Business Reorganization

ABI Media Teleconference Examines Lessons Learned from Lehmans Chapter 11

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 12, 2013
 
  

September 12, 2013

 
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ABI MEDIA TELECONFERENCE EXAMINES LESSONS LEARNED FROM LEHMAN’S CHAPTER 11

ABI held a media teleconference today looking at the Lehman chapter 11 filing, the lessons learned from it five years later and what the future holds for distressed large financial institutions. An audio archive of the teleconference will be posted soon on ABI.org, and its availability will be announced via social media (Twitter: twitter.abi.org; Facebook: facebook.abi.org). Key figures in the case who spoke on today's teleconference included:

- Bankruptcy Judge James Peck (S.D.N.Y.; New York) presided over the Lehman Brothers chapter 11 case.
- Harvey Miller of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (New York) was the lead debtor attorney for Lehman Brothers.
- Dennis Dunne of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (New York) represented unsecured creditors in the Lehman case.
- Bryan Marsal of Alvarez and Marsal (New York) served as Lehman's Chief Executive Officer after it filed for chapter 11 until 2012.
- Chris Kiplock of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP (New York) worked with the team of attorneys representing trustee James W. Giddens in liquidating Lehman Brothers.

The moderator for the program was ABI Fall Resident Scholar Kara Bruce of Toledo University School of Law. Be sure to check ABI's feeds on Twitter or Facebook for the availability of the teleconference audio archive!

ANALYSIS: VOLCKER RULE TO CURB BANK TRADING PROVES HARD TO WRITE

Three years after first proposing that banks be prevented from making market bets with their own money, Paul Volcker's rule remains unfinished, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The Volcker rule, a centerpiece of the sweeping overhaul of financial regulation known as Dodd-Frank, is an attempt to protect the financial system from risk. The rule looks to prohibit banks from making investment bets with their own money, but it has proved difficult to apply. Five years after cratering financial firms ignited a global crisis, and three years after Dodd-Frank outlined the Volcker rule as a central part of the government response, the rule languishes unfinished and unenforced, mired in policy tangles and infighting among five separate agencies whose job is to produce the fine print. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: FIVE YEARS LATER, FINANCIAL LESSONS NOT LEARNED

Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of the fateful day that investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, signaling the start of a frightening financial meltdown, but we are still missing some of the lessons drawn out by the crisis, according to a commentary in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Prof. Alan Blinder of Princeton University. Years of disgraceful financial shenanigans in the 2000s, some illegal but many just immoral, brought on the Great Recession with virtually no help from any co-conspirators, according to Blinder. Congress and President Obama reacted comparatively weakly with the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which Blinder said certainly did not seek to remake the U.S. financial system. A supporter of Dodd-Frank, Blinder has found that the law now seems to be withering on the regulatory vine. Far from being tamed, the financial beast has gotten its mojo back, according to Blinder. Read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: SEC TRIES TO REBUILD ITS REPUTATION

The Securities and Exchange Commission is ending its push to punish financial-crisis misconduct in the same way it started -- with a new chairman vowing that Wall Street's top cop will be tougher in the future, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis today. In 2009, at the depths of the recession, Mary Schapiro took the reins at the SEC, promising to "move aggressively to reinvigorate enforcement" at the agency. She created teams to target various types of alleged misconduct, including one focused on the complicated mortgage bonds that helped set off a global financial panic. The agency has filed civil charges against 138 firms and individuals for alleged misconduct just before or during the crisis, according to the analysis, and it received $2.7 billion in fines, repayment of ill-gotten gains and other penalties. But some of the SEC's highest-profile probes of top Wall Street executives have stalled and are being dropped. In April, former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White took the reins as SEC chairman with a simple enforcement motto: "You have to be tough." She tossed out the SEC enforcement policy that allowed almost all defendants to settle cases without admitting wrongdoing. In August, hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone became the first example of this new approach when he and his firm, Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, admitted to manipulating bond prices and improperly borrowing money from a fund. The policy shift comes as the SEC turns the page on its financial crisis work. New investigations into misconduct linked to the meltdown have slowed to a trickle, and a statute-of-limitations deadline is looming for many cases, which will generally restrict the sanctions that the SEC can enforce for misconduct that is more than five years old. Read more. (Subscription required.)

U.S. FORECLOSURE FILINGS DROP 34 PERCENT AS PROPERTY PRICES RISE

RealtyTrac issued a report showing that foreclosure filings fell 34 percent in the U.S. last month as first-time defaults dropped to the lowest level in almost eight years and rising home prices made it easier for distressed owners to sell, Bloomberg News reported today. Default, auction and repossession filings totaled 128,560 in August, with one in 1,019 U.S. households receiving a notice, the Irvine, Calif.-based data seller said today in a report. It was the 35th consecutive month in which total notices declined on an annual basis, with foreclosure starts plunging 44 percent, RealtyTrac said. Increasing buyer demand and climbing property values are helping some troubled borrowers refinance or sell rather than lose their homes to foreclosure. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities rose 12.1 percent in June from a year earlier. Last month, foreclosure starts totaled 55,775, the lowest level since December 2005, and fell on a year-over-year basis in 38 states, RealtyTrac said. Read more.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXPLORES BANKRUPTCY'S CORPORATE TAX IMPLICATIONS

ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Kara Bruce speaks with Prof. Diane Lourdes Dick of Seattle University School of Law about how companies in chapter 11, such as Solyndra and WaMu, preserve valuable tax attributes through holding companies. Prof. Dick discusses her current research looking into how stakeholders of financially distressed firms exploit various loopholes in chapter 11 to transfer value outside of bankruptcy's distributional norms. Click here to listen to the podcast.

NEW ABILIVE WEBINAR OCT. 3: THE INTERSECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND BANKRUPTCY: KODAK, NORTEL AND OTHER CASES

IP experts will shed light on the mysteries of understanding IP law and navigating the often puzzling sales processes, drawing from their experiences in Nortel, Kodak and other important cases, in an abiLIVE webinar on Oct. 3 from 1:00-2:15 p.m. ET. Speakers will include David Berten (Global IP Law Group, LLC; Chicago), Pauline K. Morgan (Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP; Wilmington, Del.), Cassandra M. Porter (Lowenstein Sandler LLP; Roseland, N.J.), Kelly Beaudin Stapleton (Alvarez & Marsal; New York) and Christopher Burton Wick (Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP; Cleveland). To register, click here.

RECORDING AVAILABLE OF THE ABILIVE WEBINAR EXAMINING THE NEW U.S. TRUSTEE FEE GUIDELINES!

If you were not able to join ABI's recent well-attended abiLIVE webinar examining the U.S. Trustee Fee Guidelines for chapter 11 cases filed on or after Nov. 1, a recording of the program is now available for downloading! A panel of experts, including Clifford J. White, the director of the U.S. Trustee Program, discussed some of the ways the new guidelines could change day-to-day operations in firms, issues relating to the new market rate benchmarks, and how these changes might alter insolvency practice. The 90-minute recording is available for the special ABI member price of $75 and can be purchased here.

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; LAST STOP FOR 2013 IS WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN DECEMBER

The 7th and final stop for the 2013 ABI Golf Tour is on Dec. 5 at the Trump National Golf Club, held in conjunction with ABI’s Winter Leadership Conference. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup — sponsored by Great American Group — is based on your top three scores from the seven ABI events. 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! A 22-handicapper won the tour event at July’s Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop. There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour.

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: MORRIS AVIATION LLC V. DIAMOND AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES INC. (6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Mike Debbeler of Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP

The Sixth Circuit ruled that the airplane manufacturer's opinion of the "quality and reliability" of components was not a fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation where the component manufacturer filed bankruptcy and voided warranties on components shortly after plaintiff purchased the airplane from the manufacturer. The airplane manufacturer's mere opinion as to component manufacturer's financial health did not form the basis of a misrepresentation claim.

There are more than 1,000 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: HOW HAS THE FINANCIAL SECTOR CHANGED SINCE THE LEHMAN FILING?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks more than 80 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post explores how the financial sector has changed since the Lehman Brothers chapter 11 filing on Sept. 15, 2008.

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

Success fees for financial advisors should be prohibited.

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 43 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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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

September
- Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
    Sept. 18-19, 2013 | New York
- abiLIVE Webinar: Complex Requirements and Ethical Duties of Representing Consumer Debtors
     Sept. 24, 2013
- Bankruptcy 2013: Views from the Bench
    Sept. 27, 2013 | Washington, D.C.

October
- abiLIVE Webinar: The Intersection of Intellectual Property and Bankruptcy: Kodak, Nortel and Other Cases
     Oct. 3, 2013
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program and Midwestern Consumer Forum
    Oct. 4, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Professional Development Program
    Oct. 11, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Oct. 14, 2013 | Chicago, Ill.
- International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium
    Oct. 25, 2013 | Berlin, Germany


  


November
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
   Nov. 7, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.
- Corporate Restructuring Competition
   Nov. 7-8, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.
- Austin Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
   Nov. 10-12, 2013 | Austin, Texas
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
   Nov. 11, 2013 | Detroit, Mich.
- Delaware Views from the Bench
   Nov. 25, 2013 | Wilmington, Del.

December
- Winter Leadership Conference
    Dec. 5-7, 2013 | Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
- ABI/St. John’s Bankruptcy Mediation Training
    Dec. 8-12, 2013 | New York


 
 
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Senate Poised to End Filibuster on Nominees

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | July 11, 2013
 
  

July 11, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

SENATE POISED TO END FILIBUSTER ON NOMINEES

Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today his intention to force a vote on Monday to change the Senate’s longstanding rule permitting extended debate on executive branch nominees. The rule change would permit the majority to approve nominations with a simple majority vote. This so-called “nuclear option” would be a profound change in a fundamental Senate rule. Most immediately, the rule change would allow the Senate’s Democratic Majority to confirm Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with two nominees to the NLRB. Cordray was renominated after his recess appointment by President Obama was cast into doubt by a D.C. Circuit decision holding that the NLRB Nominees were recess appointed (on the same day in January 2012) in an unconstitutional manner.

HOUSE HEARING EXAMINES IF DODD-FRANK ACT'S "ORDERLY LIQUIDATION AUTHORITY" IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Arguing that due process rights “are vaporized” under the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA), witnesses told the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Tuesday that aspects of the DFA might be unconstitutional, the National Law Journal reported yesterday. Members of the subcommittee focused on the law’s all new—and as yet untested—orderly liquidation authority. Intended as a third way between bankruptcy and bailout, the provision gives the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (in conjunction with other regulators) the ability to take over an institution whose failure might pose a risk to the financial stability of the United States. Columbia Law School professor Thomas Merrill testified that DFA raises serious constitutional issues—almost sure to lead to litigaion the first time the provision is invoked, with potentially disastrous consequences. “It’s very likely to cause the whole process to go off the rails and become chaotic,” he said. “My concern is that the constitutional issues will work against the purpose [of the provision]…at a time when it’s least appropriate to bring them to the fore.” But Pepper Hamilton partner Timothy McTaggart argued that the law likely would pass constitutional muster, pointing out that fewer than 170 laws enacted by Congress between 1789 and 2002 were held unconstitutional. “A difference in policy choice as reflected in enacted legislation does not make the legislation unconstitutional,” he said. To date, no court has held Dodd-Frank to be unconstitutional, but a case pending before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, State National Bank of Big Spring v. Lew, may provide the first test. Former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray is co-counsel in the case, brought by a Texas community bank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the 60 Plus Association and several states. He testified before the subcommittee that Dodd-Frank “violates the Constitution’s system of checks and balances” and gives “regulators effectively unlimited power.” Read more.

Click here to read the prepared witness testimony.

COMMENTARY: HOW TO AVOID THE NEXT MF GLOBAL SURPRISE

When MF Global went bankrupt in October 2011, thousands of its customers in the United States discovered that their overseas investments were not as safe or secure as they had assumed—and that they no longer had access to their funds, according to an editorial in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by MF Global Trustee James Giddens. The company faced extraordinary liquidity demands in its final, chaotic days, including margin calls on massive European sovereign-debt bets taken by CEO Jon Corzine and others. Desperate for funds, management improperly raided segregated customer money held by the company's broker-dealer in the U.S., resulting in a $900 million shortfall, according to Giddens. Once MF Global U.K. was put into liquidation, British administrators determined that under U.K. law virtually no money had been actually segregated for customers—which added an additional $700 million shortfall in customers' foreign accounts. Another problem in MF Global—and to some extent in Lehman Brothers—was the company's large, complicated legal structure. The trustee for the MF Global holding company had a different constituency of lenders and general creditors than Giddens did as trustee for the customers and creditors of the U.S. broker-dealer. Trustees with differing priorities led to confusion and further delay. Going forward, Giddens said that there is a need for clear and consistent cross-border rules regarding the protection of money in customer accounts. Clearer rules would pave the way for quicker and more efficient return of customer property when the next MF Global or Lehman occurs. Read more. (Subscription required.)

SENATORS NEAR DEAL ON STUDENT LOAN RATES

Senators are near a deal to provide a long-term fix to student loan rates, but that compromise will likely rest on a score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), as well as members' ability to sell the compromise to skeptical members in both parties, The Hill reported today. The potential agreement would look broadly similar to a competing proposal offered by a group of Republicans and Democrats and comes one day after Senate Democrats failed to muster enough support for a one-year freeze of lower interest rates. A bipartisan group of senators pushing a competing student loan proposal met with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) yesterday, as well as Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.). Harkin and Reed were strong proponents of the one-year freeze, which was broadly rejected by Republicans on the Senate floor on Tuesday. The senators pushing the competing proposal at the meeting were Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.). Members at that meeting agreed on a framework of a bill and now are waiting for a CBO score to determine if the measure is close enough to deficit-neutral to assuage Democrats who had blasted the original proposal, which would have reduced the deficit by $1 billion. Read more.

COMMENTARY: GOOD AND BAD BANK CAPITAL

Three years after President Obama signed Dodd-Frank, U.S. financial regulators have taken their first significant step toward protecting taxpayers from giant bank failures, according to an editorial today in the Wall Street Journal. Under a proposal released on Tuesday from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the eight largest U.S. financial houses would be required to hold more capital. Specifically, the FDIC and their regulatory colleagues at the Federal Reserve and Comptroller of the Currency proposed to increase the leverage ratio at giant bank holding companies to 5 percent from 3 percent, and to 6 percent for the insured deposit-taking banks inside these holding companies. The proposal is still a major step toward taxpayer protection, according to the editorial, and might require the giants to increase capital by close to $90 billion by 2018, or to shrink their balance sheets to operate more safely with the level of capital they hold today. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: HOW STOCKTON’S BANKRUPTCY MAY CHANGE THE WAY WE ANALYZE MUNICIPAL CREDIT RISK

The bankruptcy of Stockton, Calif., and the forthcoming legal battle has the potential to permanently change the way municipal credit risk is viewed both in California and on a national level, according to a recent briefing paper prepared by Thornburg Investment Management. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher M. Klein on April 1 accepted the city of Stockton’s petition to proceed with chapter 9 bankruptcy. The interesting aspect of the Stockton case revolves around the treatment of pension obligations. Pensions are protected by California statute, to the detriment of bondholders. Because of this protection, public employees in Stockton and throughout California have traditionally been unwilling to make material concessions when negotiating with troubled municipalities. In fact, this issue is pervasive across the country. In general, public labor unions have seldom made material concessions because of a perceived protection of future benefits. Unfortunately for the public employees in Stockton and around the country, the bankruptcy case will be heard in federal court and the status of the pensions will play a key role. Should Judge Klein rule in favor of pension holders, protecting their benefits above the claims of bondholders, it would essentially subordinate bondholders to the claims of public workers. A ruling of that type would immediately decrease the credit quality of all municipal bonds. In the future, public employees would have no incentive to negotiate with stressed municipalities, knowing that their benefits are protected. The result could be an increase in chapter 9 filings as municipalities lose the flexibility to control future expenses. On the other hand, should Judge Klein rule that public employees must take a haircut in line with other creditors, municipal bondholders will benefit. Click here to read the full analysis.

COMMENTARY: TO CATCH A CREDITOR

Earlier this year the Federal Trade Commission completed a multiyear study of credit-report errors and found that nearly 20 percent of consumers had errors in at least one of their credit files, and that 13 percent saw an improvement in their scores when the errors were corrected, according to an op-ed in today' New York Times. A 2012 study by The Columbus Dispatch analyzed 30,000 complaints to the FTC; of those, 1,500 people reported that their files included someone else’s information. Nearly a third said that the credit agencies did not correct the errors, despite being asked to do so. Most egregious, almost 200 people said their reports showed them as deceased. While federal law requires credit bureaus to conduct a reasonable investigation of consumer complaints, the marketplace can penalize credit bureaus that investigate too aggressively, according to the op-ed. Credit bureaus are heavily dependent on lenders for both revenue and the information the bureaus package and sell; if a credit bureau presses a lender too hard, the lender could patronize a different bureau and withhold data about its customers. In contrast, consumers have little power over credit-reporting agencies. Consumers cannot, for example, block credit bureaus from obtaining information about their transactions. Read more.

ABILIVE WEBINAR NEXT WEEK 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.

NEW abiLIVE WEBINAR ON AUGUST 20: HOW WILL THE NEW U.S. TRUSTEE FEE GUIDELINES IMPACT YOU?

The new U.S. Trustee Fee Guidelines will affect all attorneys and firms who work on larger chapter 11 cases filed on or after November 1st. ABI's Ethics & Professional Compensation Committee will present a panel of experts, including Cliff White, the Director of the U.S. Trustee Program, to discuss some of the ways the new guidelines may change day-to-day operations in firms, issues relating to the new market rate benchmarks, and how these changes might alter insolvency practice. Register today to hear government, attorney and academic perspectives on this important and timely topic.

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; NEXT STOP IS THE SOUTHEAST BANKRUPTCY CONFERENCE NEXT WEEK

The next stop for the ABI Golf Tour is the famed Golf Club of Amelia Island course on Amelia Island, Fla., in conjunction with the Southeast Bankruptcy Conference next week. 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]) and should be submitted by July 29.

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: PERRY V. KEY AUTO RECOVERY (IN RE PERRY; 9TH CIR.)

Summarized by Hilda Montes de Oca of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California

Affirming the bankruptcy court, the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) held that the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion when it declined the debtor’s request for a hearing on his second motion for reconsideration and instead entered an order denying the second motion for reconsideration because the debtor did not set the second motion for reconsideration for hearing as required under the Local Bankruptcy Rules for the Central District of California. The BAP also held that the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to consider the “new evidence” presented by the debtor in support of his second motion for reconsideration because the debtor could have submitted the “new evidence” from 2004 earlier to the bankruptcy court.

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: CORKER-WARNER BILL: A GREAT STARTING POINT IN THE GSE REFORM DEBATE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post discusses how the Corker-Warner legislation may be a bridge between the advocates of a purely private market and those who favor some role for the federal government in housing.

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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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

July
- Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Northeast Consumer Forum
     July 11-14, 2013 | Newport, R.I.
- abiLIVE Webinar: § 1111(b) Election, Plan Feasibility and Cramdown Issues
     July 15, 2013
- Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
     July 18-21, 2013 | Amelia Island, Fla.

August
- Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop
    August 8-10, 2013 | Hershey, Pa.
- abiLIVE Webinar: How Will the New U.S. Trustee Fee Guidelines Impact You?
     August 20, 2013
- 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
- abiLIVE Webinar: Complex Requirements and Ethical Duties of Representing Consumer Debtors
     Sept. 24, 2013
- 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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ABIs Chapter 11 Commission Eyes Updates to Bankruptcy Code

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 17 2013
 
  

January 17, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ABI'S CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION EYES UPDATES TO BANKRUPTCY CODE

With the Bankruptcy Code now 35 years old, 2013 looks to be a key year in developing a replacement as ABI's Chapter 11 Commission continues its study of chapter 11 with a "top to bottom look" at the Code, The Deal reported yesterday. No specific changes have been recommended to date, and the Commission will not be close to specifics until it gets reports from all 13 of its advisory committees, according to Commission Co-Chair Al Togut of Togut, Segal & Segal LLP (New York). The commission, which is just looking at corporate chapter 11 and the parts of the code that affect business bankruptcies, expects to complete its report in the spring of 2014, said fellow Co-Chair Bob Keach of Bernstein Shur (Portland, Maine), adding that by the end of 2013 the commission should have a good idea of what the report will look like. The report will have two components: ideas for change where there is a consensus and proposals that lack a consensus. Since the ABI does not lobby Congress for legislation, an organization or a combination of organizations will likely work to convert the report into legislation, said Keach. "The idea is to develop a statute for the next 40 years that will get us through as well as this one did," Keach says. Read more.

PENSION FUNDING GAP WIDENS FOR BIG CITIES

A study released on Tuesday by the the Pew Center on the States found that major U.S. cities emerged from the financial crisis with increasingly underfunded pension and retiree health care plans, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Cities employing nearly half of U.S. municipal workers saw their pension and retiree health care funding levels fall from 79 percent in fiscal year 2007 to 74 percent in fiscal year 2009, according to the latest available data, the Pew report stated. The growing funding gulf, which the study estimated at more than $217 billion for the 61 cities in the study, raises worries about local finances at a time when states are also struggling to recover from the recession. More than half, or some $118 billion, of the projected pension shortfall stems from unfunded retiree health care costs, according to the Pew report. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ABI will be holding a media teleconference on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 11 a.m. ET with experts examining municipal distress in 2013. There are limited spots available to ABI members that would like to join the call next week. Contact John Hartgen, ABI's Public Affairs Manager, at [email protected] if you would like to participate in the teleconference.

CFPB'S NEW MORTGAGE RULES AID HOMEOWNERS

U.S. banks will have to do more to help struggling mortgage borrowers keep their homes under final rules released today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Wall Street Journal reported today. Mortgage-loan servicers, which collect borrowers' loan payments, will have to evaluate troubled borrowers for all loan-assistance options permitted by mortgage investors such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as private investors, according to the CFPB rules that will take effect in a year. Currently, no national standard exists for how mortgage servicers must treat defaulting borrowers. The lending industry "must consider all options available from the mortgage owners or investors to help the borrower retain the home," said CFPB director Richard Cordray. The industry "can no longer steer borrowers to those options that are most financially favorable for the servicer." The agency's move follows numerous federal and state efforts to regulate the industry, which came under fire after reports in 2010 found that banks were foreclosing on borrowers without properly reviewing documents and other paperwork, a practice dubbed "robo-signing." In 2011, regulators found abuses of foreclosure processes at 14 lenders. Ten of those lenders agreed to an $8.5 billion settlement of regulators' allegations. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: "ODD COUPLE" IN U.S. HOUSE TO TACKLE MORTGAGE FINANCE

The will of the new Congress to begin rebuilding the U.S. mortgage finance system rests largely in the hands of Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), known to be partisan fighters from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Hensarling is the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, while Waters is the highest-ranking Democrat. "While we clearly have profound philosophical differences – some might call us Capitol Hill’s newest odd couple – we are exploring areas of common concern where we hopefully can work together," Hensarling said. In addition to grappling with proposals to tweak and amend the Dodd-Frank regulatory law, they will be seeking common ground on what may be the panel's biggest issue this year: The future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For Hensarling, the solution is to abolish the government-owned mortgage companies and completely privatize the mortgage market. Waters argues that some government involvement is needed to preserve the 30-year fixed home loan. It is likely that the two lawmakers eventually will support a plan that would shrink the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without threatening to choke off the flow of money into home loans. Read more.

FLORIDA DEFIES HOUSING REBOUND AS FORECLOSURES SOAR

More than six years after subprime lending and overbuilding led to the recent U.S. real estate slump, RealtyTrac Inc. reported that Florida had the biggest increase in home seizures last year, and the highest foreclosure rate, Bloomberg News reported today. One in every 32 Florida households received a notice of default, auction or repossession in 2012, more than double the average U.S. rate of one in every 72, according to RealtyTrac Inc.'s report. Home repossessions increased by 16,276 during the year to 84,456, the biggest gain nationwide. Adding to the state’s woes is a backlog of foreclosures caused by a required court review of each case. Judicial supervision of repossessions is slowing Florida’s rebound, in contrast to California and Arizona, so-called nonjudicial states, where lenders send notices to delinquent borrowers and record defaults at the county level without court intervention, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. It took 853 days on average in Florida to complete a foreclosure in the fourth quarter, the third-longest behind New York and New Jersey, RealtyTrac said in today’s report. The U.S. average rose to 414 days from 348 days a year earlier, the most since the data firm began tracking the metric in 2007. Texas had the shortest period at 113 days. Almost 20 percent of outstanding Florida loans were more than 30 days delinquent or in foreclosure in November, the largest share of non-current mortgages in the nation, according to data provider Lender Processing Services. Read more.

ANALYSIS: REWRITING U.S. TAX LAW HAS CONSENSUS WHILE FIX PROVES ELUSIVE

Maintaining a bipartisan consensus in Congress to rewrite the U.S. tax code will be difficult as there is little agreement on what a tax overhaul means and what it is supposed to achieve, according to a Bloomberg News analysis yesterday. Republicans, who control the U.S. House, want lower tax rates and fewer breaks in a simpler system that raises no additional revenue. The Obama administration and many Democrats endorse some of those goals – particularly corporate rate reduction – while viewing a tax rewrite as a way to guarantee more revenue from top earners. That split will challenge lawmakers as they decide whether to rewrite the code as part of budget talks or work on a major tax bill without a fiscal agreement. Compromise remains elusive, though the code is more convoluted -- and therefore, ripe for change -- following passage of a law Jan. 1 that raised marginal rates and reinstated limits on personal exemptions and deductions. Read more.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: MF GLOBAL CREDITORS UNDETERRED BY LOW VALUE

The low valuation creditors of MF Global Holding Ltd. put on their liquidating chapter 11 plan is not deterring the bond market where debt is being sold for roughly twice the predicted recovery for unsecured creditors of the liquidating commodity broker's holding company. Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle explore this and other current cases in their latest video. Click here to view.

TAKE AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT CREDITORS' COMMITTEES AND THE ROLE OF THE INDENTURE TRUSTEES AT ABI'S 31ST ANNUAL SPRING MEETING

The 2013 Annual Spring Meeting, to be held April 18-21, 2013, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., 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
• 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
• Law Firm Bankruptcies
• 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!

Register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

ABI LIVE WEBINAR: REVISITING RADLAX AND HALL – NEW LEGAL AND PRACTICAL IMPACT OF THE DECISIONS

See why this was the top-rated panel at the ABI Winter Leadership Conference last month! Join the expert panel on Feb. 19 from 12:00-1:15pm EST as the summarize and discuss the legal impact and practical implications of the Supreme Court’s 2012 decisions in Radlax and Hall. Participants include:

Susan M. Freeman of Lewis and Roca LLP (Phoenix)

Adam A. Lewis of Morrison & Foerster LLP (San Francisco)

• Prof. Charles J. Tabb of the University of Illinois College of Law (Champaign, Ill.)

Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago)

Click here to register!

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: TIMCO LLC V. T AND M SALES AGENCY INC. (IN RE TIMCO LLC; 6TH CIR.)

Summarized by James E. Bailey III of Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens & Cannada PLLC

The Sixth Circuit ruled that the appeal of the bankruptcy court's decision to remand a case removed by state court action to confirm an arbitration award that was affirmed by a district court was not reviewable by the court of appeals under 28 U.S.C. § 1334(d). The appeal of the order granting relief from the automatic stay to allow the state court action to proceed was moot where the debtor failed to obtain stay pending appeal and the state court had entered a valid order confirming an arbitration award.

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: HIGH-INCOME EARNERS NOT BARRED FROM PASSING BANKRUPTCY'S MEANS TEST

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new post discusses the misconception that bankruptcy's means test bars high-income earners from qualifying for chapter 7 relief.

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'S INDUBITABLE EQUIVALENTS: TELL US A TUNE AND WE'LL SING YOU THAT SONG!

ABI's Indubitable Equivalents need your help: Tell us your favorite Rock and Roll tune - that elusive classic that takes you back, makes your feet tap, your head bang, and your horns come out! If we pick your song, you get widespread promotion by the band and you'll receive a free CD of IE’s greatest hits!

To enter, log onto www.abiband.com or “like” the Band’s Facebook page.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. You can enter as many times as you want. Multiple winners will be selected. Winners will be announced on the IE website and on Facebook. Entry deadline: January 31.

ABI Quick Poll

After Stern, bankruptcy courts do not have the constitutional authority to enter final judgments on fraudulent conveyance claims.

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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MONDAY:

 

 

WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
Register here!

 

NEXT THURSDAY:

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Jan. 24-25, 2013
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COMING UP:

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
Feb. 19, 2013
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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.
- ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
     February 19, 2013


  

- 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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May Bankruptcy Filings Fall 11 Percent from 2011 Commercial Filings Drop 21 Percent

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | June 5, 2012
 
  
June 5, 2012
 
home  |  chart of the day  |  blogs  |  bankruptcy code and rules  |  statistics  |  legislative news  |  volo
  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

MAY BANKRUPTCY FILINGS FALL 11 PERCENT FROM 2011, COMMERCIAL FILINGS DROP 21 PERCENT

Total bankruptcy filings in the United States for May 2012 decreased 11 percent compared to the previous year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. May bankruptcy filings totaled 109,392, down from the 122,836 filings registered in May 2011. Total commercial filings for May 2012 were 5,259, representing a 21 percent decrease from the 6,631 filings during the same period in 2011. The 104,133 total noncommercial filings for May represented a 10 percent drop from the May 2011 noncommercial filing total of 116,205. “Households have reduced their spending and businesses are benefiting from sustained low interest rates,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Expect a continued drop in bankruptcy filing rates as families and businesses reinforce their balance sheets and cut costs.” Total commercial chapter 11 filings also decreased in May. Overall, the May total commercial chapter 11 filing total of 682 represented a 6 percent decrease from May 2011’s total of 722, but a 3 percent increase over the April 2012 total of 660. Click here to read the press release.

ANALYSIS: PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN RATES NEARLY EQUAL RATES OF CREDIT CARDS

Unlike the federal student-loan program, which lets consumers borrow at fixed rates directly from the government, private loans from at least 30 banks and other private lenders feature mostly variable rates that can be more than twice what some people pay in the U.S. program, according to a Bloomberg News analysis yesterday. Some private student loans carry rates as high as 10.25 percent. Loans from banks and other private lenders make up about 15 percent of the $1 trillion in outstanding student debt, according to an estimate by Mark Kantrowitz, who runs FinAid.org, a website about college grants and loans. About 2.9 million students have private loans, according to the most recent federal data analyzed by The Institute for College Access and Success, an Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit group. Private-lending practices are drawing the government’s attention as Congress and the Obama administration look to help students avoid predatory, high-interest loans. "Like mortgages before the financial crisis, many borrowers took on private student-loan debt with terms and conditions they didn’t fully understand," said Rohit Chopra, the student-loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency studying the private-loan market. Recent graduates "are now fighting to stay afloat because these loans don’t always have the same repayment options as federal student loans," he said. Read more.

For more on student debt, be sure to listen to ABI’s latest podcast featuring scholars examining issues related to student loans and bankruptcy.

ROMNEY VOWS QUICK EXIT FROM GM STAKE

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney believes President Barack Obama is holding on to the government's stake in General Motors to avoid an embarrassing financial loss before the election, and says he would sell the stock quickly if he wins the White House, the Detroit News reported today. As part of the government's GM bailout, the U.S. Treasury still holds a 26 percent stake in the Detroit automaker, and has been sitting on that share for 35 months. At GM's closing price yesterday of $21.11 a share, the government would lose $16 billion on its $49.5 billion bailout. Last month, Tim Massad, the assistant Treasury secretary who oversees the GM stake, said that the government has no timetable for selling its GM stock. Read more.

FINRA CALLS FOR MORE CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST CURBS FOR ANALYSTS AND INVESTMENT BANKERS

A Wall Street regulator is pushing to extend conflict-of-interest curbs to include analysts and investment bankers who work in the giant market for debt offerings, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Such controls already exist for Wall Street firms dealing with stocks, but the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) plans to submit by year-end proposed rules for debt. The rules could force firms to build firewalls between investment bankers who pitch debt offerings and research analysts who follow companies issuing the debt. The rules would require Securities and Exchange Commission approval. Read more. (Subscription required.)

FREDDIE MAC ANNOUNCES LOWER MODIFICATION INTEREST RATE

Freddie Mac announced on Friday that starting July 1, the GSE's Standard Modification interest rate will come down from 5 percent to 4.625 percent, DSNews.com reported yesterday. The Standard Modification is for borrowers who do not qualify for the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The modification makes payments more affordable by lowering a borrower’s principal and interest payments by at least 10 percent. The modification includes a trial period, as does HAMP, to ensure that borrowers can maintain modified mortgage payments. The Freddie Mac Standard Modification is part of the Servicing Alignment Initiative, which is an effort to create consistency in how delinquent GSE loans are serviced. Read more.

ABI PODCAST FEATURES SCHOLARS EXAMINING STUDENT DEBT AND BANKRUPTCY

The latest ABI podcast features Profs. Daniel Austin of Northeastern University School of Law and G. Marcus Cole of Stanford Law School talking with ABI Resident Scholar David Epstein about current issues surrounding educational debt and bankruptcy. Click here to access the podcast

TOMORROW! WEBINAR TO 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 6 titled, "Handling the Administratively Insolvent Estate: What to Do When Your Chapter 11 Goes South." (Note the change of date: This program will now take place on June 6 rather than the previous date of June 5.) CLE credit will be available for the webinar, which 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.

ABI IN-DEPTH

WEBINAR ON JUNE 26 TO EXAMINE SUPREME COURT'S RULING IN RADLAX CASE

Having already examined the oral argument in a previous ABI media teleconference, panelists will reconvene for an ABI and West LegalEd Center webinar on June 26 to discuss last week's Supreme Court ruling in RadLAX Gateway Hotel LLC v. Amalgamated Bank. CLE credit will be available for the webinar, which will be held from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.

Experts on the program include:

David Neff of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago), the counsel of record for petitioner RadLAX Gateway Hotel LLC and participant in the argument.
Jason S. Brookner of Andrews Kurth LLP (New York), whose article was cited in the brief for the respondent.
• Prof. Charles Tabb, the Alice Curtis Campbell Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, who recently published a paper titled "Credit Bidding, Security, and the Obsolescence of Chapter 11."

ABI Resident Scholar David Epstein 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: WHITE V. COMMERCIAL BANK AND TRUST CO. (IN RE WHITE; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Tony Bisconti of Bienert, Miller & Katzman

Reversing the bankruptcy court's order denying the debtors' motion to avoid Commercial Bank's judicial lien, the Eighth Circuit BAP held that because both debtors' property would be exempt under Arkansas law in the absence of Commercial Bank's judicial lien, the lien was avoidable, and the fact that at the time the judicial lien became fixed the debtors held title to the subject property by tenancy by the entirety, but subsequently created a tenancy in common, did not change the fact that the lien was avoidable. The BAP also held that the appeal of the bankruptcy court's order granting Commercial Bank relief from the automatic stay was moot.

More than 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: MORE ON THE SIGNING OF THE TEMPORARY BANKRUPTCY JUDGESHIP EXTENSION ACT

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new post features further details on the "Temporary Bankruptcy Judgeship Extension Act of 2011," (Pub. L. No. 112-121) which was signed by the President on May 25.

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
First-day orders authorizing full and immediate payment of the claims of ‘critical vendors’ should be prohibited; all pre-petition unsecured creditors should be subjected to the same rules. 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!

 

ABI'S "Handling the Administratively Insolvent Estate- What to Do When Your Chapter 11 Goes South" Webinar
June 6, 2012
Register Today!


COMING UP

 

CS 2012
June 7-10, 2012
Last Chance to Register!

 

 

NE 2012
July 12-15, 2012
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SE 2012
July 25-28, 2012
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ABI'S Webinar to Discuss the Supreme Court's Forthcoming Ruling in RadLAX Gateway Hotel LLC v. Amalgamated Bank
June 26, 2012
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MA 2012
August 2-4, 2012
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SW 2012
Sept. 13-15, 2012
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SE 2012
Sept. 13-14, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS

June
- ABI's "Handling the Administratively Insolvent Estate- What to Do When Your Chapter 11 Goes South" Webinar
     June 6, 2012
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 7-10, 2012 | Traverse City, Mich.
- ABI Webinar Examining the Supreme Court's Ruling in the RadLAX Case
     June 26, 2012

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.

September
- Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
     September 13-15, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
     September 13-14, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.

October
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program, Midwestern Consumer Forum
     October 5, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Bankruptcy 2012: Views from the Bench
     October 5, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     October 8, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.

 
 
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October Bankruptcy Filings Increase 16 Percent over Previous Month Commercial Filings Up 19 Percent

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 6 2012
 
  

November 6, 2012

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

OCTOBER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS INCREASE 16 PERCENT OVER PREVIOUS MONTH, COMMERCIAL FILINGS UP 19 PERCENT

Total bankruptcy filings in the United States for the month of October increased 16 percent compared to September, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. October bankruptcy filings totaled 101,278, up from the 87,522 filings registered in September 2012. The 96,498 total noncommercial filings for October represented a 16 percent increase from the September noncommercial filing total of 83,493. Total commercial filings for October 2012 were 4,780, representing a 19 percent increase from the 4,029 filings in September. Commercial chapter 11 filings also increased in October as the 704 filings represented a 3 percent increase over the 681 filings in September. Read the full release.

ANALYSIS: ELECTION UNLIKELY TO AFFECT HOUSING REBOUND

Regardless of the outcome of today's elections, experts expect the housing market to continue its rebound, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Home prices continue to rise, as shown by the latest S&P/Case-Shiller data, and sales activity is strengthening, while delinquency trends are improving. Experts point out that the government still backs more than 90 percent of new mortgages, however, and there has been little progress made in devising new structures to encourage private capital to again take on residential-housing risk. Read more. (Subscription required.)

BONUSES ON WALL STREET EXPECTED TO EDGE UP SLIGHTLY IN 2012

Wall Street employees, whose paychecks have often been cut in recent years, are likely to get a slight bump in their bonuses this year, the New York Times DealBook blog reported today. Year-end incentives, which include cash bonuses and stock awards, will be flat to up to 10 percent higher when compared with last year, according to a survey released by Johnson Associates yesterday. The same firms in 2011 drastically cut costs, employment and pay. Johnson Associates, based in New York, surveyed 10 public asset management firms, eight major banks and more than a dozen other financial institutions. Business on Wall Street has picked up somewhat in 2012, but firms are still cutting both compensation and other expenses to save money and improve their profits. Read more.

Read the full Johnson Associates survey.

ANALYSIS: COMPANIES LOOK TO LIGHTEN THE PENSION LOAD

More companies are considering so-called annuity settlements as a way to pare down their burgeoning pension liabilities, even though historically low interest rates make the strategy significantly more expensive, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Last month Verizon Communications Inc. bought an annuity that transferred $7.5 billion of pension obligations, about a quarter of the phone giant’s total pension obligations, to Prudential Financial Inc. Over the summer General Motors Co. shifted roughly $25 billion of its pension obligations—or about 20 percent of its global total—to Prudential also through an annuity deal. The approach works like this: A company transfers pension obligations to an insurer by buying a group annuity for its employees at a price that includes a premium. The insurer agrees to use the funds it gets from the company’s pension plan to make regular payments to company retirees for as long as they live. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: IN RE MICHAEL (3D CIR.)

Summarized by Michael Nestor of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that if, upon conversion of a chapter 13 case to a case under chapter 7, the chapter 13 trustee is holding funds acquired post-petition by the debtor for eventual distribution to creditors under a confirmed chapter 13 reorganization plan, the trustee must return those funds to the debtor rather than distribute them to creditors under the plan.

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: NATIONAL MORTGAGE DATABASE FACES CHALLENGES IN BECOMING GO-TO RISK TOOL

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Housing Finance Agency's effort to build a comprehensive data repository and identify emerging mortgage lending risks will depend on how regulators handle four areas: collaboration, scope, privacy and the regulatory burden.

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.

  

 

THIS WEEK:

 

MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

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

 

COMING UP:

 

SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

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

 

 

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
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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Analysis Doctors Being Driven into Bankruptcy

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | April 09 2013
 
  

April 9, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: DOCTORS BEING DRIVEN INTO BANKRUPTCY

As many doctors struggle to keep their practices financially sound, some are buckling under money woes and are being pushed into bankruptcy, CNNMoney.com reported yesterday. It is a trend that has accelerated in recent years, industry experts say, with potentially serious consequences for doctors and patients. Some physicians are still able to keep practicing after bankruptcy, but for others, it's a career-ending event. Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings by physician practices have spiked recently, noted Bobby Guy, co-chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute's Health Care Committee, who tracks bankruptcy trends tied to distressed businesses. The weak economy has taken a toll on doctors' revenue, as consumers cut back on office visits and lucrative elective procedures, said Guy. Doctors also blame shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, and the rising costs of malpractice insurance, drugs and other business necessities for making it harder to keep their practices afloat. Read more.

For more on medical insolvencies, be sure to pick up a copy of ABI’s Health Care Insolvency Manual, Third Edition, of which Mr. Guy is a co-author. Click here for more information.

NEW FEE ON BANKRUPTCY TRADES WILL BOOST COURTS' REVENUE

A new fee tied to trades of bankruptcy claims will bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for the nation's bankruptcy courts when it takes effect next month, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported yesterday. Starting May 1, those who trade claims against companies under bankruptcy court protection will have to pay a $25 fee for each transaction they file with the court, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Last year saw 18,632 trades of claims worth more than $41 billion in 500 bankruptcy cases, according to SecondMarket Inc. If the fees had been in effect, bankruptcy courts would have earned $465,800 from those trades. For more information from the AOUSC on the fees, effective May 1, please click here.

REGULATORS CONCERNED ABOUT MUNICIPAL-BOND DEALS

U.S. regulators are probing whether securities firms are circumventing the rules that were implemented in the wake of the financial crisis to protect municipalities against potentially biased investment advice, the Wall Street Journal reported today. At issue is whether banks are attempting to skirt post-crisis rules, including those restricting firms that provide financial advice to municipalities from underwriting certain municipal-bond transactions. Lawmakers and regulators implemented the changes to avoid situations similar to those leading up to the crisis in which some municipalities were steered into risky and complex deals that municipal officials did not fully understand. The 2010 Dodd-Frank law stipulates that banks hired as financial advisers act as fiduciaries, or in their clients' best interests. Regulators have also restricted banks from underwriting municipal-bond transactions if they were initially hired to advise on the deals. Yet the Securities and Exchange Commission is concerned that banks may be mischaracterizing their role in order to preserve their ability to underwrite bonds. The SEC is investigating several municipal contracts entered into by banks, including such banks as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Piper Jaffray Cos., Robert W. Baird & Co. and Stifel Financial Corp. Read more. (Subscription required.)

INVESTORS PUT UP MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO FUND LAWSUITS

A new generation of investors is plunging into "litigation finance" opportunities, putting up millions of dollars to fund lawsuits in hopes of collecting when the verdicts come down, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Established financiers are expanding into new areas, including loans to law firms, and are finding clients among the biggest American companies. Law firms themselves are starting to jump on the bandwagon, seeking funding arrangements for clients who need help going after opponents with deeper pockets or who simply want to keep litigation costs off their balance sheets. Critics complain that the trend will enable frivolous lawsuits, and they have argued—including at a congressional hearing last month—that the government should step in to regulate funders of litigation. But as corporate legal budgets shrink, litigation-finance options are proliferating. One of the latest entrants is Gerchen Keller Capital LLC, a Chicago-based team that includes former lawyers from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP. The group has raised more than $100 million and says there is plenty of room for newcomers given the size of the U.S. litigation market, which they put at more than $200 billion, measuring the money spent by plaintiffs and defendants on litigation. Read more. (Subscription required.)

DEMAND RETURNS FOR COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES

Growing demand for subordinated commercial-mortgage debt is the latest example of investors seeking new opportunities for yield, the Wall Street Journal reported today. After years of near-zero benchmark interest rates, under which most fixed-income investments offer little return, some investors are becoming more willing to take risks. Despite the risks of subordinated commercial-mortgage debt, Cerberus Capital Management and other hedge funds are being lured by annual returns that typically top 20 percent for the least-safe portions of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). Cerberus is the latest large hedge fund to expand into this emerging hot market, which is raising concerns that lenders may make loans on properties with weak credit profiles to produce volume—a phenomenon that spun out of control in the mortgage markets during the years leading up to the financial crisis. The firm aims to launch the "Cerberus CMBS Opportunities Fund," which plans to both buy up and short commercial mortgage debt. Read more. (Subscription required.)

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR MOVES TO RESHAPE TAX CODE

Last month, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) summoned members of the committee to a closed-door meeting to discuss the first full-scale rewrite of the 5,600-page U.S. tax code in more than 25 years, the Washington Post reported yesterday. Baucus agrees with Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking Republican on the panel, that the committee should aim to produce a tax-reform plan by August, when Congress will once again need a deal to justify raising the legal limit on the $16.8 trillion in federal debt. Privately, senior Democrats dismiss Baucus's activities, saying that tax reform will not happen unless President Obama strikes a broad deal with Republicans that includes $600 billion more in taxes over the next decade. But Republicans are unlikely to agree to higher revenue without a tax code rewrite; aides said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) is pressing GOP leaders to demand tax reform in exchange for supporting a higher federal debt limit. Read more.

TOMORROW! DON’T MISS ABI’S LIVE WEBINAR, "STUDENT LOANS: BANKRUPTCY MAY NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS – BUT DOES CONGRESS?"

ABI's Consumer Bankruptcy Committee tomorrow presents the "Student Loans: Bankruptcy May Not Have the Answers – But Does Congress?" webinar from noon-1:15 ET. A 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. Register now for the special ABI member rate of $75!

 

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION V. WALSH (2D CIR.)

Summarized by Carrie Hardman of Winston & Strawn LLP

The Second Circuit held that (1) securities fraud victims may be considered "similarly situated" for purposes of pro rata distributions when they are similarly situated in relationship to the fraud, losses, fraudsters and nature of their investments in a uniform Ponzi scheme; (2) absent further disparate treatment of the victim-investors, for purposes of distribution, there is no difference between victims that invested in a regulated entity versus a related non-regulated entity, as the protections afforded by regulation were designed not for the victim investors' benefit, but for the benefit of others; and (3) Till v. SCS Credit Corp., 541 U.S. 465, 477 (2004), does not apply in the securities fraud context, and no statutory provision exists to require the receiver to adjust distributions on account of inflation.

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: EXPLORING WHEN CONSUMERS SHOULD FILE FOR CHAPTER 11 VS. CHAPTER 13

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post explores situations in which a consumer should consider filing for chapter 11 protection rather than chapter 13.

Want to explore further perspectives on consumer filing choices? Be sure to register for ABI's Annual Spring Meeting, which will feature a session on the Consumer Bankruptcy Track titled "The Individual Conundrum—Chapter 7, 11 or 13?" For more information or to register, be sure to click 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.

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.

ABI Quick Poll

The scope of protection of "financial contracts" in bankruptcy should be rolled back to what it was before BAPCPA expanded it in 2005.

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:

 

 

 

BBW 2013
April 10, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

COMING UP

 


 

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
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
July 18-21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

MA 2013
Aug. 8-10, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

April
- 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.

August
- Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop
    August 8-10, 2013 | Hershey, Pa.


 
 
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Analysis Nearly a Third of Companies that Filed for Chapter 11 Did Not Disclose Plans in Advance

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 6 2012
 
  

November 8, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: NEARLY A THIRD OF COMPANIES THAT FILED FOR CHAPTER 11 DID NOT DISCLOSE PLANS IN ADVANCE

More than two dozen companies in the past five years did not disclose chapter 11 bankruptcy preparations to investors, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of regulatory filings. The companies, including Eastman Kodak Co. and American Airlines parent AMR Corp., refrained from warning investors about potentially seeking chapter 11 protection from creditors despite facing dire financial straits or, in some cases, hiring restructuring advisers to make the preparations. Some of the firms only disclosed later in court documents that they had laid the groundwork for the filings in advance. The law is murky in this area: Federal securities laws and regulations do not require disclosure of bankruptcy preparations in most circumstances, even though such information could be deemed "material" to investors, according to securities-law specialists. The Financial Accounting Standards Board is working on proposing a rule that would require executives under certain circumstances to be responsible for disclosing issues related to a company's ability to continue as a going concern. Under current rules, auditors determine whether companies must make that sort of disclosure. The "going concern" disclosure is separate from other general bankruptcy-preparation notifications a company could choose to make. Read more. (Subscription required.)

U.S. CONSUMER CREDIT EXPANDS IN SEPTEMBER

Federal Reserve data released yesterday showed that U.S. consumer credit grew $11.36 billion in September, although Americans appeared to use their credit cards more sparingly, Reuters reported yesterday. So far this year, overall consumer credit has expanded in eight of nine months. Nonrevolving credit, which includes student and auto loans, rose $14.27 billion in September. Student loans made by the government rose 27.9 percent in the 12 months through September, slightly less than the 12-month growth posted through August. The figures also showed a contraction in revolving credit, which mostly measures credit card use. That category dropped to $2.90 billion in September. Read more.

TARIFFS UPHELD, BUT MAY NOT HELP U.S. SOLAR INDUSTRY'S STRUGGLES

Though the U.S. International Trade Commission decided yesterday to uphold tariffs of about 24 to 36 percent on most solar panels imported from China, the action might not do much to aid the financially struggling U.S. solar panel industry, according to a report from today's New York Times. Domestic solar manufacturers said that the duties, to be in place for five years, would make up for unfair business practices by Chinese companies that had harmed the domestic market and allow homegrown companies to hire more workers and thrive. Because the duties apply to panels made of Chinese-produced solar cells, Chinese companies are already avoiding the duties by assembling their panels from cells produced elsewhere, like Taiwan, even if the cell components come from China. The case is also unlikely to have much effect on the central market dynamic that analysts say is driving companies out of business: oversupply. About a dozen panel makers in the United States have gone bankrupt or closed factories since the start of last year. "There have been a few bankruptcies and a few plant closures and so on, but at this point it's just a drop in the bucket," said Shayle Kann, the head of GTM Research, a unit of Greentech Media. Read more.

VIDEO AND PREPARED WITNESS STATEMENTS FROM THE CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION'S 11/3 HEARING NOW AVAILABLE

The video recording of ABI's Chapter 11 Reform Commission’s hearing on 11/3 at TMA's annual conference is now available. Additionally, prepared witness statements can also be downloaded. Click here to watch the video and access the prepared witness statements.

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/.

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

ELECTION ANALYST AND AUTHOR LARRY SABATO TO DISSECT THE 2012 ELECTION RESULTS AT ABI’S 24TH ANNUAL WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE!

Don't miss ABI's 24th Annual Winter Leadership Conference, taking place Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz. This year's conference will feature insights from some of the top insolvency and restructuring experts on issues confronting the profession in 2013, including four specialized tracks geared toward business, consumer, financial advisor and professional development. The featured keynote speaker will be election analyst and author Larry Sabato. ABI's Great Debates a field hearing of ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 and 10 committee educational sessions will also be taking place at the conference. Panel sessions include:

Business Track:
• Fraudulent Conveyance Litigation from Soup to Nuts
• Pushing the Envelope
• The Role of the Hedge Fund in Corporate Restructurings: White Knight or Villain?
• Social Networking and Bankruptcy Issues

Financial Advisors Track
• Advising the Corporate Entity
• How to Create Value for the Estate from Your First Client Meeting until Entry of a Final Decree

Consumer Track
• From Infants to Toddlers: Bankruptcy Rules 3001 and 3002.1 Experience First-Year Growing Pains
• The National Mortgage Settlement: How Will It Affect Consumer Bankruptcy Cases?

Professional Development Track
• Litigation Skills: Mock Expert Examination
• “I'm Shocked—Shocked!—to Find that Unethical Conduct Is Going On in Here!”: A Tale of Ethics in Bankruptcy

The conference will also include a final night dinner featuring impressionist, comedian and singer Jeff Tracta, and the sounds of ABI's rock-n-roll band, the Indubitable Equivalents. Register by Monday to save $50 on your registration!

TUCK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS WINS NINTH ANNUAL CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING COMPETITION

A team from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Ninth Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, held Nov. 1-2 at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. The second-year MBA student winners also shared a $6,000 cash prize. Students from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business won the second-place award of $3,500, while a team from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business received the $2,500 prize for third place. Click here to read the full press release.

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY V. ASBESTOS SETTLEMENT TRUST (IN RE THE CELOTEX CORP.; 11TH CIR.)

Summarized by Jeffrey Snyder of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP

The Eleventh Circuit ruled that although a district court, at its discretion, may review interlocutory judgments and orders of a bankruptcy court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §158(a), a court of appeals only has jurisdiction over final judgments and orders entered by a district court or bankruptcy appellate panel sitting in review of a bankruptcy court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §158(d).

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: SECOND CIRCUIT ADOPTS DEFERENTIAL ABUSE OF DISCRETION STANDARD OF REVIEW FOR EQUITABLE MOOTNESS APPEALS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in R2 Investments v. Charter Communications, Inc., recently affirmed the dismissal of an appeal from the confirmation order in the bankruptcy of cable company Charter Communications, concluding that the deferential abuse of discretion standard of review was applicable.

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.

  

 

TOMORROW:

 

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

 

MONDAY:

 

SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

COMING UP:

 

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
- 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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SIGTARP Report Details Hardest Hit Fund Failures

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | October 29, 2013
 
  

October 29, 2013

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

SIGTARP REPORT DETAILS "HARDEST HIT FUND" FAILURES

The "Hardest Hit Fund," which was launched by the Treasury to help families in areas stricken by the housing bust, fell short of its stated goals, a new report from Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) warns, HousingWire.com reported today. Christy Romero, special inspector general for TARP, sent an update to Congress, criticizing the handling of the Hardest Hit Fund and the toxic corporate culture still festering within certain banks. The Hardest Hit Fund started with ambitious goals, SIGTARP says, but ineffective barometers and metrics prompted states receiving the funds to substantially lower their goals. However, Tim Massad, assistant secretary for financial stability at Treasury, said that the states are innovating as they go. It also took time to get these locally run programs up and running, Massad told HousingWire. State housing finance agencies received billions of TARP funds to assist local homeowners and communities back in 2010. In all, the Treasury allocated $7.6 billion, giving 18 states and the District of Columbia permission to participate. The plan was formulated in 2010. However, as of June 30, 2013, states had spent only 22 percent, or roughly $1.7 billion of the $7.6 billion in TARP funds allocated through the Treasury, SIGTARP said. Approximately 146,356 program participants have received aid, or roughly 27 percent of the original goal. Read more.

CFTC VOTES TO DROP COURT APPEAL OF POSITION LIMITS RULE

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission voted today to abandon a court challenge of a rule designed to limit speculation in commodity markets, agreeing to drop the agency's appeal as it works to advance a revised version of the rule, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The CFTC voted to drop its appeal of a September 2012 decision tossing out the agency's "position limits" rule, which aimed to curb sharp price spikes by limiting the percentage of the market any one firm can control in certain commodities. The CFTC is working to modify the rule--authorized by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law--to address problems identified by a federal court last year, including providing further legal justification for the limits as well as a more thorough cost-benefit analysis. The agency is expected to vote on the revised rule next week. Read more. (Subscription required.)

U.S. BANKS' LEGAL TAB IS POISED TO RISE

U.S. banks have agreed to billions of dollars in mortgage-related settlements stemming from the financial crisis, but new estimates show that the total figure could still rise sharply -- to $107 billion or more -- in coming years, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The six largest U.S. banks by assets have agreed to more than $66 billion in credit crisis and mortgage-related settlements since 2010, new data from research firm SNL Financial show. After factoring in estimates by Bernstein Research for the remaining legal exposure at three of the largest banks, the overall number could balloon 62 percent above the current SNL figure. That would include JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s expected $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department and other regulators, a piece of which was announced on Friday. Excluding its expected settlement, the mortgage-litigation push has caused overall legal expenses this year at JPMorgan to nearly triple -- to $10.3 billion through September -- from $3.8 billion over the first nine months of 2012. Read more. (subscription required.)

MICROCREDIT EXPANDS IN THE U.S.

Since the financial crisis, microcredit has taken off in the United States, attracting thousands of clients who do not qualify for credit cards or traditional bank loans, the New York Times reported yesterday. Microcredit was pioneered by Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and has long aimed to ease poverty in the world's developing countries. The purpose of the loans, as conceived by Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize-winning founder of Grameen Bank, is to help countless millions of poor people unlock their inner entrepreneur, to "use money to make money," as he puts it. In the U.S., microcredit has generally been defined as loans of less than $50,000 to people -- mostly entrepreneurs -- who cannot, for various reasons, borrow from a bank. Most nonprofit microlenders include services like financial literacy training and business plan consultations, which contribute to the expense of providing such loans but also, those groups say, to the success of their borrowers. Read more.

AMR, US AIRWAYS, U.S. AGREE TO MEDIATOR IN ANTITRUST CASE

American Airlines, US Airways Group Inc. and the U.S. Justice Department agreed to go to a mediator to possibly resolve the government's lawsuit seeking to block the proposed merger of the airlines, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Both sides said in a filing yesterday in federal court in Washington, D.C., that they agreed to a mediator "suggested by the court" without providing further details. The Justice Department sued American parent AMR Corp. and US Airways in August, claiming that the planned merger, which would create the world's largest airline, would reduce competition and lead to higher prices. A status conference is set for Oct. 30. Read more.

LATEST ABI PODCAST LOOKS AT NEW LEGAL ISSUES ARISING FROM A DIOCESAN BANKRUPTCY

As the Dioceses of Gallup, N.M. and Stockton, Calif., recently were the ninth and tenth, respectively, to file for bankruptcy, ABI Resident Scholar Kara Bruce talks with Susan Boswell, a partner at Quarles & Brady LLP (Tucson, Ariz.), about 10 years of diocesan case history. Boswell provides her perspective of some of the challenges that arise in a diocesan bankruptcy from having represented the Dioceses of Tucson, San Diego, and Fairbanks, Alaska, and will be representing the diocese of Gallup, N.M. in its bankruptcy case. Click here to listen.

ATTENDING NCBJ'S 87TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE STARTING TOMORROW IN ATLANTA? DOWNLOAD THE CONFERENCE APP AND BE SURE TO ATTEND ABI'S SESSIONS!

If you are attending the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges 87th Annual Conference in Atlanta starting tomorrow, be sure to tap into the following resources and programs:

Have you downloaded the official NCBJ Conference app for Apple iOS or the Google Android devices? Built by ABI, the app contains the conference schedule, materials, hotel map, speaker info, access to the conference Twitter feed and more. You can customize it to remind you when your favorite session is about to start.
To download the app for iOS devices from iTunes, please click here.

To download the app for Android devices from the Google Play store, please click here.

Also, ABI will be sponsoring a number of great programs on Nov. 1 at the conference:

-Topics for the ABI/NCBJ Roundtables include: Single Asset Real Estate Cases, Streamlining the Process- National Chapter 13 Plan- Good or Bad? Part 1, What to Do after the Sale? Structured Dismissals, Liquidating Trusts and Chapter 7 Conversion, Chapter 7 & Hot Topics, Current Labor and Employment Issues in Bankruptcy Cases, Where the Work Is: Does the Restructuring Profession Need to Be Restructured?, Streamlining the Process- National Chapter 13 Plan- Good or Bad? Part II, Chapter 11 Professional Issues: Proper Disclosure and Retention and Addressing the New Rules of the Road on Compensation. The programs require pre-registration through the NCBJ.

-ABI luncheon in the Imperial Ballroom from 12:45-2:30 p.m. ET featuring Prof. Jeffrey Rosensweig, global and economics forecaster and expert on global investing and business strategy.

-Hearing from 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET of ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11. The hearing will take place in Room A706 and will focus on corporate governance issues in bankruptcy. Witnesses set to testify at the hearing include:

  • Dennis F. Dunne of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP (New York) will testify about the role of committees in chapter 11.
  • William K. Snyder of Deloitte CRG (Dallas) will testify on the role of the chief restructuring officer (CRO) in chapter 11.
  • Brady C. Williamson of Godfrey & Kahn, SC (Madison, Wisc.) will testify about the use of fee examiners in corporate bankruptcy cases.
  • Mark A. Gittelman of PNC Bank (Philadelphia) will testify on structural changes in the court systems, including creating a national bankruptcy court venue for mega cases.
  • Prof. Anne Lawton of Michigan State University College of Law (East Lansing, Mich.) will testify about special accommodations for small and middle market cases.
  • W. Clarkson McDow, U.S. Trustee (ret.) Region 4 (Columbia, S.C.) will testify about the U.S. Trustee's role in chapter 11 cases.
    For more, please visit http://commission.abi.org.

- Be sure to visit ABI's booth (#5) and C.A.R.E's booth (#6) to learn about new promotions, products and more!

RENEW YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP BY DEC. 31 AND SAVE!

Beginning in January 2014, ABI will institute its first dues increase to the regular dues rate in six years. The $20 increase will ensure that ABI can continue to provide you with the latest and most effective tools available in insolvency information and education. You can lock in 2013 rates, and additional discounts, for up to three years by using a multi-year renewal option (save $75!). You can also save 10 percent on future dues by opting into the automated dues program. To renew your membership and save, please go to renew.abi.org.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE; ETHICS CLE AVAILABLE! "BANKRUPTCY IN DEPTH" VIDEO PREVIEWS UPCOMING SUPREME COURT BANKRUPTCY CASES

Available now for purchase from ABI's eLearning Center (http://cle.abi.org) is the new "Bankruptcy In Depth" video featuring ABI Resident Scholar Kara Bruce and Eric Brunstad of Dechert LLP (Hartford, Conn.) previewing the bankruptcy cases that the Supreme Court will consider during its 2013 term. Brunstad, who has argued many cases before the Court and is an expert in bankruptcy appellate practice, discusses in depth Law v. Siegel, which questions whether the court may use its general equitable authority under §105 of the Bankruptcy Code to surcharge a debtor's exempt assets, and Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham), which will address the bankruptcy court's authority to adjudicate Article III matters. He also provides a candid view of what it is like to argue a case before the Court and an in-depth analysis of the issues involved with the upcoming cases. Available for the member price of $75, ABI will also seek 1.25 hours of ethics CLE credit in 60-minute-hour states and 1.5 hours of credit in 50-minute-hour states for this program. This online CLE program is presumptively approved in CA, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, NV, NJ, NY (Approved Jurisdiction Policy), RI, and SC. Credit hours granted are subject to approval from each state, which has not been determined. To purchase the new "Bankruptcy In Depth" video, please click here.

NEXT WEDNESDAY! RISKY TIMES FOR SECURED LENDERS AND SERVICERS TO BE FOCUS OF FIRST ABI WORKSHOP PROGRAM; ATTEND IN PERSON OR VIA LIVE WEBSTREAM

You will not want to miss the abiWorkshops series' inaugural program, "Risky Times for Secured Lenders and Servicers." The program is cosponsored by TMA (Chesapeake), IWIRC (D.C./Greater Maryland) and RMA (Potomac), and will be held on Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET in the ABI Headquarters Conference Center in Alexandria, Va. The abiWorkshops series provides attendees two great ways of participating: You can register to attend in person at the ABI Conference Center, or you can participate via a live webstream! Topics that will be covered on the Nov. 6 program include:

- Living with the New CFPB Mortgage Servicing Rules
- Business Lending: Navigating What Lies Ahead
- Business Lending: Recent Legal Developments

For more information or to register for the "Risky Times for Secured Lenders and Servicers" abiWorkshop on Nov. 6, please click here.

EXPERTS TO EXAMINE STUDENT LENDING AND BANKRUPTCY AT ABI WORKSHOP PROGRAM ON NOV. 15

Experts will tackle the hot topic of student lending issues in bankruptcy on the abiWorkshops series' new program, "You Can't Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy - Or Can You?" The program will be held on Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET in the ABI Headquarters Conference Center in Alexandria, Va. The abiWorkshops series provides attendees two great ways of participating: You can register to attend in person at the ABI Conference Center, or you can participate via a live webstream! Topics that will be covered on the Nov. 15 program include:

- Student Lending Today: Who Borrows, How Much, Delinquency & Default Trends
- Repayment Options: Income Based Repayment and New Lender/Servicer Programs
- Litigation under Sect. 523(a)(8): What Proofs Are Needed? Evidence Demonstration

For more information or to register for the "You Can't Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy - Or Can You?" abiWorkshop on Nov. 15, please click here.

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; LAST STOP FOR 2013 IS WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN DECEMBER

The 7th and final stop for the 2013 ABI Golf Tour is on Dec. 5 at the Trump National Golf Club, held in conjunction with ABI’s Winter Leadership Conference. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup — sponsored by Great American Group — is based on your top three scores from the seven ABI events. 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! A 22-handicapper won the tour event at July’s Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop. There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour.

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW ABILIVE WEBINAR LOOKS AT HOW TO HIRE THE RIGHT FINANCIAL ADVISORS

ABI's Financial Advisors & Investment Banking Committee is proud to present the next abiLIVE webinar, "How to Hire the Right Financial Advisors," on Dec. 11 from 1-2:15 p.m. ET. The program will provide attendees with an overview and basic understanding of the different types of financial advisors that may be relevant for in- and out-of-court cases. Topics include:

- The different types of financial advisors available;
- The benefits and limitations for each category of advisor; and
- How to select the right advisor for the job.

Speakers on the webinar include:

-Daniel F. Dooley of MorrisAnderson (Chicago)

-Gregory S. Hays of Hays Financial Consulting LLC (Atlanta)

-Ivan Lehon of Ernst & Young (New York)

-Allen Soong of Deloitte CRG (Los Angeles)

Teri Stratton of Piper Jaffray & Co. (El Segundo, Calif.)

Registration is $75 for ABI members/$175 for non-members. Have a number of colleagues that would like to participate? Take advantage of group pricing for ABI members: register 5 or more and the registration cost drops to $60 per person!

Click here for more information and to register.

ABI LAUNCHES SIXTH ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION FOR LAW STUDENTS

Law school students are invited to submit a paper between now and March 4, 2014 for ABI's Sixth Annual Bankruptcy Law Student Writing Competition. ABI will extend a complimentary one-year membership to all students who participate in this year's competition. Eligible submissions should focus on current issues regarding bankruptcy jurisdiction, bankruptcy litigation, or evidence issues in bankruptcy cases or proceedings. The first-place winner, sponsored by Invotex Group, Inc., will receive a cash prize of $2,000 and publication of his or her paper in the ABI Journal. The second-place winner, sponsored by Jenner & Block LLP, will receive a cash prize of $1,250 and publication of his or her paper in an ABI committee newsletter. The third-place winner, sponsored by Thompson & Knight LLP, will receive a cash prize of $750 plus publication of his or her paper in an ABI committee newsletter. For competition participation and submission guidelines, please visit http://papers.abi.org.

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SEARS V. U.S. TRUSTEE (IN RE AFY; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Bruce Weiner of Rosenberg, Musso & Weiner

The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's holding that the appeals of the debtor's principals and of an entity related to the debtor must be dismissed. The debtor's principals appealed from an order authorizing the chapter 11 debtor to sell assets. That appeal was ordered to be dismissed because the bankruptcy court found that the buyer was a good-faith purchaser within the meaning of 11 U.S.C. § 363(m) and no stay pending appeal was granted. Once the sale was consummated, the appeal was moot, the Eighth Circuit ruled.

There are more than 1,000 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: REASONS A STRUGGLING SMALL BUSINESS OWNER SHOULD CONSULT WITH A BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks more than 80 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post looks into reasons that a struggling small business owner should consult with a bankruptcy attorney when their business reaches a financial crossroad.

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

Can litigant consent enable the bankruptcy court to enter final judgment in a matter which, after Stern, falls outside the court's constitutional 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 43 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 WEEK:

 

 

 

CFRP13
Register Today!

 

 

CFRP13
Register Today!

 

 

 

CRC13
Register Today!

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

 

 

Detroit
Register Today!

 

 

 

abiWorkshop_StudentDebt
Register Today!

 

 

 

Delaware
Register Today!

 

 

 

WLC
Register Today!

 

 

 

Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
Register Today!

 

 

 

Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

November
- abiWorkshop: "Risky Times for Secured Lenders and Servicers"
   Nov. 6, 2013 | Alexandria, Va.
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
   Nov. 7, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.
- Corporate Restructuring Competition
   Nov. 7-8, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
   Nov. 11, 2013 | Detroit, Mich.
-abiWorkshop: "You Can't Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy - Or Can You?"
   Nov. 15, 2013 | Alexandria, Va.
- Delaware Views from the Bench
   Nov. 25, 2013 | Wilmington, Del.

  



December
- Winter Leadership Conference
    Dec. 5-7, 2013 | Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
-abiLIVE Webinar
    Dec. 11, 2013
January
- Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Jan. 20, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
    Jan. 23-24, 2014 | Denver, Colo.


 
 
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Report Sharp Drop in U.S. Homes Lost to Foreclosure in February

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 14 2013
 
  

March 14, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

REPORT: SHARP DROP IN U.S. HOMES LOST TO FORECLOSURE IN FEBRUARY

Though the nation's foreclosure woes persist, new data from RealtyTrac Inc. show they are easing amid a resurgent housing market, rising home prices and efforts by some states to buy homeowners more time to avoid losing their homes, the Associated Press reported today. The number of U.S. homes repossessed by lenders last month fell 11 percent from January and declined 29 percent from February last year, tumbling to the lowest level since September 2007, RealtyTrac said today. Some states continued to see sharp increases in homes lost to foreclosure last month, including Washington, Wisconsin and Iowa. But home repossessions declined both on an annual and monthly basis in a majority of states, including past foreclosure hotbeds such as California, Georgia and Arizona. All told, 45,038 U.S. homes completed the foreclosure process in February, less than half of the 102,000 homes lost to foreclosure in March 2010, when home repossessions peaked, according to the firm's records, which go back to January 2005. Read more.

COMMENTARY: FANNIE, FREDDIE AND THE GOVERNMENT'S HOUSE OF CARDS

The nascent housing price recovery is restoring health to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises that contributed so much to the crash of 2008, according to a commentary in today's Wall Street Journal. Both had earnings in 2012 and thus will not need money from the U.S. Treasury to cover operating losses, which is in contrast to the preceding three years when they cost the taxpayers over $180 billion. When Fannie and Freddie were losing money, Congress had a strong incentive to privatize or liquidate them, according to the commentary. The Obama administration proposed three options, the third of which was to restore them to the public-private status that fueled their rapid expansion in the late 1990s and early 2000s—and contributed to their downfall. Now that these GSEs promise to become cash cows able to palliate the government's budgetary distress, the government's talk about "resolving" them is more subdued, according to the commentary. The latest monthly Federal Reserve survey reported that "home prices rose amid falling inventories across much of the country." The GSEs' business in mortgage-backed securities is thriving, with Fannie having issued $865.5 billion of these instruments in 2012. The disturbing thing about this rosy scenario is that the entire home mortgage industry—not only Fannie and Freddie—has been effectively nationalized, according to the commentary. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: AFTER FINANCIAL CRISIS, PROSECUTORS NAVIGATE TRICKY WATERS

Despite the recent political finger-pointing, the fact remains that few executives have been held responsible for when their companies engaged in misconduct, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. Despite the fear of charging a large bank with a crime, the Justice Department has tried to show its mettle recently in cases involving the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor). Its solution to the problem has involved having foreign subsidiaries of global banks plead guilty to a charge, rather than the whole entity. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Treasury Undersecretary David S. Cohen acknowledged that regulators had not aggressively pursued the individuals "who are responsible for the conduct that has resulted in fines and penalties against the institution itself." Although a few lower-level traders have been charged, the settlements involving large banks over Libor manipulation have not involved any real costs to senior executives, and HSBC’s money-laundering case involved neither a corporate guilty plea nor any direct action against the individuals responsible for long-running practices. Read more.

JOBLESS CLAIMS AT FIVE-YEAR LOW

A measure of jobless claims widely followed by economists fell to a five-year low, the latest sign that the labor market is slowly improving, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The four-week moving average of jobless claims, which smooths out weekly volatility in new unemployment claims, sank to 346,750, the lowest level since March 2008, the Labor Department said today. Meanwhile, the weekly number of U.S. workers filing new applications for benefits fell more than economists forecast, declining by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 332,000 for the week ended March 9. The Labor Department reported last week that employers added 236,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate moved down to a four-year low of 7.7 percent. Read more. (Subscription required.)

CONSUMER SPENDING INCREASED IN FEBRUARY

The Commerce Department reported yesterday that retail sales rose 1.1 percent in February from the prior month, seasonally adjusted, thanks in large part to robust gains for cars and building materials and at Internet stores, the Los Angeles Times reported today. Consumers did feel the pinch from higher fuel prices; sales at gasoline stations jumped 5 percent last month from January. After excluding consumer spending for gas and cars, so-called core retail sales increased 0.4 percent in February, and this measure was revised up to 0.3 percent for January from the previously estimated 0.1 percent. Car and home sales are benefiting from pent-up demand as well as low interest rates, and that is supporting business at other retailers. Sales at building material and garden supply stores rose 1.1 percent in February from the prior month. Read more.

For more on consumer spending, be sure to visit yesterday’s post on ABI’s Chart of the Day.

IPHONE AND IPAD USERS: THE ABI JOURNAL APP IS AVAILABLE NOW!

The wait is over! With the new ABI Journal iPad app, sponsored by KCC, each new issue will be sent automatically to your device, ready to read at your convenience. Download the app for free from the Apple iTunes store (link below) to your iPad and/or iPhone. Once it's installed, open the app and you will be prompted to log in (see below). (You only have to provide this information once, then the app will recognize you each time you open it.)

Each available issue will show up automatically in the onscreen library. Simply download the issue you wish to read and access it anytime, even when you're not connected to the Internet. With the app, you can:

• take notes or leave comments
• share individual pages to social media
• bookmark favorite pages
• search for key phrases in all online issues

Unlock the power of this terrific new app* today. Download the app here.

USERNAME: Your email address (it must be the one that ABI has on file for you)
PASSWORD: abijournal

*The app is not available for Android devices at this time.
Go to journal.abi.org to access ABI Journal archives, submission guidelines and more!

LATEST BLOOMBERG "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: HOW PURCHASERS OF AMR STOCK MADE A KILLING

Someone who bought stock in American Airlines last year already made a killing. Stock that could have been bought in November for less than 40 cents a share is now trading above $4, for reasons explained on the video with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle. Click here to watch.

DON'T MISS ABC'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

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: VASSALLE V. MIDLAND FUNDING LLC (6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Jim Morgan of the Enterprise Law Group

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio approving a class action settlement and certifying a nationwide class. The Sixth Circuit found that the settlement was not fair or reasonable because it provided preferential treatment to the class representatives and only perfunctory relief to the unnamed class members. The Sixth Circuit further held that class certification was inappropriate because the class representatives were inadequate and that a class action was not a superior method of resolving the controversy.

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: BIG BANKS SHOULD BREAK UP VOLUNTARILY

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post said that megabanks may be able to fight off regulatory forces demanding their corporate downsizing, but a voluntary break up may be the only way to sway public opinion their way.

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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UP NEXT:

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

 

BBW 2013
April 5, 2013
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BBW 2013
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.

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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Analysis Firms in Chapter 11 Face Fast Trip to Auction Block

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 15 2013
 
  

January 15, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: FIRMS IN CHAPTER 11 FACE FAST TRIP TO AUCTION BLOCK

More companies that wind up in bankruptcy court are facing a stark demand from their banks: Sell yourself now, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Digital Domain Media Group Inc., a special-effects company founded by director James Cameron to work on "Titanic" and other films, filed for chapter 11 protection in September; its lenders gave it a window of just 12 days to find a buyer or risk losing its bankruptcy financing. Lenders gave RG Steel LLC less than two months to sell its steel plants, and ATP Oil & Gas Corp. is scrambling to find a buyer to avoid defaulting on its bankruptcy loan. Most companies that file for bankruptcy these days have debts that far exceed their assets, according to experts. That means they probably won't be able to pay off their lenders in full, let alone more-junior creditors like suppliers, no matter how long they stay in bankruptcy proceedings. As a result, banks and other lenders, who often are owed millions of dollars and get claims on any sale proceeds, are using their clout to press for a speedy sale. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: U.S. SHOULD NOT HAND OVER BATTERY TECHNOLOGY TO CHINA

Unless the U.S. government acts quickly, over a decade’s worth of advanced American technology is about to be handed to the Chinese at a creditors' sale in the A123 bankruptcy case, according to a commentary by former Congressman Ike Skelton and Duncan Hunter in yesterday's U.S. News and World Report. Under the decision of a federal bankruptcy judge, the company whose patents comprise the cutting edge of this technology, A123 Systems Inc., will soon become the property of China's Wanxiang Group, a leading Chinese manufacturer, for the relative bargain price of $250 million. Like all sales of critical technology to foreign entities, the bankruptcy court's auction is subject to approval by a powerful but obscure federal interagency panel known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Wangxiang has sought to win approval of the deal by agreeing to split off A123 Systems' existing military contracts to an American corporation. The trade secrets and patents that would be controlled by the Wanxiang Group, according to the commentary, resulted from a decade of trial and error by some of America's scientists, with much of the work funded by U.S. taxpayers. Read more.

RECOVERY IN U.S. SAVING 8 MILLION UNDERWATER HOMEOWNERS

As housing prices have recovered, the number of underwater borrowers fell by almost 4 million last year to 7 million, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), and that number could drop to 4 million within 2 years, Bloomberg News reported today. The housing market is rebounding faster than anyone thought possible, according to Blackstone Group LP's global head of real estate Jonathan Gray, as the Federal Reserve buys mortgage bonds to keep rates near record lows and investors sop up a diminishing supply of properties for sale. JPMorgan analysts led by John Sim estimate that the price growth last year was responsible for a drop of almost 4 million in underwater borrowers. The number of homeowners that owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth may fall to 4 million by the end of 2015, according to Sim. Foreclosure starts dropped 28 percent in November from a year earlier, data provider Lender Processing Services Inc. wrote in a report this week. Read more.

401(k) BREACHES UNDERMINING RETIREMENT SECURITY FOR MILLIONS

A large and growing share of American workers are tapping their retirement savings accounts for non-retirement needs, raising broad questions about the effectiveness of one of the most important savings vehicles for old age, the Washington Post reported today. More than one in four American workers with 401(k) and other retirement savings accounts uses them to pay current expenses, new data show. The withdrawals, cash-outs and loans drain nearly a quarter of the $293 billion that workers and employers deposit into the accounts each year, undermining already-shaky retirement security for millions of Americans. Fresh data from Vanguard, one of the nation’s largest 401(k) managers, show a 12 percent increase in the number of workers who took loans against their retirement accounts or withdrew money outright since 2008. Overall, about a third of American households participate in 401(k)-type accounts, which hold a combined $3.5 trillion in assets. But a large portion of that money does not make it to retirement. A recent study by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research found that the typical household approaching retirement age has an average of $120,000 in retirement savings, enough for roughly a $7,000-a-year annuity. Read more.

REPORT: RANKS OF WORKING POOR INCREASING

A new report released today by the Working Poor Families Project found that nearly a third of the nation’s working families earn salaries so low that they struggle to pay for their necessities, the Washington Post reported today. Analyzing 2011 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the report said that 32 percent of working families earned salaries that put them below double the poverty threshold, which was $45,622 for a family of four. That percentage has crept up from 28 percent in 2007, the year the recession began. And 37 percent of the nation’s children — 23.5 million — were part of working poor families in 2011, the report said, up from 33 percent in 2007. Read more.

E-FILING AND THE EXPLOSION IN TAX-RETURN FRAUD

Tax-identity theft exploded to more than 1.1 million cases in 2011 from 51,700 in 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration last summer reported discovering an additional 1.5 million potentially fraudulent 2011 tax refunds totaling in excess of $5.2 billion. One possible source of identity theft is due to American taxpayers, urged on by the IRS, filing their income-tax returns electronically and arranging for refunds to be directly deposited into bank accounts. E-filing is appealing because it provides an electronic postmark confirmation that the return was filed on time. When it is combined with direct deposit, a refund can arrive in as little as seven days. In 2012, 80 percent of individual returns were e-filed, fulfilling an initial goal Congress set in 1998. The result is an automated system in which the labor burden is transferred to the taxpayer. Tax return fraud can come in the form of tax-identity theft, refund fraud, or return-preparer fraud and is difficult to prosecute. With e-filing, evidence of fraud is difficult to find. There are no signed tax forms, envelopes or fingerprints, and e-filing promises quick refunds. Read more. (Subscription required.)

TAKE AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT CREDITORS' COMMITTEES AND THE ROLE OF THE INDENTURE TRUSTEES AT ABI'S 31ST ANNUAL SPRING MEETING

The 2013 Annual Spring Meeting, to be held April 18-21, 2013, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., 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
• 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
• Law Firm Bankruptcies
• 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!

Register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

ABI LIVE WEBINAR: REVISITING RADLAX AND HALL – NEW LEGAL AND PRACTICAL IMPACT OF THE DECISIONS

See why this was the top-rated panel at the ABI Winter Leadership Conference last month! Join the expert panel on Feb. 19 from 12:00-1:15pm EST as the summarize and discuss the legal impact and practical implications of the Supreme Court’s 2012 decisions in Radlax and Hall. Participants include:

Susan M. Freeman of Lewis and Roca LLP (Phoenix)

Adam A. Lewis of Morrison & Foerster LLP (San Francisco)

• Prof. Charles J. Tabb of the University of Illinois College of Law (Champaign, Ill.)

Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago)

Click here to register!

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: GLAZER V. CHASE HOME FINANCE LLC (6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Michael Coury of Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens, & Cannada PLLCs

The Sixth Circuit affirmed the trial court's finding that the mortgage servicer was not a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and that a subservicer who attempts to collect debts owed to another [from a debtor] that was not in default at the time it was obtained by the servicer is exempt from the definition of "debt collector" under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1692a(6). The Court also affirmed the trial court's denial of plaintiff's motion to amend as untimely where it was filed four months after discovery of new evidence and after the magistrate had already recommended dismissal of the claim against the subservicer.

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: PARALLELS BETWEEN THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE LOAN AND STUDENT LOAN CRISES

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new post examines similarities between the subprime mortgage loan crisis that caused the 2008 financial downturn and the current student loan crisis.

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

After Stern, bankruptcy courts do not have the constitutional authority to enter final judgments on fraudulent conveyance claims.

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 WEEK:

 

 

WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Jan. 24-25, 2013
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COMING UP:

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
Feb. 19, 2013
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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.
- ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
     February 19, 2013


  

- 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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