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Foreclosures Grow Again as Funding for Help Wanes

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | August 7, 2012
 
  

August 7, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

FORECLOSURES GROW AGAIN AS FUNDING FOR HELP WANES

With millions of homes still in the foreclosure pipeline, mortgage counselors across the country say they are handling increasingly complex cases for homeowners who are unemployed, underwater or redefaulting -- and sometimes, all three, Bloomberg News reported today. Even as borrowers’ problems become more intractable, federal support is waning. Counseling programs are funded largely through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has allocated about $620 million to advise approximately 1.36 million homeowners since December 2007, according to a NeighborWorks America June 11 report to Congress. Last November, Congress appropriated $45 million for housing counseling in fiscal year 2012 after slashing all counseling funding during April budget negotiations. HUD had requested $88 million. The House passed a 2013 HUD appropriations bill in June allocating $45 million to housing counseling, $10 million less than HUD requested. The bill is now stalled in the Senate, and the White House has said President Barack Obama plans to veto the bill if passed in its current form. Administration officials are urging states to compensate for declining funds with money from a recent court settlement with mortgage servicers. Counselors, who act as neutral third parties between homeowners and lenders, say their services will be needed as long as unemployment remains high, scammers target struggling homeowners and states change their foreclosure policies, as happens frequently. Read more.

LAWSUIT COULD UNDO SALE THAT CREATED NEW GM, COMPANY SAYS

The new General Motors Co. could be undone by a $3 billion lawsuit that pits general creditors against hedge funds including Appaloosa Management LP, Elliott Management Corp. and Fortress Investment Group LLC, Bloomberg News reported today. A trust for creditors of the old, bankrupt part of the automaker now known as Motors Liquidation Co. sued the hedge funds in bankruptcy court in March, alleging that while GM was preparing its bankruptcy filing on June 1, 2009, the funds, which held notes in a Canadian unit of GM, "saw an eleventh-hour opportunity for profit and pounced." The trust seeks to have a $2.67 billion claim and a $367 million payment negotiated for holders of notes in GM's Nova Scotia unit disallowed or reduced, saying that the hedge funds seek more than three times what General Motors actually owed them. General Motors, the currently operating automaker that split off from the bankrupt unit through a purchase of its assets July 10, said that the trust's objections "threaten to disturb" the sale that saved the U.S. automaker, allowing it to prosper. Read more.

FEDERAL RESERVE SAYS U.S. BANK LENDING CONDITIONS EASING

The Federal Reserve said yesterday that banks continued to ease lending standards for larger firms in the last three months but that small businesses are still having a hard time accessing credit, Reuters reported today. The results from the central bank's quarterly senior loan officer survey suggest that the ability of firms to borrow has continued to improve despite recent signs of weakness in the economic recovery. A number of banks eased loan standards on auto and credit card loans, the Fed said. Strong demand for prime mortgage loans offered further evidence that a nascent housing rebound is finally beginning to take hold, according to the survey. U.S. banks are benefiting from new business due to a decrease in lending from European institutions, the survey found. Read more.

FEARING AN IMPASSE IN CONGRESS, INDUSTRY CUTS SPENDING

A rising number of manufacturers are canceling new investments and putting off new hires because they fear that paralysis in Washington, D.C., will force hundreds of billions in tax increases and budget cuts in January, undermining economic growth in the coming months, the New York Times reported on Sunday. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are far apart on how to extend the Bush-era tax breaks beyond January — the same month automatic spending reductions are set to take effect — unless there is a deal to trim the deficit. The combination of tax increases and spending cuts is creating an economic threat that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke calls "the fiscal cliff." The worries come amid broader fears that the economy is losing momentum; the annual rate of economic growth in the second quarter fell to 1.5 percent from 2 percent in the first quarter, and 4.1 percent in the last quarter of 2011. On Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that factory orders unexpectedly fell 0.5 percent in June from the previous month, while data on the labor market released on Friday showed job creation still falling short of the level needed to bring down the unemployment rate. Read more.

STATE REGULATORS URGE CONGRESS TO EXTEND DEPOSIT INSURANCE

State regulators on Friday sent a letter to Congress urging for the extension of a special program that provides government insurance on bank accounts known as the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG), the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. It is clear that "the stability provided by the TAG program is still necessary," wrote John Ryan, president of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. The guarantee program insures all bank deposits above the traditional $250,000 limit for guaranteed deposits provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The result is a sense of safety for companies and municipalities that want to deposit large sums of cash at banks for use in managing payroll, for instance. The program covers more than a trillion dollars worth of zero-interest deposits at large and small banks. The program was created in 2008 in the midst of market chaos stemming from the financial crisis. Four years later, the program faces a Dec. 31 expiration date, absent congressional action. Read more. (Subscription required.)

SMALL BANKS CRITICIZE PROPOSED BANK CAPITAL RULES

Executives at many small banks complain that the forthcoming bank capital rules proposed by the OCC, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to implement an international agreement known as Basel III could force the banks to cut back on loans to small businesses or homeowners, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The current economic malaise has heightened concern about the health of smaller lenders. Smaller banks say they are a bigger driver of growth in their communities—particularly for small businesses—than their bigger, multinational rivals. Lenders with less than $1 billion in assets made up about 10 percent of industry assets as of the first quarter but made 37 percent of small loans to businesses and farms, according to research by the FDIC, which has launched an initiative to better understand the challenges facing community banks. At a vote to send the draft rules out for comment, Federal Reserve governor Elizabeth Duke raised concerns that new treatment of mortgages and other assets under the new capital rules could hamper legitimate lending by smaller lenders. Small lenders say that the elaborate Basel III system was designed to rein in the large, internationally active banks that brought the financial system to its knees, not small community institutions. Read more. (Subscription required.)

LATEST ABI PUBLICATION EXPLORES OIL AND GAS BANKRUPTCIES

The U.S. oil and gas industry is especially vulnerable to the effects of myriad internal and external factors, ranging from global credit markets to domestic and foreign geopolitical events, and from technological developments and limitations to population growth and even the weather. These factors have contributed to a dramatic increase in restructurings and bankruptcy filings over the last decade. Bankruptcy cases involving exploration and production companies raise unique issues, resulting from the interplay among the Bankruptcy Code, federal and state laws, the regulatory structure governing the energy industry, and the political and practical realities of the industry’s significance. When Gushers Go Dry: The Essentials of Oil and Gas Bankruptcy provides a better understanding of what happens when an oil, gas or other natural resources company goes bankrupt. For more information about ordering the book, please visit the ABI Bookstore.

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: TERRY V. STANDARD INSURANCE CO. (IN RE TERRY; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Sarah Smegal of Bartlett Hackett Feinberg P.C.

The Eighth Circuit BAP reversed the bankruptcy court and remanded the case for a determination of whether the equities favored allowing the creditor to recoup the debtor's pre-petition overpayment of disability insurance benefits from post-petition benefits. Reviewing the bankruptcy court's decision de novo, the BAP held that the debtor's debt to Standard was revived when Standard turned over the $45,316.54 to the trustee in response to the preference demand letter. Standard's right to reimbursement was a claim entitled to be paid as a general unsecured claim as allowed under Section 502(h). Standard did not file a proof of claim, so its claim was not allowed and it was not entitled to any distribution in the case. Its claim was also discharged under Section 727(b). The BAP found that although the debt was discharged and Standard could not collect the overpayment affirmatively, Standard's equitable defense of recoupment survived and could be exercised under the policy. For recoupment to apply, the creditor must have a claim against the debtor that arose from the same transaction as the debtor's claim against the creditor. The BAP ruled that both parties' rights and obligations arose out of a single contract, i.e. the long-term disability insurance policy. Recoupment is only allowed where it would be inequitable for the debtor to enjoy the benefits of the transaction without also meeting his obligations, and is also narrowly construed in bankruptcy. Accordingly, as the equities must be weighed and the question was not reached by the bankruptcy court, the BAP remanded the case.

Nearly 600 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: THIRD CIRCUIT REVISITS EQUITABLE MOOTNESS IN PHILADELPHIA NEWSPAPERS CASE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examined how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently held in In re Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, No. 11-3257 (3d Cir. July 26, 2012) that an appeal cannot be dismissed as equitably moot solely on the basis that a chapter 11 plan has been substantially consummated.

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

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

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

IS YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP PROFILE CURRENT?

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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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Sept. 13-14, 2012
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Sept. 13-15, 2012
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Sept. 19-20, 2012
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Oct. 4, 2012
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Oct. 5, 2012
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Oct. 8, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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U.S./Mexico Restructuring Symposium
Mexico City, Mexico
Nov. 7, 2012

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SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

November
- U.S./Mexico Restructuring Symposium
     November 7, 2012 | Mexico City, Mexico
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     November 12, 2012 | Detroit, Mich.


 
 
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Senate Deadlocks on Student Loans

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | June 6 2013
 
  

June 6, 2013

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

SENATE DEADLOCKS ON STUDENT LOANS

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

SEC PROPOSES CHANGES TO MONEY-MARKET FUND RULES

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

INVESTORS RETURN TO RISKY "SYNTHETIC CDOS"

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

REGULATORS INVESTIGATING "DARK POOL" STOCK TRADING

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

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

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

REPORT: ENTITLEMENT CHANGES TO PUT SENIORS AT FINANCIAL RISK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized by Andrew Johnson of Onsager, Staelin & Guyerson

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

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

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

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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June 14, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
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July 11-14, 2013
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July 15, 2013
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July 18-21, 2013
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Aug. 8-10, 2013
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Aug. 22-24, 2013
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Sept. 10, 2013
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Sept. 12, 2013
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Sept. 27, 2013
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Endowment Football 2013
Oct. 6, 2013
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Nov. 11, 2013
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40-Hour Mediation Program
Dec. 8-12, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

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

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

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


  



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

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

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

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


 
 
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CFPB Cites Problems with Credit Cards Mortgages and Credit Reports

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 1 2012
 
  

November 1, 2012

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

CFPB CITES PROBLEMS WITH CREDIT CARDS, MORTGAGES AND CREDIT REPORTS

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported yesterday that it is finding problems with credit cards, credit bureau reporting and mortgages, CongressDaily reported today. Specifically, the CFPB said that it found that credit card holders under the age of 21 were raising their credit limits without the consent of their co-applicants, inaccurate information reported to credit bureaus was causing consumers to be charged too much or denied credit, and clear mortgage disclosures with proper rates and timely information regarding payments was not being provided to homeowners. The bureau said that the findings have prompted a compliance review and sparked fines totaling $435 million in refunds to 5.7 million consumers. Click here to read the CFPB's fall summary report.

COMMENTARY: AFTER BAILOUT, LARGE BANKS ALLOWED TO DOMINATE THE MORTGAGE BUSINESS

The broken mortgage market is the unintended consequence of the banking bailout and the regulatory response in the aftermath of the financial crisis, according to a commentary in the New York Times yesterday. In the third quarter, both Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase reported that they earned robust profits from the mortgage business. It would be foolish to blame Wells Fargo and JPMorgan for this situation, according to the commentary, but the government allowing takeovers without forcing weak competitors to get healthy quickly leads to an oligopoly. Instead, the two companies’ main competitors, Citigroup and Bank of America, are pulling out. Read the full commentary.

OBAMA SUGGESTS "SECRETARY OF BUSINESS" IN A SECOND TERM

President Barack Obama signaled that if he wins a second term, he would appoint a Secretary of Business to oversee newly consolidated government agencies, including the Small Business Administration, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. "We should have one Secretary of Business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like giving loans to SBA or helping companies with exports," Obama said on Monday. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: "TOO BIG TO FAIL" REMAINS VERY REAL

While it is tempting to think that very large financial institutions are no longer too big to fail thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act and regulation, this idea is completely at odds with the facts, according to an op-ed by Prof. Simon Johnson of the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management in Monday's New York Times. In a high-profile paper prepared recently at the behest of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the lobbying group for the securities industry, Federal Financial Analytics Inc., argues that "too big to fail" has effectively been ended. In theory, “too big to fail” should have been removed by the recent reforms or eliminated by the passage of time. But as a practical matter — looking at what investors really believe — “too big to fail” is still with us, according to Johnson. This implicit government guarantee lowers the funding costs for very large financial institutions because investors are convinced that debt issued by these firms is less risky than, for example, debt issued by small and medium-size banks. In effect, the government is providing a form of insurance that encourages financial institutions to become even bigger — and thus even more likely to be protected by some combination of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and other agencies. This is an unfair, nontransparent government subsidy that encourages excessive risk-taking, according to Johnson, and creates a very large potential downside for the nonfinancial side of our economy. Read the full op-ed.

HURRICANE SANDY ESTIMATED TO COST INSURERS UP TO $20 BILLION

Hurricane Sandy may cost the insurance industry up to $20 billion, which would put this week's devastating storm second only to 2005's Hurricane Katrina for insured losses, according to a new damage estimate, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Disaster-modeling firm Eqecat Inc. said insured losses likely range from $10 billion to $20 billion and said that the total cost of the storm, including damage that was not insured by private companies, would be between $30 billion and $50 billion. In addition, the closure of major roads, tunnels and the New York City subway system are likely to drive claims higher, the firm said. Read more. (Subscription required.)

TRANSCRIPT OF CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION’S 10/17 HEARING NOW AVAILABLE

A full transcript of ABI's Chapter 11 Reform Commission’s hearing on 10/17 at the LSTA Conference in New York is now available. The transcript can be downloaded by clicking here.

The next public hearing will be Saturday from noon-2 p.m. ET at the 24th Annual TMA Annual Conference in Boston. For future Commission hearings, please click here.

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SHAFFER V. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (IN RE SHAFFER; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by William Joanis of JoanisLaw

The Eighth Circuit ruled that the debtor met the burden of proving by preponderance of evidence that educational loans were discharged on basis of undue hardship. The court employed a "totality of circumstances" test (i.e., past, present and future resources, reasonableness of living expenses, and other relevant facts, etc.). While the court noted that each loan needed to be evaluated separately, this issue was not properly raised on appeal.

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: RECAP OF DISCUSSIONS AT THE NCBJ ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post highlights some of the topic discussions from the panels at last week's NCBJ annual meeting.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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SATURDAY:


CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION HEARING
November 3, 2012
More Info.

 

WEDNESDAY:

 

MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
Register Today!

 

COMING UP:

 

 

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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WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Jan. 24-25, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

  

 

2013

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

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


 
 
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Supreme Court Will Hear Bankruptcy Case Involving Charge on Debtors Property

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | June 18 2013
 
  

June 18, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

SUPREME COURT WILL HEAR BANKRUPTCY CASE INVOLVING CHARGE ON DEBTOR'S PROPERTY

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday granted certiorari in a case involving the question of whether a bankruptcy court has the power to levy a financial charge against a chapter 7 debtor's residential property, which the debtor claims falls under the homestead exemption, Mealey's Daily News Service reported yesterday. In 2004, Stephen Law filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. He listed his home property value as $363,348 and sought a homestead exemption. The chapter 7 trustee, Alfred Siegel, did not object to the homestead exemption, but two years later the trustee moved to surcharge Law's homestead exemption $75,000. Law argued that he was not properly served in the process. The trustee countered that Law defrauded his creditors by filing a phony lien against his home to take value out of the property. The bankruptcy court granted the trustee's surcharge, and Law appealed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) for the Ninth Circuit. The BAP reversed the surcharge order, concluding that it was "not warranted." The trustee appealed to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which reversed the BAP's ruling and determined that the surcharge was proper. Law then appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Court should reverse the Ninth Circuit's ruling and order the trustee to pay him the $75,000 surcharge pertaining to the homestead exemption. The U.S. Solicitor General suggested that the Supreme Court not hear the case, contending that it did not present the question on which courts of appeals are divided. The case is Stephen Law v. Alfred Siegel, No. 12-5196, U.S. Sup. Read more.

CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCIES DECLINED IN MAY FOR MAJOR LENDERS

Late credit card payments declined for major lenders in May, continuing a steady performance that has been bolstered by recent signs that the U.S. economic recovery is gradually gaining traction, Dow Jones Newswires reported yesterday. Capital One Financial Corp., Discover Financial Services, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citi said yesterday that their credit card delinquencies declined in May from April. At the same time, they also said that their net charge-off rates, which measure loans lenders deem uncollectible, fell during the month. American Express Co. said that its delinquency rate stayed flat at 1.1 percent in May while its net charge-off rate declined to 1.9 percent from 2.1 percent in April. Historically, major credit card lenders have experienced delinquency and loss rates of between 3 and 5 percent on average under what analysts consider to be a "normal" economic environment. Read more.

ANALYSIS: LAWMAKERS TO FOCUS ON FUTURE OF FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC

Congress is gearing up to tackle an issue that has been mostly ignored for nearly five years: What to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the bailed-out-but-now-profitable mortgage companies, according to an analysis in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. In the Senate, Republicans and Democrats have begun work on a bipartisan bill that would replace Fannie and Freddie within five years with a new "public guarantor" as part of a broader framework designed to gradually ease the government out of its outsized role of backstopping the nation's $10 trillion mortgage market. The effort is being led by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), although a formal bill has not been introduced. The Corker-Warner proposal would maintain a potentially significant federal role in the mortgage market by replacing Fannie and Freddie with a new system in which private entities would purchase mortgages from lenders and issue them to investors as securities. The bill would allow private entities to purchase an explicit government guarantee to cover catastrophic losses on mortgages issued as bonds from a new guarantor, called the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corp. But the new issuers would first have to raise a significant amount of capital that would take all losses before the federal guarantee would be triggered. The new "FMIC" would oversee the broader market, much like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. regulates banks and provides deposit insurance to minimize bank runs. Read more. (Subscription required.)

MUNICIPAL DEBT MARKET SEEN AS MORE INTERESTED IN FOMC THAN DETROIT

The $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal market looked beyond Detroit's default on some of its debt payments yesterday and instead remained focused on any signals as to how the Federal Reserve may scale back its stimulus measures, Reuters reported yesterday. Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr on Friday, who said that the financially troubled city faces even odds of a bankruptcy filing, announced a moratorium on some of the city's principal and interest payments, including a $39.7 million payment on $1.43 billion of pension certificates of participation, which he said was due last Friday. Orr also said that holders of Detroit's unsecured debt would be paid less than 10 cents on the dollar, although some creditors would get more based on revenues. About $11.5 billion of the city's debt is unsecured and $7 billion is secured, according to Orr, who aims to meet with creditors over the next 30 days. But the muni market yesterday did not dwell on Orr's plan, said Josh Gonze, co-manager of six municipal debt mutual funds with $10 billion in assets at Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe, N.M. "We knew this day was coming," Gonze said, noting Detroit's insured general obligation bonds traded on Monday at 94 to 98 cents on the dollar depending on coupon and maturity. Instead, Orr's plan opens up opportunities for distressed-debt investors and for picking up Detroit's essential services bonds, Gonze added. As dramatic as Orr's proposals may be, the muni market is more interested in cues regarding the potential end of easy-money policies that come out of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) – the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting body – this week, said Billy Schmohl, a vice president at muni market-focused broker-dealer Alamo Capital in Walnut Creek, Calif. Read more.

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

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

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; NEXT STOP IS 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, and women are most welcome.

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: DAILEY V. MOSTOLLER (IN RE DALEY; 6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Faisal Delawalla of Burr & Forman LLP

The decisions of the bankruptcy court and the district court were reversed by the Sixth Circuit. The circuit court ruled that the debtor is entitled to a statutory presumption that his IRA is tax-exempt. Though the debtor was granted a lien in his IRA to Merrill Lynch, the circuit court found that the debtor did not use his IRA to obtain credit from Merrill Lynch.

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 LAW V. SIEGEL

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new blog post examines the Supreme Court's grant of certiorari yesterday in the case of Law v. Siegel, which involves a debtor asking the Court to review the decision of a bankruptcy court to surcharge his homestead exemption under section 105.

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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abiLIVEJuly
July 15, 2013
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SEBW 2013
July 18-21, 2013
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MA 2013
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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VFB2013
Sept. 27, 2013
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MW2013
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.
- 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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Homeowners See Benefits of Foreclosure Settlement Plan

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | August 30, 2012
 
  

August 30, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

HOMEOWNERS SEE BENEFITS OF FORECLOSURE SETTLEMENT PLAN

More than 130,000 homeowners have received $10.5 billion in relief under the national settlement over foreclosure abuses, according to a preliminary report issued yesterday by the settlement monitor, the New York Times reported today. Under the settlement in February, reached in response to evidence that the foreclosure process had been riddled with fraud, the country’s five largest mortgage servicers promised $25 billion to help stem the tide of homeowner losses. About $20 billion of that was designated to provide relief to homeowners, primarily through various forms of debt forgiveness. Although it may seem that banks have already satisfied more than half of their commitment, only a portion of the $10.5 billion will count, because of the way the relief is tallied. The banks — Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — reported that the bulk of the help so far had come in the form of short sales, in which lenders allow homeowners to sell for less than what they owe. Many homeowners have been stuck in their homes because they have lost so much value. The banks reported $8.7 billion in debt written off through short sales. But far less progress has been seen under the central provision of the settlement, reducing the principal owed on homes. Banks reported a total of only $750 million in principal reduction, and Bank of America, which has the highest obligations under the settlement, reported none. Read more.

ANALYSIS: U.S. HOUSEHOLDS CONTINUE TO CHIP AWAY AT THE DEBT ON THEIR HOMES

Total U.S. household debt fell by 0.5 percent in the April-to-June period from the previous quarter to $11.38 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said yesterday, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The drop was due almost entirely to falling mortgage balances, as some households paid down home loans while others erased their debts and lost their homes by completing the foreclosure process. Additionally, the number of homeowners entering foreclosure fell by 12 percent to an estimated 256,000 during the quarter, the lowest level since mid-2007, another sign the housing market may be stabilizing. Read more. (Subscription required.)

STUDENT-LOAN DEBT RISES TO $914 BILLION IN SECOND QUARTER

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that debt from educational loans in the U.S. rose 1.1 percent to $914 billion in the second quarter, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Outstanding student debt increased from $904 billion three months earlier, the New York Fed said yesterday in a report. The loans were taken out by students and their parents, and the majority are backed by the U.S. government. Ninety-day delinquency rates for student loans increased to 8.9 percent from 8.69 percent in the first quarter, the New York Fed said. Since the peak in household debt in the third quarter of 2008, student-loan debt has increased by $303 billion, while other forms of debt fell a combined $1.6 trillion. Read more.

SEC PROPOSAL WOULD REMOVE PROHIBITION AGAINST GENERAL SOLICITATION BY HEDGE FUNDS

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday proposed rules that would remove a longtime prohibition against general solicitation by hedge funds, a huge change for an industry that has ballooned in size and influence in recent decades, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. Unlike their mutual fund brethren, hedge funds have long been barred from advertising in public forums like newspapers or television. Releasing information as basic as performance and assets has been prohibited, the idea being that such complicated and risky investment opportunities should be promoted only to those deemed financially fit. That threshold has been at least $1 million in liquid assets, or a $200,000 annual income for an individual or $300,000 for a couple. But under the new rules, hedge funds might be able to rent billboards, buy full-page advertisements in newspapers or have Web sites that offer the public a real look inside their operations and performance, as opposed to the password-protected sites most operate today. The proposal –mandated by a new law, the Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups Act – could go a long way toward demystifying and increasing understanding of hedge funds, which are often accused of being highly secretive. Read more.

CONSUMER SPENDING TICKS UP

The Commerce Department released a report today that U.S. personal spending rose the most in five months in July, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4 percent from the prior month, according to the Commerce Department. Personal consumption fell 0.2 percent in May and was flat in June as Americans saved, rather than spent, their slowly rising incomes. Today's report showed that personal incomes rose 0.3 percent in July, the eighth consecutive month that incomes increased. July's savings rate ticked down to 4.2 percent from 4.3 percent in June, which had been the highest level in a year. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: CAGE V. HARDY RAWLS ENTERPRISES, LLC (IN RE MOYE; 5TH CIR.)

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

Affirming the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston) that the trustee had proved that all but one of the payments in question made by the debtors were avoidable preferences and that the creditor failed to successfully establish its affirmative defenses.

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: EMINENT DOMAIN WILL DRIVE HOMEOWNERSHIP INTO THE SUNSET

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post finds that the proposed plan by San Bernardino County, Calif., to seize underwater mortgages through eminent domain would serve only to damage homeownership, not protect it.

For more on the issue of localities examining the use of eminent domain to seize underwater properties, listen to an ABI podcast featuring Prof. Mark Scarberry discussing the proposal and the potential legal ramifications of using eminent domain to provide relief from the foreclosure crisis. Click here to listen.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENTS:

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

 

NYU 2012
Sept. 19-20, 2012
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"WHEN IS AN INDIVIDUAL CHAPTER 11 THE BEST FIT?" LIVE WEBINAR
Sept. 27, 2012
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NABMW 2012
Oct. 4, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
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ABI YOUNG AND NEW MEMBERS COMMITTEE “TRENDING ISSUES: EXAMINERS AND SELECT PLAN CONFIRMATION ISSUES” WEBINAR
Oct. 15, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
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4TH ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Nov. 9, 2012
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SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
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SE 2012
Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2012
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

September
- 7th Annual Golf and Tennis Outing
     September 11, 2012 | Maplewood, N.J.
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
     September 13-14, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
     September 13-15, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- 38th Annual Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
     September 19-20, 2012 | New York, N.Y.
- "When Is an Individual Chapter 11 the Best Fit?" Live Webinar
     September 27, 2012
- American College of Bankruptcy's "Bankruptcy: Back to the Future" Program
     September 28, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.

October
- Nuts & Bolts for Young and New Practitioners - KC
     October 4, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program, Midwestern Consumer Forum
     October 5, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.

  


- Bankruptcy 2012: Views from the Bench
     October 5, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     October 8, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.
- "Trending Issues: Examiners and Select Plan Confirmation Issues" Webinar
     October 15, 2012
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy

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


 
 
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Commentary Housing Prices Stabilizing Where Lenders Can Enforce Contracts

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 10 2013
 
  

January 10, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

COMMENTARY: HOUSING PRICES STABILIZING WHERE LENDERS CAN ENFORCE CONTRACTS

Data from Case-Shiller, Lender Processing Services and other housing trackers suggest that the housing rebound is strongest in states where lenders can enforce contracts, according to an editorial in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. The editorial refers to the difference between "nonjudicial" states that have streamlined foreclosure procedures and the 23 "judicial" states that force lenders to go to court to enforce mortgage contracts. Prices are stabilizing in the former but still faltering in much of the latter. Housing markets cannot clear until lenders can foreclose on delinquent borrowers and prices fall far enough to attract buyers who can afford the mortgage payments, according to the editorial. Politicians and housing lobbyists decry nonjudicial foreclosure as unfair to borrowers, but every homeowner in any state has the right to challenge a foreclosure in court, regardless of whether they live in a nonjudicial state. The main difference is that in a judicial state the lender has to file a lawsuit to initiate a foreclosure, which can take months or years to settle depending on the state. Lender Processing Services estimates that the foreclosure inventory in judicial states is more than triple that of nonjudicial states. The Mortgage Bankers Association's latest National Delinquency Survey, which ended September 30, showed that of the top five states with the highest share of loans in foreclosure, four were judicial: Florida (13.04 percent), New Jersey (8.87 percent), Illinois (6.83 percent) and New York (6.46 percent). Read the full editorial. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: SHORT SALES IN CALIFORNIA SURPASS SALES OF FORECLOSED HOMES

Real estate research firm DataQuick is reporting that short sales in California in recent months have surpassed sales of foreclosed homes for the first time since the start of the housing crash in 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday. The transactions now represent about a quarter of the market, a surge driven by rising home prices, government crackdowns on foreclosures and banks' increasing capacity to process the deals. Lenders have revamped short sale departments, streamlining paperwork, creating new software systems and enlisting newly formed companies as liaisons with borrowers. Some institutions are even paying homeowners sizable sums to move, similar to "cash for keys" arrangements used as an alternative to eviction in foreclosures. Bank of America pays up to $30,000 in relocation assistance for certain successful short sales. JPMorgan Chase will pay up to $35,000. Wells Fargo offers similar aid, though it declined to specify an amount. Read more.

LENDER REVIEW OF BORROWERS TIGHTENED UNDER CFPB'S NEW MORTGAGE RULES

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a rule today that for the first time forces lenders to verify borrowers’ ability to repay mortgages by confirming income and assets, Bloomberg News reported. The rule, mandated by Congress in response to lax underwriting standards before the 2008 financial crisis, will also offer some legal protection for lenders who follow guidelines for qualified mortgages. The measure also insulates issuers of qualified mortgages at prime interest rates from future lawsuits. The qualified-mortgage rule will apply to home loans in the underwriting phase, whether made by banks such as Bank of America Corp. and/or non-depository originators. The rule on repayment ability is the first in a series of rules that the CFPB will issue that will shape the post-crisis mortgage market. The bureau will unveil rules on mortgage servicing at a Jan. 17 hearing in Atlanta. Read more.

CONSUMER DEBT INCREASES ON MORE CAR, SCHOOL LOANS

The Federal Reserve issued a report on Tuesday showing that consumers increased their borrowing in November by $16 billion from October to a seasonally adjusted record of $2.77 trillion, the Associated Press reported yesterday. Borrowing that covers autos and student loans increased $15.2 billion. A category that measures credit card debt rose just $817 million. The sharp difference in the borrowing gains illustrates a broader trend that began during the Great Recession. Four years ago, Americans carried $1.03 trillion in credit card debt, an all-time high. In November, that figure was 16.5 percent lower. At the same time, student loan debt has increased dramatically. The category that includes auto and student loans is 22.8 percent higher than in July 2008. Read more.

LATEST BLOOMBERG "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: FEE AGREEMENT PUTS LAW FIRM IN TRUSTEE'S SIGHTS

Law firm Kaye Scholer LLP and financial advisor Capstone Advisory Group LLC are in the sights of a U.S. Trustee aiming to claw back $12 million for an undisclosed agreement to share fees awarded in the now-completed bankruptcy of GSC Group Inc. In their latest video, Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle pose the question of whether the dispute involves a serious ethical lapse or a hypertechnical reading of an ambiguous statute. Click here to view.

CHAPTER 9s, NONPROFITS AND OTHER NONTRADITIONAL RESTRUCTURING PROCESSES AMONG TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED 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 on Hot Business and Consumer Topics
• Mediation: The Rational Alternative
• Creditors’ Committees and the Role of Indenture Trustees and Related Issues
• Current Issues for Financial Advisors in Bankruptcy Cases
• The Individual Conundrum: Chapter 7, 11 or 13?
• The Power to Veto Bankruptcy Sales
• Real Estate Issues in Health Care Restructurings
• Law Firm Bankruptcies
• How to Be a Successful Expert
• The Ethical Compass: Multiple Ethical Schemes Applicable to Financial Advisors
• Chapter 9s, Nonprofits and Other Nontraditional Restructuring Processes
• And much more!

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

Register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago)

Click here to register!

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: ELLIOT V. SUTTON (IN RE ELLIOTT; 5TH CIR.)

Summarized by Brendan Gage, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern & Western Districts of Arkansas

Affirming the judgment of the District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, the Fifth Circuit held that a bankruptcy court may sua sponte convert a debtor’s chapter 13 case to a case under chapter 7 even when the debtor opposes conversion and moves to dismiss the case pursuant to § 1307(b).

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: EXAMINING CALPERS’ LOSS IN THE SAN BERNARDINO CHAPTER 9 CASE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new post examines the decision of a bankruptcy judge to deny the motion of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALPERS) that it filed in the bankruptcy proceedings of the city of San Bernardino to have the automatic stay lifted with respect to overdue pension payments. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury based her denial partly on the city’s representations that forcing the payment of outstanding CALPERS obligations at this time would be a “death knell” for the city.

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

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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
     February 7-9, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
     February 19, 2013


  

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

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

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


 
 
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Commentary Dodd-Franks Orderly Liquidation Is Out of Order

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 27, 2012
 
  

September 27, 2012

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

COMMENTARY: DODD-FRANK'S "ORDERLY LIQUIDATION" IS OUT OF ORDER

The Dodd-Frank Act continues to undermine economic growth and the rule of law by injecting immense uncertainty into our economy, according to a Wall Street Journal commentary yesterday by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R). Oklahoma, South Carolina and Michigan last week joined a federal lawsuit against the Dodd-Frank Act to uphold property rights and checks and balances. Pruitt and Wilson's commentary focused on Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act, which gives the Treasury secretary and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. unprecedented authority to "liquidate" financial companies. "This grants immense power to a handful of unelected federal bureaucrats, empowering them to pick winners and losers among a liquidated company's investors. This arrangement destroys rights long protected by bankruptcy law," according to Pruitt and Wilson. Read the full commentary.

CFPB FACING TEST OF "AGGRESSIVE ABILITY TO INVESTIGATE"

Lawyers who follow actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are closely watching a petition by mortgage lender PHH Corp., which filed the first-ever challenge to a CFPB civil investigative demand, the Legal Times reported yesterday. PHH's petition called the agency's request for information "overly broad and unduly burdensome." Last week, CFPB Director Richard Cordray denied the petition and ordered the company to produce all relevant documents within 21 days. The dispute arose from an investigation to determine whether mortgage lenders and private mortgage insurance providers engaged in "unlawful acts or practices in connection with residential mortgage loans," as the CFPB put it in its "Notification of Purpose" that agency lawyers served on PHH on May 22. In its petition, PHH complained that the CFPB failed to state the nature of the conduct at issue, as required by Dodd-Frank. "The failure of the CFPB to properly apprise PHH of the nature of its investigation prejudices PHH's ability to formulate appropriate objections," PHH counsel Mitchel Kider and David Souders of Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider wrote. Cordray responded that an initial civil investigative demand may be "crafted broadly because the enforcement team needs to be thorough and comprehensive about its inquiries into possible violations of law that harm consumers." Read more.

GOV. BROWN SIGNS CALIFORNIA FORECLOSURE PREVENTION LEGISLATION

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has completed work on a package of foreclosure-prevention bills aimed at preventing future real estate and mortgage foreclosure problems, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday. The governor on Tuesday signed into law S.B. 1474 by State Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), giving the attorney general authority to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate and issue indictments for alleged financial crimes, including mortgage fraud. Also signed on Tuesday were Assembly Bill 1950 by Assemblyman Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles), which extends from one to three years the legal statute of limitations for prosecuting mortgage-related crimes, and A.B. 2610 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), which provides guarantees to renters that they can stay longer in foreclosed properties purchased by new owners. Read more.

ANALYSIS: STUDENT DEBT STRETCHES TO NEARLY 20 PERCENT OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS

With college enrollment growing, student debt has stretched to a record number of U.S. households — nearly 1 in 5 — according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, the Associated Press reported today. Pew found that 22.4 million households, or 19 percent, had college debt in 2010. That is double the share in 1989 and up from 15 percent in 2007, just prior to the recession — representing the biggest three-year increase in student debt in more than two decades. The increase was driven by higher tuition costs as well as rising college enrollment during the economic downturn. The biggest jumps occurred in households at the two extremes of the income distribution. More well-off families are digging deeper into their pockets to pay for costly private colleges, while lower-income people in search of higher-wage jobs are enrolling in community colleges, public universities and other schools as a way to boost their resumes. Read more.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS ACTIVITY SLUMPS TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE HEIGHT OF FINANCIAL CRISIS

Global mergers and acquisitions slumped this quarter to a level not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis amid increasing concern that the economic recovery is deteriorating, Bloomberg News reported today. Companies have announced $446 billion of takeovers since June 30, the smallest amount since the third quarter of 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Acquisitions are now on pace to drop 15 percent in 2012 to $2 trillion, the lowest in three years. Cross-border takeovers have accounted for about half of all announced deals this year. This quarter’s slowdown has been most pronounced in Europe, where takeovers accounted for about $92 billion, or 21 percent, of global activity, the continent's lowest share since 2010. The Americas accounted for $248 billion of transactions, and there were $104.5 billion of transactions in the Asia-Pacific region. Read more.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES RESEARCH ON THE USE OF KERPS IN BANKRUPT FIRMS

ABI Resident Scholar Susan Hauser talks with Profs. Vidhan K. Goyal of the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) and Wei Wang of the Queen's School of Business about their controversial paper, "Provision of Management Incentives in Bankrupt Firms." Profs. Goyal and Wang examine the use of key employee retention plans (KERPs) in bankrupt firms and discuss how the results of their empirical research do not support the common view that retention bonus plans enrich managers at the expense of creditors. Click here to listen.

NEW ABI PUBLICATION EXAMINES BANKRUPTCY'S EFFECTS ON MANUFACTURING SUPPLY CHAINS

Now available for pre-order in the ABI Bookstore, Interrupted! Understanding Bankruptcy's Effects on Manufacturing Supply Chains explores the issues that arise when suppliers are unable to make deliveries of promised parts due to financial problems. When the authors of this manual set out to update ABI's Auto Supplier Insolvencies & Bankruptcies manual (ABI, 2006), they realized that supply chain issues had moved far beyond the scope of just financially troubled auto suppliers. This comprehensive manual unravels the sometimes-knotty intersection of the Uniform Commercial Code and the Bankruptcy Code, and includes special sections on cross-border matters in Canada, Germany and Mexico. Also included is a detailed discussion of relevant case law such as Delphi Corp. and Plastech Engineered Products, as well as sample agreements that outline common protections against supply chain disruptions. Click here to pre-order your copy today!

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

FREE REGISTRATION, LIMITED SPOTS FOR THE ABI/BLOOMBERG DISTRESSED LENDING CONFERENCE ON OCT. 16!

The ABI Secured Credit Committee and Bloomberg Law are co-hosting a Distressed Lending Conference on October 16 at Bloomberg Headquarters in New York. Leading experts in the industry will discuss recent developments in distressed lending, the future of the European distressed market and the state of the U.S. credit markets, including prospects for corporate defaults and whether and how the European financial crisis will affect the U.S. credit markets. If you are a leader in the distressed lending industry, you do not want to miss this conference! Registration is free. Spaces are limited and seats are filling fast. Click here to register.

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: LEWIS BROTHERS BAKERIES INC. V. INTERSTATE BRANDS CORP. (IN RE INTERSTATE BAKERIES CORP.; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by William Joanis of JoanisLaw

Following the Countryman test for an executory contract (whether obligations remain on both sides so underperformed that the failure of either party to complete performance of those obligations would constitute a material breach excusing the performance of the other), the Eighth Circuit ruled that the obligations remaining on a license agreement entered into as part of the sale of a business was an executory contract. The Eighth Circuit distinguished the Third Circuit decision In Re Exide Technologies, 607 F.3d 957 (3rd Cir. 2010) on the basis of the obligation of the non-debtor to maintain quality standards. The dissent argued that the license agreement was but a part of a sale that had occurred years previously and the remaining obligations were not material, as the sale had been substantially consummated.

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: THE CURE FOR THE BANKING INDUSTRY: WHY DODD-FRANK IS NO HELP

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post describes how the law radically expands the power of the Fed and banking regulators, and gives the institutions that created the crisis more ability to cause bigger problems in the future.

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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NABMW 2012
Oct. 4, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
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ABI YOUNG AND NEW MEMBERS COMMITTEE “TRENDING ISSUES: EXAMINERS AND SELECT PLAN CONFIRMATION ISSUES” WEBINAR
Oct. 15, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 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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4TH ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Nov. 9, 2012
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Nov. 12, 2012
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Dec. 4-8, 2012
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Feb. 17-19, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

September
- American College of Bankruptcy's "Bankruptcy: Back to the Future" Program
     September 28, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.

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

  

 

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

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

2013

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


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

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 14 2013
 
  

March 14, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

ANALYSIS: AFTER FINANCIAL CRISIS, PROSECUTORS NAVIGATE TRICKY WATERS

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

JOBLESS CLAIMS AT FIVE-YEAR LOW

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

CONSUMER SPENDING INCREASED IN FEBRUARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USERNAME: Your email address (it must be the one that ABI has on file for you)
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LATEST BLOOMBERG "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: HOW PURCHASERS OF AMR STOCK MADE A KILLING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make sure to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: VASSALLE V. MIDLAND FUNDING LLC (6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Jim Morgan of the Enterprise Law Group

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

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: BIG BANKS SHOULD BREAK UP VOLUNTARILY

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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UP NEXT:

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

 

BBW 2013
April 5, 2013
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BBW 2013
April 10, 2013
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ASM NAB 2013
April 18, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
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NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
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ASM 2013
July 18-21, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

March
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
     March 22, 2013 | Los Angeles, Calif.

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


  

 

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

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

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


 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

House Committee Approves Student Loan Fix

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | May 16 2013
 
  

May 16, 2013

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

HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVES STUDENT LOAN FIX

Members of the Republican-led House Education and Workforce Committee approved a bill that would keep interest rates from doubling on new subsidized Stafford loans on July 1, the Associated Press reported. The GOP measure, which is opposed by House Democrats, provides lower rates immediately and for the next few years, but the plan also comes with potentially higher costs for some students in coming years. Without Congress's action, interest rates for new subsidized Stafford student loans would double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. Under the proposal by the committee's chairman, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), student loans would be reset every year and based on 10-year Treasury notes, plus an added percentage. Using Congressional Budget Office projections, that would translate to a 5 percent interest rate on Stafford loans in 2014 but climb to 7.7 percent for loans in 2023. Read more.

Read the House Education and Workforce Committee's press release.

EDITORIAL: NEW YORK TARGETING PENSION PREDATORS

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has done retirees and military veterans a great service by ordering New York’s top banking regulator to investigate “pension advance” firms that persuade customers to sign over all or part of their monthly pensions in exchange for immediate cash payments, according to a New York Times editorial today. The payments, advertised as advances, are, in fact, cleverly disguised loans that can carry ruinously high interest rates and eventually strip older citizens of their meager assets. By insisting that they are making advances, not loans, these firms elude state supervision, including usury laws, licensing regulations and the federal Truth in Lending Act, which requires lenders to disclose borrowing costs. These and other subterfuges have enabled the companies to ambush pensioners with “advance” loans that carry interest charges ranging from 27 percent to 106 percent, according to a review by the New York Times. Read more.

INVESTORS FLOOD INTO LOAN FUNDS

Money is flooding into funds that buy up loans to companies as some investors brace for the end of ultra-low interest rates, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The activity is adding fuel to the roaring corporate-refinancing boom by driving loan prices up, in turn pushing interest rates lower for companies rated below investment grade. Leveraged loans are again increasing in popularity among investors because the interest they pay changes with benchmark interest rates, typically quarterly. That is a major selling point amid concerns that prices of Treasurys and long-term corporate bonds will drop as the Federal Reserve pares back its support for financial markets—even though policymakers have signaled that a shift is not imminent. Yields rise as prices fall. Loan mutual funds took in $5.6 billion in April, dwarfing the combined $2.25 billion that went into Treasury bond and junk-bond funds, according to Lipper Inc. Inflows in the first four months of 2013 hit $22.4 billion, eclipsing full-year tallies for every year since 2003, when Lipper started tracking the data. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NEW SEC CHIEF MARY JO WHITE BEGINS JOB WITH PRESSURE TO TACKLE RULES

Since Mary Jo White took over as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission a month ago, Congress has pressed the former federal prosecutor to pump out long-overdue financial regulations required by the Dodd-Frank Act and rewrite key rules that govern the capital markets, the Washington Post reported today. This week, lawmakers are applying more pressure to get the job done — on their terms. The House passed a measure yesterday that gives the SEC an Oct. 31 deadline to adopt a portion of the JOBS Act, which aims to make it easier for small businesses to raise money. On Friday, another bill is scheduled to reach the House floor that would reinforce the need for the agency to do thorough cost analyses of any rules it’s considering. White yesterday tapped Keith Higgins of Ropes & Gray to head the SEC’s corporation finance division, which is heavily involved in writing the JOBS Act rules. She also named Lona Nallengara, who joined the SEC in 2011, as the agency’s chief of staff. Meanwhile, the SEC staff internally circulated a draft this month to revamp part of the money market fund industry, a plan that’s evolved over the past year. The agency has also proposed a plan for how rules governing derivatives should be applied in the global marketplace. But they are less stringent than what the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has promoted, alarming some investor advocates. Read more.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: TRUSTEES SLEEP EASY AFTER HIGH COURT RULING

Trustees of all types are sleeping easier, knowing that their liabilities for theft by a co-trustee is a debt that can be wiped out in bankruptcy as a result of a unanimous Supreme Court decision discussed by Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle on their latest video. To watch, please click here.

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SOTO V. DORAL BANK (IN RE SOTO; 1ST CIR.)

Summarized by Samuel Ari Mushell of Americans United for Government Reform

The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court's decision to dismiss the debtors' chapter 13 petition because the debtors did not comply with 521(a) of the Code. 521(a) requires debtors to submit their tax returns and payment advices to the trustee.

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: BROWN-VITTER BILL A POTENTIAL CAPITAL FIX FOR TROUBLED MARKETS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post finds that the common-sense steps taken in the "Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act," introduced by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.), will help even the playing field between community banks and big financial firms.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT WEEK:

 

 

LSS 2013
May 21-24, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

CCA Webinar 2013
May 29, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

Memphis 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

Golf Tournament 2013
June 14, 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!

 

 

SEBW 2013
July 18-21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

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

 

 

SW 2013
Aug. 22-24, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

NYIC Golf Tournament 2013
Sept. 10, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

Endowment Baseball 2013
Sept. 12, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

Endowment Football 2013
Oct. 6, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

40-Hour Mediation Program
Dec. 8-12, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

May
- 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
- Charity Golf Tournament
     June 14, 2013 | City of Industry, Calif.

July
- Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Northeast Consumer Forum
     July 11-14, 2013 | Newport, R.I.
- 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.

October
- ABI Endowment Football Game
    Oct. 6, 2013 | Miami, Fla.

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


 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

Loans Borrowed against Pensions Squeeze Retirees

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | April 16 2013
 
  

April 30, 2013

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

LOANS BORROWED AGAINST PENSIONS SQUEEZE RETIREES

Pension advances are having devastating financial consequences for a growing number of older Americans, threatening their retirement savings and plunging them further into debt, according to a New York Times report on Sunday. The advances, federal and state authorities say, are not advances at all, but carefully disguised loans that require borrowers to sign over all or part of their monthly pension checks. They carry interest rates that are often many times higher than those on credit cards. Pension-advance companies are aggressively courting people with public pensions, such as military veterans, teachers, firefighters, police officers and others. The companies operate largely outside of state and federal banking regulations, but are now drawing scrutiny from Congress and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A review by the New York Times of more than two dozen contracts for pension-based loans found that after factoring in various fees, the effective interest rates ranged from 27 percent to 106 percent — information not disclosed in the ads or in the contracts themselves. Furthermore, to qualify for one of the loans, borrowers are sometimes required to take out a life insurance policy that names the lender as the sole beneficiary. Read more.

EDITORIAL: REGULATORS SHOULD CONTINUE CRACKDOWN ON PREDATORY LENDERS

Federal banking regulators are clamping down on the small but growing number of banks that emulate the predatory practices of storefront payday lenders, according to an editorial in yesterday's New York Times. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last week proposed new guidelines for the banks they oversee. The Federal Reserve, which oversees other banks that engage in payday lending, should follow suit, according to the editorial. The payday industry business model relies on the fact that most people cannot afford to repay the original loan, which means they end up saddled with long-term debts carrying interest rates of 400 percent or more, according to the editorial. After watching millions of consumers being eaten alive by the transactions, 15 states have banned these predatory loans. The federal agencies are soliciting public comment on the proposals, but on the face of it these loans seem to be grounded in common-sense lending practices. The banks will have to assess the consumer’s ability to repay before making a loan. Banks will be required to wait 30 days before making another loan, and will not be able to extend loans to borrowers who have not paid previous obligations. Finally, banks will be required to disclose the actual cost of the loan. Read more.

CFTC DEMANDS THAT BANKS PROVE DODD-FRANK ACT SWAPS COMPLIANCE

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has given the world’s largest banks until May 3 to prove that they are complying with a part of the Dodd-Frank Act, Bloomberg News reported today. The 2010 law requires swaps brokers to accept or reject a trade for clearing in less than 60 seconds. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Credit Suisse Group AG, UBS AG, Barclays Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were among the banks that received the April 17 letter, a copy of which was given to Bloomberg News. The CFTC in November granted three-month delays to at least eight banks for implementing the time standard. Read more.

COMMENTARY: SHOULD SMALLER BANKS REALLY HAVE LESS CAPITAL PROTECTION?

While Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.) last week introduced S. 798, the "Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act," nowhere in the proposal is there a provision to end “too big to fail,” according to a New York Times DealBook blog on Friday. What the two senators are offering, according to the commentary, is an unprecedented attempt to unfairly advantage smaller “regional banks” and disadvantage bigger “megabanks.” The pretext underlying the Brown-Vitter proposal is that smaller regional banks are less risky than the large institutions. Historically, however, just the opposite has been true, according to the commentary. It was the smaller banks that failed in huge numbers during the Great Depression. And despite the urban legend of ruined Wall Street bankers jumping from windows, the New York banks had much more diversified loan and investment portfolios than the more rural, farm-loan-heavy smaller community banks. In addition, the New York banks were more professionally managed, according to the commentary. Read more.

Click here to read a the text of S. 798.

CEO PAY RATIO CLIMBS AFTER FINANCIAL CRISIS

Across the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of companies, the average multiple of CEO compensation to that of rank-and-file workers is 204, up 20 percent since 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. The numbers are based on industry-specific estimates for worker compensation. Almost three years after Congress ordered public companies to reveal CEO-to-worker pay ratios under the Dodd-Frank law, the actual numbers remain unknown. Mandatory disclosure of the ratios remains bottled up at the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has not yet drawn up the rules to implement it, and some of America’s biggest companies are lobbying against the requirement. The average ratio for the S&P 500 companies is up from 170 in 2009, when the financial crisis reduced many compensation packages. Estimates by academics and trade-union groups put the number at 20-to-1 in the 1950s, rising to 42-to-1 in 1980 and 120-to-1 by 2000. Former J.C. Penney Co. Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson, who was replaced on April 8 after less than 18 months on the job, had the highest pay multiple, based on $53.3 million in compensation reported in the company’s 2012 proxy. Johnson received a compensation package worth 1,795 times the average wage and benefits of a U.S. department store worker when he was hired in November 2011. Read more.

"CROWDFUNDING" TREND POISED TO MAKE MARK ON U.S. INVESTING LANDSCAPE

Gathering small sums of money from a large number of people online — known as “crowdfunding” — is poised to take off in the investing world, with backing from Washington policymakers who see it as a chance to involve the masses in an arena dominated by big Wall Street firms, the Washington Post reported today. A law signed by President Obama a year ago enables small businesses to offer a stake in their firms via the Web, giving the small companies access to a new pool of investors. Companies will be able to raise up to $1 million a year this way once the law is implemented. But given its potential to upend the nation’s investment landscape, critics are worried that crowdfunding will leave unsophisticated investors vulnerable to fraud or big losses, especially since small businesses generally suffer high failure rates and the firms involved in crowdfunding will have to make only limited financial disclosures. Those fears have played a role in delaying new regulations from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was supposed to adopt rules nearly a year ago to put the crowdfunding law into effect. Agency observers expect them to come out soon, although no timeline has been set for their consideration. Read more. For more on crowdfunding and private investment trends, please see the podcast below.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXPLORES NEW METHODS FOR COMPANIES TO RAISE CAPITAL

The latest ABI podcast features ABI Resident Scholar Scott Pryor speaking with Daniel Gorfine of the Milken Institute and Ben Miller, co-founder of investment platform Fundrise, about new ways for companies to raise money. Gorfine and Miller explore issues surrounding crowdfunding and potential regulatory responses to shifts in how companies raise money. Click here to listen to the podcast.

 

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

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: LONGAKER V. BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP. (8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Brendan Gage of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern & Western Districts of Arkansas

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the debtor’s breach-of-contract action was properly dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) because § 541(a)(6)’s exception to property of the estate only applies when there is a post-petition payment attributable to post-petition services.

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: SAN BERNARDINO SAYS OK TO CALPERS IN NEW BUDGET

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post looks at the decision by the city of San Bernardino to resume payments to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), a decision not likely to sit well with bondholders and other creditors.

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

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

ABI now offers conference registrants the option to participate in the ABI Golf Tour. The Tour kicked off at ABI’s Annual Spring Meeting and will take place concurrently with most conference golf tournaments. The next tour stop is at the Central States Bankruptcy Workshop on June 14 in Traverse City, Mich. Designed to enhance the golfing experience for serious golfers while still offering a fun networking opportunity for players of any ability, tour participants will "play their own ball" in stroke play format. They will be grouped on the golf course separately from other conference golf participants and will typically play ahead of the other participants, expediting Tour play. Tour participants will be randomly grouped in foursomes, unless otherwise requested of the Commissioner in advance of each tournament. Prizes will be awarded for each individual Tour event, which are sponsored by Great American Group. The grand prize is the "Great American Cup," also sponsored by Great American Group, which will be awarded to the top player at the end of the Tour season. Registration is free. Click here for more information and a list of 2013 ABI Golf Tour event venues.

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENTS:

 

 


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

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 29, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
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NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
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ASM 2013
July 18-21, 2013
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MA 2013
Aug. 8-10, 2013
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MA 2013
Aug. 22-24, 2013
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MA 2013
Sept. 10, 2013
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MA 2013
Sept. 12, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

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


  

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

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


 
 
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