Consumer Bankruptcy

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

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 6 2012
 
  

November 6, 2012

 
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  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.

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MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
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Nov. 12, 2012
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Jan. 21, 2013
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Feb. 20-22, 2013
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  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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More Homeowners Emerge from Underwater Status

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 19 2013
 
  

March 19, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: MORE HOMEOWNERS EMERGE FROM "UNDERWATER" STATUS

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

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

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

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

CFPB ISSUES PROPOSAL TO SUPERVISE STUDENT LOAN SERVICERS

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

OBAMA CUTS STUDENT-DEBT COLLECTOR COMMISSIONS TO AID BORROWERS

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

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

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

ANALYSIS: WORKERS SAVING TOO LITTLE TO RETIRE

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

NUMBER OF CASES FILED BY SEC SLOWS

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

NEW ABI BOOK EXPLORES THE DEPTHS OF DEEPENING INSOLVNECY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make sure to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are more than 800 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: CONGRESS, NOT FHFA, SHOULD BE REFORMING THE GSEs

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

Be sure to check the site several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new story, a link to the story will appear on the top. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.

ABI Quick Poll

Who will win the NCAA basketball tournament?

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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March 22, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

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


  

 

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

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

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


 
 
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Report Fewer Mortgage Loans Past Due in Foreclosure

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 25, 2012
 
  

September 25, 2012

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

REPORT: FEWER MORTGAGE LOANS PAST DUE, IN FORECLOSURE

Lender Processing Services (LPS), which provides mortgage and consumer loan processing services and default solutions, said that mortgage delinquencies are down by more than 10 percent over the past year, although more than one homeowner in 10 remains at risk of losing their home, MortgageLoan.com reported yesterday. The nation’s mortgage delinquency rate fell to 6.87 percent in August to 3.43 million, according to new figures from LPS. That represents a 10.6 percent decline over the past year and a 2.3 percent drop from the July figure. Delinquent mortgages in the LPS survey include loans that are at least 30 days past due but not in foreclosure. Meanwhile, the national foreclosure rate fell to 4.04 percent, representing 2.02 million homes in foreclosure but not yet repossessed. That number is down 2.0 percent from the August 2011 level and 1.0 percent from July’s figures. Click here.

CONSUMERS GIVEN DIFFERENT CREDIT SCORES THAN WHAT IS PROVIDED TO LENDERS, CFPB SAYS

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a study today that found that one in five U.S. consumers is likely to receive a credit score that is different than the one provided to lenders, potentially closing off access to credit for millions of Americans who believe that they are eligible for it, Bloomberg News reported today. The study comes five days before the consumer agency, created by the Dodd-Frank law of 2010, begins supervising credit-reporting companies' records and practices. The work involves direct examination of about 30 businesses, including the three biggest, Equifax Inc., Experian Plc and TransUnion Corp. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report each year. Consumer advocates have long charged that credit-reporting companies provide varying scores to lenders, potentially driving the cost of credit higher or depriving consumers of it entirely. Specifically, the bureau found that one in five consumers likely receive a "meaningfully different" score than the one their lender receives from credit bureaus, and consumers are unlikely to know about the discrepancy. Read more.

MOODY'S: CARD CHARGE-OFFS, LATE PAYMENT RATE FELL IN AUGUST

Moody's Investors Service said yesterday that the rate of U.S. credit card charge-offs fell to 4.19 percent in August from 4.56 percent in July, the Associated Press reported. Moody's index of credit card delinquencies, or those balances with a monthly payment more than 30 days past due, also improved. The rate declined to 2.32 percent in August from 2.36 percent the previous month. August's card delinquency rate is at a record low, which points to lower charge-offs in coming months, Moody's said. As delinquencies drop, Moody's data shows that card users are increasing the size of their payments. The average amount of principal that cardholders paid as a percentage of their balance hit a new high in August, rising to a rate of 22.71 percent from 22.47 percent a month earlier, the firm said. Read more.

ANALYSIS: PENSION CRISIS LOOMS DESPITE CUTS

Almost every state in the U.S. has made cuts to its public-employee pensions, seeking to dig their way out from the economic downturn, but so far the measures have fallen well short of bridging a nearly $1 trillion funding gap, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Since 2009, 45 states have rolled back pension benefits for teachers, police, firefighters and other public workers, including cuts by Michigan and California this month. Next week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is expected to sign legislation requiring, for example, that certain teachers work longer and pay more toward their pensions. The state measures show how economic forces are reshaping traditional rivalries, convincing lawmakers and labor leaders that past public pension plans are unsustainable. Read more. (Subscription required.)

SYMPOSIUM ON OCT. 19 TO EXAMINE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BANKRUPTCY AND RACE

ABI, St. John's Center for Bankruptcy Studies and The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development are going to hold a symposium titled "Bankruptcy and Race: Is There a Relation?" on Oct. 19 from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET at the St. John's School of Law. In a recent study of personal bankruptcy cases and practitioners, Profs. Jean Braucher, Dov Cohen and Robert Lawless made a troubling finding: the debtor's race appears to affect the advice that lawyers give about whether to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 or chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Is this finding correct? And if so, what are its implications for bankruptcy law and policy? This symposium will bring together leading bankruptcy, empirical, and race scholars to address these questions through commentary on the Braucher study and a reply from the primary study authors. The papers will be published in the winter issue of the ABI Law Review. There is no fee to attend the symposium, but advance registration is required. To register, please complete and submit the online registration form by Oct. 15.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR STEVEN GOLICK, A COLLEAGUE AND ABI LEADER

Our friend Steven Golick (Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto) is facing a medical crisis. He has been diagnosed with a serious brain tumor, requiring complex surgery and treatment. Steven’s spirits are very strong and he and his family remain optimistic, but he can use our support. A prominent international restructuring attorney and an ABI member since 1994, Steven is also a founding member of the ABI house band, the Indubitable Equivalents. Because the band is important to Steven, his fellow band-mates have organized a new Blog site for Steven's friends and colleagues to show their love and support at this critical time. Please click on this link to share your thoughts with many others, and post as often as you'd like.

ABI IN-DEPTH

MEMBERS WILL NOT WANT TO MISS ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING ON OCT. 26

Members planning to attend the 86th Annual NCBJ Annual Conference in San Diego from Oct. 24-27 will not want to miss the exciting line-up scheduled for the ABI program track on Oct. 26. In addition to roundtable discussions on the hottest consumer and business bankruptcy topics, ABI will be hosting a ticketed luncheon that will feature the presentation of the 7th Annual Judge William L. Norton, Jr. Judicial Excellence Award and entertainment by Apollo Robbins, a sleight-of hand artist, security consultant and self-described gentleman thief. Robbins gained notoriety after pick-pocketing Secret Service agents accompanying former president Jimmy Carter. Click here to register for the Conference.

ABI's Chapter 11 Reform Commission will also be holding a public hearing on Oct. 26 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. PT at the San Diego Marriott. Interested parties have the opportunity to submit testimony at the hearing. For further information, please contact ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano at [email protected]

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: OLICK V. KEARNEY (IN RE OLICK; 3D CIR.)

Summarized by George Utlik of Arent Fox LLP

Affirming three decisions from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that: (1) plaintiff-appellant waived his objections to the summary judgment order and oral opinion rendered from the bench in March 2008 because he had failed to secure a transcript of proceedings in the bankruptcy court, despite having ample time to do so and despite having the option of moving for transcripts to be provided at the government's expense under 28 U.S.C. § 753(f)); (2) plaintiff-appellant failed to meet his burden of showing that defendants’ proffered reason for an adverse employment action (poor employment performance) was pretext because no reasonable jury would find that defendants-appellees acted with discriminatory intent when they terminated him; (3) with respect to plaintiff-appellant’s claim under Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), no causal connection existed between plaintiff-appellant’s protected activity and the termination of his field-agent contract.

There are more than 600 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: LEHMAN TO PAY LEGAL FEES OF PAULSON GROUP, GOLDMAN

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines how a number of Wall Street banks and hedge funds—including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Paulson & Co. and Mark Brodsky’s Aurelius Capital—received bankruptcy court approval to have Lehman’s estate cover their legal fees.

Be sure to check the site several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new story, a link to the story will appear on the top. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.

ABI Quick Poll

Bankruptcy courts should have unfettered discretion in adjusting fee applications, even when no party-in-interest has raised objections.

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

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

Bloomberg Law's video podcasts feature top experts speaking about current bankruptcy topics. The podcasts are available via Bloomberg Law's YouTube channel so that you can access the programs from your computer or device of your choice! Click here to view the Bloomberg Law video podcasts.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER:

"WHEN IS AN INDIVIDUAL CHAPTER 11 THE BEST FIT?" LIVE WEBINAR
Sept. 27, 2012
Register Today!

COMING UP:

 

NABMW 2012
Oct. 4, 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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ABI YOUNG AND NEW MEMBERS COMMITTEE “TRENDING ISSUES: EXAMINERS AND SELECT PLAN CONFIRMATION ISSUES” WEBINAR
Oct. 15, 2012
Register Today!

 

SE 2012
Oct. 16, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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ABI/ST. JOHN'S "BANKRUPTCY AND RACE: IS THERE A RELATION?" SYMPOSIUM
Oct. 19, 2012
Register Today!

 

ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING
Oct. 26, 2012
Register Today!

 

MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
Register Today!

 

4TH ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Nov. 9, 2012
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SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
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SE 2012
Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2012
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MT 2012
Dec. 4-8, 2012
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

September
- "When Is an Individual Chapter 11 the Best Fit?" Live Webinar
     September 27, 2012
- American College of Bankruptcy's "Bankruptcy: Back to the Future" Program
     September 28, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.

October
- Nuts & Bolts for Young and New Practitioners - KC
     October 4, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- 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.
- "Trending Issues: Examiners and Select Plan Confirmation Issues" Webinar
October 15, 2012
- ABI/Bloomberg Distressed Lending Conference
October 16, 2012 | New York, N.Y..
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy
- ABI/St. John's "Bankruptcy and Race: Is There a Relation?" Symposium
     October 19, 2012 | Queens, N.Y.
- ABI Program at NCBJ's Annual Conference
     October 26, 2012 | San Diego, Calif.

  

 

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

February
- Kansas City Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
     February 17-19, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.


 
 
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Report Student Borrowers Retreat from Home Buying

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | April 18 2013
 
  

April 18, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

REPORT: STUDENT BORROWERS RETREAT FROM HOME BUYING

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued a report yesterday saying that Americans who borrowed to pay for school are now less likely to have a home mortgage at age 30 than those who never had student debt, a reversal of past trends, the Wall Street Journal reported today. As of late last year, roughly 22 percent of 30-year-olds with a history of student debt—either currently or in the past—owed money on a mortgage, the Fed said. That compares with 24 percent of 30-year-olds who never took out student loans. Similarly, young people with a history of student debt are less likely to have a car loan than those who did not have student loans, the report said. This marks a significant turnabout from recent history. For most of the past decade, student borrowers were much more likely to own a home or car, relative to those without student loans, because they typically were college graduates with higher incomes. But now, student debt could be among the factors holding them back, at least temporarily, the Fed report suggests. The report shows that credit scores for student borrowers have fallen sharply since the recession, likely due to higher average student-debt levels and a rise in delinquencies. Read more. (Subscription required.)

MORTGAGE RELIEF CHECKS GO OUT, ONLY TO BOUNCE

Many struggling homeowners received checks stemming from a $3.6 billion settlement with the nation’s largest banks over wrongful evictions and other abuses, only to find that the checks were bouncing, the New York Times DealBook Blog reported yesterday. It is unclear how many of the 1.4 million homeowners who were mailed the first round of payments covered under the foreclosure settlement have had problems with their checks. But housing advocates from California to New York and even regulators say that in recent days frustrated homeowners have bombarded them with complaints and questions. The mishap is just the latest setback to troubled homeowners. It took more than two years to resolve a federal investigation into foreclosure abuses, and even after the settlement was reached in January, the checks were delayed for weeks. Read more.

RISING BANK PROFITS TEMPT A PUSH FOR TOUGHER RULES

Banks have been reporting steady growth in earnings since the financial crisis, but their ballooning bottom lines could embolden lawmakers and regulators who want to introduce additional measures to overhaul the banking system, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. After the financial crisis, many officials involved in the regulatory revamping feared that tougher rules, like caps on bank assets, could destabilize the financial system and harm economic growth. It is a view that prominent bankers and lobbyists have also voiced. Despite industry opposition to the new rules, the buoyant bank profits could add to the ammunition that influential figures in Washington, D.C., are using to advocate for more radical ideas to overhaul the banks. "I hope the regulators move forward with tougher regulations," said Sheila C. Bair, a former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and now a senior adviser at the Pew Charitable Trusts. "This wouldn’t endanger the economic recovery." Read more.

SEC TO MOVE PAST FINANCIAL CRISIS CASES UNDER CHAIRMAN WHITE

Mary Jo White, the first former prosecutor to serve as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has pledged to run a "bold and unrelenting" enforcement program at the agency charged with regulating Wall Street, Bloomberg News reported today. With financial crisis cases mostly done and some of the biggest insider-trading cases in history closed, White will have to chart a course into new areas to keep that pledge. White, who was sworn in last week, has already provided a few signals about what that cause might be. During her Senate confirmation hearing, she said that she intends to focus on high-frequency and automated trading. She has also raised questions about a drop in the number of accounting fraud cases the agency has brought in recent years. Read more.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: EASTERBROOK TURNS THE TIDE ON STUDENT LOANS

Why and when U.S.-managed hedge funds can go bankrupt in the Caribbean, but not in the U.S., is the first item discussed on the new bankruptcy video with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle. The video ends with discussion of an opinion by U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook, who's turning the tide against recent decisions that have left former students virtually incapable of shedding education loans in bankruptcy. Click here to watch the video.

Attending ASM? Don't miss Bloomberg's Bill Rochelle moderating the "BK 360 Revisited: ABI Past-Presidents Panel" session at lunch on Saturday from 12:30-2 p.m. ET.

 

ATTENDING ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING? MAKE SURE TO DOWNLOAD THE MOBILE APP FOR SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS!

The official Annual Spring Meeting mobile web app, sponsored by Diamond McCarthy LLP, is now available for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices! Utilize the app during ASM this week to view your personal schedule, browse what programs are taking place or search for information related to the meeting. The mobile web app stores the schedule data locally on your phone for offline access, too.

To take advantage of the ASM web app, bookmark the following address on your device’s browser: http://31stannualspringmeeting2013.sched.org/mobile

LIVE WEBSTREAMS OF THE GREAT DEBATES AND ABI'S CHAPTER 11 REFORM COMMISSION HEARING AVAILABLE TOMORROW FROM THE ANNUAL SPRING MEETING!

17TH ANNUAL GREAT DEBATES

Starting at 8:30 a.m. EST, the 17th Annual Great Debates will be streamed live at the following address: http://www.abiworld.org/debate13/

There will be three debates moderated by Jeffrey N. Pomerantz, ABI VP-Education, of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Los Angeles):

I. Past Presidents’ Debate
Resolved: The Bankruptcy Code should be revised to eliminate a debtor in possession's and trustee's ability to recover preferential transfers.

Pro: John D. Penn
Haynes and Boone LLP; Fort Worth

Con: Andrew W. Caine
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; Los Angeles

II. Judicial Debate
Resolved: A claim against the debtor’s estate, transferred to a third party, should be treated the same as if in the hands of the original holder.

Pro: Hon. Arthur J. Gonzalez
New York University School of Law; New York

Con: Hon. Kevin J. Carey
U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Del.); Wilmington

III. Consumer Debate
Resolved: An attorney in a consumer case should be able to limit the scope of her employment.

Pro: Brian Michael Shockley
Clark & Washington, PC; Atlanta

Con: Pamela J. Griffith
Office of the U.S. Trustee; Washington, D.C.

ABI's CHAPTER 11 REFORM COMMMISSION HEARING AT 1 P.M. EST

There will also be a live webstream available on the ABI Chapter 11 Reform Commission's site (http://commission.abi.org) of the hearing tomorrow starting at 1 p.m. EST. Prepared witness testimony will also be linked to the site at that time.

Witnesses set to testify at the hearing include:

Panel I:

Wilbur L. Ross of WL Ross & Co. (New York)

Panel II (Bankruptcy Judges’ Panel):

Hon. Dennis R. Dow (W.D. Mo.)
Hon. Barbara J. Houser (N.D. Texas)
Hon. Pamela Pepper (W.D. Wis.)

Panel III:

Holly Felder Etlin of AlixPartners LLC (New York)
Daniel F. Dooley of MorrisAnderson (Chicago)
John M. Haggerty of Argus Management (Grafton, Mass.)


ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW ABI LIVE WEBINAR ON MAY 29 WILL FOCUS ON CONSUMER CLASS ACTIONS

Class action lawsuits in chapter 13 cases are becoming more prevalent. Are you wondering whether your client's claims would be better pursued in a class action? If your client is a defendant in a consumer class action, do you know what your client's best defenses are against class certification? ABI's panel of experts on May 29 from 1-2:15 p.m. ET will explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of class actions by debtors/trustees against creditors in chapter 13 cases by highlighting two recent appeals court decisions. Special ABI member rate available! Click here to register.

ABI MEMBERS WELCOME TO ATTEND INSOL'S LATIN AMERICAN REGIONAL SEMINAR ON JUNE 13 IN SAO PAULO

ABI members are encouraged to attend INSOL’s Latin American regional seminar in São Paulo, Brazil, on June 13. The one-day seminar has been organized by INSOL in association with TMA Brasil to cover current cross-border insolvency and restructuring topics. The seminar is designed to be interactive and to allow the attendees to discuss and debate about practical issues with speakers who are leading players in the insolvency and restructuring field and with experience in insolvency proceedings involving different countries. The seminar will benefit from simultaneous translation in English, Portuguese and Spanish. For more information and to register, please click here.

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: THOMAS V. BENDER (IN RE THOMAS; 11TH CIR.)

Summarized by Melissa Youngman of McCalla Raymer LLC

The Eleventh Circuit found no reversible error in the lower court's holding that proceeds from a post-petition real estate deal arising from a pre-petition option contract constituted property of the debtor's bankruptcy estate, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 541.

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: SMALL BANKS WOULD BENEFIT FROM BIG-BANK BREAKUPS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. Taking on the size of firms that put our financial system at risk is the only way to eliminate unfair competitive advantages, unleash free markets and allow community banks to thrive, according to a recent blog post.

Be sure to check the site several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new story, a link to the story will appear on the top. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

ABI offers conference registrants the option to participate in the ABI Golf Tour. The Tour will take place concurrently with all conference golf tournaments. The Tour, which kicked off this morning at ABI’s Annual Spring Meeting, 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.

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

TOMORROW:

 

LIVE WEBSTREAMS FROM ABI'S 31ST ANNUAL SPRING MEETING:

 

17TH ANNUAL GREAT DEBATES
Start Time: 8:30 A.M. EST

 

HEARING OF ABI'S COMMISSION TO STUDY THE REFORM OF CHAPTER 11
Start Time: 1 P.M. EST.

 

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 29, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

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

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
- ABI Live Webinar: Consumer Class Actions
     May 29, 2013

June
- Memphis Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     June 7, 2013 | Memphis, Tenn.
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 13-16, 2013 | Grand Traverse, Mich.
- INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar
     June 13, 2013 | São Paulo, Brazil


  

 

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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Delinquent Payments Edge Up for Credit Card Issuers

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | October 23, 2012
 
  

October 23, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

DELINQUENT PAYMENTS EDGE UP FOR CREDIT CARD ISSUERS

JPMorgan Chase, Discover Financial Services, American Express Co. and Capital One Financial Corp. each reported higher delinquency rates for September in regular monthly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dow Jones Newswires reported today. Delinquency rates, typically measured as a percentage of loans for which borrowers are at least 30 days late on a payment, have fallen drastically since the financial crisis as consumers have been cautious about taking on new debt and card issuers have purged troubled accounts from their books. Analysts have predicted that this progress will begin to diminish, though, since there is little room for the rates to fall further and as some banks get back into subprime lending. Read more.

COMMENTARY: CFPB'S RECENT PROPOSAL DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH TO ADDRESS FORECLOSURE ABUSES

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) recent proposal to regulate the foreclosure process is a disappointment as it retreats from many existing requirements, according to a New York Times editorial today. The CFPB's proposal does not impose any meaningful standards for loan modifications beyond those already required by various federal programs and agreements, many of which will expire in the future and none of which apply to the entire industry, according to the editorial. In place of concrete standards, the bureau’s proposal largely relies on procedural reforms, like requiring servicers to establish reasonable policies for managing paperwork and answering phone calls from borrowers, to contact borrowers at an early stage of delinquency, and to adhere to deadlines for responding to borrowers who need help. What is needed, according to the editorial, are requirements to make sure that all borrowers facing hardship are considered for loan modifications according to specific, publicly available criteria, and that loans are modified for all eligible borrowers. Read more.

OBAMA, ROMNEY SQUARE OFF ON AUTO BAILOUT IN FINAL DEBATE

In their third and final presidential debate ahead of the Nov. 6 election, President Obama said that if Mitt Romney's position on the $85 billion federal auto bailout had been in place, the U.S auto industry would have ceased to exist, the Detroit News reported today. Romney rejected Obama's claims, saying that he would not have allowed Detroit's Big Three automakers to liquidate. In his November 2008 New York Times column titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," Romney said that he would support some aid but only after a bankruptcy filing. "The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk," he wrote. Click here to read more.

Click here to read Romney's op-ed that appeared in the New York Times in 2008.

LATEST ABI PODCAST FEATURES EXPERTS LOOKING AT U.S./MEXICO CROSS-BORDER INSOLVENCY ISSUES

In advance of ABI's Inaugural Mexico Restructuring Symposium on Nov. 7 in Mexico City, ABI Executive Director Sam Gerdano speaks with panelists Richard J. Cooper of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP (New York) and Thomas S. Heather of Heather & Heather (Mexico City). Cooper and Heather provide a preview of their panel's discussion about similarities and differences between insolvency laws in the U.S. and Mexico. Click here to listen to the podcast.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR STEVEN GOLICK, A COLLEAGUE AND ABI LEADER FACING MAJOR SURGERY TODAY

Our friend Steven Golick (Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto) is facing a medical crisis. He has been diagnosed with a serious brain tumor, requiring complex surgery and treatment. Steven’s spirits are very strong and he and his family remain optimistic, but he can use our support. A prominent international restructuring attorney and an ABI member since 1994, Steven is also a founding member of the ABI house band, the Indubitable Equivalents. Because the band is important to Steven, his fellow band-mates have organized a new Blog site for Steven's friends and colleagues to show their love and support at this critical time. Please click on this link to share your thoughts with many others, and post as often as you'd like.

ABI IN-DEPTH

MEMBERS WILL NOT WANT TO MISS ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING ON FRIDAY

Members planning to attend the 86th Annual NCBJ Annual Conference in San Diego starting tomorrow will not want to miss the exciting line-up scheduled for the ABI program track on Friday. In addition to roundtable discussions on the hottest consumer and business bankruptcy topics, ABI will be hosting a ticketed luncheon that will feature the presentation of the 7th Annual Judge William L. Norton, Jr. Judicial Excellence Award and entertainment by Apollo Robbins, a sleight-of hand artist, security consultant and self-described gentleman thief. Click here to register for the Conference.

To view the list of ABI programs on Friday and the full NCBJ Annual Conference schedule, please click here.

ABI's Chapter 11 Reform Commission will also be holding a public hearing on Friday from 2:30-4:30 p.m. PT at the San Diego Marriott. For further information, please contact ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano at [email protected]

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: HADDAD V. ALEXANDER, ZELMANSKI, DANNER & FIORITTO, PLLC (6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Scott J. Whitacre

In a nonbankruptcy debt-collection matter, the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court and held that a condominium association assessment was a “debt” regulated by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.) where the owner purchased the condominium as a residence and used it as such for 13 years but later leased it out to others.

There are more than 650 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: SIXTH CIRCUIT FIRST COURT OF APPEALS TO ADDRESS FRAUDULENT TRANSFERS IN LIGHT OF STERN

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post found that in deciding Onkyo Electronics v. Global Technovations Inc. (In re Global Technovations Inc.), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit became the first court of appeals to considered whether, following the Supreme Court’s decision in Stern v. Marshall, a bankruptcy court has jurisdiction to enter a final judgment on a fraudulent transfer action. The Sixth Circuit held that the bankruptcy court in question had jurisdiction to enter a final judgment on a fraudulent transfer because the creditor had filed a proof of claim. The holding, however, implied that the Sixth Circuit would not have held that the bankruptcy court had such authority if the creditor had not filed a proof of claim.

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

Section 523(a)(8) should be amended to allow private student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy.

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.

  

 

FRIDAY:

 

ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING
&
CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION HEARING
Oct. 26, 2012
Register Today!

 

COMING UP:

 

 

MEXICO 2012
Oct. 29, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

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

 

 

SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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
 

October
- ABI Program at NCBJ's Annual Conference
     October 26, 2012 | San Diego, Calif.
- ABI Endowment Event at Peter Max Gallery
     October 29, 2012 | New York, N.Y.

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
- 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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Commentary Allow Private Education Loan Debts to Be Erased in Bankruptcy

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | December 20 2012
 
  

December 27, 2012

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

COMMENTARY: ALLOW PRIVATE EDUCATION LOAN DEBTS TO BE ERASED IN BANKRUPTCY

As total student loan debt exceeded $1 trillion in 2012, debt from student loans issued by private for-profit lenders is still not eligible to be discharged under the Bankruptcy Code, according to a commentary by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) in yesterday's edition of U.S. News & World Report. Private for-profit student loans often lack consumer protections and typically have variable interest rates with no caps, exorbitant fees, and hidden charges, according to Cohen. Private lenders do not deserve protection under the Bankruptcy Code because the "undue hardship" provision, first enacted in 1976, was intended to protect the taxpayer dollars that fund federal student loan programs, according to Cohen. "Yet Congress, in 2005, extended this protection to for-profit educational lenders, even though no taxpayer money was at stake," Cohen writes. He introduced H.R. 2028, the "Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act," which would allow private education loan debts to once again be erased in bankruptcy just like other types of debts. "By restoring bankruptcy dischargeability, my legislation will ensure that lenders only make prudent loans and will encourage private lenders to work with financially distressed borrowers to modify loan terms," according to Cohen. Read the full commentary.

ANALYSIS: DO OR DIE FOR FOUR RETAILERS

While 2013 will be a tough year for retailers due to the tepid economic recovery, Best Buy, J.C. Penney, RadioShack and Sears face a critical 12 months, the Wall Street Journal reported today. These unlucky retailers are going into the New Year with extra woes: slipping sales, questionable strategies and tight finances. Best Buy Co. has been plagued by the retail phenomenon called "showrooming," where shoppers examine products in its stores but buy online through rivals. J.C. Penney Co. has been trying to shed its image as an old-fashioned department store, but its rapid and radical makeover has left it burning through cash and struggling to attract shoppers. RadioShack Corp.'s bet on mobile phones and tablets has backfired. Sears Holdings Corp.'s sales and profits continue to slide as the department store chain has been shoring up its liquidity by selling itself off in pieces—but some of its remaining assets might be tough to unload at a time when retailing is under pressure. Read more. (Subscription required.)

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DECREASES IN DECEMBER

Confidence among U.S. consumers declined more than forecast in December as the budget debate in Washington, D.C., soured Americans' outlook on the economy, Bloomberg News reported today. The Conference Board's index of sentiment fell to 65.1 from a revised 71.5 reading the prior month, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. A drop in consumer expectations for the next six months to a one-year low coincides with mounting concerns about looming tax increases and government budget cuts in 2013 that threaten expansion. At the same time, employment gains, rising home values, and lower gas prices may keep spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, from foundering. Read more.

SEC GOING HIGH-TECH WITH REAL-TIME TRADE DATA

As computing power and big data have revolutionized stock trading in recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission is trying to catch up, the Washington Post reported today. This month, the agency is in the final phases of testing software that will stream real-time trade data into its headquarters, helping regulators better grasp the market’s plumbing. The technology should go live in early 2013, at a cost of $2.5 million for the year. The SEC is still coping with the public fallout from the “flash crash” that took place on May 6, 2010, when the stock market plunged nearly 1,000 points in minutes then whipsawed back up. It took the SEC about four months to unwind the billions of orders that took place that day and issue a report of what happened. Although the SEC started collecting the data in June 2010, it could not aggregate them into a single database for analysis until three months later. The incident made the wide gulf in technical prowess between the regulators and the regulated painfully clear, prompting the SEC to explore hiring an outside firm that could gather up-to-the-minute market feeds from the public exchanges. Read more.

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

Summarized by Eduardo Glas of McCarter & English, LLP

The Third Circuit ruled that an agreement that settled litigation between Spansion and Apple at the International Trade Commision pursuant to which the debtor agreed not to sue Apple in the future over the use of flash memory products was a license, and its rejection by the debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 365 permitted Apple to elect to retain its rights as licensee under 11 U.S.C. § 365(n).

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: CALPERS SLAMS SAN BERNARDINO BANKRUPTCY AS "SHAM"

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog discusses CalPERS firing back at the city of San Bernardino and its pendency plan for operating during the Chapter 9 case, calling it “criminal” and a “sham.” Since filing for bankruptcy, the city has stopped making its biweekly payments to CalPERS. As a result, San Bernardino now owes CalPERS approximately $8 million.

For more on the San Bernardino case and chapter 9 issues, make sure to order a copy of ABI's latest publication, Municipalities in Peril: The ABI Guide to Chapter 9, Second Edition, now available for pre-order in ABI's Bookstore.

Be sure to check the site several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new story, a link to the story will appear on the top. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.

ABI Quick Poll

A licensee of a trademark has the right to retain the license even when a debtor rejects the underlying contract creating the license. (Sunbeam Products, 7th Cir.)

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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Jan. 21, 2013
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March 22, 2013
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April 18-21, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

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


  

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

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

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


 
 
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Analysis Better Lending Standards Helping to Reduce Foreclosure Starts

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | February 19 2013
 
  

February 19, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: BETTER LENDING STANDARDS HELPING TO REDUCE FORECLOSURE STARTS

While numerous foreclosure prevention efforts at the national, state and local levels, along with rising home values, have helped drop U.S. foreclosure starts to a six-year low in January, the fundamental factor driving the reduction is better lending practices, according to a Forbes.com commentary yesterday. More than 5 percent of still-active loans originated in 2006 were in some stage of foreclosure as of the fourth quarter of 2012 -- the highest foreclosure rate of any year going back to 2000. That was followed by 2007 vintage loans with a 4.75 percent foreclosure rate, 2005 vintage loans with a 3.52 percent foreclosure rate, and 2008 vintage loans with a 2.95 percent foreclosure rate. The only other loan vintage with a foreclosure rate above 2 percent was 2004, with a 2.16 percent foreclosure rate. The foreclosure rate on 2009 vintage loans dropped to 1.11 percent, and the foreclosure rate has steadily decreased on loans originated in the three years since -- all of which have foreclosure rates below 1 percent. Read more.

COMMENTARY: THE SECOND-MORTGAGE SHELL GAME

Though the federal government and 49 state attorneys general reached a $25 billion deal last February with the country's five largest mortgage servicers (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Financial), it is now clear that the settlement has not worked as planned, according to a commentary in yesterday's New York Times. Banks have dragged their feet on modifying first mortgages, much less agreeing to forgive part of the principal on homes that are underwater. A lesser-known but equally grave problem is that banks have been given a backdoor mechanism to continue foreclosures at the same pace as before. The problem involves second mortgages, which millions of homeowners took out during the housing bubble. It is estimated that as much as a quarter of all mortgage debt in the U.S. is in the form of second mortgages. Some of these loans were taken out to finance home improvements, others were part of a subprime product known as an "80/20 mortgage," in which 80 percent of the purchase price was covered by a first, adjustable-rate mortgage, and the remainder by a second mortgage, often with a much higher interest rate. The second mortgages have given the banks a loophole: each dollar a bank forgives goes toward fulfilling its obligation under last year’s settlement. But many lenders have made it a point to almost exclusively modify secondary loans while all but ignoring the troubled, primary mortgages, according to the commentary. Read the full commentary.

SHIFTING STRATEGY, PROSECUTORS BUILD NEW CASES AGAINST BIG BANKS

Criticized for letting Wall Street off the hook after the financial crisis, the Justice Department is building a new model for prosecuting big banks, the New York Times DealBook Blog reported today. In a recent round of actions that shook the financial industry, the government pushed for guilty pleas, rather than just the usual fines and reforms. Prosecutors now aim to apply the approach broadly to financial fraud cases, according to officials involved in the investigations. So far, the Justice Department has extracted guilty pleas only from remote subsidiaries of big foreign banks, a move that has inflicted reputational damage but little else. The new strategy first materialized in recent settlements with UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland, which were accused of manipulating interest rates to bolster profit. As part of a broader deal, the banks' Japanese subsidiaries pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud. Read more.

ANALYSIS: FISCAL TROUBLE AHEAD FOR MOST FUTURE RETIREES

For the first time since the 1930s, a majority of Americans are headed toward a retirement in which they will be financially worse off than their parents, jeopardizing a long era of improved living standards for the nation’s elderly, the Washington Post reported yesterday. The Great Recession and the weak recovery darkened the retirement picture for significant numbers of Americans. The economic downturn exacerbated long-term factors that were already eroding the financial standing of aging Americans: an inexorable rise in health care costs, growing debt among older Americans and a shift in responsibility from employers to workers to plan for retirement. The consequence is that the nation is facing a huge retirement savings deficit -- as much as $6.6 trillion, or about $57,000 per household, according to a U.S. Senate report. Using data on household finances collected by the Federal Reserve, the Center for Retirement Research estimates that 53 percent of American workers 30 and older are on a path that will leave them unprepared for retirement. That marks a sharp deterioration since 2001, when 38 percent of Americans were at risk of declining living standards in old age. In 1989, 30 percent faced that risk. Read more.

REGULATOR PROBES "DARK POOL" INVESTING

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in late 2012 sent examination letters to about 15 dark-pool operators seeking information such as how the trading systems handle customer orders, what they disclose to clients and whether affiliates of the pool operators have access to client trading information, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. In dark-pool investing, investors post buy-and-sell orders away from the public market. Most of the letters have been returned, and the regulator is evaluating the responses, said John Malitzis, executive vice president of market regulation at FINRA. Unlike stock exchanges, which are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the trading venues in dark pools are not required to regularly tell market regulators details about how they handle orders. Dark pools have become controversial as their share of stock trading has increased. One area of concern is whether certain dark-pool clients get more information than other investors about how the venues operate, giving them an edge, said Malitzis. "We asked a lot of questions about disclosure," he said. "We're trying to get a sense of what firms are doing and how they're doing it." Read more. (Subscription required.)

LIVE STREAM AVAILABLE FOR THURSDAY'S CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION HEARING AT VALCON 2013

For those not able to attend the VALCON 2013 conference starting tomorrow in Las Vegas, there will be a live webstream of Thursday's Chapter 11 Commission field hearing looking at valuation issues. The hearing will take place from 2-4 p.m. PT (5-7 p.m. ET) and will be streamed live at http://commission.abi.org.

JUST ADDED FOR APRIL! ABI LIVE WEBINAR "STUDENT LOANS: BANKRUPTCY MAY NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS - BUT DOES CONGRESS?"

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

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

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

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

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

EXPLORE CURRENT ISSUES FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS IN BANKRUPTCY CASES AND MORE 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
• Creditors’ Committees and the Role of Indenture Trustees and Related Issues
• 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!

Click here to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

DON'T MISS THE 9TH ANNUAL WHARTON RESTRUCTURING AND DISTRESSED INVESTING CONFERENCE ON FEB. 22!

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business will be holding the 9th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference on Feb. 22 at the Hyatt at The Bellevue in Philadelphia. The theme of this year's conference is “Health of Nations: Distress, Recovery or Revival?” It will offer a unique opportunity to hear from a distinguished gathering of keynote speakers and panelists in their discussion of the current economic climate and issues of debt, investing, and restructuring across the globe. To register, please click here.

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: BLACK V. BONNIE SPRINGS FAMILY LTD. PARTNERSHIP (IN RE BLACK; 9TH CIR.)

Summarized by Tom Phinney of Parkinson Phinney

The Ninth Circuit BAP affirmed the summary judgment in favor of the creditor, which excepted debts from discharge under § 523(a)(6) based on the preclusive effect of a Nevada state court judgment for abuse of process, nuisance and "oppression."

There are more than 750 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: S CORPORATION MAY NOT PAY SHAREHOLDERS' POST-PETITION TAX OBLIGATIONS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. Finding that it would violate the absolute priority rule, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina in In re Carolina Internet Ltd. held that an insolvent S corporation may not pay post-petition taxes on behalf of its shareholders because a corporation’s creditors have priority over its shareholders, according to a recent blog post.

Be sure to check the site several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new story, a link to the story will appear on the top. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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9th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference
Feb. 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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NEW WEBINAR!BBW 2013
April 10, 2013
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"Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM- A Must for Junior Professionals or Those New to Bankruptcy Practice
April 18, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
Enter code "LOVEASM50" at checkout to save $50 on a new registration this week!
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NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

February
- VALCON 2013
     February 20-22, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- 9th Annual Wharton
Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference

     February 22, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.

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

April
- ABI Live Webinar: "Student Loans: Bankruptcy May Not Have the Answers - But Does Congress?"
     April 10, 2013
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM
     April 18, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.
- Annual Spring Meeting
     April 18-21, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.


  

 

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

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


 
 
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Creditor Lawsuit Could Undo Auto Bailout Force GM into Bankruptcy

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | October 9, 2012
 
  

October 9, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

CREDITOR LAWSUIT COULD UNDO AUTO BAILOUT, FORCE GM INTO BANKRUPTCY

A backroom deal negotiated by General Motors during the auto bailout to fulfill the Obama administration's demand for a quick bankruptcy could be reversed, draining the automaker of nearly all of its cash on hand and leaving it in worse shape than it was when it collapsed in 2009, according to a report in the Washington Free Beacon yesterday. As GM teetered on the edge of bankruptcy in June 2009, it cut a $367 million "lock-up agreement" with several major creditors in order to prevent its Canadian subsidiary from going under. The move spared the subsidiary from fulfilling the $1 billion debt it owed the creditors—major hedge funds—ensuring that GM would not have to face bankruptcy courts in two nations, which could have delayed the company’s recovery. "Many U.S. creditors waived their rights to object because the government wanted to push through the bailout for political reasons," risk analyst Chris Whalen said. "If they had continued through normal channels, they could have easily been in bankruptcy for five years." "When I approved the sale agreement and entered the sale approval order, I mistakenly thought that I was merely saving GM, the supply chain, and about a million jobs,” Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber said in July. “It never once occurred to me, and nobody bothered to disclose, that amongst all of the assigned contracts was this lock-up agreement, if indeed it was assigned at all." Industry experts say that GM should be very concerned with the judge’s reaction to the deal. More is at stake than the roughly $1 billion that “old GM’s” spurned creditors are seeking, according to industry observers. Judge Gerber may have to reopen the entire bailout, and that, according to bankruptcy experts, could unravel the entire settlement. Read more.

U.S. CHARGES 530 PEOPLE IN MORTGAGE PROBE WITH $1 BILLION IN LOSSES

Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the U.S. brought charges against 530 people over mortgage schemes that cost homeowners more than $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported. More than 73,000 homeowners were victims of various frauds for which charges were filed during a year-long crackdown, including "foreclosure rescue schemes" that take advantage of those who have fallen behind on payments, the Justice Department said. Typical schemes involved promises to homeowners that foreclosures could be prevented by payment of a fee, according to the statement. As part of the schemes, "investors" purchase the mortgage or the titles of homes are transferred to those taking part in the fraud, resulting in homeowners losing their property, the department said. Read more.

COURT SAYS CONGRESS CANNOT BLOCK PAY HIKES FOR JUDGES

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a 10-2 decision on Friday found that Congress cannot revoke cost-of-living adjustments promised to federal judges in the Ethics Reform Act of 1989, reversing the court's holding to the contrary in 2001, the National Law Journal reported yesterday. Six current and retired federal judges sued over Congress' decision to block cost-of-living adjustments in the past and whether legislation passed after the court's 2001 decision overrode provisions of the 1989 law. In the Oct. 5 decision, the court found that Congress had violated the Compensation Clause of the Constitution, which aims to protect judicial independence by limiting the ability of the other branches of government from reducing judges' salaries. If Congress wanted to amend the 1989 law, the judges wrote, it could, but not in a way that affected any sitting judges. Read more.

WALL STREET REGULATOR RAMPS UP ENFORCEMENT

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), once considered a toothless regulator, brought a record number of enforcement cases over the past year as fines soared, the New York Times DealBook blog reported on Friday. The agency said on Friday that it levied $585 million in sanctions during its 2012 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, up from $450 million the year before. The surge in fines is largely tied to one case. In June, the British bank Barclays agreed to pay $200 million to the agency for trying to manipulating a crucial interest rate. Read more.

ABI MEMBERS CAN RECEIVE A DISCOUNT ON THEIR PURCHASE OF A DEBTOR WORLD

A Debtor World, published by Oxford University Press, contains a collection of contributions about the societal implications of private debt from top scholars at the 2008 Debt Symposium sponsored by ABI and hosted by the University of Illinois College of Law. The essays comprising this volume are authored by dozens of leading U.S. and international academics who have written about debt or issues related to debt in a wide range of disciplines including law, sociology, psychology, history, economics and more. The collection explores debt as neither a problem nor a solution but as a phenomenon, and promotes the exchange of knowledge to better comprehend why consumers and businesses decide to borrow money. It explores what happens to businesses and consumers under heavy debt loads, and what legal norms and institutions societies need in order to encourage the efficient use of debt while promoting a greater understanding of the global phenomenon of increased indebtedness and societal dependence. To order your copy and receive an ABI member discount, please click here and enter promo code "31256" when making your purchase. The discount expires 12/31.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR STEVEN GOLICK, A COLLEAGUE AND ABI LEADER

Our friend Steven Golick (Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto) is facing a medical crisis. He has been diagnosed with a serious brain tumor, requiring complex surgery and treatment. Steven’s spirits are very strong and he and his family remain optimistic, but he can use our support. A prominent international restructuring attorney and an ABI member since 1994, Steven is also a founding member of the ABI house band, the Indubitable Equivalents. Because the band is important to Steven, his fellow band-mates have organized a new Blog site for Steven's friends and colleagues to show their love and support at this critical time. Please click on this link to share your thoughts with many others, and post as often as you'd like.

ABI IN-DEPTH

LAST CHANCE TO GET YOUR TICKET FOR TOMORROW’S PLAYOFF GAME TO SEE THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS TAKE ON THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS IN D.C.!

Only a few tickets remain to the ABI Endowment's special event at Nationals Park tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET to see the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Washington Nationals in Game 3 of the National League Division Series. For $400, you will receive a game ticket to a luxury suite, food and open bar. Don't miss playoff baseball in Washington, D.C.! Click here to register!

Sponsorships Are also Available!
Stand out from the crowd and sponsor this historic playoff event! Bring a client; tickets included with your sponsorship. All sponsorships are tax deductible. Click here for details.

MEMBERS WILL NOT WANT TO MISS ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING ON OCT. 26

Members planning to attend the 86th Annual NCBJ Annual Conference in San Diego from Oct. 24-27 will not want to miss the exciting line-up scheduled for the ABI program track on Oct. 26. In addition to roundtable discussions on the hottest consumer and business bankruptcy topics, ABI will be hosting a ticketed luncheon that will feature the presentation of the 7th Annual Judge William L. Norton, Jr. Judicial Excellence Award and entertainment by Apollo Robbins, a sleight-of hand artist, security consultant and self-described gentleman thief. Click here to register for the Conference.

To view the list of ABI programs on Oct. 26 and the full NCBJ Annual Conference schedule, please click here.

ABI's Chapter 11 Reform Commission will also be holding a public hearing on Oct. 26 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. PT at the San Diego Marriott. Interested parties have the opportunity to submit testimony at the hearing. For further information, please contact ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano at [email protected]

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: LIQUIDATORS OF LEHMAN BROTHERS AUSTRALIA LTD. V. LEHMAN BROTHERS SPECIAL FINANCING INC. (IN RE LEHMAN BROTHERS HOLDINGS INC.; 2D CIR.)

Summarized by Janice Grubin of Todtman, Nachamie, Spizz & Johns, P.C.

The Second Circuit vacated and remanded the judgment of the district court and reinstated the appeal for consideration of the bankruptcy court order denying intervention on the merits. Given that (1) denials of intervention are generally considered to be final appealable orders in the non-bankruptcy context, (2) the bankruptcy standard for finality is more flexible than other civil litigation and (3) the pragmatic approach is required by the instant circumstances, the Circuit held that the bankruptcy court's denial of the appellants' motions to intervene was a final, appealable order.

There are more than 650 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: PINNACLE UNIONS BALK AT AIRLINE'S ATTEMPTS TO SCRAP CONTRACT

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post reported on how Pinnacle Airlines Corp.'s thousands of pilots and flight attendants are objecting to the airline’s bid to scrap their contracts, a move the regional carrier says is necessary to exit bankruptcy protection.

Be sure to check the site several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new story, a link to the story will appear on the top. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.

ABI Quick Poll

Bankruptcy courts should adopt formal loss mitigation procedures to facilitate the negotiation of residential mortgage modifications for consumer debtors.

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

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

Bloomberg Law's video podcasts feature top experts speaking about current bankruptcy topics. The podcasts are available via Bloomberg Law's YouTube channel so that you can access the programs from your computer or device of your choice! Click here to view the Bloomberg Law video podcasts.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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LAST CHANCE!

ABI ENDOWMENT EVENT: WASHINGTON NATIONALS PLAYOFF GAME!

SE 2012

Oct. 10, 2012
1 p.m. ET

Purchase Today!


COMING UP:

 

ABI YOUNG AND NEW MEMBERS COMMITTEE “TRENDING ISSUES: EXAMINERS AND SELECT PLAN CONFIRMATION ISSUES” WEBINAR
Oct. 15, 2012
Register Today!

 

SE 2012
Oct. 16, 2012
Register Today!

 

SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
Register Today!

 

ABI/ST. JOHN'S "BANKRUPTCY AND RACE: IS THERE A RELATION?" SYMPOSIUM
Oct. 19, 2012
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ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING
Oct. 26, 2012
Register Today!

 

MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
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4TH ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Nov. 9, 2012
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SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
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SE 2012
Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2012
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MT 2012
Dec. 4-8, 2012
Register Today!

 

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

 

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

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

October
- ABI Endowment Event: Nationals Playoff Game
     October 10, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
- "Trending Issues: Examiners and Select Plan Confirmation Issues" Webinar
October 15, 2012
- ABI/Bloomberg Distressed Lending Conference
October 16, 2012 | New York, N.Y..
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy
- ABI/St. John's "Bankruptcy and Race: Is There a Relation?" Symposium
     October 19, 2012 | Queens, N.Y.
- ABI Program at NCBJ's Annual Conference
     October 26, 2012 | San Diego, Calif.

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
- Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
     January 24-25, 2013 | Denver, Colo.

February
- Kansas City Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
     February 17-19, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.


 
 
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First Quarter Bankruptcy Filings Fall 16 Percent from 2012 Commercial Filings Drop 27 Percent

 

 

 
  

April 4, 2013

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

FIRST QUARTER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS FALL 16 PERCENT FROM 2012, COMMERCIAL FILINGS DROP 27 PERCENT

Total bankruptcy filings in the United States decreased 16 percent in the first calendar quarter (Jan. 1 - March 31) of 2013 from the same period in 2012, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 263,516 in the first quarter of 2013, down from the 314,832 filings registered in the first calendar quarter of 2012. Total commercial filings for the first three months of 2012 were 11,521, representing a 27 percent decrease from the 15,869 filings during the same period in 2012. The 251,995 total noncommercial filings recorded in the first calendar quarter of 2013 represented a 16 percent decrease from the 2012 total of 298,963. Click here to read the full ABI press release.

Click here to access the March 2013 bankruptcy filing data charts.

NEW BANKRUPTCY CLAIMS TRANSFER FEE TO TAKE EFFECT MAY 1

Federal bankruptcy courts will institute a new $25 fee for filing evidence of claims transfers, transactions in which bankruptcy claims are sold by one creditor to another, usually as part of a speculative investment, according to a release today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The fee, approved last September by the Judicial Conference of the United States, will take effect May 1. The fee will be assessed by bankruptcy courts on each individual claim or partial claim that is transferred, and it must be paid by the creditor that files evidence of the transfer (typically the claim transfer form) with the courts. Debtors filing for bankruptcy will not be affected by the fee. The fee must be paid by credit card, using Pay.gov, when the claims transfer is filed with the courts' Case Management/Electronic Case Files system, or by whatever means is designated by the court if the claims transfer is not filed electronically. Read more.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PUSHES BANKS TO MAKE HOME LOANS TO PEOPLE WITH WEAKER CREDIT

The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place, the Washington Post reported yesterday. President Obama's economic advisers and outside experts say the nation's housing rebound is leaving too many people behind, including young people looking to buy their first homes and individuals with credit records weakened by the recession. In response, administration officials say that they are working to get banks to lend to a wider range of borrowers by taking advantage of taxpayer-backed programs — including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration — that insure home loans against default. Housing officials are urging the Justice Department to provide assurances to banks, which have become increasingly cautious, that they will not face legal or financial recriminations if they make loans to riskier borrowers who meet government standards but later default. Officials are also encouraging lenders to use more subjective judgment in determining whether to offer a loan and are seeking to make it easier for people who owe more than their properties are worth to refinance at today's low interest rates, among other steps. Read more.

In related news, the improving job market is lifting incomes and helping families repair credit scores, expanding the pool of eligible buyers and providing additional firepower to the housing recovery, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. About 7 million mortgageholders have had to leave their homes since 2007 because of foreclosure or a short sale, in which a property is sold for less than is owed, according to RealtyTrac. More than 1 million of them are now eligible for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, which requires a three-year waiting period and a minimum 3.5 percent down payment, said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics Inc. While many Americans will be blocked from buying because of insufficient credit, savings and income, eligible households will expand to nearly 2 million by the end of 2014, Zandi said. Read more.

ANALYSIS: AS BUSINESS LENDING INCREASES, CONCERNS EMERGE ABOUT PROFIT

The recent uptick in bank business lending is starting to flash some warning signs that banks are making loans to businesses at rates that are so low they may end up being unprofitable, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. A recent survey by the Federal Reserve shows that American banks are charging an average of just 2.83 percent on commercial and industrial loans, down from 3.4 percent a year earlier. Banks of all sizes are participating in this resurgence, including smaller banks, which managed to avoid many of the excesses of the credit boom of the last decade. Extraordinarily low interest rates have breathed life into several markets where companies go to borrow. Last year, companies issued nearly $360 billion of junk bonds in the U.S., according to Dealogic. Less noticed was the increase in commercial and industrial loans at American banks. They added $174 billion of such loans in 2012, a 13 percent increase from the prior year, according to figures from the Fed. Read more.

GAO: 401(K) COMPANIES OFTEN MISLEAD ACCOUNT-HOLDERS

Money management firms frequently offer workers misleading and self-serving information about how to handle their retirement savings when they change jobs, according to a Government Accountability Office report released yesterday, the Washington Post reported. Departing workers are often encouraged to roll their accounts into individual retirement accounts (IRAs) run by the firms that already manage their retirement money, even when it would be best for the outgoing employees to keep their money in a 401(k), the GAO investigation concluded. Having workers move their money into IRAs typically allows money management companies to harvest bigger fees for handling the retirement money, the report said. The GAO had undercover investigators call 30 money management firms posing as workers about to change jobs in an effort to learn how money managers market their services. In seven cases, they were given incorrect information, including that moving their money into an IRA would be "free," even though workers would incur ongoing fees by opening the accounts. The GAO also reviewed the websites of 10 large firms and found that five incorrectly said that their IRAs were free. Read more.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES BANKRUPTCY VALUATION ISSUES

ABI's latest podcast features ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Scott Pryor speaking with Dr. Israel Shaked of The Michel-Shaked Group (Boston) and Robert F. Reilly of Willamette Management Associates Inc. (Chicago), authors of a new ABI publication, A Practical Guide to Bankruptcy Valuation. Shaked and Reilly discuss their book and other issues involved in the complex task of valuing a bankrupt or financially distressed business. Click here to listen to the podcast.

For more information or to purchase A Practical Guide to Bankruptcy Valuation, please click here.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: STOCKTON MAY WIN THE BATTLE, BUT LOSE THE WAR

Although Stockton, Calif. established the right to be in a chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy, the judge warned the city that victory may be short-lived if bondholders prove that pensioners must take a haircut along with other unsecured creditors. The latest Bloomberg bankruptcy video with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle examines the issue. Click here to watch.

 

TOMORROW! DON’T MISS THE ABI LIVE WEBINAR – "LEGACY LIABILITIES: DEALING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL, PENSION, UNION AND SIMILAR TYPES OF CLAIMS"

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

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: ARROYO V. SCOTIABANK DE PUERTO RICO (IN RE ARROYO; 1ST CIR.)

Summarized by William Amann of Craig, Deachman & Amann PLLC

The First Circuit ruled that a chapter 7 debtor lacked standing to appeal because he could not demonstrate that either (1) a reasonable possibility existed that a surplus would exist if the order on appeal was denied or (2) the appealed order adversely affected his discharge.

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: FURTHER EXAMINATION OF STOCKTON'S ONGOING CHAPTER 9 CASE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post takes a closer look at Stockton, Calif.'s chapter 9 case, which was allowed to continue after Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein on Monday issued a bench ruling finding that Stockton is an eligible debtor and therefore entitled to remain in bankruptcy.

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 5, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

 

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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SWEETEST BANKRUPTCY CONFERENCE ON EARTH: JOIN ABI FOR THE 9TH ANNUAL MID-ATLANTIC BANKRUPTCY WORKSHOP AT THE HISTORIC HOTEL HERSHEY!
Aug. 8-10, 2013
Register Today!

 

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

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

 

  

 

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

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

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

 

 
 
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Percentage of Homes in Foreclosure Drops Nationwide

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 24 2013
 
  

January 24, 2013

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

PERCENTAGE OF HOMES IN FORECLOSURE DROPS NATIONWIDE

The percentage of homes in foreclosure dropped nationwide last month, although the percentage of borrowers behind on their payments increased slightly, the Los Angeles Times reported today. In a sign of continued recovery in the housing market, about 3.44 percent of mortgages were in some stage of the foreclosure process in December, according to Lender Processing Services Inc., a mortgage and consumer loan processing firm. That represents a nearly 2 percent decline from November and a roughly 18 percent drop-off from a year earlier. The percentage of mortgages that are 30 days or more past due stood at 7.17 percent last month, a 0.74 percent increase from November, LPS reported. Still, that rate declined 9 percent when compared with the same month in 2011. Read more.

COMMENTARY: BANK REFORM TAKES ONE FLAWED STEP FORWARD

While the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a draft of a new rule to change the way banks build reserves against losses on loans, the proposed rule is flawed conceptually and in its application, according to a Wall Street Journal commentary by Eugene A. Ludwig, CEO of the Promontory Financial Group and former Comptroller of the Currencey, and Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve System and namesake of the Volcker Rule included in the Dodd-Frank Act. It is a positive sign, according to the commentary, that the FASB recognizes that its existing rules on the Allocation for Loan and Lease Losses may have worsened the 2008 financial crisis. These rules limited bank reserves to those that are already "incurred." This all but ensures that banks' rainy day funds will be too skinny, particularly in periods when credit markets are under stress. The FASB's draft proposal to reform these rules incorporates what is known as the "Current Expected Credit Loss Model." It is meant to expand reserves to reflect losses that are expected over the life of the loan, and it is a big improvement over the existing regime. But as it stands, the proposal could create risks for the financial system as it could hurt small banks and their customers, according to the commentary. In an effort to ensure that everything is "auditable," the proposal ties the loan-loss reserve to what the accounting profession will decide is an acceptable "model." While the proposal is well-intentioned and makes clear that various models can be used, this model-driven approach is dangerous. Click here to read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)

FINANCIAL CRISIS SUIT SUGGESTS MORGAN STANLEY KNEW OF BAD INVESTMENTS

Hundreds of pages of internal Morgan Stanley documents, released publicly last week in a case against Morgan Stanley brought by a Taiwanese bank, shed much new light on what bankers knew at the height of the housing bubble and what they did with that knowledge, the New York Times DealBook blog reported today. The lawsuit concerns a $500 million collateralized debt obligation called Stack 2006-1, created in the first half of 2006. The documents suggest a pattern of behavior larger than this one deal: People across the bank understood that the American housing market was in trouble. They took advantage of that knowledge to create and then bet against securities and then also to unload garbage investments on unsuspecting buyers. Morgan Stanley is fighting the lawsuit, contending that the buyers were sophisticated clients and could have known what was going on in the subprime market. Read more.

LIBOR SUIT LIST SHOWS BARCLAYS PROBE SPANNED NY TO TOKYO

Barclays Plc senior executives, dozens of traders and the bank’s chief economist were all identified by regulators in a probe into interest-rate rigging that spanned continents, according to documents released in the U.K.’s first Libor-manipulation lawsuit, Bloomberg News reported today. Barclays is being sued by affiliates of Guardian Care Homes Ltd. that claim that an interest-rate swap should be annulled because it is linked to Libor, which Barclays tried to rig. Judge Julian Flaux in London rejected a bid by a group of employees identified in the Libor documents to prevent their names from being published ahead of a trial later this year. Among those identified in connection with the case were former Chief Executive Officers Robert Diamond and John Varley, and Jerry Del Missier, the bank’s former chief operating officer. The list of names, which Judge Flaux in London said had to be turned over to Guardian, was compiled from evidence that Barclays provided in the regulatory probes that led a 290 million-pound fine ($457.5 million) in June. Read more.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: AMR MAKE-WHOLE OPINION VULNERABLE ON APPEAL

The case of the week on the Bloomberg bankruptcy video is the decision by Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane who concluded that American Airlines is not obliged to pay several hundred million dollars in make-whole premiums even though debt would be repaid before maturity. Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle discuss how Lane's adverse ruling evidently was expected by the debt holders who believe the result may be better on appeal, if the dispute does not become moot in the meantime. Click here to watch.

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!

CURRENT ISSUES FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS IN BANKRUPTCY CASES 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
• Creditors’ Committees and the Role of Indenture Trustees and Related Issues
• 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: MASSACHUSETTS DEPT. OF UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE V. OPK BIOTECH LLC (IN RE PBBPC INC.; 1ST CIR.)

Summarized by Hale Yazicioglu, Bartlett Hackett Feinberg P.C.

The First Circuit BAP, adopting the expansive definition of “interest” in § 363(f) of the Bankruptcy Code, held that “interest” in § 363(f) includes all obligations that may flow from ownership of property, including the right to tax the purchaser of the debtor’s assets at the same high rate imposed on the debtor. The First Circuit BAP first evaluated its jurisdiction on appeal and found that the bankruptcy court order approving the stipulation entered into between the parties effectively terminated the litigation, and therefore was a final judgment from which the parties could appeal to the BAP.

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: THIRD CIRCUIT REJECTS WAIT-AND-SEE VALUATION APPROACH AND ACCEPTS LIENSTRIPPING IN § 506(a)

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines In re Heritage Highgate, Inc., in which the Third Circuit held that the fair market value of property as of the confirmation date controls whether or not a lien is fully secured. Additionally, the court held that lienstripping is permissible in a chapter 11 reorganization.

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.

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT EVENT:

 

 

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

 

 

COMING UP:

 

 

ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
Feb. 19, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

"Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM- A Must for Junior Professionals or Those New to Bankruptcy Practice
April 18, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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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