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Percentage of Homes in Foreclosure Drops Nationwide

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 24 2013
 
  

January 24, 2013

 
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  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.

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NEXT EVENT:

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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COMING UP:

 

 

ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
Feb. 19, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
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BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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"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
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  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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May Bankruptcy Filings Fall 11 Percent from 2011 Commercial Filings Drop 21 Percent

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROMNEY VOWS QUICK EXIT FROM GM STAKE

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

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

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

FREDDIE MAC ANNOUNCES LOWER MODIFICATION INTEREST RATE

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

ABI PODCAST FEATURES SCHOLARS EXAMINING STUDENT DEBT AND BANKRUPTCY

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

TOMORROW! WEBINAR TO EXAMINE HOW TO HANDLE AN ADMINISTRATIVELY INSOLVENT ESTATE

Panelists from one of the top-rated sessions at the 2011 Winter Leadership Conference are going to reconvene for an ABI and West LegalEd Center webinar on June 6 titled, "Handling the Administratively Insolvent Estate: What to Do When Your Chapter 11 Goes South." (Note the change of date: This program will now take place on June 6 rather than the previous date of June 5.) CLE credit will be available for the webinar, which will last from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET.

Speakers include:

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

Experts on the program include:

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

ABI Resident Scholar David Epstein will be the moderator for the webinar.

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: WHITE V. COMMERCIAL BANK AND TRUST CO. (IN RE WHITE; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Tony Bisconti of Bienert, Miller & Katzman

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

More than 500 appellate opinions are summarized on Volo typically within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: MORE ON THE SIGNING OF THE TEMPORARY BANKRUPTCY JUDGESHIP EXTENSION ACT

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

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

ABI Quick Poll
First-day orders authorizing full and immediate payment of the claims of ‘critical vendors’ should be prohibited; all pre-petition unsecured creditors should be subjected to the same rules. Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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TOMORROW!

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

  

 

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

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

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

 
 
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Final Report of the ABIs Ethics Task Force Provides Guidance to Both Consumer and Business

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | April 25 2013
 
  

April 25, 2013

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

FINAL REPORT OF ABI’S ETHICS TASK FORCE PROVIDES GUIDANCE TO BOTH CONSUMER AND BUSINESS BANKRUPTCY PROFESSIONALS

The ABI National Ethics Task Force released its final report at ABI’s 31st Annual Spring Meeting to provide recommendations for both consumer and business practitioners for uniform ethical standards in bankruptcy practice. Funded by ABI’s Anthony H.N. Schnelling Endowment Fund, the Task Force formulated a set of uniform ethical standards on a variety of bankruptcy-related matters, including use of conflicts counsel, employment of counsel and necessary disclosures, competency standards, and fiduciary duties of counsel for the debtor in possession (DIP).

The Ethics Task Force was established in 2011 by then-ABI President Geoffrey L. Berman of Development Specialists Inc. (Los Angeles) to address ethics problems encountered by bankruptcy professionals and judges as state ethics rules do not always fit with the realities of bankruptcy practice. The Task Force formed committees, surveyed bankruptcy professionals, academics and judges, and examined recent case law to focus on seven recommendations:

1. proposed amendments to Bankruptcy Rule 2014 governing the hiring of bankruptcy professionals, including greater disclosure provisions for conflicts and connections;

2. duties of counsel for a debtor in possession as fiduciary and responsibilities to the estate;

3. framework for pre-approval of terms for retention and compensation under 11 U.S.C. § 328 to provide efficiency and clarity to courts in bankruptcy professional employment applications;

4. use of conflicts counsel in business reorganization cases, especially in large or complicated cases that may present significant conflicts;

5. best practices for limited services representation in consumer bankruptcy cases;

6. competency for debtors’ counsel in business and consumer cases; and

7. report on best practices on creditors’ committee solicitation.

Profs. Nancy B. Rapoport of the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law (Las Vegas) and Lois R. Lupica of the University of Maine School of Law (Portland, Maine) served as reporters and said that while the report provides an ethical guide to all in the bankruptcy profession, new bankruptcy lawyers in particular should make sure they review the final report. "The findings and recommendations within the report are essential for new bankruptcy attorneys to absorb," Lupica said.

To read the ABI Ethics Task Force Final Report, please click here.

REPORT: DISCLOSURE OF INSIDER PAY MURKY IN A FEW CHAPTER 11 CASES

A Wall Street Journal analysis released today found that in 250 chapter 11 cases over the past five years, 19 companies tried to keep the details of insider pay secret, and 17 were successful at doing so. When Reader's Digest first ventured into bankruptcy in the summer of 2009, the multimillion-dollar payouts to top executives that showed up in court filings sparked outrage from employees facing layoffs and retirees staring down benefit cuts. Less than four years later, the publisher is now back in chapter 11, but how much its insiders were paid is not in the public record. RG Steel, whose collapse last year put thousands out of work, identified its top executives only as "Employee A" through "Employee G" when listing what it paid insiders. New York law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP navigated bankruptcy without identifying the firm's top earners. Media giant Tribune Co. didn't reveal the names of insiders who collected $268 million the same year a leveraged buyout put the company on the path to bankruptcy. Read more. (Subscription required.)

DOWN PAYMENT RULES ARE AT THE HEART OF THE MORTGAGE DEBATE

While making home buyers put more money down seemed like an easy fix to prevent the excesses of the housing market, the issue is up for debate as the housing market starts to return and the subprime mess fades from memory, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. Lenders and consumer advocates — rarely on the same side of the issue — are now cautioning against down payment requirements. They argue that such restrictions could limit lending, and prevent lower-income borrowers from buying homes. They also contend that the new mortgage rules put in place this year will do enough to limit foreclosures, making down payment requirements somewhat superfluous. Regulators want to protect borrowers and promote homeownership. But they also want to encourage lending and insulate the financial system from future shocks. Read more.

ANALYSIS: HOW THE WHEELS CAME OFF FOR FISKER AUTOMOTIVE

The near-collapse of Anaheim, Calif.-based Fisker Automotive Inc.—it missed a loan payment on Monday, earlier dismissed most of its staff and has hired bankruptcy advisors—comes as affluent buyers have turned away from the once-promising startup and falling gasoline prices have chipped away at demand for electric cars, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Barring a last-minute rescue, the company’s dissolution also represents one of the most prominent failures of the government's use of public funds to wean American industry from fossil fuels—and of how that government backing pushed Fisker to reach too far. At its peak, tiny Fisker received one of the largest U.S. venture capital payouts ever. Its founders raised more than $1 billion from highly regarded Silicon Valley venture funds including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Its biggest single investor, though, was the U.S. In 2009, the Obama administration's interest in cultivating electric cars got the untested Fisker loans totalling $529 million, more than the company had initially requested, and an amount that encouraged private backers to chip in more funds. But despite its wealthy backers, Fisker had plenty of problems. Troubles with suppliers and regulatory requirements added months to the release of the company's first car, the Karma. Although engineers expressed concerns that the software that ran the Karma's display screens and phone connections was not ready, the Karma was released to customers. The company said that its problems were similar to those that would be expected of any new model. In May 2011, the Obama administration, under pressure from critics of its alternative energy spending and after the high-profile failure of U.S.-backed solar panel maker Solyndra LLC, froze disbursements to Fisker, citing delays in the Karma's rollout. Read more. (Subscription required.)

 

NEW ABI LIVE WEBINAR ON MAY 29 WILL FOCUS ON CLASS ACTIONS IN BOTH BUSINESS AND CONSUMER CASES

Class action lawsuits in both chapter 11 and 13 cases are becoming more prevalent. Are you wondering whether your clients’ WARN Act claims would be better pursued against a debtor company in a class action adversary proceeding or in a class proof of claim, or both? If your client has been sued in a debtor’s consumer class action adversary proceeding, do you know the best defenses against class certification? ABI's panel of experts will explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of class actions by creditors against debtor companies in chapter 11 cases and by debtors/trustees against creditors in chapter 13 cases by highlighting recent appellate and bankruptcy court decisions on May 29 from 1-2:15 p.m. ET. 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.

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

Summarized by Thomas Horan of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP

Because a chapter 13 plan confirmation order may be revoked only if such order was procured by fraud, the Third Circuit ruled that absence of such fraud prevents the court from reconsidering the plan confirmation order under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, made applicable in a bankruptcy case by Rule 9014 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

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: WILL THE NEXT WAVE OF CHAPTER 9 FILINGS BE FROM PUBLIC HOSPITALS?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new blog post examines the possibility of a wave of chapter 9 filings by public hospitals.

For further analysis on bankruptcy filings and distress by hospitals, be sure to pick up a copy of the ABI Health Care Insolvency Manual, Third Edition, from 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.

TEE OFF ON THE ABI GOLF TOUR!

ABI now offers conference registrants the option to participate in the ABI Golf Tour. The Tour kicked off at ABI’s Annual Spring Meeting and will take place concurrently with most conference golf tournaments. It 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" in stroke play format. 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 and early leader board.

ABI Quick Poll

Bankruptcy courts should implement constructive trusts in any case where applicable state law would recognize them.

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENTS:

 

 


NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 29, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 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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MA 2013
Aug. 8-10, 2013
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  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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January Bankruptcy Filings Decrease 11 Percent from Previous Year Commercial Filings Fall 26 Percent

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | February 5 2013
 
  

February 5, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

JANUARY BANKRUPTCY FILINGS DECREASE 11 PERCENT FROM PREVIOUS YEAR, COMMERCIAL FILINGS FALL 26 PERCENT

Total bankruptcy filings in the United States decreased 11 percent in January over last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 78,471 in January 2013, down from the January 2012 total of 88,028. Consumer filings declined 10 percent to 74,743 from the January 2012 consumer filing total of 83,022. The total commercial filings in January 2013 also decreased to 3,728, representing a 26 percent decline from the 5,006 business filings recorded in January 2012. Total commercial chapter 11 filings experienced the largest decrease as they fell 36 percent from the 749 commercial chapter 11 filings in January 2012 to 479 filings in January 2013. Read more.

ANALYSIS: REGULATIONS LEADING COMPANIES TO SHIFT FROM PUBLIC TO PRIVATE DEBT ISSUANCES

A tectonic shift is under way in how companies raise money--and it will have a profound impact on U.S. investors and markets, according to an analysis in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission's most recent estimates, businesses have been raising more funds through private transactions than through debt and equity offerings registered under the securities laws and offered to the general public. Overall public debt and equity issuances fell by 11 percent between 2009 and 2010, to $1.07 trillion, while private issues rose by 31 percent, to $1.16 trillion. This shift, which has been driven by the rising costs of public-market participation and regulation, will likely accelerate when the SEC implements reforms in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which the president signed into law last April. The crowdfunding provisions in the JOBS Act are intended to democratize investment opportunities using the Internet and have attracted the most public attention. Experts anticipate a paradigm shift in how companies raise money, as they increasingly shun the highly regulated, costly and volatile public markets in favor of now deeper and more efficient private markets. Read more. (Subscription required.)

For further insights, be sure to read "'Crowdfunding' a Chapter 11 Plan" in the February edition of the ABI Journal.

MUNICIPAL DEFAULT RISK AT 18-MONTH LOW AS CONFIDENCE CLIMBS

Investor confidence in U.S. municipal debt is at its highest level since 2011, buoyed by local governments showing the fewest defaults since at least 2009 while revenue recovers to pre-recession levels, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. It cost the annual equivalent of as little as $172,000 last week to protect $10 million of munis for 10 years through credit-default swaps, according to Markit Group Ltd. data compiled by Bloomberg. That is the cheapest since July 2011. The price of swaps for California, which had its credit upgraded last week for the first time in six years after forecasting a surplus, also set an 18-month low. The declining price shows investors in the $3.7 trillion muni market view that the three bankruptcy filings last year by California cities were isolated events that are running counter to the state's trend of improving its finances. Defaults fell the past two years, running counter to the jump forecast in 2010 by banking analyst Meredith Whitney, chief executive officer of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group. Read more.

For more on municipal defaults, distress and chapter 9 filings, be sure to pick up a copy of ABI's Municipalities in Peril: The ABI Guide to Chapter 9, Second Edition, available now in ABI’s Bookstore.

ANALYSIS: "TOO BIG TO FAIL" MAY BE TOO HARD TO FIX AMID CALLS TO CURB BANK GROWTH

Top U.S. bank regulators and lawmakers are pushing for action to limit the risk that the government again winds up financing the rescue of one or more of the nation's biggest financial institutions, according to a Bloomberg News analysis yesterday. Officials leading the debate, including Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), share the view that the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act failed to curb the growth of large banks after promising in its preamble to "end too big to fail." Strategies under consideration include capping the size of big banks, making them raise more capital, discouraging mergers and requiring that financial firms hold specified levels of long-term debt to convert into equity in a failure. JPMorgan's 2012 trading loss of more than $6.2 billion from a bet on credit derivatives raised questions anew about whether the largest institutions have grown too complex to oversee effectively. That loss is among events that "have proven 'too big to fail' banks are also too big to manage and too big to regulate," Brown said. "The question is no longer about whether these megabanks should be restructured, but how we should do it." Brown and fellow Banking Committee member David Vitter (R-La.) are considering legislation that would impose capital levels on the largest banks higher than those agreed to by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Financial Stability Board, which set global standards. Brown also plans to reintroduce a bill he failed to get included in Dodd-Frank or passed in the last Congress that would cap bank size and limit non-deposit liabilities. Read more.

COMMENTARY: DESPITE REORGANIZATIONS, SCANT SIGNS OF CHANGE IN AIRLINE INDUSTRY

Airlines rarely seem to use chapter 11 as an opportunity to try something new, even though a reorganization presents an ideal time to alter their business practices, according to a commentary yesterday by Prof. Stephen J. Lubben of Seton Hall Law in the New York Times DealBook blog. Not long after the Bankruptcy Code was enacted in 1978, major airlines began filing bankruptcy, beginning with classic cases like Eastern Airlines and Pan Am. More recently, major airlines have followed one of two main paths in their reorganization cases. Some sell themselves to another airline. TWA's last chapter 11 case, when it sold its assets under § 363 of the Code to American, is a good example. The other path is to reorganize as a stand-alone entity. Under this approach, the airline imposes some pain on shareholders, employees and creditors, but otherwise comes out the other side essentially the same company as it was before bankruptcy. Airlines find themselves in bankruptcy often, much like the railroads of an earlier age, as they have high fixed costs and are highly sensitive to economic conditions. Read the full commentary.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ACCUSES CRIME RING OF $200 MILLION CREDIT CARD FRAUD

The Justice Department said that an international crime ring created thousands of fake identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards and steal more than $200 million, Bloomberg News reported today. Charges against 18 people were unsealed today in federal court in Newark, N.J., where U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said that the scam was "one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever uncovered" by the Justice Department. The conspirators created thousands of false identities and credit profiles, burnished their creditworthiness, and took large loans that were never repaid, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation arrest complaint. Millions of dollars were wired overseas to Pakistan, India, the United Arab Emirates, China, Romania, Japan and Canada, the FBI claims. Read more.

LAW FIRM BANKRUPTCIES AMONG TOPICS TO BE EXAMINED 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
• 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!

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!

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: IN RE PORAYKO (7TH CIR.)

Summarized by George Spathis of Horwood Marcus & Berk

A recent ruling by the Seventh Circuit found that a checking account constitutes "personal property" that remains within the "control" of the account's holder, and therefore is subject to a citation lien under Illinois law.

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: REFLECTING ON THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM MAMMOTH LAKES' CHAPTER 9 CASE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines some of the lessons learned from the chapter 9 filing of Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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THURSDAY:

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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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"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!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 16, 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.
- 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
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM
     April 18, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.
- Annual Spring Meeting
     April 18-21, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.

May
- New York City Bankruptcy Conference
     May 16, 2013 | New York, N.Y.


 
 
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U.S. Personal Bankruptcies Set to Drop Again According to Fitch Ratings

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | February 4, 2014
 
  

February 6, 2014

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

U.S. PERSONAL BANKRUPTCIES SET TO DROP AGAIN, ACCORDING TO FITCH RATINGS

Fitch Ratings issued a report today stating that personal bankruptcy filings are on track to achieve a fourth straight year of declines, Reuters reported today. Fitch projects 2014 filings to fall another 8-10 percent, following the 12 percent drop in 2013 filings. After that, the report says that the pace of improvement is likely to level off. "Banks will continue to ease underwriting standards and open up access to larger credit lines to consumers," said Fitch Managing Director Michael Dean. Filings closed slightly above the one million mark after falling 12 percent, or 145,759, to 1,011,732 from 1,157,491 in 2012. Read more.

To review the latest filing trends, including January 2014's numbers, please click here.

ANALYSIS: WELCOME RELIEF FOR HOMEOWNERS, UNTIL THE TAX BILL ARRIVES

While JPMorgan Chase will be able to write off the $1.5 billion in debt relief it must give homeowners to satisfy the terms of a recent settlement, the homeowners who receive the help will have to treat it as taxable income, resulting in whopping tax bills for many families who have just lost their homes or only narrowly managed to keep them, the New York Times reported yesterday. A tax exemption for mortgage debt forgiveness, put in place when the economy began to falter in 2007, was allowed to expire on Dec. 31, leaving hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners in financial limbo even as the Obama administration has tried to encourage such debt write-downs. The tax exemption was intended to help homeowners who are underwater, and according to real estate data service CoreLogic, there are still more than 6.4 million households underwater. The number of people using the mortgage debt-relief exemption has increased every year, reaching almost 100,000 in 2011, the most recent year for which the IRS has figures. That number could be far greater for 2013, when there were more than a quarter-million short sales, according to Daren Blomquist of RealtyTrac, who estimates that those families received an average debt reduction of roughly $37,000. If the exemption had not been in place, that would have translated to an extra $9,250 tax bill for those in the 25 percent bracket. Read more.

RETAILERS TO CONGRESS: THERE'S NO END IN SIGHT FOR CREDIT CARD BREACHES

A Target executive warned Congress that credit card breaches, such as the one that affected up to 110 million of its customers, are going to become very common and there may be that little retailers can do to shield shoppers for now, the Washington Post reported yesterday. "The unfortunate reality is that we suffered a breach, and all businesses -- and their customers -- are facing increasingly sophisticated threats from cyber criminals," Target Chief Financial Officer John J. Mulligan told lawmakers at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. "In fact, recent news reports have indicated that several other companies have been subjected to similar attacks." Real change would require all the actors in the payment card system -- merchants, banks that issue credit cards and the card networks -- to work together to replace the plastic in our wallets with something more sophisticated, such as a card with a computer chip. "Updating payment card technology and strengthening protections for American consumers is a shared responsibility and requires a collective and coordinated response," Mulligan said. Read more.

AMERICANS BOOST SPENDING ON REMODELING

Americans are spending lavishly again to upgrade their homes, an indication that they remain confident about the long-term prospects for the recovery of the housing market despite recent signs of weakness, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Homeowners spent $130 billion on remodeling projects last year, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau. That was up 3.1 percent from 2012 and was the largest amount of home-remodeling spending since 2007, the year that the housing downturn began. Permits for remodeling jobs in the U.S. rose 5.1 percent last year from 2012, the largest increase since 2010, when the figures began their rebound from a 10-year low, according to permit-tracking company BuildFax. Home-equity lending -- which sank to its lowest level of the past 10 years in 2010 -- jumped 18 percent last year to $123.4 billion, according to estimates by Moody's Analytics. According to real estate data firm CoreLogic, two-thirds of all U.S. homeowners had at least 20 percent equity in their homes as of last year's third quarter, up from 53.2 percent two years earlier. Read more. (Subscription required.)

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ENDS NEXT WEEK FOR PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL RULES OF BANKRUPTCY PROCEDURE

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules has proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and Official Forms, and requested that the proposals be circulated to the bench, bar, and public for comment. On August 15, 2013, the public comment period opened for the proposed amendments to Bankruptcy Rules 2002, 3002, 3007, 3012, 3015, 4003, 5005, 5009, 7001, 9006, and 9009 and Official Forms 17A, 17B, 17C, 22A-1, 22A-1Supp, 22A-2, 22B, 22C-1, 22C-2, 101, 101A, 101B, 104, 105, 106Sum, 106A/B, 106C, 106D, 106E/F, 106G, 106H, 106Dec, 107, 112, 113, 119, 121, 318, 423 and 427. The public comment period closes on February 15, 2014. For more information, please click here.

To access the online comment site for the proposed amendments, please click here.

PURCHASE EITHER THE CONSUMER OR BUSINESS EDITION OF THE BEST OF ABI 2013 AND RECEIVE A FREE ADDITIONAL TITLE!

To make room for new books in 2014, ABI is having a special Bookstore clearance sale. Now, when you buy either Best of ABI 2013: The Year in Business Bankruptcy or The Year in Consumer Bankruptcy, you can choose a free book from a select list of ABI publications. You'll be able to make your selection when you click "Buy Now" on either edition of the Best of ABI 2013. To purchase the Best of ABI 2013: The Year in Business Bankruptcy, please click here.

Make your selection when you click "Buy Now" on either edition of the Best of ABI 2013. To purchase the Best of ABI 2013: The Year in Consumer Bankruptcy, please click here.

LOOKING FOR A REPLAY OF THE "BACK TO BASICS" WEBINARS? CHECK OUT ABI'S CLE SITE!

The final installment of ABI's "Back to Basics" live webinar series, hosted by the Young and New Members Committee, was held last week, and you now have the opportunity to access the programs at your convenience! The three webinars in the series, an examination of financial statements and operating reports, using financial documents as evidence and issues surrounding bankruptcy and hedge funds, are now posted to ABI's e-Learning website. Let a trusted CLE provider help get your associates up to speed.

ABI'S SIXTH ANNUAL LAW STUDENT WRITING COMPETITION DEADLINE APPROACHING

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

DETROIT EMERGENCY MANAGER KEVYN ORR TO KEYNOTE ABI'S 32ND ANNUAL SPRING MEETING ON APRIL 25

Kevyn Orr, emergency manager to the city of Detroit, will provide the keynote at the Friday Luncheon at ABI's 32nd Annual Spring Meeting at the JW Marriott in downtown Washington, D.C. The conference, taking place April 24-27, 2014, 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. The Annual Spring Meeting offers 18.25/22 hours of CLE/CPE credit, along with ethics credit totaling 3.25/4 hours. In addition, committee sessions will drill down on topics covered in the larger sessions to provide you with the most practical and varied CLE/CPE experience ever. Also featured will be a special half-day optional event sponsored by ABI and the FCBA titled "The Intersection of the FCC and Bankruptcy Law."

Sessions at the 2014 Annual Spring Meeting include:

- 18th Annual Great Debates
- Where the Work Is (and Isn't)
- The Ever-Changing Role of Committees
- Large Complex Trusts: A General Motors Case Study
- Municipal Bankruptcies
- Use of Governmental Assistance Programs in Chapter 13
- The Financial Professional's Role in Out-of-Court Restructurings and Dissolutions
- Civility in the Restructuring Profession
- Union Contracts
- Student Loan Update
- Social Media: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You
- The § 363 Sale Process from a Transactional Perspective

The conference kicks off with an Opening Reception at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, offering a truly D.C. experience. Optional events include a golf tournament at Westfields Golf Club, a Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres baseball game and an evening at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: CLARK V. ZWANZIGER (IN RE ZWANZIGER; 10TH CIR.)

Summarized by Michael Cooley of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Emphasizing the fact that issue preclusion generally applies to a decision on the merits of an issue that has been actually litigated, the Tenth Circuit held that issue preclusion does not apply to a final determination in district court that a party has waived an issue. Sharply dissenting, Judge Holloway emphasized the equitable nature of issue preclusion, and concluded there was no reason to relieve the plaintiff from the effect of his procedural error in the original district court litigation.

There are more than 1,200 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: WHAT PERCENTAGE GETS PAID BACK IN A CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks more than 80 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post looks at how to calculate what percentage of debts are going to get paid back to creditors if a consumer files for chapter 13 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.

ABI Quick Poll

The Bankruptcy Code permits a debtor to artificially impair a class for cramdown purposes.

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 43 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT EVENT:

 

 

 

VALCON2014
Hedge Fund Legend David Tepper to Keynote- Register Today!

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

 

VALCON2014
Register Today!

 

 

 

SP14
Register Today!

 

 

 

ASM14
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to Keynote- Register Today!

 

 

CBS14
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM14
Register Today!

 

 

 

CS14
Register Today!

 

 

 

CS14
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2014

February
- VALCON14
    Feb. 26-28, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nev.

March
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
    March 11, 2014 | Los Angeles, Calif.
- Alexander L. Paskay Memorial
Bankruptcy Seminar

    March 13-15, 2014 | Tampa, Fla.

April
- Annual Spring Meeting
    April 24-27, 2014 | Washington, D.C.

  


May
- Credit & Bankruptcy Symposium
    May 1-2, 2014 | Uncasville, Conn.
- New York City Bankruptcy Conference
    May 15, 2014 | New York, N.Y.
- Litigation Skills Symposium
    May 20-23, 2014 | Dallas, Texas

June
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
    June 12-15, 2014 | Lake Geneva, Wis.


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

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 6 2012
 
  

November 8, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

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

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

U.S. CONSUMER CREDIT EXPANDS IN SEPTEMBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The current 14-year term of office for Judith H. Wizmur, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of New Jersey at Camden, is due to expire on Sept. 4, 2013. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is considering the reappointment of the judge to a new 14-year term of office. Members of the bar and the public are invited to submit comments for consideration by the Court of Appeals regarding the reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge Wizmur. All comments should be directed to one of the following addresses: by e-mail at Wizmur_Reappointment@ca3.uscourts.gov or by mail to the Office of the Circuit Executive, 22409 U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19106-1790. Comments must be received no later than noon on Monday, December 3, 2012.

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TUCK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS WINS NINTH ANNUAL CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING COMPETITION

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

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

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

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

There are nearly 700 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: SECOND CIRCUIT ADOPTS DEFERENTIAL ABUSE OF DISCRETION STANDARD OF REVIEW FOR EQUITABLE MOOTNESS APPEALS

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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TOMORROW:

 

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

 

MONDAY:

 

SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

COMING UP:

 

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

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

November
- Professional Development Program
     November 9, 2012 | New York, N.Y.
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     November 12, 2012 | Detroit, Mich.
- Winter Leadership Conference
     November 29 - December 1, 2012 | Tucson, Ariz.

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

2013

January
- Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     January 21, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.


  

 


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

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


 
 
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Report Assets Liabilities Decrease with Drop in 2011 Consumer Filings

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | August 28, 2012
 
  

August 28, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

REPORT: ASSETS, LIABILITIES DECREASE WITH DROP IN 2011 CONSUMER FILINGS

Liabilities and assets of debtors decreased along with overall personal bankruptcy filing numbers, according to a report released yesterday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC). The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) requires the annual compilation of statistics by the AOUSC on debtors who are individuals with primarily consumer debts seeking relief under chapters 7, 11, and 13. Compared to 2010 data, the AOUSC found the following decreases among debtors filing for personal bankruptcy in 2011:

• 11 percent decrease in overall filings
• 23 percent decrease in filer assets
• 25 percent decrease in filer liabilities
• 28 percent incidence of repeat filers

To read the AOUSC's full 2011 BAPCPA Report, please click here.

REGULATORS SAY LOAN QUALITY IMPROVING

The credit quality of large loan commitments owned by financial institutions regulated in the U.S. improved in 2012 for the third consecutive year, according to a review by the Federal Reserve and two other regulators, MarketWatch.com reported yesterday. However, the review also added that, despite the progress, poorly originated large loans in 2006 and 2007 "with weak underwriting standard" continued to hurt the portfolio of institutions reviewed. The agencies reviewed loan commitments of $20 million or more in real estate, stocks, notes or bonds extended by American and foreign financial institutions regulated in the U.S. The study noted that so-called nonbank firms, such as hedge funds insurance companies and pension funds, held the smallest share of large loan commitments but the largest share of credits rated "substandard or doubtful" or considered uncollectible and of little value. According to the report, institutions held roughly $2.8 trillion of large loans, with roughly 8,700 credit facilities going to roughly 5,600 borrowers. That number is up from about $2.5 trillion in 2011. Read more.

FSOC MAY HAVE TO MOVE SLOWLY ON MONEY FUNDS

Though the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday that it would have to drop its proposed overhaul of the money market mutual fund industry, regulators are contemplating pursuing money fund overhaul through the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), the New York Times DealBook blog reported on Saturday. The FSOC was set up by the Dodd-Frank legislation to identify systemic risks and then set in motion plans to remove those risks. The council, which is led by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, has said that money funds are a concern, and backed the reforms scuttled at the SEC. While the FSOC certainly has the freedom and power to take up the issue of money market funds, some experts question whether the council will officially designate money funds as a risk, especially in the last few months before the presidential election. Read more.

CONSOLIDATION OF SMALL BANKS ON THE RISE

A growing number of small- and medium-sized banks are merging as shrinking profit margins, tepid loan demand and low interest rates place pressure on their operations, the Washington Post reported today. Community banks also are contending with the added cost of complying with new regulations stemming from the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Industry watchers say all of these factors will spur buying activity in the coming quarters. M&T Bank, with $81 billion in assets, became the latest bank buyer, with a $3.7 billion deal yesterday to acquire Hudson City Bancorp, a $43.6 billion community bank in Paramus, N.J. Banking analyst Bert Ely said that the Dodd-Frank Act places the heaviest burden on banks with less than $500 million in assets, which will likely be the primary source of deal activity. Small banks, he said, will be especially taxed by new requirements to keep 5 percent of the loans they issue through mortgage-backed securities on their books. He also thinks smaller banks will be discouraged by higher and stricter capital requirements. Read more.

U.S. HOME PRICES CONTINUE UPWARD MOVE IN JUNE

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index showed that U.S. home prices bounced higher for a second month in June, MarketWatch.com reported today. The S&P/Case-Shiller index registered a 2.3 percent advance in June, matching upwardly revised gains in May. Prices in the second quarter of 2012 gained 6.9 percent compared to the first quarter.All 20 cities in the index managed monthly gains, including a 6 percent surge in hard-hit Detroit and a 4.8 percent advance in Minneapolis. Read more.

For a historic look at housing prices, be sure to check out ABI’s Chart of the Day to browse house price data since 1976.

ABI IN-DEPTH

ABI MEMBERS WELCOME TO ATTEND ACB'S FREE HALF-DAY "BANKRUPTCY: BACK TO THE FUTURE" PROGRAM IN SEPTEMBER

The American College of Bankruptcy invites you to attend a free half-day program on Sept. 28 in Chicago for a discussion of many of the challenging topics facing current bankruptcy and reorganization professionals. Topics to be addressed include recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, important work of the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules, and developments in the field of bankruptcy ethics. The nation’s leading judges, academics and bankruptcy professionals are among the speakers for the program. While there is no cost to attend, seating is limited, so early reservation is suggested. For more information and to register, please click here.

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

Summarized by Emil Khatchatourian of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California

Affirming the district court ruling, the Third Circuit held that a debtor's plan, as submitted by his counsel, would have voided the state court's sale order issued prior to the bankruptcy filing. Without deciding whether the Rooker-Feldman doctrine actually applied, the debtor's attempt to confirm a plan that contemplated a forced sale was improper.

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: SIXTH CIRCUIT RULES THAT TORTIOUS USE OF PROPERTY IS NOT PROTECTED BY THE AUTOMATIC STAY

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. Noting that the “commission of a tort is not protected by the Bankruptcy Code,” a recent blog post examined the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that found that the automatic stay imposed by section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy Code did not apply to a contempt proceeding against a debtor for violation of an injunction. The injunction related to, among other things, a suit for trademark infringement and trademark dilution.

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

Client matters left unfinished at a firm when it files for bankruptcy are the property of the defunct firm.

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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NEXT EVENTS:

SE 2012
Sept. 11, 2012
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SW 2012
Sept. 13-15, 2012
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SE 2012
Sept. 13-14, 2012
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COMING UP:

 

NYU 2012
Sept. 19-20, 2012
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"WHEN IS AN INDIVIDUAL CHAPTER 11 THE BEST FIT?" LIVE WEBINAR
Sept. 27, 2012
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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
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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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
Register Today!

 

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

September
- 7th Annual Golf and Tennis Outing
     September 11, 2012 | Maplewood, N.J.
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
     September 13-14, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
     September 13-15, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- 38th Annual Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
     September 19-20, 2012 | New York, N.Y.
- "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
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy

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.


 
 
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Foreclosure Starts Down on Annual Basis in October

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 15 2012
 
  

November 15, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

FORECLOSURE STARTS DOWN ON ANNUAL BASIS IN OCTOBER

U.S. homes are entering the foreclosure process at a slower pace than a year ago, and fewer properties are being repossessed by lenders, the Associated Press reported today. Between January and October, 971,533 homes were placed on the path to foreclosure, down 8 percent from the same period last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said today. At the other end of the foreclosure process, banks repossessed 559,063 homes through the end of last month, a decline of nearly 19 percent from a year earlier. That puts lenders on pace to complete 650,000 foreclosures this year, down from 800,000 in 2011, the firm said. The data, however, also shows that there are signs at the state level that more homes could end up in foreclosure in the coming months. The trend is most evident in judicial-process states such as New York, Florida and New Jersey. Fourteen states saw an annual increase in foreclosure activity, which RealtyTrac measures as the number of homes receiving a default notice, scheduled for auction or repossessed by the bank. Read more.

To see the percentage of loans in foreclosure by state (judicial v. non-judicial) for 3Q 2012, please visit ABI's Chart of the Day page.

MAJOR RETAILERS SELLING FINANCIAL PRODUCTS, CHALLENGING BANK OFFERINGS

As the nation's largest banks remain stingy with credit offerings following the financial downturn, major retailers are stepping in to fill the void, the New York Times reported today. Customers can now withdraw cash at an ATM with a prepaid card from Walmart, take out a loan at Home Depot for a kitchen renovation or kick-start a new venture with a small-business loan from Sam’s Club. This year, Walmart even started to test selling a life insurance policy. Consumer advocates are torn about the growth of this shadow banking industry. Financial products are making it into the hands of people who might not otherwise qualify for them, but these products are not always subject to the same regulations as bank products are. And to turn a profit, retailers generally have to charge more to people with poor credit or none at all. Read more.

SEC REPORT FINDS FAULTS WITH CREDIT RATERS

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a report today that the credit-ratings industry remains plagued by failures in meeting its own standards, weak oversight and poor documentation of its rating decisions, despite years of heightened scrutiny after the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported. In its second annual report on the nine credit-rating firms registered with the agency, the SEC said that Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings still do not always follow their own standards for rating deals. The firms are required by the SEC to disclose and follow their methodologies for assigning ratings to securities so that investors know how those deals are being judged. The Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation required the SEC to conduct annual examinations of the registered rating firms, and deliver a report on its findings. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Click here to read the SEC's report.

REGULATORS SEEK CHANGES IN HOW MONEY-MARKET FUNDS OPERATE

The government on Tuesday inched closer to tightening its oversight of the $2.6 trillion money-market industry when a panel of top financial regulators put forward options for addressing the industry’s vulnerabilities, the Washington Post reported yesterday. The industry immediately expressed frustration with the proposal, saying that it resembles a plan that failed to gain support from the Securities and Exchange Commission. That plan, vigorously opposed by the industry, stalled when three of the SEC’s five commissioners said they would reject it. Under the recommendations put forward on Tuesday by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the funds would have to set aside reserves as a buffer for times of crisis, restrict how quickly investors can redeem their money, or allow the value of a fund’s shares to fluctuate. Currently, one share of a money market fund is generally valued at $1. The funds have been popular with investors because they seem as stable and reliable as a bank account. But unlike bank accounts, they are not federally insured, and that image of security was shattered during the 2008 financial crisis when the Reserve Primary Fund, the nation’s first money-market fund, "broke the buck" because its value fell below $1 a share. Read more.

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

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

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

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

The Judiciary Committee of the Richmond (Va.) Bar Association invites ABI members to submit nominations to fill a judicial vacancy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The court is looking to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Bankruptcy Judge Douglas O. Tice, Jr.

Suggestions must be in writing and should be mailed to Virginia H. Grigg, Esq., c/o Richmond Bar Association, P.O. Box 1213, Richmond, Virginia 23218 or hand-delivered to her at the Bar office located at 707 E. Main Street, Suite 1620, Richmond, VA 23219. Nominations must be received by 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 13, 2012, in order to be considered.

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: STOEBNER V. SAN DIEGO GAS & ELECTRIC CO. (IN RE LGI ENERGY SOLUTIONS INC.; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Eric Lockridge of Kean Miller LLP

The Eighth Circuit ruled that where the debtor acted as a payment intermediary between a utility and a customer and the contract between the debtor and customer required the debtor to remit funds to the utility, the contract created a trust obligation in favor of the utility. Consquently, for purposes of § 547, the utility was a creditor of the debtor because the creditor (1) had unsecured claims for breach of trust and (2) was an intended beneficiary. Further, for purposes of calculating subsequent new value, the issue was not the subsequent services provided by the utility to the customer, but the subsequent payments from the customer to the debtor.

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: BOFA VS. MBIA AND THE FUTURE OF PRIVATE LABEL SECURITIZATION

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines the ongoing litigation between BofA and MBIA and its effect on the future of mortgage-backed securities.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT EVENT:

 

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

 

COMING UP:

 

 

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

 

 

WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

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

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

2013

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


  

 

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


 
 
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Credit Card Delinquencies Reach 18-Year Low

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | April 02 2013
 
  

April 2, 2013

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

REPORT: CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCIES REACH 18-YEAR LOW

The American Bankers Association reported today that delinquencies on bank-issued credit cards sank to 2.47 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 – the lowest level since 1994, CNNMoney.com reported today. The percentage of credit card accounts that were 30 days or more overdue during the quarter was roughly half the record high of 5.01 percent set in 2009 and well below the 15-year average of 3.87 percent. It was also down significantly from the previous quarter when 2.75 percent of credit card customers were delinquent on payments. Delinquencies in all three home-related categories – home equity loans, home equity lines of credit and property improvement loans – also fell during the fourth quarter. Read more.

COMMENTARY: PENSIONS NEED TO SHARE FINANCIAL PAIN WHEN CITIES GO BROKE

Stockton, Calif., wants bondholders to pay for its financial woes while leaving retirement benefits intact, but that approach undermines the law's power to rein in runaway pension costs, according to a Reuters commentary on Friday. The housing boom filled Stockton's coffers with tax revenue that officials squandered through poor management, pay raises and downtown renovations, according to the commentary. With the economic bust came $90 million in cuts over three years and, last summer, its chapter 9 filing. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein yesterday approved Stockton's chapter 9 filing petition to move forward. The city's plan to right itself includes a bond-principal haircut that could be the first for a major municipality since the 1930s, according to the commentary. Some bonds could be cut as much as 83 percent, but officials would continue to pay out about $30 million a year to the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), which manages the city's pensions. Wells Fargo and other bondholders owed more than $300 million have understandably cried foul. Legally, the securities they own merit the same treatment in bankruptcy as payments to CalPERS, according to the commentary. Central Falls, R.I., which exited bankruptcy last September, showed that a municipality can slash retirement benefits without a political or legal firestorm. Read more.

FORECLOSURE INVENTORY BALLOONED IN FIRST QUARTER OF 2013

RealtyTrac reported yesterday that nearly 1.5 million U.S. properties were actively in the foreclosure process or bank-owned in the first quarter of 2013, up 9 percent from the first quarter of 2012, but still down 32 percent from the peak of 2.2 million in December 2010, UPI.com reported yesterday. Though overall inventories are up, completed foreclosure inventories are still declining. CoreLogic reported yesterday that there were 54,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in February 2013, down from 67,000 in February 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 19 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures fell from 58,000 in January 2013 to the February level of 54,000, a decrease of 7 percent. Read more.

COMMENTARIES SHARE CONCERN OF RISK-TAKING BY BIG BANKS

Financial firms can borrow money more cheaply and with less market scrutiny when they have access to government guarantees of deposit insurance, loans from the Federal Reserve and, ultimately, taxpayer support such as what was seen with the Troubled Assets Relief Program in 2008, according to a commentary by Thomas M. Hoenig, the vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., in Friday's Washington Post. Hoenig said that this safety net was intended to stabilize the financial system by protecting the payments system that transfers money around the country and the world, as well as the essential lending that commercial banks provide. But these protections also assure those who lend to banks that they will be repaid regardless of the condition of the bank. Under such circumstances, creditors give the firms a discount on the cost of the funds they borrow. Things are made more difficult, according to Hoenig, by the fact that the largest financial companies now combine traditional commercial banking with higher-risk activities such as trading so that both their banking and betting activities get access to these government protections and the multibillion-dollar subsidy that comes with them. Using subsidized money to finance the conglomerates’ bets encourages ever-higher levels of debt, risk and interconnectedness not attainable or sustainable in a truly free market, according to Hoenig. Click here to read the full commentary.

A related commentary in today's Wall Street Journal written by former FDIC chair Sheila Bair found that while bank use of risk models is common and not illegal, their use in bolstering a bank's capital ratios can give the public a false sense of security about the stability of the nation's largest financial institutions. Capital ratios (also called capital adequacy ratios) reflect the percentage of a bank's assets that are funded with equity and are a key barometer of the institution's financial strength: They measure the bank's ability to absorb losses and still remain solvent, according to Bair. While this should be a simple measure, it is not, according to Bair, because regulators allow banks to use a process called "risk weighting," which allows them to raise their capital ratios by characterizing the assets they hold as "low risk." For instance, as part of the Federal Reserve's recent stress test, the Bank of America reported to the Federal Reserve that its capital ratio is 11.4 percent. But that was a measure of the bank's common equity as a percentage of the assets it holds as weighted by their risk—which is much less than the value of these assets according to accounting rules. Take out the risk-weighting adjustment, and its capital ratio falls to 7.8 percent. On average, the three big universal banking companies (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup) risk-weigh their assets at only 55 percent of their total assets. For every trillion dollars in accounting assets, these megabanks calculate their capital ratios as if the assets represented only $550 billion of risk. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: PACE OF MERGERS SLOWED IN THE FIRST QUARTER 2013 TO THE FEWEST SINCE 2003

Only 8,115 merger deals were announced worldwide in the first quarter of this year, the lowest number since 2003, according to data from Thomson Reuters, the New York Times DealBook blog reported today. While the combined value of $542.8 billion outpaced last year's first quarter by about 10 percent, it is still 26 percent below the level for the period in 2011. Bankers and lawyers have been publicly boasting about a nascent revival in mergers. In March, 97 percent of deal makers surveyed by the Brunswick Group public relations firm said that they expected more deals to be announced in North America this year than in the last year. Many advisers caution against judging 2013 by one quarter; some deals that would otherwise have been announced in the first quarter were moved to fourth quarter 2012 to avoid incurring potentially higher taxes, they said. Read more.

 

FRIDAY! 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: SCHOPPE V. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE (10TH CIR.)

Summarized by Eric Madden of Diamond McCarthy LLP

The Tenth Circuit ruled that the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)(1) does not apply to a proceeding commenced by the debtor taxpayer's petition filed in tax court, including any appeal from rulings in the underlying proceeding. Adopting the reasoning of the First, Third, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits and rejecting the reasoning of the Ninth Circuit, the Tenth Circuit concluded that a petition filed in tax court is an independent judicial proceeding initiated by the debtor, not the continuation of an administrative proceeding against the debtor.

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: I'M A CREDITOR OF DETROIT...NOW WHAT? (PART 2)

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. Previously examining some of the overarching issues that can make a chapter 9 restructuring more challenging for creditors than a chapter 11, a recent blog post takes a closer look at the financial challenges of Detroit.

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

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.

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

FRIDAY:

 

 

 

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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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

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


  

 

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

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


 
 
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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Allow On-Time Borrowers to Walk

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 29 2013
 
  

January 29, 2013

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

FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC TO ALLOW ON-TIME BORROWERS TO WALK

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will let some borrowers who kept up mortgage payments as their homes lost value to erase their debts by giving up the properties, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Non-delinquent borrowers with illnesses, job changes or other reasons will become eligible in March to apply for a so-called deed-in-lieu transaction that erases the shortfall between a property’s value and the size of its mortgage. It follows a change in November that lets on-time borrowers sell properties for less than they owe, known as short sales, wiping out the remaining mortgage debt. While these changes will help some Americans escape underwater loans, it will further add to the losses at the mortgage giants previously bailed out with $190 billion of taxpayer money. Read more.

ANALYSIS: THOUGH ENCOURAGING, HOUSING FIGURES NOT NECESSARILY POINTING TO NEW BOOM

Though some commentators are beginning to say that the U.S. has reached a major turning point in the housing market, there is too much uncertainty to justify any aggressive speculative moves by homeowners right now, according to a New York Times analysis by Yale Prof. Robert Shiller, co-founder of the S.&P./Case-Shiller 20-City home price index. On the one hand, there were sharp price increases in 2012, with the S.&P./Case-Shiller 20-City Index up a total of 9 percent over the six months from March to September. That comes after what was generally a decline in prices for five consecutive years. And while prices dropped very slightly in October, the trend was quite encouraging for the market. But some of these changes were seasonal as home prices have tended to rise every midyear and to fall slightly every fall and winter, according to Shiller. After screening out these effects, a number of indicators are up, including data for housing starts and permits as well as the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Index of traffic of prospective homebuyers, which has made a spectacular rebound since last spring. However, nothing drastically different occurred in the economy from March to September, according to Shiller. Last spring, Shiller, along with Karl Case of Wellesley College and Anne Thompson of McGraw-Hill Construction, conducted a detailed survey of the attitudes of recent home buyers in four American cities, but did not detect any evidence of increased optimism. Read more.

FAIR ISAAC: OVERDUE STUDENT LOANS REACH 15 PERCENT DELINQUENCY RATE

Fair Isaac Corp. said that delinquency rates on U.S. student loans made in the past two years stand at 15 percent as recent graduates struggle to find jobs, Bloomberg News reported today. The rate for 2010 through 2012 compares with 12.4 percent for loans made from 2005 to 2007, Fair Isaac’s FICO Labs said today, citing data from October. Average student-loan debt last year rose to $27,253 from $17,233 in 2005, and almost 60 percent of bank managers surveyed in December expect delinquencies to worsen in six months, FICO said. Student loans are the largest source of unsecured consumer debt in the U.S., according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the rise in unpaid loans has spurred speculation about a possible bubble. With college costs climbing faster than the rate of inflation over the past four decades, outstanding education debt has swelled to $1 trillion, more than the amount Americans collectively owe on their credit cards. Read more.

SENATORS INTRODUCE BILL TO HELP AMERICANS STRUGGLING WITH MEDICAL DEBT

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) reintroduced legislation yesterday to prohibit companies from using paid off or settled medical debt in assessing consumer credit scores, the Albany Tribune reported today. The Medical Debt Responsibility Act, which is cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), could help as many as 75 million Americans by prohibiting consumer credit agencies from using paid-off or settled medical debt collections in assessing a consumer’s credit-worthiness. In addition, the bill would require the creditor or credit rating agency to expunge the medical debt from the consumer’s record within 45 days from the day it is paid off or settled. Read more.

ANALYSIS: WHY DELEVERAGING STILL RULES MARKETS IN 2013

Though the deleveraging process for both the financial and housing sectors continued in 2012, it has a long way to go to return to the long-run flat trends, according to a Bloomberg News analysis yesterday. The commentary identifies a number of forces that dominate the current investment landscape:

• the deleveraging of private economic sectors and financial institutions;
• the monetary and fiscal responses to the resulting slow growth and financial risks;
• Competitive devaluations;
• the fixation of investors on monetary easing that obscures weak real economic activity; and
• central bank-engineered low interest rates that have spawned more distortions and investor zeal for yield, regardless of risk.

The financial sector began its huge leveraging push in the 1970s as the debt-to-equity ratios of some financial institutions leaped. The household sector followed in the early 1980s, when credit card debt ballooned and mortgage down payments dropped from 20 percent to 10 percent, then to 0 percent. At the height of the housing boom, home-improvement loans added to conventional mortgages pushed debt-to-equity ratios into negative terrritory. The commentary predicts about five more years of deleveraging, bringing the total span to about 10 years, which is about the normal duration of this process after major financial bubbles. Once deleveraging is completed in another five years or so, according to the analysis, long-term trend growth of about 3.5 percent a year will resume. Read more.

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!

LAW FIRM BANKRUPTCIES AMONG TOPICS TO BE EXAMINED 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
• 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!

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!

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.

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!

 

 

 

 

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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"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!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 16, 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.
- 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
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM
     April 18, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.
- Annual Spring Meeting
     April 18-21, 2013 | National Harbor, Md.

May
- New York City Bankruptcy Conference
     May 16, 2013 | New York, N.Y.


 
 
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