the litigation. The 11 states that have joined the suit include Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Ohio. The attorneys for the private plaintiffs, including O'Melveny & Myers partner Gregory Jacob and C. Boyden Gray, said in their court papers that the plaintiffs have presented sufficient evidence that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act gave "unchecked and unprecedented powers" to federal agencies, including the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The states that joined the lawsuit are only challenging the government's ability to liquidate the largest banks, not the composition of the CFPB. Read more.

COMMENTARY: BLEEDING THE BORROWER DRY

Though 15 states have banned predatory, high-interest loans that payday lenders commonly use to pillage low-income borrowers, offshore lenders increasingly get around state laws by issuing predatory loans over the Internet, according to an editorial in yesterday's New York Times. About 12 million borrowers turn to payday lenders each year. A new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that only about 14 percent of borrowers can afford to take enough out of their monthly budget to repay the average payday loan. Instead, average borrowers carry a debt for five months, during which time they pay repeated fees to renew the loan. By the fifth month, someone who borrowed $375 will have paid about $520 in interest alone. Many also resort to borrowing from additional payday lenders. Not surprisingly, payday borrowers are more likely than others to default on credit card debt, to file for bankruptcy or to lose their bank accounts because of abuse of overdraft privileges. A bill pending in the Senate known as the Safe Lending Act would require all online lenders to comply with state laws that provide stronger consumer protections than the federal statutes. It would establish once and for all that payday loan borrowers have the right to stop lenders from raiding their bank accounts. State and federal regulators also need to prohibit banks from giving payday lenders access to the automatic payment system in states where predatory, high-interest loans are illegal. Read the full editorial.

REPORT: YOUNG ADULTS RETREAT FROM PILING UP DEBT

Young people are racking up larger amounts of student debt than ever before, but fresh data suggest they are becoming warier of other kinds of borrowing: Total debt among young adults dropped in the last decade to the lowest level in 15 years, the Wall Street Journal reported today. A typical young U.S. household—defined as one led by someone under age 35—had $15,000 in total debt in 2010, down from $18,000 in 2001 and the lowest since 1995, according to a recent Pew Research Center report and government data. Total debt includes mortgage loans, credit cards, auto lending, student loans and other consumer borrowing. In addition, fewer young adults carried credit card balances, and 22 percent did not have any debt at all in 2010—the most since government tracking began in 1983. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: MOST BIG M&A DEALS FACED LEGAL CHALLENGES IN 2012

A study released by Cornerstone Research on Thursday found that it was rare for a merger or acquisition deal in 2012 to escape legal challenges from shareholders, Corporate Counsel reported on Friday. Nearly 96 percent of M&A deals valued at more than $500 million and 93 percent of those valued at more than $100 million engendered suits, according to Cornerstone's report titled, "Shareholder Litigation Involving Mergers and Acquisitions." On average, the report found that deals attracted more than 4.8 suits per transaction, with some filed within hours after an announcement. The average time between announcement of a deal and commencement of a legal challenge was 14 days, the report said. Read more.

DON’T MISS THE ABI LIVE WEBINAR ON APRIL 5 - "LEGACY LIABILITIES: DEALING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL, PENSION, UNION AND SIMILAR TYPES OF CLAIMS"

A panel of experts has been assembled for a webinar on April 5 from 1-2:15 p.m. ET to discuss environmental and pension liabilities, the statutory schemes under which these liabilities arise and the key players involved. Are non-monetary environmental claims dischargeable? Do post-petition expenditures for environmental cleanup constitute administrative expenses? When can an employer terminate a pension plan in bankruptcy, what is the process and what are the consequences? Learn the answer to these questions and more from the comfort of your own office. Special ABI member rate is available! Register here as this webinar is sure to sell out.

ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING: CONSUMER PROGRAMMING WITH CROSS-OVER APPEAL

With four session tracks looking at issues geared toward chapter 11 restructurings, financial advisors, professional development and consumer bankruptcy, a number of sessions at ABI's Annual Spring Meeting have cross-over appeal for both consumer and business practitioners. Sessions include:

The Appellate Process: This distinguished panel will explore recent issues in appellate practice that are of interest to both consumer and business practitioners, including the ability to bypass intermediary appellate courts and take appeals directly to the circuit courts.

Consumer Class Actions: This panel will explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of class actions by debtors/trustees against creditors in chapter 13 cases, which are highlighted by two recent decisions of the Fifth Circuit. Many of the issues discussed during this panel will be useful in business cases as well.

The Individual Conundrum - Chapter 7, 11 or 13?: Deciding on the appropriate chapter for a high net worth individual contemplating a bankruptcy filing can be a daunting task. This panel will explore the considerations that guide the practitioner in advising individual clients in making this decision.

To register for the Annual Spring Meeting and to see the full schedule of program tracks and events, please click here.

ABI IN-DEPTH

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR APRIL 10 TO TAKE PART IN ABI’S LIVE WEBINAR "STUDENT LOANS: BANKRUPTCY MAY NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS – BUT DOES CONGRESS?"

Do not miss the "Student Loans: Bankruptcy May Not Have the Answers - But Does Congress?" webinar presented by ABI's Consumer Bankruptcy Committee on April 10 from noon-1:15 ET. ABI's panel of experts will provide an overview of the student loan industry, examine the numbers behind and causes of student loan debt, and discuss federal loan programs as well as federal consolidation and forgiveness programs. Faculty on the webinar includes:

  • Prof. Daniel A. Austin of Northeastern University School of Law (Boston)

  • Edward "Ted" M. King of Frost Brown Todd LLC (Louisville, Ky.)

  • Craig Zimmerman of the Law Offices of Craig Zimmerman (Santa Ana, Calif.)

CLE credit will be available for the webinar. This webinar is sure to sell out; register now for the special ABI member rate of $75!

NEW BANKRUPTCY PROFESSIONALS: DON'T MISS THE NUTS AND BOLTS PROGRAM AT ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING! SPECIAL PRICING IF YOU ARE AN ASM REGISTRANT!

An outstanding faculty of judges and practitioners explains the fundamentals of bankruptcy in a one-day Nuts and Bolts program on April 18 being held in conjunction with ABI's Annual Spring Meeting. Ideal training for junior professionals or those new to this practice area!

The morning session covers concepts all bankruptcy practitioners need to know, and the afternoon session splits into concurrent tracks, focusing on consumer and business issues. The session will include written materials, practice tip sessions with bankruptcy judges, continental breakfast and a reception after the program. Click here to register!

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: PAUL V. ALLRED (IN RE PAUL; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Michael Tamburini of Polsinelli Shughart, PC

The BAP affirmed the order of the bankruptcy court concluding that the debtor had abandoned the subject property as his homestead, and therefore was not permitted to claim a homestead exemption on it.

There are more than 750 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: ASSIGNMENT OF RENTS: GOVERNMENT BENEFIT CARDS CAN OPEN DOORS TO BANKING SYSTEM

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. Cards preloaded with unemployment insurance, child support, food stamps and other government benefits can be viewed as potential bank accounts, waiting to be opened by people with the fewest quality opportunities to connect to the financial mainstream, according to a recent blog post.

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

As a result of the RadLAX decision, the right to credit-bid will likely chill bidding at auctions, as potential purchasers may be dissuaded from participating in the bidding process.

Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

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THURSDAY:

 

 

 

Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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BBW 2013
April 5, 2013
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BBW 2013
April 10, 2013
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BBW 2013
April 18, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
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NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

March
- 37th Annual Alexander L. Paskay Seminar on Bankruptcy Law and Practice
     March 7-9, 2013 | St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
     March 22, 2013 | Los Angeles, Calif.

April
- ABI Live Webinar: "Legacy Liabilities : Dealing with Environmental, Pension, Union and Similar Types of Claims"
     April 5, 2013
- ABI Live Webinar: "Student Loans: Bankruptcy May Not Have the Answers - But Does Congress?"
     April 10, 2013
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM
     April 18, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.
- Annual Spring Meeting
     April 18-21, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.


  

 

May
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at NYCBC
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- ABI Endowment Cocktail Reception
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- New York City Bankruptcy Conference
     May 16, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Litigation Skills Symposium
     May 21-24, 2013 | Dallas, Texas

June
- Memphis Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     June 7, 2013 | Memphis, Tenn.
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 13-16, 2013 | Grand Traverse, Mich.


 
 
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Regulators and 13 Banks Complete 9.3 Billion Deal for Foreclosure Relief

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | February 26 2013
 
  

February 28, 2013

 
home  |  newsroom  |  chart of the day  |  blogs  |  bankruptcy code and rules  |  statistics  |  legislative news  |  volo
  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

REGULATORS AND 13 BANKS COMPLETE $9.3 BILLION DEAL FOR FORECLOSURE RELIEF

Federal banking regulators have reached a $9.3 billion pact with 13 major lenders to settle claims of foreclosure abuses like bungled loan modifications and flawed paperwork, the New York Times DealBook blog reported today. The settlement is made up of $3.6 billion in cash relief and $5.7 billion in relief to avert foreclosures. Under the deal, homeowners can receive up to $125,000 in cash relief. Despite the banner numbers in the settlement, consumer groups and a range of lawmakers have criticized it for not providing enough relief for aggrieved homeowners. The agreement formalizes the tentative deals that were reached in January between the mortgage servicing companies and the regulators from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve. Read more.

FORECLOSURE SALES IN 2012 HIT LOWEST MARK IN FIVE YEARS

While 2012 had the fewest foreclosure-related sales of homes since 2007, RealtyTrac released figures today showing that levels remained far higher than before the bursting of the housing-market bubble, MarketWatch.com reported today. Almost 950,000 U.S. properties in some state of foreclosure or owned by a bank were sold in 2012, down 6 percent from the prior year, according to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace. Despite the decline, these sales remain far above the pre-bubble-burst levels: There were about 46,000 foreclosure-related sales in 2005, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosure-related sales made up about 21 percent of all U.S. residential sales last year, down from 23 percent in the prior year, but much greater than the roughly 1 percent of foreclosure sales in 2005. Meanwhile, properties sold as short sales rose 4 percent from the prior year. These short sales made up about 22 percent of all residential sales last year. Read more.

CFPB DECELERATES REVIEW OF CHECKING OVERDRAFT RULES

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which last year began exploring whether to tighten rules on checking overdraft fees, has decided against quick action after hearing from smaller U.S. banks that rely on the revenue, Bloomberg News reported today. The bureau announced Feb. 22, 2012, that it was collecting data on overdraft practices and would complete the inquiry by the end of 2012. Nine large banks, including Bank of America Corp., U.S. Bancorp and Regions Financial Corp., are providing information. This month, CFPB director Richard Cordray said that no decisions have been made about possible new rules, adding that "over the next couple of years" the agency will continue to work on the matter. Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, said revenue from overdraft fees represents 3 percent to 15 percent of total income for institutions in his association. In 2011, bank customers paid $31.6 billion in overdraft fees, down from $33.1 billion in 2010, according to Moebs Services, a research firm. About 15 million Americans overdraw their accounts 10 or more times a year, Moebs reported. Read more.

COMMENTARY: "TOO BIG TO FAIL" RULES HURTING "TOO SMALL TO COMPETE" BANKS

Almost five years have passed since governments in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. used about $600 billion in capital to shore up banks during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and regulators are still trying to ensure that it never happens again, according to a Bloomberg News commentary today. "With all the debating going on, the financial market structure didn't change very much," Zhu Min, the International Monetary Fund's deputy managing director, said in January. Some say the industry's biggest banks should be forced to break up, including Sanford Weill and John Reed, who created New York-based Citigroup Inc. They have said that financial conglomerates could be more valuable and safer if split apart. So have former Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive Officer David Komansky and former Morgan Stanley CEO Philip Purcell. Investors such as Joshua Siegel, founder and managing principal at New York-based StoneCastle Partners LLC, see bigger changes at the other end of the spectrum. Small banks will seek mergers because their management teams are aging and new regulations are too costly to bear, he says. JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, a critic of regulations he views as unnecessary or excessive, has recently touted the benefits. He told Citigroup analysts this month that new rules will help banks such as JPMorgan, the largest in the U.S., win market share from smaller competitors, the analysts wrote in a report. Read more.

ANALYSIS: FOR SEC, A SETBACK IN BID FOR MORE TIME IN FRAUD CASES

The Supreme Court yesterday delivered a swift and decisive rejection of the Securities and Exchange Commission's argument that it should operate under a more forgiving statute of limitations in pursuing penalties in fraud cases, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. As a result of the decision, the agency will have to find a long-term solution to give itself more time to investigate cases. In Gabelli v. Securities and Exchange Commission, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in the unanimous decision rejecting the SEC's argument that a federal statute that limits the government's authority to pursue civil penalties should commence when a fraud is discovered, not when it occurs. The SEC was hoping that the court would apply what is known as the "discovery rule." In 2010, the Supreme Court endorsed this rule in a private securities fraud class-action suit, Merck & Co. v. Reynolds, stating that "something different was needed in the case of fraud, where a defendant's deceptive conduct may prevent a plaintiff from even knowing that he or she has been defrauded." In the Gabelli case, the SEC filed fraud charges in 2008 against mutual fund manager Marc Gabelli and a colleague, Bruce Alpert, saying that they had violated the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 for permitting an investor to engage in market timing. In its complaint, the SEC sought civil monetary penalties based on market timing that it claimed had taken place from 1999 to 2002, which resulted in the preferred investor purportedly reaping significant profits while ordinary investors suffered large losses. Read more.

LATEST BLOOMBERG "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: SECRET MADOFF AGREEMENT MAY HARM VICTIMS

Money stolen from victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme is earmarked for someone who may have been an accomplice in the fraud, and the agreement is being kept secret by a federal district judge. That's the first item on the new video with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle. Click here to view.

DON’T MISS THE ABI LIVE WEBINAR ON APRIL 5 - "LEGACY LIABILITIES: DEALING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL, PENSION, UNION AND SIMILAR TYPES OF CLAIMS"

A panel of experts has been assembled for a webinar on April 5 from 1-2:15 p.m. ET to discuss environmental and pension liabilities, the statutory schemes under which these liabilities arise and the key players involved. Are non-monetary environmental claims dischargeable? Do post-petition expenditures for environmental cleanup constitute administrative expenses? When can an employer terminate a pension plan in bankruptcy, what is the process and what are the consequences? Learn the answer to these questions and more from the comfort of your own office. Special ABI member rate is available! Register here as this webinar is sure to sell out.

ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING: CONSUMER PROGRAMMING WITH CROSS-OVER APPEAL

With four session tracks looking at issues geared toward chapter 11 restructurings, financial advisors, professional development and consumer bankruptcy, a number of sessions at ABI's Annual Spring Meeting have cross-over appeal for both consumer and business practitioners. Sessions include:

The Appellate Process: This distinguished panel will explore recent issues in appellate practice that are of interest to both consumer and business practitioners, including the ability to bypass intermediary appellate courts and take appeals directly to the circuit courts.

Consumer Class Actions: This panel will explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of class actions by debtors/trustees against creditors in chapter 13 cases, which are highlighted by two recent decisions of the Fifth Circuit. Many of the issues discussed during this panel will be useful in business cases as well.

The Individual Conundrum - Chapter 7, 11 or 13?: Deciding on the appropriate chapter for a high net worth individual contemplating a bankruptcy filing can be a daunting task. This panel will explore the considerations that guide the practitioner in advising individual clients in making this decision.

To register for the Annual Spring Meeting and to see the full schedule of program tracks and events, please click here.

ABI IN-DEPTH

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR APRIL 10 TO TAKE PART IN ABI’S LIVE WEBINAR "STUDENT LOANS: BANKRUPTCY MAY NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS – BUT DOES CONGRESS?"

Do not miss the "Student Loans: Bankruptcy May Not Have the Answers - But Does Congress?" webinar presented by ABI's Consumer Bankruptcy Committee on April 10 from noon-1:15 ET. ABI's panel of experts will provide an overview of the student loan industry, examine the numbers behind and causes of student loan debt, and discuss federal loan programs as well as federal consolidation and forgiveness programs. Faculty on the webinar includes:

  • Prof. Daniel A. Austin of Northeastern University School of Law (Boston)

  • Edward "Ted" M. King of Frost Brown Todd LLC (Louisville, Ky.)

  • Craig Zimmerman of the Law Offices of Craig Zimmerman (Santa Ana, Calif.)

CLE credit will be available for the webinar. This webinar is sure to sell out; register now for the special ABI member rate of $75!

NEW BANKRUPTCY PROFESSIONALS: DON'T MISS THE NUTS AND BOLTS PROGRAM AT ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING! SPECIAL PRICING IF YOU ARE AN ASM REGISTRANT!

An outstanding faculty of judges and practitioners explains the fundamentals of bankruptcy in a one-day Nuts and Bolts program on April 18 being held in conjunction with ABI's Annual Spring Meeting. Ideal training for junior professionals or those new to this practice area!

The morning session covers concepts all bankruptcy practitioners need to know, and the afternoon session splits into concurrent tracks, focusing on consumer and business issues. The session will include written materials, practice tip sessions with bankruptcy judges, continental breakfast and a reception after the program. Click here to register!

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: CLINTON AVENUE CLO FUND LTD. V. BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. (11TH CIR.)

Summarized by Weston Eguchi of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Affirming the district court's rulings, the Eleventh Circuit concluded that (A) the plaintiff term lenders lacked standing to enforce the defendant revolving lenders' promise to lend to borrowers under a credit agreement; and (B) summary judgment on the issue of whether the revolving lenders were required to fund under the credit agreement was inappropriate where the relevant contractual language was ambiguous such that consideration of extrinsic evidence of the parties' intent would be necessary.

There are more than 750 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: ASSIGNMENT OF RENTS: SIXTH CIRCUIT THROWS OUT DEBT-BUYER SETTLEMENT

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new blog post reported that the Sixth Circuit recently threw out a nationwide settlement involving Midland, a robo-signing debt buyer, and more than a million consumers. This will allow other class and individual actions to proceed against Midland. The suit was thrown out for faulty notice to class members, who were not told in the settlement notice that they’d lose their individual fraud claims against Midland.

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

As a result of the RadLAX decision, the right to credit-bid will likely chill bidding at auctions, as potential purchasers may be dissuaded from participating in the bidding process.

Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT WEEK:

 

 

 

Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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BBW 2013
April 5, 2013
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BBW 2013
April 10, 2013
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BBW 2013
April 18, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
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NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

March
- 37th Annual Alexander L. Paskay Seminar on Bankruptcy Law and Practice
     March 7-9, 2013 | St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
     March 22, 2013 | Los Angeles, Calif.

April
- ABI Live Webinar: "Legacy Liabilities : Dealing with Environmental, Pension, Union and Similar Types of Claims"
     April 5, 2013
- ABI Live Webinar: "Student Loans: Bankruptcy May Not Have the Answers - But Does Congress?"
     April 10, 2013
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM
     April 18, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.
- Annual Spring Meeting
     April 18-21, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.


  

 

May
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at NYCBC
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- ABI Endowment Cocktail Reception
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- New York City Bankruptcy Conference
     May 16, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Litigation Skills Symposium
     May 21-24, 2013 | Dallas, Texas

June
- Memphis Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     June 7, 2013 | Memphis, Tenn.
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 13-16, 2013 | Grand Traverse, Mich.


 
 
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CFPB Cites Problems with Credit Cards Mortgages and Credit Reports

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 1 2012
 
  

November 1, 2012

 
home  |  newsroom  |  chart of the day  |  blogs  |  bankruptcy code and rules  |  statistics  |  legislative news  |  volo
  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

CFPB CITES PROBLEMS WITH CREDIT CARDS, MORTGAGES AND CREDIT REPORTS

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported yesterday that it is finding problems with credit cards, credit bureau reporting and mortgages, CongressDaily reported today. Specifically, the CFPB said that it found that credit card holders under the age of 21 were raising their credit limits without the consent of their co-applicants, inaccurate information reported to credit bureaus was causing consumers to be charged too much or denied credit, and clear mortgage disclosures with proper rates and timely information regarding payments was not being provided to homeowners. The bureau said that the findings have prompted a compliance review and sparked fines totaling $435 million in refunds to 5.7 million consumers. Click here to read the CFPB's fall summary report.

COMMENTARY: AFTER BAILOUT, LARGE BANKS ALLOWED TO DOMINATE THE MORTGAGE BUSINESS

The broken mortgage market is the unintended consequence of the banking bailout and the regulatory response in the aftermath of the financial crisis, according to a commentary in the New York Times yesterday. In the third quarter, both Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase reported that they earned robust profits from the mortgage business. It would be foolish to blame Wells Fargo and JPMorgan for this situation, according to the commentary, but the government allowing takeovers without forcing weak competitors to get healthy quickly leads to an oligopoly. Instead, the two companies’ main competitors, Citigroup and Bank of America, are pulling out. Read the full commentary.

OBAMA SUGGESTS "SECRETARY OF BUSINESS" IN A SECOND TERM

President Barack Obama signaled that if he wins a second term, he would appoint a Secretary of Business to oversee newly consolidated government agencies, including the Small Business Administration, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. "We should have one Secretary of Business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like giving loans to SBA or helping companies with exports," Obama said on Monday. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: "TOO BIG TO FAIL" REMAINS VERY REAL

While it is tempting to think that very large financial institutions are no longer too big to fail thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act and regulation, this idea is completely at odds with the facts, according to an op-ed by Prof. Simon Johnson of the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management in Monday's New York Times. In a high-profile paper prepared recently at the behest of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the lobbying group for the securities industry, Federal Financial Analytics Inc., argues that "too big to fail" has effectively been ended. In theory, “too big to fail” should have been removed by the recent reforms or eliminated by the passage of time. But as a practical matter — looking at what investors really believe — “too big to fail” is still with us, according to Johnson. This implicit government guarantee lowers the funding costs for very large financial institutions because investors are convinced that debt issued by these firms is less risky than, for example, debt issued by small and medium-size banks. In effect, the government is providing a form of insurance that encourages financial institutions to become even bigger — and thus even more likely to be protected by some combination of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and other agencies. This is an unfair, nontransparent government subsidy that encourages excessive risk-taking, according to Johnson, and creates a very large potential downside for the nonfinancial side of our economy. Read the full op-ed.

HURRICANE SANDY ESTIMATED TO COST INSURERS UP TO $20 BILLION

Hurricane Sandy may cost the insurance industry up to $20 billion, which would put this week's devastating storm second only to 2005's Hurricane Katrina for insured losses, according to a new damage estimate, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Disaster-modeling firm Eqecat Inc. said insured losses likely range from $10 billion to $20 billion and said that the total cost of the storm, including damage that was not insured by private companies, would be between $30 billion and $50 billion. In addition, the closure of major roads, tunnels and the New York City subway system are likely to drive claims higher, the firm said. Read more. (Subscription required.)

TRANSCRIPT OF CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION’S 10/17 HEARING NOW AVAILABLE

A full transcript of ABI's Chapter 11 Reform Commission’s hearing on 10/17 at the LSTA Conference in New York is now available. The transcript can be downloaded by clicking here.

The next public hearing will be Saturday from noon-2 p.m. ET at the 24th Annual TMA Annual Conference in Boston. For future Commission hearings, please click here.

MEMBERS ENCOURAGED TO WEIGH IN ON REAPPOINTMENT OF BANKRUPTCY JUDGE JUDITH WIZMUR

The current 14-year term of office for Judith H. Wizmur, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of New Jersey at Camden, is due to expire on Sept. 4, 2013. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is considering the reappointment of the judge to a new 14-year term of office. Members of the bar and the public are invited to submit comments for consideration by the Court of Appeals regarding the reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge Wizmur. All comments should be directed to one of the following addresses: by e-mail at [email protected] or by mail to the Office of the Circuit Executive, 22409 U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19106-1790. Comments must be received no later than noon on Monday, December 3, 2012.

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SHAFFER V. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (IN RE SHAFFER; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by William Joanis of JoanisLaw

The Eighth Circuit ruled that the debtor met the burden of proving by preponderance of evidence that educational loans were discharged on basis of undue hardship. The court employed a "totality of circumstances" test (i.e., past, present and future resources, reasonableness of living expenses, and other relevant facts, etc.). While the court noted that each loan needed to be evaluated separately, this issue was not properly raised on appeal.

There are nearly 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: RECAP OF DISCUSSIONS AT THE NCBJ ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post highlights some of the topic discussions from the panels at last week's NCBJ annual meeting.

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

Despite the "free and clear" language of Sect. 363(f), purchasers of assets in 363 sales may still be liable for injuries to unidentifiable future claimants. (In re Grumman Olson Indus, SDNY).

Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

HAVE YOU TUNED IN TO BLOOMBERG LAW'S VIDEO PODCASTS?

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.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

SATURDAY:


CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION HEARING
November 3, 2012
More Info.

 

WEDNESDAY:

 

MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
Register Today!

 

COMING UP:

 

 

4TH ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Nov. 9, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

SE 2012
Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

MT 2012
Dec. 4-8, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Jan. 24-25, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

November
- U.S./Mexico Restructuring Symposium
     November 7, 2012 | Mexico City, Mexico
- Professional Development Program
     November 9, 2012 | New York, N.Y.
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     November 12, 2012 | Detroit, Mich.
- Winter Leadership Conference
     November 29 - December 1, 2012 | Tucson, Ariz.

December
- Forty-Hour Bankruptcy Mediation Training
     December 4-8, 2012 | New York, N.Y.

  

 

2013

January
- Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     January 21, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
     January 24-25, 2013 | Denver, Colo.

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
     February 7-9, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- Kansas City Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
     February 17-19, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.
- VALCON 2013
     February 20-22, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.


 
 
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