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Changes in Mortgage Servicing Practices Take Effect Today

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 27, 2012
 
  

October 2, 2012

 
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CHANGES IN MORTGAGE SERVICING PRACTICES TAKE EFFECT TODAY

A significant element of the government’s historic settlement with big banks over foreclosure abuses takes effect today, when firms face a deadline for carrying out more than 300 changes in the way they service mortgages and treat struggling homeowners, the Washington Post reported today. Much of the attention surrounding this year’s $25 billion government settlement has focused on the banks' agreement to reduce the loan balances of some borrowers and undertake more refinancings for thousands of Americans. Although the new standards have not received as much attention, they are crucial for fixing a broken mortgage system, government officials said. The standards forbid the pervasive practice of "robo-signing," and mortgage servicers can no longer foreclose on a borrower while simultaneously negotiating a loan modification, a practice known as "dual tracking." They must provide customers with a single point of contact, rather than shuffling them around to different employees with each call. Read more.

U.S. CREDIT CARD LENDERS SHUN ADD-ONS AS CFPB CRACKS DOWN

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and American Express Co. are among credit card lenders retreating from a $2.4 billion market as regulators seek curbs on deceptive marketing of products including debt cancellation, Bloomberg News reported today. Scrutiny from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has led to fines against banks including Capital One Financial Corp. and Discover Financial Services, prompting them to curtail sales of so-called add-ons that offer to help customers pay credit card bills if they get sick or lose their jobs, or help monitor their credit. American Express, the biggest U.S. credit-card issuer by purchases, said yesterday that it will pay $112.5 million to settle claims that it violated consumer safeguards from marketing to collections in products sold to about 250,000 customers. That case did not involve add-on products. The crackdown is CFPB Director Richard Cordray's first enforcement campaign after the Dodd-Frank Act consolidated regulation of retail financial products under one federal agency. With U.S. banks already complaining that regulation has squeezed revenue, the bureau is considering new limits on payday lending and fees for checking overdrafts, and has proposed an overhaul of mortgage practices. Read more.

COMMENTARY: MONEY MARKET MUTUAL FUNDS AND MORAL HAZARD

The wrangling over money-market mutual funds is a vivid illustration of some of the hidden costs of bailouts — in this case, the government rescue of the $2.6 trillion money-market mutual fund industry in 2008 that was so successful it took away any sense of urgency for major reform, according to a commentary in Friday’s Washington Post. Last month, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro canceled plans to move forward on a reform proposal for regulating the mutual fund industry after concluding she did not have the votes for passage of the proposal. SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar had indicated he would oppose her proposal, favoring a more overarching approach to overseeing the cash-management industry. To step up pressure on the SEC, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s letter to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), created by the Dodd-Frank Act, advocated for regulators to step up oversight of money-market mutual funds. Read the full commentary.

CALIFORNIA DAIRIES GOING BROKE DUE TO FEED, MILK PRICES

Across California, the nation's largest dairy state, dozens of dairy operators large and small have filed for bankruptcy in recent months, and many teeter on the edge of insolvency, the Associated Press reported on Saturday. Others have sold their herds or sent them to slaughter and given up on the business. Experts say California dairymen face a double hit to their operations: exorbitant feed costs and lower milk prices. The Midwest drought has led to corn and soybean costs increasing by more than 50 percent this summer, stressing dairymen from Wisconsin and Minnesota to Missouri. But in California, milk prices have also lagged behind those in the rest of the nation, exacerbating the crisis. And while milk revenues in California have soared to over $7.5 billion in 2011, making milk the top agricultural commodity, higher revenues mean little, farmers say, because it costs so much more to produce the milk. Read more.

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

SEE THE N.L. EAST DIVISION CHAMPION WASHINGTON NATIONALS IN THE PLAYOFFS: ABI HAS YOUR TICKET!

Don't miss playoff baseball in Washington, D.C.! Only 20 tickets are available to the ABI Endowment's special event at the Nationals first home playoff game to be played either Oct. 9 or 10 (depending on Major League Baseball scheduling). For $400, you will receive a game ticket to a luxury suite, food and open bar. Click here to register!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized by Guy Moss of Riemer & Braunstein LLP

As a threshold matter, the First Circuit BAP ruled that all tax refunds received by a chapter 13 debtor are property of the estate whether pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 541(a) to the extent that they are rooted in pre-petition earnings, or 1306 to the extent that they relate to earnings from services performed by the debtor post-petition. Reversing the rulings of the bankruptcy court, the BAP next determined that an objection to the debtor's claimed exemption in the refund (defined below) did not lie because (1) the refund was property of the estate, (2) the exemption was valid on its face, and (3) the trial court incorrectly considered an alleged infirmity in plan confirmation, i.e., whether the refunds had to be devoted entirely to a plan pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 1322(a)(1) and 1325(b)(1)(B), to determine the validity of an exemption. Rather, consideration of that issue arises only if and when there is an objection to the plan. The BAP reserved comment on whether such an objection to an exemption is a necessary "placeholder" to preserve the objecting party's ability to object to plan confirmation on the ground that not all future earnings and income are being devoted to plan payments.

There are more than 650 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: PILGRIM'S PRIDE OPINION ALLOWS ENHANCEMENTS IN BANKRUPTCY, OFFERS COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF BANKRUPTCY FEES

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 Matter of Pilgrim's Pride Corp., No. 11-10774 (5th Cir. 8/10/12), to allow a $1 million fee enhancement to a chief restructuring officer who achieved results described as "rare and exceptional." The court rejected the argument that a recent Supreme Court opinion on fee-shifting precluded enhancements, and in the process set forth a comprehensive framework for allowance of professional fees in bankruptcy.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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THIS WEEK:

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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COMING UP:

 

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. 16, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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ABI/ST. JOHN'S "BANKRUPTCY AND RACE: IS THERE A RELATION?" SYMPOSIUM
Oct. 19, 2012
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ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING
Oct. 26, 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
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

October
- Nuts & Bolts for Young and New Practitioners - KC
     October 4, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program, Midwestern Consumer Forum
     October 5, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Bankruptcy 2012: Views from the Bench
     October 5, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     October 8, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.
- "Trending Issues: Examiners and Select Plan Confirmation Issues" Webinar
October 15, 2012
- ABI/Bloomberg Distressed Lending Conference
October 16, 2012 | New York, N.Y..
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy
- ABI/St. John's "Bankruptcy and Race: Is There a Relation?" Symposium
     October 19, 2012 | Queens, N.Y.
- ABI Program at NCBJ's Annual Conference
     October 26, 2012 | San Diego, Calif.

  

 

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

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

2013

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


 
 
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Supreme Court Grants Cert in Ninth Circuit Case on Jurisdiction by Consent

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | June 25 2013
 
  

June 25, 2013

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

SUPREME COURT GRANTS CERT IN NINTH CIRCUIT CASE ON JURISDICTION BY CONSENT

The Supreme Court yesterday granted certiorari in Executive Benefits Ins. Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham Insurance Agency) about the scope of the bankruptcy court's powers in the wake of the Court's ruling in Stern v. Marshall. In a Ninth Circuit case that drew attention after Stern was decided, a fraudulent transfer defendant argued the bankruptcy court lacked jurisdiction to enter judgment against it. The Ninth Circuit agreed that the bankruptcy court could not enter a final judgment in a fraudulent transfer action but held that the defendant had consented to the bankruptcy court's jurisdiction through its litigation conduct. The Supreme Court will decide whether parties can consent to bankruptcy court jurisdiction. They will also have to rule on a statutory issue about a gap Stern created in the jurisdictional framework. A potential outcome is that bankruptcy courts will lose the power to hear any fraudulent transfer actions. To read the petition for a writ of certiorari, please click here.

LATE AUTO LOAN PAYMENTS EDGED HIGHER IN 1Q 2013

Banks are increasingly extending auto loan financing to borrowers with less-than-sterling credit, a trend that's contributing to a higher rate of missed loan payments, the Associated Press reported today. The rate of U.S. auto-loan payments late by 60 days or more rose to 0.88 percent in the first three months of the year, credit reporting agency TransUnion said today. That's up from 0.82 percent in the first quarter last year, but down from 1 percent in the last three months of 2012, the firm said. Among subprime borrowers, or those whom lenders deem to be higher credit risks because of their track record of managing debt, the delinquency rate jumped to 5.5 percent in the first quarter from 5.09 percent a year earlier. Read more.

ANALYSIS: HIGH-END HOME LOANS STAGE A COMEBACK

Despite a recent sharp rise in mortgage rates, "jumbo" loans are becoming easier to get, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis on Saturday. Lenders originated $54 billion in such mortgages in the first quarter of 2013, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry newsletter, up from $47 billion during the same period a year earlier. Higher loan volume isn't the only sign of a turnaround. The difference in the rate for a government-backed "conforming" mortgage and a jumbo loan is the narrowest it has been since 2007. Many jumbo lenders also have increased the amount of a home's value they will finance, and some are becoming more flexible in evaluating borrowers with strong credit. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: HOW SAM ZELL IS SINKING TRIBUNE A SECOND TIME AROUND

Sam Zell is gone from the Tribune Co., but his toxic financial legacy lives on, according to a commentary in Friday's Washington Post. Not only did his debt-fueled purchase of one of the nation’s biggest media companies help precipitate its bankruptcy, costing creditors billions of dollars and wiping out thousands of jobs, but he also left a nasty tax mess behind for Tribune, which exited chapter 11 proceedings on Dec. 31. The Internal Revenue Service has challenged the tax-avoiding way that Zell had Tribune unload Newsday, a Long Island, N.Y., newspaper, and it seems almost certain to challenge the way that Tribune unloaded the Chicago Cubs. By the time the final papers are shuffled, the IRS and local tax authorities will likely seek considerably more than half a billion dollars in taxes, penalties and interest from Tribune from the sales of the Cubs and Newsday. Read more.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES SUPREME COURT'S DECISION ON THE MEANING OF “DEFALCATION”

ABI's latest podcast features ABI Resident Scholar Scott Pryor speaking with Prof. Keith Sharfman of St. John's University School of Law and attorney Tom Byrne of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP (Atlanta) on the issues surrounding the Supreme Court's unanimous decision in Bullock v. BankChampaign, N.A. In its decision on May 13, the Court held that a defalcation by a trustee requires a finding of gross negligence or some knowledge that what he or she is doing is improper. Byrne was the counsel of record for Randy Bullock, and Scharfman joined fellow professors on an amici curiae brief in support of BankChampaign. Click here to listen to the podcast.

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

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; NEXT STOP IS THE NORTHEAST BANKRUPTCY CONFERENCE ON JULY 12

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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: SUAREZ V. BARRET (IN RE SUAREZ; 9TH CIR.)

Summarized by James Portman Webster of the James Portman Webster Law Office PLC

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and bankruptcy court's ruling that a state court contempt ruling can be used as evidence that a debt results from a willful and malicious injury and is, therefore, nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).

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 ANALYSIS OF IN RE BELLINGHAM INSURANCE AGENCY

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 questions raised by the Supreme Court yesterday when it granted certiorari in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham Insurance Agency).

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

Law firms should provide support for law student-staffed bankruptcy clinics for consumer debtors.

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
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July 15, 2013
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July 18-21, 2013
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Aug. 8-10, 2013
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SW 2013
Aug. 22-24, 2013
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NYIC Golf Tournament 2013
Sept. 10, 2013
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Endowment Baseball 2013
Sept. 12, 2013
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NYU 2013
Sept. 18-19, 2013
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VFB2013
Sept. 27, 2013
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Oct. 4, 2013
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Endowment Football 2013
Oct. 6, 2013
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Detroit
Oct. 14, 2013
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ACBPIA13
Nov. 10-12, 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

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

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

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


  


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

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

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


 
 
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State Bankruptcy Debate Returns

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 6 2012
 
  

November 13, 2012

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

STATE BANKRUPTCY DEBATE RETURNS

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

REGULATOR FACES ANOTHER LAWSUIT OVER DODD-FRANK

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

ANALYSIS: CHILD'S EDUCATION, PARENTS' CRUSHING LOANS

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

TWO MILLION COULD LOSE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS UNLESS CONGRESS EXTENDS PROGRAM

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

ANALYSIS: DEEP DISCOUNTS ON FORECLOSED HOMES DISAPPEARING

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

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

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

Summarized by Eric Lockridge of Kean Miller LLP

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

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: DEWEY LEBOEUF AVOIDS LITIGATION MORASS OF MOST LAW FIRM BANKRUPTCY CASES

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT EVENT:

 

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

 

COMING UP:

 

 

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

 

 

WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

2013

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


  

 

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


 
 
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Analysis Better Lending Standards Helping to Reduce Foreclosure Starts

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | February 19 2013
 
  

February 19, 2013

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

ANALYSIS: BETTER LENDING STANDARDS HELPING TO REDUCE FORECLOSURE STARTS

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

COMMENTARY: THE SECOND-MORTGAGE SHELL GAME

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

SHIFTING STRATEGY, PROSECUTORS BUILD NEW CASES AGAINST BIG BANKS

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

ANALYSIS: FISCAL TROUBLE AHEAD FOR MOST FUTURE RETIREES

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

REGULATOR PROBES "DARK POOL" INVESTING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EXPLORE CURRENT ISSUES FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS IN BANKRUPTCY CASES AND MORE AT ABI'S 31ST ANNUAL SPRING MEETING

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

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

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

Click here to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: BLACK V. BONNIE SPRINGS FAMILY LTD. PARTNERSHIP (IN RE BLACK; 9TH CIR.)

Summarized by Tom Phinney of Parkinson Phinney

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

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

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

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

TOMORROW:

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

COMING UP:

 

 

 

 

9th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference
Feb. 22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

NEW WEBINAR!BBW 2013
April 10, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
Enter code "LOVEASM50" at checkout to save $50 on a new registration this week!
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

     February 22, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.

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

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


  

 

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

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


 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

Report U.S. Foreclosure Activity Fell in January

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | February 14 2013
 
  

February 14, 2013

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

REPORT: U.S. FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY FELL IN JANUARY

RealtyTrac reported that foreclosure activity declined in January as the number of U.S. homes starting the process fell to its lowest level in more than six years, but the varying legal requirements in each state continued to influence regional markets, Reuters reported today. Foreclosure starts were filed on 64,773 homes, down 11 percent from December and down 28 percent from a year ago. It was the lowest level since June 2006. The drop in starts came as activity in California dried up after homeowner protection legislation enacted at the start of the year placed new requirements on all servicers in the state. Excluding the decline in California, foreclosure starts edged up less than 1 percent compared to December, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Overall foreclosure activity was seen on 150,864 properties last month, down 7 percent from December. Compared to a year ago, activity tumbled 28 percent. Read more.

REGULATOR EXPLAINS DECISION TO END FLAWED FORECLOSURE REVIEW

Thomas J. Curry, the Comptroller of the Currency, shed light yesterday on his decision to scuttle an independent review of bank foreclosures, portraying the flawed process as a boon to outside consultants and a barren maze for homeowners, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. The process began in 2011 when regulators accused banks and other loan servicers of shoddy foreclosure practices. Curry, who took over the comptroller's office several months after the review started, argued that homeowners languished without payment as the review suffered from delays. The independent consultants that banks hired to run the 14-month review, however, racked up some $2 billion in charges. "It just doesn't make sense for these servicers to continue funneling money to consultants that could be better used to help distressed borrowers who have lost their homes," Curry said. His speech comes amid a growing outcry from lawmakers and housing advocates, who have questioned the regulatory oversight of the foreclosure review. Critics say that regulators should never have trusted consultants to objectively evaluate banks from which they are paid huge sums. Read more.

HOUSING INDUSTRY HOPES OBAMA LINE WILL SOFTEN MORTGAGE RULE

U.S. realtors and mortgage bankers say that they hope President Barack Obama's call for streamlined mortgage rules in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday will help them convince regulators not to set a strict minimum down payment for home loans, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. At issue is the so-called Qualified Residential Mortgage rule, which six banking regulators, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve, are aiming to complete this year. The regulators drew protests in 2011 when they released a preliminary draft requiring lenders to keep a stake in mortgages with down payments of less than 20 percent and those issued to borrowers spending more than 36 percent of their income on debt. Bankers and some consumer groups said that such a requirement would shut creditworthy borrowers out of the market. Industry participants and some lawmakers are now pressing for the regulators to align the QRM rule with another regulation with a similar name that is also aimed at preventing risky home lending: the Qualified Mortgage, or QM, rule. That guidance, issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January, offers legal safe harbor protections to banks that issue loans to borrowers spending no more than 43 percent of their income on debt. Read more.

AUDIT FINDS HUD'S OVERSIGHT OF HOUSING-CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM LAGGING

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is still struggling to adequately monitor its construction program for the poor more than a year after Congress demanded widespread improvements in oversight and accountability, the agency's Office of the Inspector General said in an audit this week, the Washington Post reported today. Auditors pointed out that HUD has strengthened controls over its HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which was established in 1992 and delivers between $1 billion and $2 billion in annual grants to states and local jurisdictions to build, buy or renovate affordable housing. But the audit found that the agency could not demonstrate the effectiveness of field office monitoring efforts and "may have lost opportunities to obtain early warnings of potentially serious problems." HUD countered that its monitoring is effective and that the agency "continually strives to manage its programs as effectively and efficiently as possible." Read more.

COMMENTARY: NEW YORK BUDGET DOES LITTLE TO ADDRESS COMING MUNICIPAL DISTRESS

While the specter of financial collapse looms over New York State's cities, the current budget being proposed for the state does not do enough to address its imminent municipal distress, according to a commentary by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner in the New York Times today. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's proposed state budget, put forward last month, would not increase state aid to cities or do much to reform tax, pension or labor laws. Instead, it would let municipalities push payment of today's ballooning pension costs into the future, according to Miner. Labor costs are too high -- not because of salaries, but because of the rising costs of pensions and health care. City leaders and labor unions jointly negotiated these past arrangements but have not cooperated to keep them in check, according to Miner. Most public-sector unions in the state cannot legally strike; instead, unresolved labor disputes go to binding arbitration, which often leads to judgments that the cities cannot afford. Also, revenue in cities like Syracuse has plummeted, and not just because of the Great Recession. Municipal aid and school aid have been cut or have stagnated in recent years. Miner says that billions of dollars' worth of corporate tax breaks have been given away in the name of "economic development." Additionally, she finds that the model of using property taxes to finance schools, police, fire, sanitation and other services is no longer sustainable. (New York City, which has relatively low property taxes but levies a city income tax, is an exception.) For decades, once-large industrial employers like Eastman Kodak in Rochester, the Otis Elevator Company in Yonkers and the Carrier Corporation (a maker of heating and air-conditioning equipment) in Syracuse have shed jobs and closed plants. Even when unemployment -- 8.2 percent in New York State in December, compared with 7.8 percent nationally -- falls, property tax revenue will not come back, Miner predicts. Click here to read the full commentary.

VIEW BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: JUDGE RAKOFF REVERSES HIMSELF IN MADOFF CASE

When U.S. District Jed Rakoff recanted a ruling he made previously in the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities Inc., the reversal was important because it allows the Madoff trustee to knock out billions of dollars in claims, as Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle discuss on their new video. To view the video, please click here.

NEXT WEEK'S 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 they 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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

POWER TO VETO BANKRUPTCY SALES AMONG ISSUES 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?
- Real Estate Issues in Health Care Restructurings
- Law Firm Bankruptcies
- How to Be a Successful Expert
- The Ethical Compass: Multiple Ethical Schemes Applicable to Financial Advisors
- Chapter 9s, Nonprofits and Other Nontraditional Restructuring Processes
- And much more!

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

Enter code "LOVEASM50" at checkout to save $50 on a new registration this week! Click here to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: DAVENPORT V. FRONTIER BANK (IN RE DAVENPORT; 11TH CIR.)

Summarized by Lynn Hinson of Dean Mead Egerton Bloodworth Capouano & Bozarth PA

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling, which affirmed the bankruptcy court's determination that a debt owed by the debtor to a bank was not dischargeable. Specifically, the debt was not dischargeable because the bank reasonably relied on the debtor's false financial statement in making a loan.

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: FURTHER ANALYSIS OF THE US AIRWAYS-AMERICAN AIRLINES MERGER

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post further examines the merger of US Airways and American Airlines, which was formally announced today.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT EVENT:

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

COMING UP:

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

9th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference
Feb. 22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

NEW WEBINAR!BBW 2013
April 10, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
Enter code "LOVEASM50" at checkout to save $50 on a new registration this week!
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

February
- 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
- 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.


 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

Academics Want Congress to Give Chapter 14 a Chance

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 20, 2012
 
  

September 20, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ACADEMICS WANT CONGRESS TO GIVE CHAPTER 14 A CHANCE

Members of Stanford University's Hoover Institution's "resolution project" say that the environment is right to revisit their proposed modification of the Bankruptcy Code that adds a section, dubbed "Chapter 14," to address large financial institutions, Dow Jones Newswires reported yesterday. When the official debate on Capitol Hill ended in July 2010 with the passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform, it looked as though the Hoover Institution had lost its battle to keep the job of unwinding a failing financial institution out of the hands of government. Their proposal, presented at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, never gained traction, and Dodd-Frank's Title II tasks the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. with intervening should the collapse of a financial institution threaten the economy. However, the academics now argue in a new book, Bankruptcy Not Bailout: A Special Chapter 14, that their proposal still has a chance at becoming law. The book's authors also have an unlikely supporter: the FDIC. "The FDIC would support improvements to the Bankruptcy Code that would better allow for the failure of a large complex financial institution without broad systemic disruption," said Andrew Gray, a spokesman for the FDIC, characterizing Title II as a last resort. "Constructive efforts to improve the bankruptcy law and reduce the likelihood that Title II would be necessary are positive." Acknowledging that the repeal of all or part of Dodd-Frank is unlikely, the authors argue that Dodd-Frank and chapter 14 could coexist, providing the government and companies with another option. Read more.

REGULATORS TRY TO BEAT THE CLOCK IN RATE PROBE

U.S. prosecutors are seeking more time to complete their investigation of alleged interest-rate fixing, while banks ensnared in the probe are trying to turn the clock to their advantage as they battle lawsuits claiming damages from rate-rigging, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The Justice Department recently asked several banks to sign "tolling" agreements, in which the companies promise they will not challenge any enforcement action on the grounds that the alleged wrongdoing occurred beyond the statute of limitations. The requests were sent to all the major banks under investigation including Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and UBS AG. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: CRIMINAL AND CIVIL MORTGAGE-FRAUD CASES HAVE EXPLODED SINCE HOUSING CRISIS

The problem of mortgage scams involving attorneys is growing, according to experts, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Joseph Dunn, executive director of the State Bar of California, said that more than 100 lawyers in California have been disbarred or otherwise disciplined, while about 200 others are facing charges or are under investigation. The California Bar has received more than 11,000 mortgage-related complaints about lawyers since early 2009. John Berry, director of the legal division of the Florida Bar, calls the involvement of attorneys in alleged mortgage scams "one of the most difficult issues we have had to deal with." In a national database of 25,000 homeowner complaints regarding suspected mortgage-related frauds, more than a quarter relate to activities by lawyers or law firms, said Yolanda McGill, a senior counsel at the nonprofit Washington-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law, which began collecting the complaints in 2010. The committee has filed eight lawsuits against parties for allegedly cheating homeowners with false promises of help with their mortgages. Read more. (Subscription required.)

REPORT: PAY GAPS WIDENING AMONG PARTNERS

According to a new survey conducted by legal search consultant Major, Lindsey & Africa and Am Law Daily affiliate ALM Legal Intelligence, partners at Am Law 200, NLJ 350, and American Lawyer Global 100 firms saw their annual compensation rise, on average, 6.4 percent to $681,000 over the past two years. The jump was apparently driven, at least in part, by an uptick in the average rate those partners are billing, from $555 per hour in 2010 to $585 today. The survey, which drew 2,228 responses from attorneys at the firms in question, shows that not all partners have benefited equally from the increase. On average, equity partners are better compensated than their non-equity counterparts, male partners make more than their female colleagues, corporate partners earn more than litigators, and partners in open compensation systems are paid better than those in closed compensation systems. Read more.

FORMER GM CEO: TIME FOR "GOVERNMENT MOTORS" TO HIT THE ROAD

Until the government sells its shares of GM, the company won't be master of its own destiny and will remain wrongly tagged a failure, according to a commentary in today's Wall Street Journal by former GM CEO Ed Whitacre. The government has been an active participant in GM's management for more than three years, according to Whitacre, and it is time for Treasury to step out of the way so that GM can fully focus on what it does best: designing, building and selling the world's best vehicles. The government's authority over GM today is not concentrated in the 500 million shares it still owns, which amount to a hefty but not controlling 26.5 percent ownership stake, according to Whitacre. Rather, the government's power comes from the management apparatus of TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, from which the $50 billion bailout originally came. The result: GM spends an awful lot of time checking in with the people who administer TARP over everything from hiring to executive compensation and management. Read more. (Subscription required.)

HIGH-SPEED TRADING IN THE CONGRESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT

An insider of the secretive world of high-frequency trading is set to attack that industry today on Capitol Hill, giving lawmakers a potential road map to address practices that critics say can put ordinary investors at a disadvantage and the financial system at risk, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Since rapid-fire trading firms now provide many of the buy-and-sell orders that support the market, investors are at the mercy of automated systems that can run amok during volatile times, according to Dave Lauer, who last year quit his job as a trader for an elite Chicago high-frequency trading outfit. Lauer is part of a growing chorus of industry insiders blowing the whistle on approved trading techniques that they say are designed by the traders who derive the most benefit. Lauer is now a consultant on market-structure issues for Better Markets, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group funded by a hedge fund. He testified today before the Senate Banking committee about how he came to believe that high-speed trading has made the market less fair for many investors. One way sophisticated firms get an edge over other investors is the use of complex order types, which are commands that traders use to tell exchanges how to handle their buy-and-sell orders, according to Lauer's testimony. Regulators are looking into whether exchanges, in a rush to gain the business of high-frequency firms, have provided advantages to some sophisticated trading firms that allow them to trade profitably at the expense of other investors. High-frequency trading accounts for some two-thirds of all trading volume, experts say. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Click here for prepared testimony from today's Senate Banking Committee hearing.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR STEVEN GOLICK, A FELLOW COLLEAGUE AND ABI MEMBER

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

ABI LAUNCHES FIFTH ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION FOR LAW STUDENTS; PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE ONE-YEAR ABI MEMBERSHIP

Law school students are encouraged to submit a paper now through March 1, 2013, for ABI’s Fifth Annual Bankruptcy Law Student Writing Competition. ABI will extend a complimentary one-year membership to all students who participate in this year's competition. Eligible submissions should focus on current issues regarding bankruptcy jurisdiction, bankruptcy litigation, or evidence issues in bankruptcy cases or proceedings.

The first-place winner, sponsored by Invotex Group, Inc., will receive a cash prize of $2,000 and publication of his or her paper in the prestigious ABI Journal. The second-place winner, sponsored by Jenner & Block LLP, will receive a cash prize of $1,250 and publication of his or her paper in an ABI committee newsletter. The third-place winner, sponsored by Thompson & Knight LLP, will receive a cash prize of $750 plus publication of his or her paper in an ABI committee newsletter. For competition participation and submission guidelines, please visit http://papers.abi.org.

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: STATE OF NEVADA V. MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEM INC. (9TH CIR.)

Summarized by Richard Corbi of Lowenstein Sandler PC

Because the defendants had no "obligation" to record assignments or other documents relating to securing property, the prosecution failed to state a claim of liability under Nevada False Claims Act section 357.040(1)(g).

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: SECOND CIRCUIT SUMMARILY REVERSES CLAIMS-TRADING DECISION

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Longacre Master Fund v. ATS Automation Tooling Systems. The Second Circuit summarily reversed a district court decision that will likely strengthen the hand of specialized firms that look to buy claims in large chapter 11 cases, according to the post.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT WEEK:

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

COMING UP:

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

 

NABMW 2012
Oct. 4, 2012
Register Today!

 

SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
Register Today!

 

SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
Register Today!

 

SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
Register Today!

 

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

 

SE 2012
Oct. 16, 2012
Register Today!

 

SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
Register Today!

 

MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
Register Today!

 

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

 

SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
Register Today!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

October
- Nuts & Bolts for Young and New Practitioners - KC
     October 4, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program, Midwestern Consumer Forum
     October 5, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Bankruptcy 2012: Views from the Bench
     October 5, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     October 8, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.
- "Trending Issues: Examiners and Select Plan Confirmation Issues" Webinar
October 15, 2012
- ABI/Bloomberg Distressed Lending Conference
October 16, 2012 | New York, N.Y..
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy

  

 

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

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

2013

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


 
 
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Report Student Borrowers Retreat from Home Buying

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | April 18 2013
 
  

April 18, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

REPORT: STUDENT BORROWERS RETREAT FROM HOME BUYING

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

MORTGAGE RELIEF CHECKS GO OUT, ONLY TO BOUNCE

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

RISING BANK PROFITS TEMPT A PUSH FOR TOUGHER RULES

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

SEC TO MOVE PAST FINANCIAL CRISIS CASES UNDER CHAIRMAN WHITE

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

17TH ANNUAL GREAT DEBATES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Witnesses set to testify at the hearing include:

Panel I:

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

Panel II (Bankruptcy Judges’ Panel):

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

Panel III:

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


ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized by Melissa Youngman of McCalla Raymer LLC

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

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: SMALL BANKS WOULD BENEFIT FROM BIG-BANK BREAKUPS

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

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

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

TOMORROW:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 29, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
July 18-21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

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


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

May
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at NYCBC
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- ABI Endowment Cocktail Reception
     May 15, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- New York City Bankruptcy Conference
     May 16, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Litigation Skills Symposium
     May 21-24, 2013 | Dallas, Texas
- ABI Live Webinar: Consumer Class Actions
     May 29, 2013

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


  

 

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

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


 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

Fourth Circuit Rules That Borrower May Sue after Three Years to Rescind Mortgage Loan

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | May 8, 2012

If you are unable to see this message, click here to view. To ensure delivery to your inbox, please add jhartgen@abiworld.org to your address book.

 
  
May 8, 2012
 
home  |  chart of the day  |  blogs  |  bankruptcy code and rules  |  statistics  |  legislative news  |  volo
  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

FOURTH CIRCUIT RULES THAT BORROWER MAY SUE AFTER THREE YEARS TO RESCIND MORTGAGE LOAN

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held that a lawsuit seeking rescission is timely where the consumer provided notice of rescission to the subservicer within three years of closing but did not file suit until after the three-year deadline had passed, according to a Ballard Spahr Legal Alert today. The May 3, 2012, decision in Gilbert v. Residential Funding LLC is the first by a federal appellate court to hold that a borrower need only send notice of rescission within the three-year period to validly exercise a right to rescind. The majority of courts to consider the question—including the Third and Ninth Circuits—have held that the requirement for the borrower to file suit within the three-year period is consistent with the language of §1635 of the Truth in Lending Act and prior precedent, including the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Beach v. Ocwen Federal Bank. In its opinion, the Fourth Circuit rejected the subservicer’s reliance on Beach, observing that Beach "did not address the proper method of exercising a right to rescind or the timely exercise of that right" but only addressed whether §1635 was a statute of limitations that operated to extinguish the right after three years. Click here to read the full analysis.

For more on this case, including a full copy of the opinion, make sure to visit ABI’s Volo site.

LAWMAKERS PUSH TO EASE HOME REFINANCING

Senate Democrats today tried to drum up support for a plan that aims to boost the number of struggling homeowners able to refinance by allowing those with government-backed loans to win new loans, Reuters reported. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) circulated a draft bill outlining proposed changes to the Obama administration's Home Affordable Refinance Program during a Senate Banking Committee hearing today on the topic of home refinancing. The draft bill would provide streamlined financing options for homeowners who are current on their payments and have loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-controlled companies that have been propped up by more than $150 billion in taxpayer aid. However, it excludes a key piece of the White House plan that would let homeowners refinance into loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S. government mortgage-insurer, even if their current loans are not backed by the government. More than 17.5 million borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac currently pay more than 5 percent interest, according to the draft, while mortgage rates are averaging under 4 percent currently nationwide. Many of those borrowers have been unable to access government initiatives such as HARP. Read more.

LOCKHART: FANNIE MAE REFUSED TO PUNISH COUNTRYWIDE FOR BAD DEBT

James Lockhart, who led the Federal Housing Finance Agency until 2009 and its predecessor, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, said that Fannie Mae refused to seek large amounts of mortgage repurchases from Countrywide Financial Corp. as the housing market began to crash, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Lockhart said that he spent a lot of time pushing Fannie Mae executives to seek more “putbacks” on Countrywide loans that failed to match their promised quality. "They didn’t want to offend their largest customer," Lockhart, now the vice chairman at investment firm WL Ross & Co., said yesterday. "If people had known how bad the repurchases were going to get, we’d certainly have had a lot more disciplined underwriting," Lockhart said. Read more.

CONSUMER CREDIT INCREASES BY MOST IN 10 YEARS

Consumer borrowing in the U.S. surged in March by the most in more than a decade on growing demand for educational financing and autos, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Credit rose by $21.4 billion, the biggest gain since November 2001, to $2.54 trillion, according to Federal Reserve figures released yesterday. The advance was paced by a $16.2 billion jump in non-revolving debt, including student and car loans. Read more.

SENATE BALKS AT TAKING UP STUDENT LOAN BILL

With federal student loan interest rates set to double July 1, the Senate failed yesterday to get enough votes to take up a bill to extend low 3.4 percent rates for another year, CNNMoney.com reported. The vote was 52-45 to take up the bill, 8 fewer than the 60 needed to officially start debating the bill. Senate Republicans and Democrats are still negotiating a compromise, and the Senate could vote again this week. Many lawmakers in both parties agree that they would like to extend the current 3.4 percent rates for another year. They disagree, however, on how to offset the $6 billion it would cost to do so. House Republicans passed a measure that would pay for extending the lower student loan rate by cutting from a health care fund that promotes preventive care. President Obama vowed to veto that bill. President Obama and Senate Democrats want to pay for the measure by eliminating some tax benefits for small business owners. Read more.

In related news, a report found that the U.S. Education Department must step up its oversight of private student-loan debt collectors, improving the tracking of borrower complaints and changing its commission system to reward customer service, the San Francisco Chronicle reported today. Contractors hired by the government to chase defaulted borrowers fail to maintain "fair and efficient" systems to track complaints, according to the report, released yesterday by the National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group. The department weighs collection, rather than complaints, too heavily in awarding contracts, it said. With $67 billion of student loans in default, the Education Department has hired 23 private debt-collection companies to chase borrowers. They include Pioneer Credit Recovery, a unit of SLM Corp., the largest student-loan company, also known as Sallie Mae. In the year ended in September, the department received 1,406 complaints against the debt collectors, up 41 percent from the year before. Read more.

REGULATORS SEEK ALTERNATE PLANS ON MONEY MARKET FUNDS

Federal regulators are increasingly worried that the Securities and Exchange Commission could fail to complete more-stringent rules on money-market mutual funds, forcing officials to confront how else to rein in the $2.6 trillion industry, the Wall Street Journal reported today. While financial regulators would prefer the SEC to act on its own, some officials behind the scenes have started to investigate whether the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a special panel created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, could act if the SEC can't agree on a proposal to shore up funds or reduce risk. Regulators' consideration of alternatives comes as the SEC has met internal and external snags in its efforts to complete a proposal aimed at reducing both money funds' vulnerability to credit shocks and investor incentives to flee the funds at the first sign of trouble. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has directed the campaign, which comes on top of an initial round of rule-tightening for the funds in 2010. Her proposals would limit investors' ability to sell all their funds immediately and change how the funds are priced. Read more. (Subscription required.)

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

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

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

Click here to register.

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: GILBERT V. RESIDENTIAL FUNDING LLC (4TH CIR.)

Summarized by ABI Deputy Executive Director Amy Quackenboss

A lawsuit seeking rescission of a mortgage loan is timely under the Truth in Lending Act where the consumer provided notice of rescission to the subservicer within three years of closing but did not file suit until after the three-year deadline under the TILA had passed. The Fourth Circuit rejected the subservicer's reliance on the U.S. Supreme Court's desicion in Beach v. Ocwen Federal Bank, observing that Beach "did not address the proper method of exercising a right to rescind or the timely exercise of that right" but only addressed whether 15 U.S.C. §1635 was a statute of limitations that operated to extinguish the right after three years.

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: CONGRESS ASKING TOO MUCH OF BANK REGULATORS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post discusses whether Congress is piling on too many rules for regulators to enforce without proportionately increasing the number or competence of examiners in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS

May
- New York City Bankruptcy Conference
     May 9, 2012 | New York, N.Y.
- ABI Labor and Employment Committee's "Evolving Labor Issues in Chapter 11" Webinar
     May 23, 2012

June
- Memphis Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     June 1, 2012 | Memphis, Tenn.
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 7-10, 2012 | Traverse City, Mich.

  


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

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

 
 
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Judges Ruling on Dodd-Frank Act Beefs Up Protection for Whistleblowers

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | July 10, 2012
 
  

July 10, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

JUDGE'S RULING ON DODD-FRANK ACT BEEFS UP PROTECTION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken bolstered protection for corporate whistleblowers yesterday by ruling the Dodd-Frank law gave retroactive protection to employees of subsidiaries, not just people who work directly for the parent companies, Reuters reported yesterday. The decision concerned the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, adopted in the wake of Enron Corp's collapse the prior year, which helped protect employees of publicly-traded companies against retaliation for whistleblowing. Dodd-Frank amended that law in July 2010, as part of a series of financial reforms, to show that employees of subsidiaries should also be protected from any reprisals by their companies. Judge Oetken yesterday said that the Dodd-Frank amendments should apply retroactively to cases that predated Dodd-Frank, being "a clarification of Congress's intent" concerning whistleblowers. Read more.

In related news, the House Financial Services Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises held a hearing today titled "The Impact of Dodd-Frank on Customers, Credit, and Job Creators." To view the witness list and prepared witness testimony, please click here.

The House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET titled "The Impact of Dodd-Frank’s Home Mortgage Reforms: Consumer and Market Perspectives." Click here for more information.

CONSUMER BORROWING INCREASED IN MAY, PROPELLED BY CREDIT CARD BORROWING

Consumer borrowing rose by $17.1 billion in May from April, the Federal Reserve said yesterday, according to the Associated Press. The gain drove total borrowing to a seasonally adjusted $2.57 trillion, nearly matching the all-time high reached in July 2008. Borrowing has increased steadily over the past two years, but most of the gains have been driven by auto and student loans, which rose to a record level of $1.7 trillion in May. Consumers cut back sharply on credit card debt during the recession and immediately after, but that changed in May when the measure of credit card debt jumped by $8 billion. Still, the level of debt for that category increased to only $870 billion, or 2.2 percent above the post-recession low hit in April 2011. The category had totaled more than $1 trillion before and shortly after the recession began. Read more.

ANALYSIS: PRICE OF USING CREDIT CARDS MAY RISE

Merchants may soon begin imposing a surcharge each time a customer pays with a credit card, a practice Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. currently prohibit, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Retailers have long pushed for the right to charge extra to customers who pay with plastic versus cash, saying that the practice would help defray their costs for accepting credit and debit cards. Merchants pay transaction fees on each card swipe. But Visa and MasterCard, which operate the world's largest card-payment networks, ban the practice in the U.S. as part of rules they require retailers to follow to accept their cards. That ban is expected to be eliminated or altered, though, under a potential settlement of long-standing lawsuits retailers have brought against the card networks and numerous banks that issue their cards. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: COMMERCIAL MORTGAGES SHOW DEPTH OF BAD LOAN SECURITIZATIONS

The first of the commercial real estate mortgages that were securitized in 2007 have started to come due, and it is becoming clear just how bad many of the loans were, according to a commentary in Friday's New York Times. The time when investors were most eager to buy, according to the commentary, turns out to have been the worst time to do so. Commercial mortgages — unlike residential ones — are seldom issued for periods of longer than 10 years, and often for as little as five. Many require no principal repayments during that period but call for the entire amount to be repaid in a balloon payment at the end of the loan. "Only 28 percent of the loans from 2007 due to mature in 2012 managed to pay off in full," said Manus Clancy, the senior managing director at Trepp L.L.C., which monitors the commercial mortgage market. Other loans in those securitizations were for seven or 10 years, so new waves of losses may arrive in 2014 and again in 2017. Read more.

CFTC SUES PEREGRINE FINANCIAL GROUP

Federal regulators sued Peregrine Financial Group Inc. and CEO Russell Wasendorf Sr. today, alleging fraud, customer funds violations and making false statements, and the FBI began an investigation of the brokerage, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The complaint from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission comes a day after the National Futures Association, the futures industry's self-regulatory body, said that it had taken an emergency enforcement action against broker PFGBest's parent company, Peregrine Financial Group. Regulators have shut down almost all operations of futures broker PFGBest after the firm froze client accounts yesterday. Read more. (Subscription required.)

LATEST ABI PODCAST FEATURES EXPERT DISCUSSING WHAT TO EXPECT FROM STOCKTON'S CHAPTER 9 FILING

The latest podcast features ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano speaking with Lynnette R. Warman, a partner at Hunton & Williams LLP (Dallas) and ABI Vice President—Publications, about Stockton, Calif.'s recent chapter 9 filing. Warman has been following Stockton's financial distress and she discusses what can be expected for the city and its creditors in the first year of the chapter 9 filing. Click here to listen.

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: SUNBEAM PRODUCTS, INC. V. CHICAGO AMERICAN MANUFACTURING, LLC (7TH CIR.)

Summarized by Jonathan Brand of Lakelaw

The Seventh Circuit was not persuaded by Lubrizol Enterprises, Inc. v. Richmond Metal Finishers, Inc., 756 F.2d 1043 (4th Cir. 1985), holding that when an intellectual-property license is rejected in bankruptcy, the licensee does not lose the ability to use any licensed copyrights, trademarks and patents. The court reasoned that, outside of bankruptcy, a licensor's breach does not terminate a licensee's right to use intellectual property. The same is true under §365(g). When a contract is rejected in the context of a bankruptcy, a breach is established, but the other party's rights remain in place. Therefore, Chicago American Manufacturing had the right to continue to perform under the pre-petition contract for the production of fans with the trademark of Lakewood Engineering & Manufacturing Co.

More than 550 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: DREIER BANKRUPTCY DEMONSTRATES THE ENDLESS SCOPE OF CLAWBACK CLAIMS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines the Dreier, LLP bankruptcy and the important role that clawback claims are playing in the case.

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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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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