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Credit Card Delinquencies Reach 18-Year Low

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | April 02 2013
 
  

April 2, 2013

 
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  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.

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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.

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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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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
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 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.
- 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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Delaware Slated for New Bankruptcy Judge Amid Growing Caseload

 
  

July 23, 2013

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

DELAWARE SLATED FOR NEW BANKRUPTCY JUDGE AMID GROWING CASELOAD

Delaware's U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the busiest in the country for chapter 11 filings, is getting an additional judge to help handle what officials see as a "full-blown crisis," the subject of a Senate hearing today, Bloomberg News reported. The Wilmington, Del.-based court has a caseload justifying a dozen judges, while it has only half that number now, Chief Delaware U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet, who oversees the bankruptcy unit, said in his 2013 annual report. "The seventh judgeship is important, and funding it is obviously necessary," said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts, which held a hearing this afternoon titled "Sequestering Justice: How the Budget Crisis Is Undermining Our Courts." The hearing centered on the impact of the federal government's spending sequestration on the courts. Coons has been helping to strengthen the financial underpinnings of the bankruptcy courts, sponsoring the bipartisan Temporary Bankruptcy Judgeship Extension Act to extend expiring authorizations in 14 states and Puerto Rico. "A full-blown crisis awaits us" in Delaware as the bankruptcy court deals with 28 percent in budget cuts over three years, necessitating the elimination of 23 of 72 office employees and a furlough program "whereby all staff of the clerk's office take one day every two weeks, without pay, equating to a 10 percent decrease in their salaries," Sleet wrote. The additional bankruptcy judge who has been authorized for Delaware by federal court administrators, "has not been funded," Sleet said. Read more.

To read the prepared witness testimony from today's Senate hearing, please click here.

BACKLOG OF FORECLOSURES CONTINUES TO BLOCK HOUSING RECOVERY

Analysts claim that while the housing market is on the mend -- with progress even in the hardest-hit states -- the backlog of homes in foreclosure and bank-owned properties are still clogging the pipeline, HousingWire.com reported yesterday. The East Coast is a testament to such findings, where the duration of the foreclosure process is high in large part to judicial foreclosure procedures in states using that process, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's latest report. The volume of distressed properties continues to impact housing momentum, and consequently, there is a compelling need for improved public policy on the local and national levels to minimize losses and externalities resulting from foreclosures and REO inventory, explained Diego Aragon, Richard Peach and Joseph Tracy of the New York Fed. As of March 2013, nearly 3 percent of all first-lien loans secured by one-to-four-unit residential properties were 90-plus days delinquent, essentially unchanged from June 2012. In contrast, the percentage of loans in foreclosure, which leveled off at around 4 percent from 2011 through 2012, declined to 3.5 percent by early 2013, the report noted. The decline in the percentage of loans in the foreclosure process was due to a sharp decrease in the number of loans flowing into foreclosure. Read more.

ANALYSIS: DODD-FRANK REMAINS A WORK IN PROGRESS 3 YEARS LATER

When President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act to overhaul financial regulation three years ago, he observed that for the new rules to be effective, regulators would have to be vigilant, according to a Washington Post analysis yesterday. The moment marked the beginning of what has proven to be a slow and arduous process of trying to implement one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation in decades -- the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Given the severity of the financial crisis, there was great expectation that regulators would move swiftly to enact and enforce the landmark legislation. But the same intense lobbying and political wrangling that took place when the bill was being written has continued to delay or water down some of its provisions. Federal watchdogs were tasked with writing 398 rules to flesh out the law, but they have missed 62 percent of the deadlines set by Congress, according to data from Davis Polk & Wardwell, a law firm that represents financial institutions. Lately, there has been a renewed commitment from the administration to accelerate the process. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told an audience of investors in New York last week that "by the end of this year, the core elements of the Dodd-Frank Act will be substantially in place." A top priority, he said, is to complete the long-delayed Volcker Rule, a controversial provision that would ban federally insured banks from proprietary trading: using their own capital to make trades. Read more.

ANALYSIS OF DETROIT'S CHAPTER 9 FILING

BAD REAL ESTATE DEALS RETURN TO HAUNT DETROIT'S PENSIONS

A litany of real estate deals gone wrong is showing how Detroit's retirement system for 30,000 employees and retirees -- propped up by $1.4 billion in borrowed money -- became a cash cow for a select few, Bloomberg News reported today. Now, these bad investments are coming back to haunt workers and pensioners as Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr proposed slashing their benefits in the city's chapter 9 filing last week, the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Orr wants to restructure $18 billion in debt and long-term obligations and is asking some creditors to accept less than 20 cents on the dollar. Detroit's pensions are underfunded by as much as $3.5 billion in part because of unrealistic assumptions of 8 percent annual investment returns, Orr has said. The pensions say that the gap between assets and obligations to retirees is $700 million, according to a June 20 statement. "Detroit has been working its way to a level of insolvency for decades," Orr said at a news briefing after the bankruptcy filing. The city was "continuing to borrow, continuing to defer pension payments, continuing not to pay its bills on time, continuing a deepening insolvency." On July 19, a Michigan state court judge ruled that Detroit's chapter 9 filing violated the state's constitution by impairing pension benefits. Michigan's attorney general has appealed. Bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes in Detroit set a hearing for tomorrow to consider giving the city protection from lawsuits. Though authorities have investigated past investments authorized by the two pension boards, personnel changes have occurred on both with changes in city administrations. The present general retirement system trustees are acting responsibly, said the board's legal counsel, Michael VanOverbeke. In June, Orr ordered city investigators to review pension investments, as well as operations and other aspects of employee-benefit programs. Read more.

ABI will be holding a media teleconference tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. ET to examine Detroit's chapter 9 filing and what lies ahead. There are a limited number of spaces available to listen to the live program. If you would like to listen, please contact ABI Public Affairs Manager John Hartgen at [email protected]

ANALYSIS: DETROIT'S BANKRUPTCY REVEALS DYSFUNCTION COMMON IN CITIES

The financial pressures that pushed Detroit into becoming the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history are also playing out on a smaller scale in cities around the nation, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Diminished tax revenue and rising labor costs have left four cities insolvent since 2007. "None of the other cities are as far along, but there are dozens, if not hundreds of cities that have similar issues," said Alan Mallach, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "Every other industrial city has problems that could send them down the same path." U.S. municipalities have recovered slowly from the 18-month recession that ended four years ago, which depressed property-tax revenue and led to investment losses for pensions that many cities haven't fully funded for years. Projected pension and health care obligations for the 61 biggest cities will top assets by about $217 billion, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a Philadelphia-based research and public-policy group. Read more.

For an analysis of the situation in Detroit, municipal distress and chapter 9 bankruptcy, be sure to pick up a copy of ABI's Municipalities in Peril: The ABI Guide to Chapter 9, Second Edition, from the ABI Bookstore.

COMMENTARY: GETTING DETROIT BACK ON ITS FEET

There is no doubt that Detroit's bankruptcy proceedings will be very painful for Detroit's population of 700,000, but the bankruptcy case might also allow the city to be relieved of paying back its bondholders and banks much of the estimated $9 billion they lent to Detroit on overly rosy assumptions, according to an editorial in today's New York Times. This group of lenders and investors will, of course, push the city and state to also force concessions on city workers and retirees, whose pension funds are underfinanced by about $3.5 billion. But city officials should resist the idea of cutting the pension payments for the city's public workers, which average $19,000 a year. Unlike the situation in other troubled cities where government officials made lavish pension promises and workers gamed the system to inflate their benefits, Detroit's pension problems are quite modest. Moreover, city employees have already had their pay and benefits reduced significantly in recent years. Slashing the meager fixed incomes of retirees will also hurt the city's weak economy because they are more likely to spend most of the money they receive in local businesses. Labor unions also argue that Michigan's Constitution protects their pensions from cuts, which will set up a potentially long legal battle that the city can ill afford. Read the full editorial.

DID YOU MISS MONDAY'S abiLIVE WEBINAR DISCUSSING § 1111(b) ELECTION, PLAN FEASIBILITY AND CRAMDOWN ISSUES? RECORDING IS NOW AVAILABLE!

If you were not able to join Monday's well-attended abiLIVE webinar examining § 1111(b), a recording of the program is now available for downloading! Utilizing a case study, ABI's panel of experts explored the issues surrounding a lender's decision on whether or not to make an election under § 1111(b), plan feasibility and voting. The abiLIVE panel also walked attendees through the necessary mathematical analyses used to examine these issues. The 90-minute recording is available for the special price of $75 and can be purchased here.

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

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

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; NEXT STOP IS THE MID-ATLANTIC BANKRUPTCY WORKSHOP IN AUGUST

The 5th stop for the ABI Golf Tour is the Hershey Country Club, in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup — sponsored by Great American Group — is based on your top three scores at seven scheduled ABI events, so play as many as you can before the tour wraps up at the Winter Leadership Conference in December. See the Tour page for details and course descriptions. The ABI Golf Tour combines networking with fun competition, as golfers "play their own ball." Including your handicap means everyone has an equal chance to compete for the glory of being crowned ABI's top golfer of 2013! A 22-handicapper won the tour event last week at Amelia Island, Fla. There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour.

ABI IN-DEPTH

NORTON JUDICIAL EXCELLENCE AWARD NOMINATIONS OPEN UNTIL JULY 29

Nominations are now open for the 8th Annual Judge William L. Norton Judicial Excellence Award, to be presented during the ABI luncheon at the annual meeting of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges on Nov. 1, 2013. The award is presented by ABI and Thomson Reuters each year to the current or retired bankruptcy judge whose career embodies the same continued dedication and outstanding contributions to the insolvency community as the award’s namesake, Judge Norton. Nominations are considered by a committee made up of representatives from the Norton treatise and past ABI presidents. Nomination forms, which must be submitted by July 29, are available from Clay Mattson at Thomson Reuters ([email protected]).

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

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

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

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

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: ISAACSON V. MANTY (IN RE ISAACSON; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Bryan Robinson of the Law Offices of Bryan Robinson

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld the district court's affirmation of the bankruptcy courts imposition of sanctions against the plaintiff (Isaacson) for making factually unsupported, inflammatory and harassing statements against the bankruptcy judge, the bankruptcy trustee, the bankruptcy court and the U.S. Trustee's Office, according to documents filed with the court.

There are more than 900 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: FURTHER EXAMINATION OF DETROIT'S CHAPTER 9 FILING

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post takes a closer look at the issues surrounding Detroit's chapter 9 filing.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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2013

August
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    August 8-10, 2013 | Hershey, Pa.
- abiLIVE Webinar: How Will the New U.S. Trustee Fee Guidelines Impact You?
     August 20, 2013
- Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
    August 22-24, 2013 | Incline Village, Nev.

September
- ABI Endowment Golf & Tennis Outing
    Sept. 10, 2013 | Maplewood, N.J.
- ABI Endowment Baseball Game
    Sept. 12, 2013 | Baltimore, Md.
- Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
    Sept. 18-19, 2013 | New York
- abiLIVE Webinar: Complex Requirements and Ethical Duties of Representing Consumer Debtors
     Sept. 24, 2013
- Bankruptcy 2013: Views from the Bench
    Sept. 27, 2013 | Washington, D.C.

 

  

 

October
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program and Midwestern Consumer Forum
    Oct. 4, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.
- ABI Endowment Football Game
    Oct. 6, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- Professional Development Program
    Oct. 11, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Oct. 14, 2013 | Chicago, Ill.
- International Insolvency Symposium
    Oct. 25, 2013 | Berlin, Germany

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

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

 

 
 
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Analysis Undue Hardship Provision Proves Tough Barrier to Shedding Student Debt in Bankruptcy

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 4, 2012
 
  

September 4, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: "UNDUE HARDSHIP" PROVISION PROVES TOUGH BARRIER TO SHEDDING STUDENT DEBT IN BANKRUPTCY

Federal bankruptcy law requires debtors who wish to erase student debt to prove that repaying it will cause an "undue hardship." One component of that test is often convincing a federal judge that there is a "certainty of hopelessness" to their financial lives for much of the repayment period, according to a New York Times analysis on Friday. No reliable statistics are kept to track how many people bring undue-hardship cases each year, but it appears to be under 1,000, far less than the number of people failing to make their student loan payments. In its most recent snapshot of student loan defaults, the Department of Education reported that among the more than 3.6 million borrowers who entered repayment from Oct. 1, 2008, to Sept. 30, 2009, more than 320,000 had fallen behind in their payments by 360 days or more by the end of September 2010. About 10.3 million students and their parents borrowed money under the federal student loan program during the 2010-11 school year. One reason so few people try to discharge their student debt may be that such cases require an expensive, separate legal process from the bankruptcy proceeding. Nor is the process quick, since the lender or the federal government often appeals when it loses. Read more.

SHORT SALES WILL SOON BECOME AN OPTION FOR MANY MORE UNDERWATER BORROWERS

Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's new short-sale reform policies could be a big help for homeowners with underwater mortgages who are facing financial distress, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. Starting on Nov. 1, owners whose loans have been purchased or guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie may qualify for a short sale if they fit key hardship criteria, including unemployment; divorce; long-term disability; a change in job location that is more than 50 miles from the current home; a business failure; death of the primary or secondary wage earner; or a natural or man-made disaster. In what could be a far-reaching change, Fannie and Freddie will allow borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments — not seriously delinquent, as traditionally has been required — to qualify for short sales, provided they fit the hardship criteria. Borrowers who are considered "most in need" will be eligible for streamlined processing of short sales, involving reduced documentation and much speedier resolutions than usual. Read more.

CHAPTER 9 SAVES RHODE ISLAND CITY, BUT LEAVES SCARS

Central Falls, R.I., is close to emerging from bankruptcy with a plan that hammers its retired municipal employees but leaves bondholders unscathed, in a contrast with other recent U.S. municipal bankruptcies, Reuters reported yesterday. On Thursday, a state-appointed receiver overseeing the finances of the small city is expected to win court approval for a plan that rescues Central Falls from financial collapse and should balance its budget for at least the next five years. The smallest city in Rhode Island and the only one in the state to file for bankruptcy will emerge with powerless elected officials, property owners facing tax hikes every year and retired public employees irate about having their pensions slashed. In the spring of 2010, Central Falls was facing insolvency due to steep cuts in state aid, revenue shortfalls and an unfunded liability of about $80 million for pension and retiree health benefits. The city had revenue collections of about $16 million, but its expenses topped $21 million. Mayor Charles Moreau started cutting the city's workforce after asking for a judicial receiver in May 2010. City employees now total 116, down from 174. The city's 133 retirees had their pensions cut by up to 55 percent, with pensioners now getting an average of $16,626 a year. The state allocated $2.6 million to soften the blow for the next five years. Read more.

AUTO LENDERS STEP UP LENDING TO SUBPRIME BORROWERS

A new study by Experian's auto finance research unit showed that U.S. lenders are giving as large a portion of new car loans to subprime borrowers as they did just before the start of the financial crisis, Reuters reported today. Subprime, or less-qualified, borrowers received 25.41 percent of all loans on new vehicles in the three months through the end of June, up from 22.29 percent in the same period a year ago and more than the 24.96 percent at the start of the financial crisis in 2007, according to Experian. The report also found lenders more aggressively making loans to subprime borrowers of used cars. Subprime borrowers received 56.46 percent of loans on used cars in the quarter, up from 52.70 percent a year earlier. Read more.

COMMENTARY: BREAKING UP BANKS IS HARD WITH TRADERS HOOKED ON DEPOSITS

Shareholders of Wall Street banks who agree with former Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sanford “Sandy” Weill that the companies should be broken up face an obstacle: bondholders, according to a Bloomberg News commentary today. That is because trading on Wall Street relies on borrowed money/leverage, according to the commentary, that can be obtained cheaply as long as the traders belong to a conglomerate, such as Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. or Citigroup, that gets federally insured deposits. Jefferies Group Inc., a securities firm that is not part of a bank and cannot turn to the Federal Reserve for help, is currently charged more to borrow in the credit markets than banks are. "If you divorce them from the mother ship, you'd also be divorcing them from the government at the same time, and that's where the subsidy is," said Cornelius Hurley, director of the Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law at Boston University. "The funding advantage is the key." With stock prices at or below liquidation value, Wall Street's biggest banks are fending off calls to break up from stockholders, analysts and industry veterans including Weill. The firms are too complex to manage, over-burdened by regulation, and a risk to taxpayers, their critics say. Read the full commentary.

LATEST ABI PODCAST FEATURES EXPERTS DISCUSSING OIL AND GAS BANKRUPTCIES

The latest podcast features ABI Deputy Executive Director Amy Quackenboss speaking with Deborah D. Williamson and Meghan E. Bishop of Cox Smith Matthews Inc. (San Antonio), authors of When Gushers Go Dry: The Essentials of Oil & Gas Bankruptcy, the newest publication in ABI’s Bookstore. Williamson and Bishop discuss how the U.S. oil and gas industry, perhaps more than any other industry, is vulnerable to the effects of myriad internal and external factors, ranging from global credit markets to domestic and foreign geopolitical events, and from technological developments and limitations to population growth and even the weather. There have been 62 oil and gas company bankruptcy filings since 2008, according to BankruptcyData.com, representing a 170 percent increase from the 23 filings between 2002-07. Click here to listen to the podcast.

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: ESTERLING V. COLLECTO, INC. (2D CIR.)

Summarized by Wayne Greenwald of Wayne Greenwald, PC

The Second Circuit reversed the bankruptcy court's decision by saying that the defendant violated the FDCPA's proscription against “false, misleading, or deceptive” debt collection practices by sending the plaintiff, a former debtor, a collection letter incorrectly stating that her student loans were "ineligible for bankruptcy discharge" and therefore her account "must be resolved." Although the plaintiff may face significant hurdles to discharging her student loans, the least-sophisticated consumer would interpret the notice as representing, incorrectly, that discharge of the loans was wholly unavailable.

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: TAX COURT RULES ON POST-PETITION AND POST-CONFIRMATION INTEREST ON TAX CLAIMS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. Following up on a previous entry, a new blog post today discusses the case of Everett Associates v. Commissioner and the tax court’s rulings on (i) postconfirmation interest on unsecured priority tax claims, (ii) whether the IRS may assess tax penalties during the pendency of a debtor’s bankruptcy case, and (iii) the dischargeability of tax penalties.

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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  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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Obama to Push Congress on Mortgage Relief

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | August 21, 2012
 
  

August 21, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

OBAMA TO PUSH CONGRESS ON MORTGAGE RELIEF

President Obama yesterday called on Congress to act on home mortgage relief when it returns for a brief legislative session in September, The Hill reported today. The housing market is widely believed to be the most significant drag on the economy, and Obama was under fire in a recent New York Times front-page story for the inability of his administration to address the burden of homeowner debt. "We are going to be pushing Congress to see if it can pass a refinancing bill that puts $3,000 in the pocket of the average family that has not yet refinanced their mortgage," he said. The White House is supporting a trio of Senate Democratic bills that streamline refinancing:

• Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in May introduced the “Responsible Homeowners Refinancing Act of 2012.” The bill would streamline refinancing for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers by eliminating upfront fees and appraisal costs, among other changes.

• Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has a bill called the “Rebuilding Equity Act” for loans of 20 years or less. It would require Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to pay all closing costs.

• Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has a bill to aid underwater homeowners by allowing them to receive Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance.

While significant, the White House-backed legislation falls short of the extensive housing action urged by some. Liberal groups and unions want Obama to replace Edward DeMarco — acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — to force the agency to approve principal mortgage reductions. Others want legislation to allow bankruptcy judges to approve principal reductions in chapter 13. Read more.

CASE AGAINST FORMER FREDDIE MAC EXECUTIVES HINGES ON DEFINITION OF "SUBPRIME"

Figuring out the definition of a "subprime mortgage" by a U.S. judge could determine whether three former Freddie Mac executives misled investors about loans backed by the mortgage giant before it sank, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Lawyers for the former executives, including Chief Executive Richard Syron, sparred at a hearing with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the definition of "subprime" and "subprime-like." The fight came as lawyers for the former Freddie Mac executives urged U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan to throw out an eight-month-old fraud lawsuit by the SEC alleging that the former executives made "materially false and misleading public disclosures" about the company's housing-market exposure in 2007 and 2008. Lawyers for Syron, Patricia Cook, a former Freddie Mac executive vice president, and Donald Bisenius, a former senior vice president, asked the judge to dismiss the suit because Freddie Mac told investors it did not classify single-family loans using the words "prime" or "subprime." Instead, Freddie Mac provided investors with tables outlining the characteristics of loans, allowing investors to draw their own inferences about loan quality, the lawyers said. The lawyers cited an investor document that said the amount of loans that would have been subprime if the term that Freddie Mac used was "not significant." Suzanne Romajas, a lawyer for the SEC, agreed that there is no universally accepted definition of "subprime," but she said Freddie Mac used a combination of factors to decide whether a certain loan was high-risk, and the former executives should have disclosed all of the mortgages that were vulnerable to potential default. For example, including mortgages with "subprime-like" characteristics would have increased Freddie Mac's overall high-risk loan exposure to 10 percent of its portfolio, not the 0.1 percent claimed by the company, she added. Read more. (Subscription required.)

SUPREME COURT CASE COULD CURB DEBT-COLLECTION LAWSUITS

Fearing that the legal playing field could be tilted against consumers, a group of federal and private consumer agencies have filed briefs in a U.S. Supreme Court case that threatens to shift the cost of a lawsuit to consumers in debt-collection cases, CreditCards.com reported today. In the past, collectors have absorbed court costs in "good faith" suits by consumers, even if the consumer loses, unless the consumers sued in bad faith or for purposes of harassment. Without this protection from fee shifting, people would be discouraged from suing debt collectors, say the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Board and a group of private consumer advocacy groups in legal briefs filed this month. There has been a surge in the number of cases filed against debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the 1977 federal law that regulates the activities of third-party debt collectors. The case that made it to the Supreme Court, though, could discourage such suits, the agencies say. The case, known as Marx v. General Revenue Corp., revolves around the experience of Olivea Marx, a Colorado woman who racked up student debt and failed to pay it, then was contacted by a debt collector. Marx, a single mother with two young children and a low-paying job, claimed that the collector's vigor went beyond the limits of the law. The collector called her several times a day, she said, and illegally threatened to garnish half her wages and sent a collection-related fax to her employer. She sued, but the lower court disagreed, finding that the debt collector's contact with the woman's employer did not violate the law because it did not specifically mention her debt. The court ordered her to pay $4,543 in costs -- nearly all of which compensated the debt collector for hiring a court reporter and bringing in witnesses. Read more.

TRANSUNION: U.S. AUTO LOAN DELINQUENCY RATE IN SECOND QUARTER AT LOWEST LEVEL

Credit-information company TransUnion Corp. said that the national delinquency rate of auto loans in the U.S. hit its lowest level for the second consecutive quarter since the firm began tracking the data in 1999, Dow Jones Newswires reported today. Auto loan delinquency rates in the second quarter dropped to 0.33 percent, down from 0.36 percent in the first quarter and 0.44 percent in the period a year ago. In addition to increased demand in new and used autos, bank auto debt per borrower rose to $13,427 in the second quarter from $12,689 in the previous year. TransUnion said that despite growing bank auto debt, the majority of states and cities are experiencing declines in their auto loan delinquency rates. Read more.

REGIONAL AIRLINES FACE CLOSINGS, BANKRUPTCY

Regional airlines operate half the nation's scheduled flights, but several of those carriers are being closed or are in bankruptcy court protection, USA Today reported today. They face significant challenges, as the big airlines they often fly for are phasing out smaller and costlier regional jets and cutting some low-traffic regional routes to focus on those that are more lucrative. Delta, the largest operator of 50-seat aircraft among U.S. airlines, will shutter regional carrier Comair after Sept. 29. Pinnacle Airlines, with subsidiaries such as Colgan that have flown for United, US Airways and Delta, filed for bankruptcy protection in April. AMR, the parent company of American Airlines and regional carrier American Eagle, filed for bankruptcy protection in November. "Airlines are finding these smaller jets just don't make them any money," says industry analyst Mike Boyd. "That's why they're shutting down Comair. That's why Pinnacle is in bankruptcy. It's a sector of (the) industry that provides a type of aircraft that's rapidly becoming obsolete." Read more.

ORCHESTRAS FIGHT HARD TIMES THROUGH BANKRUPTCY SEEKING NEW MODEL

Orchestras across the country continue to struggle financially, and some are following the lead of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Bloomberg News reported today. The Philadelphia Orchestra was the biggest among at least five U.S. symphonies to seek court protection in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse. Others include music organizations in Louisville, Ky., Syracuse, N.Y., Albuquerque, N.M., and Honolulu. Though subject to the same harsh realities of bankruptcy as corporations, the recent reorganization in Philadelphia -- and the decreased debt and expenses the group emerged with -- may serve as a model for other symphonies struggling with fewer donors and lower ticket sales. With its turnaround plan approved, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association exited court protection on July 30 after 15 months, having resolved $100 million in claims with a $5.5 million settlement, shrinking its payroll and winning a release from its pension obligations. Read more.

Click here to listen to an ABI podcast that focuses on orchestra bankruptcies.

DON'T MISS THE "WHEN IS AN INDIVIDUAL CHAPTER 11 THE BEST FIT?" WEBINAR ON SEPT. 27!

Chapter 11 can offer significant relief for certain individuals who need a restructuring of their finances. Learn when and how to use this tool in a 75-minute live webinar on Sept. 27 at noon ET. An expert panel will guide you through a successful individual chapter 11 and discuss key issues such as plan confirmation, modification and treatment of future income and secured debt.

Panelists on the webinar include:

James F. Molleur of the Molleur Law Office (Biddeford, Maine)

John P. Fitzgerald, III, of the Office of the U.S. Trustee (Boston)

Raymond J. Obuchowski of Obuchowski & Emens-Butler, PC (Bethel, Vt.)

Jennifer Rood of Bernstein Shur (Manchester, N.H.)

This panel was the highest rated at ABI's Northeast Bankruptcy Conference in July. The webinar is available to ABI members for $75. To register, please click here.

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: NUVEEN MUNICIPAL TRUST V. WITHUMSMITH BROWN, P.C. (3D CIR.)

Summarized by Matthew Heimann of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, PC

Affirming the district court, the Third Circuit held that the district court did have "related to" jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1334(b) to adjudicate Appellant's action against the debtor’s accounting firm and counsel regarding an audit report and opinion letter that was prepared for the pre-petition transaction. The Third Circuit enunciated the principles of "related to" jurisdiction and its "conceivability" inquiry that applies to such analyses.

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: FURTHER EXAMINATION OF THE FIFTH CIRCUIT’S RULING IN THE PILGRIM’S PRIDE CASE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines the Fifth Circuit's ruling in the Pilgrim's Pride case. The court ruled in the case that a $1 million “enhancement fee" is OK after the company's reorganization plan paid a 100 percent dividend to unsecured creditors.

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 Twombly/Iqbal rule for pleading ‘plausible’ claims has been applied too stringently in dismissing avoidance actions for failure to state a claim.

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
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  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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Report Big Banks Engaging in Payday Lending

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 21 2013
 
  

March 21, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

REPORT: BIG BANKS ENGAGING IN PAYDAY LENDING

A new report from the Center for Responsible Lending found that some of the nation's largest banks are providing short-term loans with interest rates of up to 300 percent, driving borrowers into a cycle of debt, the Washington Post reported today. The study that was released today gives an updated look at the perils of advance-deposit loans offered by Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, Regions Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Guaranty Bank and Bank of Oklahoma. Researchers looked at a sample of 66 direct-deposit advances over a 12-month period. Critics say that the structure of advance-deposit loans promotes a cycle of debt. Account holders typically pay up to $10 for every $100 borrowed, with the understanding that the loan will be repaid with their next direct deposit. If the deposited funds are not enough to cover the loan, the bank takes whatever money comes in, triggering overdraft fees and additional interest. Banks contend that they are offering a vital service to customers at more reasonable price points than storefront lenders, who often charge twice as much as banks. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has supervisory and enforcement authority for storefront and bank payday lenders with more than $10 billion in assets. The bureau issued a request for comment last year to gauge consumer and industry concerns. Read more.

In related news, a New York Times editorial today found that even though JPMorgan Chase has instituted new policies intended to shield customers from predatory lenders, which can charge up to 500 percent in interest, banks should be doing more to protect their customers. State and federal banking officials also need to expedite their investigations into the relationship between banks and predatory lenders, according to the editorial, with the aim of developing industrywide regulations that protect the public. New rules that go into effect at JPMorgan in May will limit the overdraft fees charged to customers in situations where the lender tries to collect a payment multiple times. Banks could adopt common practices that would allow customers to close their accounts at any time and deny lenders access to automatic payments in states where predatory loans are illegal. Read more.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PROBING BANKS' ROLE IN FRAUD BY CUSTOMERS

The U.S. Justice Department is examining the role financial institutions play in fraud schemes perpetrated by bank customers offering deceptive products, Reuters reported yesterday. Attorneys and investigators in the DOJ's Civil Division are examining banks' possible role in assisting scammers who offer questionable payday loans, false offers of debt relief, fraudulent health care discount cards and phony government grants, according to Michael Bresnick, who heads the department's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. That task force has been focused on pursuing the type of misconduct that fueled the financial crisis, but the new priorities suggest that investigators are looking beyond those cases into other types of financial misconduct that extends to different industries, from payday lending to auto loans. Read more.

WITH FREDDIE MAC SUIT, BANKS FACE BILLIONS MORE IN LIBOR CLAIMS

The fallout from the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor) has already cost banks $2.5 billion in penalties, but that sum pales in comparison to payouts that will come from private lawsuits, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. Any finding of liability could be compounded because of the potential for any award to be tripled under the antitrust laws. The latest salvo comes from mortgage finance company Freddie Mac, which has filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court in Alexandria, Va. It asserts that the company was harmed by collusive activity among the banks that lowered the benchmark interest rate. And where Freddie Mac goes, Fannie Mae, its larger sibling, usually follows, so we can expect it to file a suit seeking damages from Libor manipulation. The three regulatory settlements to date – with Barclays, UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland — provide much of the evidence Freddie Mac relies on in its complaint. Among the documents now public is a litany of e-mails demonstrating just how the banks worked to lower their Libor submissions to benefit their trading positions and make themselves appear stronger during the height of the financial crisis. Read more.

COMMENTARY: THE PROBLEM WITH "TOO BIG TO FAIL" BANKS

The real issue with "too big to fail" financial institutions resides in the government-provided incentives for banks to get inefficiently big in the first place, according to a commentary in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. In the absence of such incentives, according to the commentary, the risk-averse funding on which banks thrive would not be available to allow banks to create sprawling credit portfolios impossible for regulators or investors in the marketplace to assess. Modern governments, as long as they are assuming the risks of the financial system, find it convenient to have those risks concentrated in a few very large, very handy institutions. A lean solution would be to require banks to hold Treasury paper against their insured deposits, according to the commentary. Those experts who prefer solutions like higher capital requirements maintain that the business of banks would survive, forcing banks to rely more on equity than debt to finance their activities. If so, then experts should also consider that equity markets might erect new business models to finance small businesses and credit-worthy consumers if government-insured deposits were no longer available at all to underwrite such risks. Read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: SYNTHETIC CDOs MAKING COMEBACK

Derivatives that pool credit-default swaps to make magnified bets on corporate debt, popularized in the last credit bubble, are making a comeback as investors search farther afield for alternatives to bonds at record-low yields, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Citigroup Inc. is among several banks that have sold as much as $1 billion of synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) this year, following $2 billion in all of 2012, according to estimates from the New York-based lender. Trading in tranches of indexes that use a similar strategy to juice yields rose 61 percent in the past month. Synthetic credit, which amplified the financial crisis five years ago, is enticing investors after corporate-bond yields dropped to less than half the 20-year average. Read more.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES EFFECTIVENESS OF CURRENT FINANCIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

The latest ABI podcast features ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Scott Pryor speaking with Prof. Lauren Willis of Loyola Law School talking about the effectiveness of current financial education programs. Willis discusses the strengths and weaknesses of current financial education programs and what improvements can be made going forward. Click here to listen to the podcast.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: WHY IS KODAK'S STOCK SOARING?

Despite Eastman Kodak Co. stock shooting up dramatically in a week's time, investors might not have the same long-term profitable outcome that owners of American Airlines shares enjoyed, as Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle discuss on their new video. Click here to watch the video.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make sure to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

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

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

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: STAKER V. JUBBER (IN RE STAKER; 10TH CIR.)

Summarized by Geoffrey Miller from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona

Dismissing the appeals of the bankruptcy court's orders remanding two quiet title actions to state court, the Tenth Circuit BAP held that the appeals were moot and that the debtors lacked the requisite standing to appeal the bankruptcy court's orders.

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: EXAMINATION OF PENSION AND OPEB LIABILITIES FACING MUNICIPALITIES

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines two of the largest issues facing municipalities today: underfunded pensions and unfunded "other" post-employment obligations (OPEB).

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

ABI Quick Poll

Who will win the NCAA basketball tournament?

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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TOMORROW:

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

 

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

2013

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

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


  

 

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

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

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


 
 
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Senate Deadlocks on Student Loans

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | June 6 2013
 
  

June 6, 2013

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

SENATE DEADLOCKS ON STUDENT LOANS

In what is becoming an annual June ritual, the Senate deadlocked today over federal student loan interest rates, with no consensus in sight on how to prevent rates on certain loans from doubling for about 7 million borrowers on July 1, the Washington Post reported today. Amid a swirl of competing proposals from lawmakers and the White House, preliminary votes showed that no Senate bills have the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the Democratic-led chamber. A Republican bill to peg rates on a variety of loans to the yield on the government’s 10-year Treasury bill, plus 3 percentage points, was blocked today on a 40 to 57 vote. A Democratic bill to freeze for two years the current 3.4 percent rate for subsidized loans to students in financial need also was thwarted. A procedural vote on the bill was 51 to 46, nine short of the 60 needed. The votes were largely symbolic measures expected to fail short of an agreement. Read more.

SEC PROPOSES CHANGES TO MONEY-MARKET FUND RULES

The portion of the money-market fund industry that suffered extreme disruptions during the financial crisis would be revamped under a plan proposed yesterday by federal regulators, who have been struggling to address the industry’s vulnerabilities for years, the Washington Post reported today. The nearly $3 trillion industry has fiercely opposed major changes to money-market funds, but regulators have persisted, citing the losses and panic they sparked during the crisis. These mutual funds have been popular with investors because they have been perceived to be as reliable as savings accounts. But that perception was shattered in September 2008, when a major money-market fund “broke the buck,” meaning its value fell below $1 a share. A run on money-market funds ensued, with investors withdrawing $300 billion in a week. The government intervened and temporarily guaranteed that investors would be repaid. The SEC said that its plan is designed to avoid a repeat of the meltdown. The agency offered two alternatives focused solely on “prime” funds, which invest in short-term corporate debt. The options could be adopted separately or in combination, depending on the public feedback the SEC receives during the next three months. A plan could be finalized this year, experts tracking the issue said. Read more.

INVESTORS RETURN TO RISKY "SYNTHETIC CDOS"

Investors are once again clamoring for a risky investment blamed for helping unleash the financial crisis: synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), the Wall Street Journal reported today. In a sign of how hard Wall Street is trying to satisfy voracious demand for higher returns amid rock-bottom interest rates, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley bankers in London are moving to assemble the synthetic CDOs. Basic CDOs pool bonds and offer investors a slice of the pool. Synthetic CDOs pool insurance-like derivative contracts on the bonds, rather than the bonds themselves. Like their crisis-era predecessors, the new CDOs would be sliced up into different levels of risk and returns. Investors who want a chance at the highest returns would have to buy the riskiest slice. While spreading risk in some ways, synthetic CDOs also can multiply the financial damage if companies fall behind on their debt payments. During the financial crisis, CDOs pegged to soured mortgage loans caused losses to careen around the world. Some details of the deals being worked on at J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley aren't clear, including the size of the CDOs and which investment firms have expressed an interest in buying slices of them. Read more. (Subscription required.)

REGULATORS INVESTIGATING "DARK POOL" STOCK TRADING

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra), Wall Street's self-regulatory body, last month sent 15 examination letters to operators of "dark pools"—lightly regulated, off-exchange trading venues that have been a rising concern for regulators and some investors as more activity shifts away from exchanges, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Finra is seeking details about how the increasingly popular venues operate, what they disclose to clients and whether they adequately police trades. It could bring enforcement actions against dark-pool operators or issue recommendations for tighter oversight, depending on the answers it receives and additional examinations, said John Malitzis, executive vice president of market regulation at Finra. The letters are a follow-up to an initial round of questions the regulator circulated last fall. "We want to understand whether [dark pools] are disclosing to their customers how their orders work [and] whether customers are informed who their orders will interact with," Malitzis said in an interview. "A big part of this is to get an understanding of practices that may or may not be problematic." Read more. (Subscription required.)

U.S. HOUSEHOLD WORTH TOPS PRE-RECESSION PEAK FOR FIRST TIME

Household wealth in the U.S. jumped to a record in the first quarter, exceeding its pre-recession peak for the first time, bolstered by gains in the stock and housing markets that are helping Americans mend finances, Bloomberg News reported today. Net worth for households and nonprofit groups increased by $3 trillion from January through March, or 4.5 percent from the previous three months, to $70.3 trillion, the Federal Reserve said today in its financial accounts report, previously known as the flow-of-funds survey. Household wealth eclipsed its pre-recession level as gains in the stock and housing markets are helping Americans withstand an increase in the payroll tax this year. Household net worth is $2.29 trillion above its pre-recession peak of $68.1 trillion reached in the third quarter of 2007. It was at $67.3 trillion in the last three months of 2012. Read more.

REPORT: ENTITLEMENT CHANGES TO PUT SENIORS AT FINANCIAL RISK

The Economic Policy Institute reported that nearly half of the nation’s elderly population is “economically vulnerable” and would be particularly hard hit by even modest changes in the Social Security and Medicare programs being considered to slow the growth of the nation’s long-term debt, the Washington Post reported today. The report said that 48 percent of the elderly population earns less than double the supplemental poverty threshold, putting those seniors at financial risk if their income is cut even slightly. Older blacks and Hispanics are especially vulnerable, the report said, as the vast majority of them live on the financial edge. Read more.

LIVE WEBCAST AVAILABLE FOR ABI'S CHAPTER 11 REFORM COMMISSION HEARING TOMORROW LOOKING AT USE OF EXAMINERS, LABOR ISSUES AND PROBLEMS IN RESTRUCTURING TODAY'S COMPANIES

ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 will hold its seventh public hearing of 2013 on Friday from 3-5 p.m. CT (4-6 p.m. ET) at the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors (AIRA) 29th Annual Bankruptcy Restructuring Conference at the Westin Chicago River North; Chicago, Ill. The hearing will feature witness testimony from two leading scholars on the use of examiners in bankruptcy and labor issues including § 1113 and 1114. A panel of experts from the AIRA will also identify current problems faced by financial advisors. To view the witness list and watch a live webcast of the hearing tomorrow, please visit http://commission.abi.org.

ABI WEBSITE (ABI.ORG) WILL BE DOWN THIS WEEKEND FOR SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE

From 10 p.m. ET on Friday, June 7, through Sunday evening, June 9, the ABI homepage (abi.org) will be down for scheduled maintenance. During this period, members will not be able to access certain features, including registering for conferences, printing and viewing CLE certificates, and purchasing publications. Other ABI sites, like Search.abi.org, Volo.abi.org, Journal.abi.org, law.abi.org, blogs.abi.org and news.abi.org, will be operational during this time, but users may experience limited functionality. ABI intends to limit this downtime as much as possible. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

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

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

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; NEXT STOP IS CENTRAL STATES BANKRUPTCY WORKSHOP NEXT WEEK

Rob Schwartz and Scott Gautier are tied at 34 Stableford Points atop the closely bunched leaderboard after the ABI Golf Tour's first stop at Lake Presidential Golf Club. Next up for the Tour is the famed Bear course at the Grand Traverse Resort at the Central States Bankruptcy Workshop on June 14. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup—sponsored by Great American Group—is based on your top three scores at seven scheduled ABI events, so play as many as you can before the tour wraps up at the Winter Leadership Conference in December. See the Tour page for details and course descriptions. The ABI Golf Tour combines networking with fun competition, as golfers "play their own ball." Including your handicap means everyone has an equal chance to compete for the glory of being crowned ABI's top golfer of 2013! There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour, and women are most welcome.

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: STEINBERG V. BANK OF AMERICA N.A. (IN RE STEINBERG; 10TH CIR.)

Summarized by Andrew Johnson of Onsager, Staelin & Guyerson

The Tenth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel reversed the bankruptcy court's order granting relief from stay to Bank of America to foreclose on the debtor's house because the bankruptcy court failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing on whether Bank of America was in possession of the note secured by debtor's residence, or if Bank of America had some other legal basis to enforce the note. The court rejected Bank of America's argument that a debtor's failure to schedule a debt as disputed estops the debtor from challenging relief from stay.

There are more than 900 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: FURTHER EXAMINATION OF GE AND CITI'S SETTLEMENTS WITH FHFA

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new blog post takes a closer look at the reason behind GE and Citi's recent settlements with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

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

ABI Quick Poll

Bankruptcy courts should 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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CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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Golf Tournament 2013
June 14, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
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July 11-14, 2013
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abiLIVEJuly
July 15, 2013
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July 18-21, 2013
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Aug. 8-10, 2013
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Sept. 10, 2013
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Sept. 12, 2013
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Sept. 27, 2013
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Endowment Football 2013
Oct. 6, 2013
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Detroit
Oct. 14, 2013
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Detroit
Nov. 11, 2013
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40-Hour Mediation Program
Dec. 8-12, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

June
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 13-16, 2013 | Grand Traverse, Mich.
- INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar
     June 13, 2013 | São Paulo, Brazil
- Charity Golf Tournament
     June 14, 2013 | City of Industry, Calif.

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

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

September
- ABI Endowment Golf & Tennis Outing
    Sept. 10, 2013 | Maplewood, N.J.


  



- ABI Endowment Baseball Game
    Sept. 12, 2013 | Baltimore, Md.
- Bankruptcy 2013: Views from the Bench
    Sept. 27, 2013 | Washington, D.C.

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

November
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
   Nov. 11, 2013 | Detroit, Mich.

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


 
 
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Filings Fall 14 Percent for the First Half of 2012 Commercial Filings Drop 22 Percent

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | July 5, 2012
 
  

July 5, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS FALL 14 PERCENT FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2012, COMMERCIAL FILINGS DROP 22 PERCENT

Total bankruptcy filings totaled 632,130 nationwide during the first six months of 2012 (Jan. 1-June 30), a 14 percent decrease from the 731,500 total filings during the same period a year ago, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 601,184 total noncommercial filings for the first half of 2012 represented a 13 percent drop from the noncommercial filing total of 691,902 for the first half of 2011. Total commercial filings during the first six months of the year were 30,946, representing a 22 percent decrease from the 39,598 filings during the same period in 2011. Chapter 11 filings also fell during the first half of 2012 as the 5,313 filings represented a 12 percent decrease from the 6,070 chapter 11 filings during the first six months of 2011.

“We are on pace for perhaps the lowest total new bankruptcies since before the financial crisis in 2008,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “With sustained low interest rates and weak consumer spending, we expect bankruptcies to stay at relatively low levels through the end of 2012.”

The 99,057 total bankruptcy filings for the month of June represented an 18 percent decrease compared to the 120,698 filings in June 2011. The 94,437 total noncommercial filings for June represented a 17 percent drop from the June 2011 noncommercial filing total of 114,162. Total commercial filings for June 2012 were 4,620, representing a 29 percent decrease from the 6,536 filings during the same period in 2011. Click here to read ABI’s full press release.

CFPB PLANS TO MAKE OVER MORTGAGE MARKET

Over the next six months, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) intends to overhaul the home mortgage market as a first step toward improving its fairness and clarity, the New York Times reported today. The CFPB plans to propose rules this summer that will address the biggest stumbling blocks buyers face. When shopping for a loan, consumers will get a more complete and understandable "good faith estimate" of the costs. Before closing a sale, consumers will receive a single, revamped disclosure form of the terms — the interest rate that they will pay, how it could change over the course of the loan and how much cash is needed at closing. And mortgage servicers will be required to provide clearer information, better service and options for a borrower facing foreclosure. Read more.

REPORT: COUNTRYWIDE WON INFLUENCE ON CAPITOL HILL WITH DISCOUNT LOANS

A House report found that the former Countrywide Financial Corp., whose subprime loans helped start the nation's foreclosure crisis, made hundreds of discount loans to buy influence with members of Congress, congressional staff, top government officials and executives of troubled mortgage giant Fannie Mae, the Associated Press reported today. The report said that the discounts made from January 1996 to June 2008 were not only aimed at gaining influence for the company but to help prop up mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Countrywide's business depended largely on Fannie, which at the time was trying to fend off more government regulation but eventually had to come under government control. Fannie was responsible for purchasing a large volume of Countrywide's subprime mortgages. Countrywide was taken over by Bank of America in January 2008, relieving the financial services industry and regulators from the messy task of cleaning up the bankruptcy of a company that was servicing 9 million U.S. home loans worth $1.5 trillion at a time when the nation faced a widening credit crisis, massive foreclosures and an economic downturn. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also named six current and former members of Congress who received discount loans, but all of their names had surfaced previously. Read more.

ANALYSIS: BIG BANKS' "LIVING WILLS" AIMING FOR BANKRUPTCY NOT BAILOUTS

U.S. regulators, seeking to prevent a repeat of taxpayer-funded bailouts of the financial system, released summaries of plans for breaking up nine of the world’s largest banks in the event of an emergency, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday. The banks required to file were JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Barclays PLC, Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS AG. Some banks said that it would be possible to save their main businesses and avoid full liquidations. As regulators instructed, the proposals presumed markets would be functioning normally with buyers ready to make large acquisitions without government backing. That was not the case when firms, including Bear Stearns Cos., collapsed during 2008's credit crisis, and the law allows the regulators to require more complicated stress scenarios in future rounds. Non-banking entities, such as Bank of America's Merrill Lynch unit, could be put through bankruptcy proceedings, the Charlotte, N.C.-based company said. Broker-dealer units would be liquidated according to the Securities Investor Protection Act, it said. Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. bank with operations in more than 100 countries, said that it could separate its deposit-taking banking unit, Citibank NA, from broker-dealer units that trade stocks and bonds. The N.Y.-based parent would then go bankrupt and sell off the broker-dealers, according to the plan. Read more.

ABI IN-DEPTH

“SUBJECTING BUSINESS PROJECTIONS TO SCRUTINY IN VALUATION DISPUTES” WEBINAR TO BE HELD ON JULY 30!

Reassembling the speakers from one of the most popular panels at the New York City Bankruptcy Conference this year, ABI will be holding a live webinar on July 30 at 11 a.m. ET titled, "Subjecting Business Projections to Scrutiny in Valuation Disputes." Panelists include:

  • Moderator David Pauker of Goldin Associates, LLC (New York)
  • Martin J. Bienenstock of Proskauer (New York)
  • David M. Hillman of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP (New York)
  • Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Gerber (S.D.N.Y.)

The panel will address:

  • How much deference should management projections be accorded?
  • How do you determine whether projections are unrealistically optimistic or pessimistic?
  • What is the relevance of "market consensus?"
  • How do management’s incentives impact projections?

The webinar is available to ABI members for $75 and is approved for 1.0 CLE hours in Calif., Ga., Hawaii, Ill., N.Y. (approved jurisdiction policy) S.C. and Texas. CLE approval is pending in Del., Fla., Pa. and Tenn. To register, please click here.

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: TERRY V. SUNTRUST BANKS, INC. (4TH CIR.)

Summarized by Cullen Speckhart of Roussos, Lassiter, Glanzer & Barnhart

SunTrust, which held the general operating account of LandAmerica 1031 Exchange Services, Inc. (LES), sold LES certain securities, and extended LES a line of credit, could not be held liable for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty by LES to 1031 exchangers because LES itself had not assumed such fiduciary duties. In addition, SunTrust could not be held liable for civil conspiracy in connection with LES activities.

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: WHEN DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO REAFFIRM AN AUTO LOAN IN CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines when it makes sense to reaffirm car loans in a chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding.

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

ABI Quick Poll
The full-payment rule in section 1325's "hanging paragraph" for new car PMSIs should be repealed to level the playing field between car lenders and other partially and fully unsecured creditors.

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

IS YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP PROFILE CURRENT?

Keeping a current profile will allow you to benefit from one of ABI's most important services - networking. When you update your profile, you are putting your most valuable information in the membership directory. Be sure to include your areas of expertise, firm information, education and join any other committees that are of interest. Click here to update your profile.

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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July 12-15, 2012
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July 25-28, 2012
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August 2-4, 2012
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Sept. 13-14, 2012
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Sept. 13-15, 2012
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Sept. 19-20, 2012
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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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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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.
-Valuation Webinar, July 30 at 11 a.m. ET

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

September
- 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.


  

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.
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy

 
 
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Stockton Experienced Years of Unraveling Prior to Bankruptcy

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | July 19, 2012
 
  

July 19, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

STOCKTON EXPERIENCED YEARS OF UNRAVELING PRIOR TO BANKRUPTCY

Stockton, Calif., recently became the largest city in the country to declare bankruptcy, but evidence of its unraveling has been mounting for years, the New York Times reported today. Housing prices shot up in the early 2000s, when commuters from the San Francisco Bay area bought and built homes in Stockton. After the bubble burst, the median home price plummeted by more than 60 percent in the last five years. In the first half of this year, the city had the highest foreclosure rate of any in the country, according to RealtyTrac. The unemployment rate has hovered around 17 percent for the last few years, nearly double the national average. While Stockton’s bankruptcy troubles can be traced in part to the collapse of the housing market and the subsequent erosion of the city's tax base, for years city leaders also mismanaged and overspent funds, pushing the city into financial peril, analysts and current city officials say. Stockton cannot afford the $417 million it owes for retiree health benefits, city officials say, and this year a bank repossessed city-owned parking garages and a $40 million building the city had bought intended to house an upgraded City Hall. Since 2009, the city has cut 25 percent of its police officers, 30 percent of its Fire Department and over 40 percent of all other city employees. Read more.

CALIFORNIA'S "CHARTER" CITIES ARE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

The last three large California cities to seek bankruptcy protection are all "charter cities," and now another charter city, Compton, says that it may have to file for bankruptcy by September, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Of California's 482 cities, 121 have their own constitutions, or charters. That gives them more leeway in governing their own affairs, including the freedom to set their own rules about elections, salaries and contracts. But that autonomy may be at the root of some of their fiscal problems, some experts say. Charter cities are exempt from state laws that mandate salary limits for elected officials. These cities also were free during good times to include generous worker pay and staffing agreements in their charters that can be difficult to alter quickly during financial duress. Read more. (Subscription required.)

FORECLOSURE CRISIS HITTING OLDER AMERICANS

A new AARP report says that more than 1.5 million older Americans have already lost their homes, with millions more at risk as the national housing crisis takes its toll on those who are among the worst positioned to weather the storm, the Associated Press reported today. According to AARP:

• Nearly 600,000 people who are 50 years or older are in foreclosure.

• About 625,000 in the same age group are at least three months behind on their mortgages.

• Nearly 3.5 million — 16 percent of older homeowners — are underwater, meaning their home values have gone down and they now owe more than their homes are worth.

AARP said that over the past five years, the proportion of loans held by older Americans that are seriously delinquent jumped by more than 450 percent. Homeowners who are younger than 50 have a higher rate of serious delinquency than their older counterparts. But the rate is increasing at a faster pace for older Americans than for younger ones, according to AARP’s analysis of more than 17 million mortgages. Read more.

Click here to read AARP's press release on the report.

COMMENTARY: THE CFPB’S NEW MORTGAGE DISCLOSURES ARE A BUST

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) "Mortgage Disclosure Team" just came out with two proposed forms that are supposed to make things easier for borrowers, but lenders, including nonprofit Habitat for Humanity, are concerned that the new forms will impede their ability to enable low-income families to become homeowners, according to a commentary in today's Wall Street Journal. The CFPB is proposing to replace the old mortgage disclosure forms with a new Loan Estimate Form and Closing Disclosure Form. However, any lender, including organizations such as Habitat, is at legal risk if they try to help low-income borrowers who lack the ability to repay their loans. The new rules would also forbid many borrowers from making smaller payments every month, followed by a single, one-time balloon payment to retire the principal at the end, according to the commentary. Read more. (Registration required.).

STUDENT DEBT HITS THE MIDDLE-AGED

Student debt is rising sharply among all age groups, but middle-aged Americans appear to be struggling the most with payments, according to new data released on Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The delinquency rate—or the percentage of debt on which no payment has been made for 90 days—was 11.9 percent for debt held by borrowers aged 40 to 49 as of March. That compares with a rate of 8.7 percent for borrowers of all ages. Two-thirds of the nation's $900 billion in student debt is held by Americans under 40, the Fed estimates. But borrowers over 40 are having a particularly tough time with student debt for several reasons, consumer and higher-education experts say. Many debtors over 40 are still paying balances incurred years ago from college, while their home values and savings have declined sharply in recent years. An Education Department program that provides loans to parents to fund their kids' education is also among the fastest-growing of the government's education loan programs. Read more. (Subscription required.)

REPORT: PENSION UNDERFUNDING ON THE RISE

The amount by which pensions at S&P 500 companies are underfunded grew from $245 billion to $355 billion between 2010 and 2011, according to a new report from Standard & Poor's, CongressDaily reported today. Additionally the transportation bill Congress passed at the end of June included a pension provision that broadened the timeline used to calculate how much companies should stow away to cover pension obligations. The longer timeline reduces the short-term impact of the recession, freeing up cash for companies to spend (and the government to tax). But the benefits are fleeting: "It appears that Congress was willing to permit future payments to obtain tax receipts now, even though the expected net return would turn negative after five years," according to the report. Read more.

COMMENTARY: KEEPING CREDIT BUREAUS IN CHECK

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Sept. 30 will start supervising credit reporting agencies, including the big three: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, according to a commentary in yesterday's Washington Post. For years, consumer advocates have complained that the information collected often includes errors. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the bureaus and any businesses supplying them with data must correct inaccurate information. The bureaus, in turn, are required to put systems in place that allow consumers to dispute information. However, surveys have shown that getting erroneous information removed from credit files can be an exasperating experience. The credit bureau industry claims that most reports are accurate, but one problem with the system, according to the commentary, is that the bureaus rely on information provided to them by companies seeking to collect debts. The CFPB will supervise credit reporting agencies that have more than $7 million in annual receipts. This means that the agency's authority will cover about 30 companies that account for about 94 percent of the market. The three major credit bureaus issue more than 3 billion consumer reports a year and maintain files on more than 200 million Americans, the CFPB said. Read more.

ABI IN-DEPTH

“SUBJECTING BUSINESS PROJECTIONS TO SCRUTINY IN VALUATION DISPUTES” WEBINAR TO BE HELD ON JULY 30!

Reassembling the speakers from the highest-rated panel at the New York City Bankruptcy Conference this year, ABI will be holding a live webinar on July 30 at 11 a.m. ET titled, "Subjecting Business Projections to Scrutiny in Valuation Disputes." Panelists include:

  • Moderator David Pauker of Goldin Associates, LLC (New York)
  • Martin J. Bienenstock of Proskauer (New York)
  • David M. Hillman of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP (New York)
  • Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Gerber (S.D.N.Y.)

The panel will address:

  • How much deference should management projections be accorded?
  • How do you determine whether projections are unrealistically optimistic or pessimistic?
  • What is the relevance of "market consensus?"
  • How do management’s incentives impact projections?

The webinar is available to ABI members for $75 and is approved for 1.0 CLE hours in Calif., Ga., Hawaii, Ill., N.Y. (approved jurisdiction policy) S.C. and Texas. CLE approval is pending in Del., Fla., Pa. and Tenn. To register, please click here.

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: STUDENSKY V. MORGAN (IN RE MORGAN; 5TH CIR.)

Summarized by Aaron Kaufman of Cox Smith Matthews Inc.

The Fifth Circuit reversed the judgment of the district court and held that where a debtor does not claim a homestead exemption and then sells the homestead post-petition, the debtor has the burden of claiming the exemption in the proceeds within the six months allowed under applicable state law. In this case, because the debtor failed to claim an exemption in his homestead and failed to claim an exemption in the proceeds during the six months following the sale (i.e., while the proceeds were exempt under state law), the debtor lost his right to claim an exemption in the sale proceeds. The trustee's objection should have been sustained. The lower courts' decisions were reversed and remanded.

More than 570 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: LIBOR SCANDAL UNDERMINES BANKERS' CLAIMS OF OVERREGULATION

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines the issues surrounding the Libor scandal and how it is undermining the push by bankers for looser regulations.

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 anti-modification rule for home mortgages in chapter 13 should be repealed, subjecting mortgage debts to bifurcation like any other secured claim.

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

IS YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP PROFILE CURRENT?

Keeping a current profile will allow you to benefit from one of ABI's most important services - networking. When you update your profile, you are putting your most valuable information in the membership directory. Be sure to include your areas of expertise, firm information, education and join any other committees that are of interest. Click here to update your profile.

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:

 

SE 2012
July 25-28, 2012
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COMING UP

 

MA 2012
August 2-4, 2012
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SE 2012
Sept. 13-14, 2012
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SW 2012
Sept. 13-15, 2012
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NYU 2012
Sept. 19-20, 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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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
MGM Grand Detroit
Detroit, Michigan
Nov. 12, 2012
Register Today!

 

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

July
- Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
     July 25-28, 2012 | Amelia Island, Fla.
-Valuation Webinar, July 30 at 11 a.m. ET

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

September
- 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.


  

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.
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy

November
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     November 12, 2012 | Detroit, Mich.


 
 
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Federal Reserve Plans to Buy 40 Billion in Mortgage Securities a Month

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 13, 2012
 
  

September 13, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

FEDERAL RESERVE PLANS TO BUY $40 BILLION IN MORTGAGE SECURITIES A MONTH

The Federal Reserve said today that it will expand its holdings of long-term securities with open-ended purchases of $40 billion of mortgage debt a month in a bid to boost growth and reduce unemployment, Bloomberg News reported today. "If the outlook for the labor market does not improve substantially, the committee will continue its purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities, undertake additional asset purchases and employ its other policy tools as appropriate," the Federal Open Market Committee said today. The FOMC said it would likely hold the federal funds rate near zero "at least through mid-2015." Since January, the Fed had said that the rate was likely to stay low at least through late 2014. The Fed also said it will continue its program to swap $667 billion of short-term debt with longer-term securities to lengthen the average maturity of its holdings, an action dubbed “Operation Twist.” The central bank will also continue reinvesting its portfolio of maturing housing debt into agency mortgage-backed securities. Read more.

FORECLOSURE STARTS FELL ON ANNUAL BASIS IN AUGUST

Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said that fewer homes were placed on the foreclosure track last month than in August last year, when they hit a 17-year high, the Associated Press reported yesterday. More than 99,400 homes entered the foreclosure process in August 2012, up 1 percent from July but down 13 percent from August last year, RealtyTrac said. At the same time, foreclosure starts increased almost exclusively in judicial states like Florida and New York, where the courts must sign off on foreclosures, the firm said. Conversely, in many non-judicial states like California and Arizona, the number of foreclosure starts declined versus August last year. Read more.

ANALYSIS: INVESTMENT FIRMS FLOCK TO FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS

The business of buying foreclosed homes, renovating and renting them out is morphing from a largely mom-and-pop business into the next big thing on Wall Street, according to a report in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. Investors who once chased only big-ticket deals now are buying houses one at a time. According to investment bank Jefferies & Co., major financial firms led by Colony Capital LLC, Blackstone Group LP, Och-Ziff Capital Management and Oaktree Capital Group LLC have raised more than $8 billion to buy houses, largely in markets pummeled by the housing crisis. At first, many investors hoped lenders would sell foreclosed houses in bulk. But most banks prefer to sell one house at a time, figuring that approach will fetch higher prices. As a result, the foreclosure circuit has not yet produced a giant windfall for buyers like Colony, though executives say early returns are promising. Yields on rents from houses owned by the firm are 7 to 8 percent, higher than many other types of real estate. Purchase prices have averaged 12 percent less than Colony expected, which should make it easier to sell the homes or borrow against them and exit with double-digit percentage gains. Read more. (Subscription required.)

REPORT: FINANCIAL CRISIS, RECESSION COST U.S. $12.8 TRILLION

The financial crisis and the Great Recession have taken a heavy toll on the U.S., and now public interest group Better Markets, which supports tougher financial regulations, said that it has calculated that cost to be at least $12.8 trillion, the Los Angeles Times reported today. The report tries to calculate the effect of the crisis and the recession in terms of reduced economic output and the costs of stabilizing the markets and bailing out banks and large financial firms. The estimate builds off previous calculations, including one by economists Alan S. Blinder and Mark Zandi. Blinder and Zandi released a report in 2010 estimating the total budgetary cost of the financial crisis to be $2.35 trillion. Better Markets used that amount as a jumping-off point for what it said was a conservative estimate of the true costs of the crisis. The group estimated that the loss in gross domestic product from 2008 to 2018 will be $7.6 trillion. Then they used the estimates of Blinder and Zandi to add an additional figure: an estimate of how much GDP loss was avoided by government bailouts and other interventions. That figure was $5.2 trillion from 2008 to 2012. Read more.

COMMENTARY: WHY MARKETS NEED "NAKED" CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS

Many regulators, politicians and academics are recommending a ban on "naked" credit default swap (CDS) purchases, but the premise that only sovereign-debt holders suffer when a country defaults is false, according to a commentary in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Many other agents are adversely affected by a default, and they should be allowed to purchase sovereign CDS, according to the commentary. A 2006 Bank of England study found that the output losses for 45 sovereign debt defaults between 1970 and 2000 "appear to be very large—around 7 percent a year on the median measure—as well as long lasting." The haircut taken by investors after sovereign defaults ranges from 20-70 percent. But many bystanders in the sovereign-default drama also suffer significant losses of wealth and livelihood. Domestic importers and foreign exporters suffer when the default is accompanied by a devaluation. Financial institutions and holders of domestic corporate debt suffer as their asset values fall. Domestic companies suffer as their credit risk increases, with smaller businesses being especially harmed as banks reduce loan availability. Read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)

REPORT: HOUSEHOLD INCOME SINKS TO 1995 LEVEL

A report from the Census Bureau yesterday said that annual household income fell in 2011 for the fourth straight year to an inflation-adjusted $50,054, an amount last approached in 1995, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Median annual household income—the figure at which half are above and half below—now stands 8.9 percent below its all-time peak of $54,932 in 1999, at the end of the 1990s economic expansion. Other measures of well-being in the report were more positive. The poverty rate, which had risen in the past four years, held steady in 2011, and the number and share of people without health insurance fell. The shift in health coverage is in large part due to more Americans getting covered by government programs, such as Medicare. Read more. (Subscription required.)

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: LEFKOWITZ V. MICHIGAN TRUCKING LLC (IN RE GAINEY CORP.; 6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Omid Moezzi from the Office of Nancy Curry, Chapter 13 Trustee

The Sixth Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court's ruling for an order dismissing the appellant's (the liquidation trustee) adversary complaint for failure to state a claim for relief pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

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: WHOSE FAULT IS IT THAT PONZI SCHEMES THRIVE?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines how defrauded investors are increasingly directing their blame at the SEC for failing to detect ponzi schemes.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT WEEK:

NYU 2012
Sept. 19-20, 2012
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COMING UP:

"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
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MT 2012
Dec. 4-8, 2012
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

September
- 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.

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

2013

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


 
 
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