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Credit Card Borrowers Still Paying Their Bills on Time

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | August 16, 2012
 
  

August 16, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

CREDIT CARD BORROWERS STILL PAYING THEIR BILLS ON TIME

Customers of the largest credit card issuers predominantly continued to pay their bills on time in July, Dow Jones Newswires reported yesterday. Credit card lending in particular has been a bright spot for big banks since the recession ended because consumers have made paying their monthly bills a priority and been more hesitant to carry large balances. That has allowed lenders to boost earnings by setting aside less money to cover potential loan losses, and it more recently led some banks to loosen their loan criteria, according to the financial services unit of credit bureau TransUnion. On Tuesday, TransUnion said that the national credit card delinquency rate fell to 0.63 percent in the second quarter from 0.73 percent in the first quarter. Major credit card issuers including Discover Financial Services, Bank of America Corp. and Capital One Financial Corp. said yesterday that their portfolios continued to improve in July, with delinquency rates and net charge-offs falling for most. Read more.

WEEKLY UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS RISE

The number of U.S. workers filing applications for jobless benefits rose last week, though the overall trend suggests that the labor market has improved slightly since early this summer, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Initial jobless claims increased by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000 in the week ended Aug. 11, the Labor Department said today. Claims for the week ending Aug. 4 were revised up to 364,000 from an initially reported 361,000. The four-week moving average of claims fell by 5,500 to 363,750, the lowest level since the end of March. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NO CRIMINAL CASE IS LIKELY IN LOSS AT MF GLOBAL

A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top executives, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. After 10 months of stitching together evidence on the firm's demise, criminal investigators are concluding that chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the money to disappear. The hurdles to building a criminal case were always high with MF Global, which filed for bankruptcy in October after a huge bet on European debt unnerved the market. This week James Giddens, the MF Global liquidating trustee, said he would assist plaintiffs attorneys in civil suits against Jon Corzine and other top executives. But a lack of charges in the largest Wall Street blowup since 2008 is likely to fuel frustration with the government's struggle to charge financial executives. Just a few individuals – none of them top Wall Street players – have been prosecuted for the risky acts that led to recent failures and billions of dollars in losses. Read more.

REPORT: MUNICIPAL BONDS NOT AS SAFE AS ONCE THOUGHT

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report yesterday saying that municipal bonds, widely seen as one of the safest investments, actually default more often than most people realize, the New York Times reported today. The economists said that the widely held belief that municipal bonds almost never default is based on only a narrow slice of the market — the safest part, consisting of bonds that are graded by the main ratings agencies when brought to market. When the researchers looked at a much broader sample, which included unrated bonds, they found there have been about 36 times as many municipal defaults over the past 40 years as conventional wisdom suggests. For example, Moody’s Investors Service has reported that from 1970 to 2011, there were only 71 municipal bond defaults. However, the Fed report counted 2,521 defaults in that time. Read more.

Click here to read the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's report.

In related news, barely half of U.S. states allow their local governments to file for bankruptcy, but Fitch Ratings said that it will continue to factor in the probability of a chapter 9 filing for all tax-supported local debt it rates, Reuters reported yesterday. Fitch added a new section on the legal and structural framework of debt in its criteria for rating U.S. local government bonds supported by taxes, highlighting growing concerns for municipal bankruptcies and explaining its views of the ties between local and state governments. Only 24 out of 50 states currently allow local governments to file for bankruptcy, "but Fitch believes that in an extreme case..the state would make the legal provisions necessary to file," it said. For decades, bankruptcies in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market were rare. There have been nine chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy filings so far this year, compared with 13 in all of 2011. Read more.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR THE 24TH ANNUAL WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE!

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

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

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

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

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

The conference will also include a final night dinner featuring impressionist, comedian and singer Jeff Tracta, and the sounds of ABI's rock-n-roll band, the Indubitable Equivalents. Click here to register!

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: U.S. V. CARVER (6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Nicholas Miller of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, LLP

In affirming the lower court's ruling, the Sixth Circult held that (1) convictions for concealing assets and making a false statement under oath in bankruptcy would stand because evidence showed that the defendant (Carver) knowingly failed to disclose to the bankruptcy court a valuable wine collection and knowingly and falsely stated that he had sold the collection before the petition date; (2) Carver's sentence was procedurally reasonable because the district court properly calculated the amount of damage and number of victims caused by his crimes; and (3) his sentence was substantively reasonable because the district court, in fact, gave him a below-Guidelines sentence.

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: BUSTING THE MYTH OF GLASS STEAGALL

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post argues that restoring Glass-Steagall would be a remedy that is much like the Volcker rule: simple to say, hard to do.

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

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENTS:

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

 

NYU 2012
Sept. 19-20, 2012
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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.
- 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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Seven Million Students Brace for Surge in Loan Rates

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | May 23 2013
 
  

May 28, 2013

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

SEVEN MILLION STUDENTS BRACE FOR SURGE IN LOAN RATES

Interest rates on student loans subsidized by the government will most likely double to 6.8 percent on July 1, CNNMoney.com reported today. Congress and the White House agree that something should be done to prevent that, but they are having a difficult time hammering out an agreement. The Republican-controlled House passed a bill last week that would stop the rates – lowered by Congress six years ago – from doubling now, but through a mechanism that might allow them to rise later. President Obama vowed to veto it, calling it the "wrong approach." Chances are that about 7 million students taking out subsidized loans for the next school year will face bigger balances when they start paying off their loans after graduation. The rate hike will only affect a third of all undergraduate students who have subsidized loans, in which the federal government absorbs some of the interest rate. The president and House Republicans disagree on how to let students "lock in" their rates from year to year. They also disagree on how to spend any extra revenue that they might make through student loans. Senate Democrats have an entirely different approach that would charge students only what it costs the federal government to make the loans. To pay for the program, Democrats say that Congress could get rid of tax breaks for the oil and gas industry. Read more.

REPORT: HOME PRICES POST LARGEST ANNUAL GAIN IN 7 YEARS

Home prices in March rose by 10.9 percent from a year earlier, the largest such gain in seven years, according to an index tracking home prices in 20 U.S. cities, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller index, released today, shows that all 20 cities have posted year-over-year growth for a third straight month, the latest sign of how tight inventories and growing housing demand have led to a surge in home prices after several years of declines. Prices increased in March by 1.4 percent from February and by 0.3 percent in February from January, a period in which sales volumes—and, consequently, home-price growth—are typically muted because of winter weather. Home prices during the first quarter of the year have not increased since 2006, and the first quarter gain of 1.8 percent this year has been the largest first quarter jump since 2005. Read more. (Subscription required.)

FANNIE MAE PROFITING AS MARKET MIDDLEMAN ANGERS LENDERS

Fannie Mae is snatching potential profits away from mortgage lenders and posting record earnings that are fueling industry concerns about the government-backed company, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. The company has ramped up its purchases of home loans from lenders for cash, in the process cutting out originators from the more profitable business of creating and selling bonds backed by the debt. About 31 percent of the $305 billion in new Fannie Mae-guaranteed securities in the first four months of this year were tied to so-called cash-window purchases, almost triple the shares from early 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst estimates. The shift is morphing Fannie Mae into more of a middleman between homeowners and the bond market, a role typically played by originators or the larger banks that buy their loans, such as JPMorgan and Wells Fargo & Co. Read more.

VISA, MASTERCARD SUE INTERCHANGE-FEE SETTLEMENT DROP-OUTS

Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. sued trade groups and retailers that rejected a $7.25 billion settlement in a price-fixing suit and asked a court to rule that the card companies’ fee practices were not illegal, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday. The settlement, described by plaintiffs in that case as the largest in an antitrust lawsuit, would end an eight-year legal battle over the swipe, or interchange, fees charged to merchants when customers use credit cards to pay. The plaintiffs accused Visa and MasterCard, the two largest U.S. payment-card firms, of illegally fixing the fees. Visa, MasterCard and several banks said in a complaint filed on Friday in a federal court that their suit is “necessary to prevent the continuation of endless, wasteful litigation.” They seek to bar the trade groups and retailers from seeking antitrust damages for the fee practices. Read more.

TOMORROW’S ABI LIVE WEBINAR 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: SMITH V. SA CHALLENGER INC. (IN RE WEST COAST REAL ESTATE & MORTGAGE INC.; 9TH CIR.)

Summarized by Laury Macauley of Lewis and Roca LLP

In an unpublished decision, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit vacated and remanded orders of the bankruptcy court granting sanctions against the chapter 11 debtor and certain related individuals for reimbursement of a secured creditor's attorneys' fees, because the court had not indicated on the record how it had determined the sanction amount of $20,000 under the "lodestar approach." The BAP affirmed the bankruptcy court's denial of a request for sanctions to the extent that they were based on "missing rents" that were allegedly never received by the secured creditor after a bad-faith transfer of the subject property by the sanctioned parties. The BAP determined that the bankruptcy court had not abused its discretion and could have reasonably concluded that the secured creditor had not made a strong enough showing to justify the larger sanction award based on the "missing rents."

There are nearly 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: MANDATING CEO-CHAIRMAN DIVISION AT TOO-BIG-TO FAIL BANKS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post suggests that regulatory proposals to ensure good governance at too-big-to-fail banks include the division of the CEO and chairman positions.

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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TOMORROW:

 

 

CCA Webinar 2013
May 29, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

 

Memphis 2013
June 7, 2013
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CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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Golf Tournament 2013
June 14, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
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NE 2013
July 11-14, 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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Endowment Football 2013
Oct. 6, 2013
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40-Hour Mediation Program
Dec. 8-12, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

May
- 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.
- Bankruptcy 2013: Views from the Bench
    Sept. 27, 2013 | Washington, D.C.

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

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


 
 
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Report Bankruptcy Bidder Protections Climbed in 2012

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | May 30 2013
 
  

June 4, 2013

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

REPORT: BANKRUPTCY BIDDER PROTECTIONS CLIMBED IN 2012

A report from Morgan Joseph TriArtisan LLC, an investment bank that focuses on the middle market, found that bankruptcy bidder protections hit their highest level in recent years, the Wall Street Journal Bankruptcy Beat blog reported today. The report found that the average amount of bidder protections a company offered its lead bidder last year was 4.4 percent of the purchase price, while average bidder protections between 2008 and 2011 hovered between 3.5 and 3.7 percent. (They were a low 2.6 percent in 2007, before the economic downturn hit.) Bidder protections include the break-up fee that a company pays its stalking-horse bidder, as well as expense reimbursements, which cover the legal and due-diligence fees a stalking horse incurs as it puts its bid together. The average break-up fee last year was 3.7 percent of the purchase price compared to 2.5-2.9 percent in prior years, while the average expense reimbursement was 2.3 percent versus a past range of 0.4-1.6 percent. Read the full report.

COMMENTARY: A BETTER WAY TO END "TOO BIG TO FAIL"

Big banks and their defenders insist that the changes proposed in the Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act—which would require them to boost the value of their stock and other equity to 15 percent of the value of their total assets—are unnecessary and would have dangerous consequences for the U.S. economy and our financial competitiveness, according to a commentary by Prof. David Skeel in today's Wall Street Journal. Both of these claims are wrong, according to Skeel, but in making them, the banks have accidentally pointed the way to a far more promising strategy for finally ending "too big to fail." Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.) introduced the Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act on April 24, which would require U.S. financial institutions with more than $500 billion in assets to substantially increase their "equity capital." The banks further insist that Brown-Vitter would force them to cut back their lending to businesses just as the U.S. economic recovery is getting underway, and to shed assets to create the required 15 percent capital buffer. But as Bank of England's Robert Jenkins has argued, it is a widely held myth that banks reduce lending simply because capital obligations are increased. Still, according to Skeel, the giant banks' concerns do suggest a friendly amendment to Brown-Vitter: Rather than force them to fit the same 15 percent capital mode, why not let them choose either to comply with Brown-Vitter's capital requirements, or to downsize to a specific maximize size within five years of the enactment of the legislation? Read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)

LEGISLATION AIMS TO ENSURE MEDICAL-DEBT ACCURACY IN CREDIT REPORTS

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) on May 24 introduced legislation to give consumers more time to ensure that only accurate medical debt is reported to credit bureaus, according to a press release from Miller's office. H.R. 2211, the "Accuracy in Reporting Medical Debt Act," aims to ensure that consumers have ample time to resolve medical billing questions and potential errors before medical debt can be reported to the credit bureaus. The Accuracy in Reporting Medical Debt Act would delay the ability of a debt collector to report medical debt to a credit bureau if the consumer notifies the debt collector that:

• the consumer is continuing to work with an insurance company;

• the consumer did not know that the debt existed; or

• the consumer has applied for financial assistance.

To read the full copy of H.R. 2211, please click here.

COMMENTARY: SHADES OF 2007 BORROWING

American investors have taken out more margin loans than ever before, indicating that speculative investing has grown among retail investors, reaching levels that in the past indicated that the market was getting to unsustainable levels and might be in for a fall, according to a commentary in Saturday's New York Times. The amount owed on loans secured by investments rose to $384 billion at the end of April, according to data compiled by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It was the first time the total had surpassed the 2007 peak of $381 billion, a peak that was followed by the Great Recession and credit crisis. The latest total of borrowing amounts to about 2.4 percent of GDP, a level that in the past was a danger signal. Rising margin debt was once seen as a primary indicator of financial speculation, and the Federal Reserve controlled the amount that could be borrowed by each investor as a way to dampen excess enthusiasm when markets grew frothy. But the last time the Fed adjusted the margin rules was in 1974, when it reduced the down payment required for stocks to 50 percent of the purchase price from 65 percent. That came about during a severe bear market. Read more.

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 "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!

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 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 CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: FADEL V. DCB UNITED LLC (IN RE FADEL; 9TH CIR.)

Summarized by Mark Hudson of Schian Walker PLC

The Ninth Circuit BAP affirmed the bankruptcy court's granting of relief from the automatic stay to permit a purchaser at a foreclosure sale to pursue a forcible detainer action against the debtor in state court and denying motion for reconsideration.

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 THE SUPREME COURT'S RULING IN BULLOCK V. BANKCHAMPAIGN

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post provides further examination of the Supreme Court's ruling on May 13 in the case of Bullock v. BankChampaign, N.A.

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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FRIDAY:

 

 

Memphis 2013
June 7, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

 

CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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Golf Tournament 2013
June 14, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
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NE 2013
July 11-14, 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
Nov. 11, 2013
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40-Hour Mediation Program
Dec. 8-12, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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.
- 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.

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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Analysis Mortgage Interest Deduction Under Scrutiny in Congressional Budget Talks

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 27 2012
 
  

November 27, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ANALYSIS: MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION UNDER SCRUTINY IN CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET TALKS

As President Obama and Congress try to work out a deal to reduce the budget deficit, scrutiny of the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners will likely be part of the discussion, the New York Times DealBook blog reported today. Limits on a broad array of deductions could emerge in any budget deal. It is likely that caps would target high-income households, and would diminish or end the mortgage tax break for many of those taxpayers. Such a move would be fiercely opposed by the real estate industry, which has played a crucial role in defending the tax break, even as other countries with high homeownership have phased it out. Read more.

SECOND CIRCUIT HEARS FHFA'S MBS LITIGATION

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit this week will hear arguments over whether the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will be allowed to follow through with lawsuits filed against 16 banks alleged to have sold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac $200 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities that did not live up to representations made by the banks, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The banks argue that FHFA filed the suits too late. FHFA claims that the suits were timely brought. The disagreement largely turns on whether a statute of limitations provision within the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which created FHFA and vested within it the power to bring suits to recover losses stemming from the mortgage crisis, displaces the statutes of repose in the various securities laws. Read more. (Subscription required.)

EDITORIAL: ELIZABETH WARREN SHOULD GET SEAT ON SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE

Some bankers, their lobbyists and their Republican allies on the Senate Banking Committee are reportedly angling to keep Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren off the Committee, according to a New York Times editorial on Friday. Republicans have opposed Ms. Warren before, notably in their successful fight in 2011 to prevent her from becoming the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency that was her brainchild and is arguably the most important part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who assigns freshman senators to the committees, should not let them get their way again, the editorial argues. As a bankruptcy expert, Harvard law professor and former chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel charged with overseeing the bank bailouts, Warren would join the banking committee as the fight intensifies over the Volcker Rule, a provision of Dodd-Frank she has supported that would curb speculation by banks. Read more.

SCHAPIRO'S DEPARTURE COULD SLOW DODD-FRANK IMPLEMENTATION

Mary Schapiro's departure from the Securities and Exchange Commission will leave the agency's rulemakers evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, which could slow progress on many Dodd-Frank rules that the agency still has to write, National Journal reported today. Schapiro is stepping down from her post as SEC chairman on Dec. 14. President Obama plans to designate current commissioner Elisse Walter as chairman, but the five-member commission will be down to four: Walter and Luis Aguilar, who are both Democrats, and Troy Paredes and Daniel Gallagher, who are Republicans. Experts expect Obama to name a replacement for Schapiro as soon as early 2013, but any pick will need Senate confirmation, which could take months. That means it could be up to a year before the SEC is back up to full strength. Read more.

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

ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 will hold a public hearing on Friday, Nov. 30, at 11:15 a.m. (MT) during the Winter Leadership Conference in Tucson, Ariz., at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort. Members are encouraged to watch the hearing via a live webstream available at http://commission.abi.org. All materials are part of the Commission's record to be transmitted to Congress following the two-year investigation and report.

JUST RELEASED: BEST OF ABI 2012 FOR CONSUMER AND BUSINESS BANKRUPTCY

New in the ABI Bookstore is the latest in ABI's annual “Best of ABI” series for 2012. Drawn from the most incisive ABI Journal articles and the highest-rated conference sessions of 2012, these volumes gather the hottest topics in consumer and business bankruptcy into two must-have references that belong in every practitioner’s library. Best of ABI 2012: The Year in Consumer Bankruptcy, edited by ABI Resident Scholar Susan E. Hauser (North Carolina Central University School of Law; Durham, N.C.) and ABI Board Member and ABI Journal Executive Editor Alane A. Becket (Becket & Lee LLP; Malvern, Pa.), covers the latest on chapter 13, the foreclosure crisis, tax issues, student loans and much more.

The companion volume, Best of ABI 2012: The Year in Business Bankruptcy, edited by Peter S. Partee, Sr. (Hunton & Williams LLP; New York), includes the latest on such timely topics as intercreditor and confirmation issues, avoidance actions and executory contracts. New this year: Both volumes include summaries of relevant cases drawn from volo.abi.org, as well as commentary from the editors. Available for purchase separately or as a specially-priced bundle, the new Best of ABI books can be ordered today at bookstore.abi.org. (Please log in first to obtain the discounted member price).

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

Summarized by Bodie Colwell of Bernstein Shur

Concluding that the debtor acted in a fiduciary capacity as an ERISA fiduciary, as well as a fiduciary of a technical trust under common law, the BAP reversed the order of the bankruptcy court and remanded for proceedings consistent with the opinion.

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: BANKRUPTCY COURT WARNS ON "WARN" ACT

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines a decision by Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn, who recently dismissed a putative class action complaint filed on behalf of former employees of MF Global that alleged that the chapter 11 trustee for MF Global Holdings Ltd. and certain of its subsidiaries and the SIPA trustee for MF Global Inc. failed to provide sufficient notice under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the “WARN Act”) and the New York version of the WARN Act prior to terminating these employees. In its memorandum opinion and order, the bankruptcy court considered whether the SIPA trustee and chapter 11 trustee were "employers" for purposes of the WARN Act and the NY WARN Act, or "liquidating fiduciaries" who are excepted from the obligation to comply with the advance-notice requirements of these WARN statutes, in which case the actions of the trustees would be protected.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

LATEST BLOOMBERG LAW VIDEO: RESERVE FUND'S LAWYER: MY CLIENTS WERE "VICTIMS"

John Dellaportas, partner at Duane Morris LLP, talks with Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia about his successful representation of Bruce Bent Sr., Bruce Bent II and their investment advisory firm Reserve Management Co. and Resrv Partners Inc. in a securities fraud lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Click here to watch.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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THIS WEEK:

 

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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BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

2013

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


  

 

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

March
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
     March 22, 2012 | Los Angeles, Calif.


 
 
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Validity of CFPB at Stake in Legal Challenge

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 31 2013
 
  

January 31, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

VALIDITY OF CFPB AT STAKE IN LEGAL CHALLENGE

A law firm sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) over its treatment of struggling homeowners may be the first to contest the validity of Richard Cordray's status as the agency's director after a D.C. Circuit ruling invalidating three presidential appointees installed as recess appointments, Bloomberg News reported today. Gary Kurtz, a lawyer representing the Gordon Law Firm of Los Angeles, said that he sent a letter on Jan. 29 to the Bureau asking for a negotiated settlement of the six-month-old case in light of a federal court ruling that declared unconstitutional so-called recess appointments similar to Cordray's. Absent a settlement with Gordon, the Bureau risks a court challenge that could become a test case for its authority in the wake of its recess-appointment ruling. In its July 17 complaint against the firm, the CFPB said that Gordon took up-front fees to help homeowners facing foreclosure, then did "little or nothing" for them. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last week that the court ruling has no bearing on the CFPB. Read more.

REPORT: 2012 FORECLOSURES UP IN 57 PERCENT OF U.S. METRO AREAS

RealtyTrac reported today that U.S. foreclosure activity last year increased on an annual basis in 57 percent of the nation's metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more, MarketWatch.com reported today. However, foreclosure activity during 2012 decreased from 2010, when foreclosures peaked in most markets, in 85 percent of the 212 markets tracked in the report. The report found that foreclosure activity last year fell in 12 of the U.S.'s 20 largest metropolitan areas, with the biggest declines in Phoenix, San Francisco and Detroit. Despite double-digit percentage decreases in foreclosure activity in 2012 from the prior year, California cities accounted for the four highest metro foreclosure rates, according to the report. Florida cities made up eight of the 20 highest metro foreclosure rates. Read more.

ANALYSIS: POST-LEHMAN, THE PUSH FOR GLOBAL FINANCIAL PROTECTION STALLS

Five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a global push to tighten financial regulation around the world has slowed in the face of a tepid recovery and a tough industry lobbying effort, the Washington Post reported yesterday. Important progress has been made as banks in the United States and Europe have socked away capital to guard against a fresh economic downturn, and evolving rules may force them to split off some of their riskier operations. But the post-Lehman goal -- of a global scheme that would immunize the financial system from another large-scale shock -- remains incomplete. Big banks, insurers and other financial giants remain intact and "too big too fail" by some experts' arguments. Tools to guard against dangerous bubbles in the value of property or other assets are not yet in place, and there is no agreement on how countries should coordinate the failure of a globally important financial company. Implementation of basic banking rules in major nations has fallen behind schedule. Finishing the job "is going to take many years," International Monetary Fund chief economist Olivier Blanchard said last week. "It is conceptually very difficult, politically very difficult." Read more.

SENATORS QUESTION U.S. PENALTIES AGAINST WALL STREET BANKS AS TOO SOFT

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers on Tuesday questioned the Justice Department's prosecution of large financial institutions, raising concerns that recent settlements have fallen short of holding Wall Street accountable for wrongdoing, the Washington Post reported yesterday. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. asking for a detailed explanation of the department's procedures for going after financial crime. Penalties in settlements have been disproportionately low relative to company profits and the costs imposed on consumers, investors and the market, they said. "The nature of these settlements has fostered concerns that 'too big to fail' Wall Street banks enjoy a favored status, in statute and in enforcement policy," the senators wrote in the letter. Critics say multimillion-dollar fines imposed on mega­banks are tantamount to a slap on the wrist as long as no senior executives are behind bars. Prosecutors, however, contend that they must be prudent in doling out justice so as not to cripple institutions whose failure could jeopardize the stability of the financial markets. Read more.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY” VIDEO: JUNK DEBT INTEREST RATES AT 30-YEAR LOW

Interest rates for junk debt reached a 30-year low in the last week, as Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle discuss on their new video. Click here to watch.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER FROM ABI'S BOOKSTORE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO BANKRUPTCY VALUATION

ABI's latest title, A Practical Guide to Bankruptcy Valuation, helps both practitioners and students navigate the complex task of valuing a bankrupt or other financially distressed business, and provides practical guidance on the selection and application of valuation approaches, methods and procedures. Interspersed with helpful charts and hypothetical examples (some based on real cases), the book describes the generally accepted approaches for valuing the assets and securities of a financially troubled business. Written by Robert F. Reilly of Willamette Management Associates, Inc. (Chicago) and Dr. Israel Shaked of The Michel-Shaked Group (Boston), who have a combined 75 years of experience in the valuation field, A Practical Guide to Bankruptcy Valuation lays a solid foundation for those seeking a better understanding of valuation within the bankruptcy context. Click here to pre-order your copy today!

LAW FIRM BANKRUPTCIES AMONG TOPICS TO BE EXAMINED AT ABI'S 31ST ANNUAL SPRING MEETING

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

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

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

Register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago)

Click here to register!

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

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

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

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: IN RE PORAYKO (7TH CIR.)

Summarized by George Spathis of Horwood Marcus & Berk

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

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: WILL THE PAYDAY LOAN BE REINVENTED?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. While several tech startups have made short-term credit the focus of their business models, a recent post asks whether such a previously frowned-upon product could ever achieve mainstream acceptance.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENT:

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
Feb. 19, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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9th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference
Feb. 22, 2013
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Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
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BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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"Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM- A Must for Junior Professionals or Those New to Bankruptcy Practice
April 18, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
     February 7-9, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
     February 19, 2013
- VALCON 2013
     February 20-22, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- 9th Annual Wharton
Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference

     February 22, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.


  

 

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

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

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


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

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 4, 2012
 
  

September 4, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER 9 SAVES RHODE ISLAND CITY, BUT LEAVES SCARS

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

AUTO LENDERS STEP UP LENDING TO SUBPRIME BORROWERS

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

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

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

LATEST ABI PODCAST FEATURES EXPERTS DISCUSSING OIL AND GAS BANKRUPTCIES

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

Summarized by Wayne Greenwald of Wayne Greenwald, PC

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

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: TAX COURT RULES ON POST-PETITION AND POST-CONFIRMATION INTEREST ON TAX CLAIMS

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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Sept. 11, 2012
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Sept. 19-20, 2012
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Sept. 27, 2012
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Oct. 4, 2012
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Oct. 5, 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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Oct. 18, 2012
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Nov. 7, 2012
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Nov. 12, 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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New Student Loan Rules Add Protections for Borrowers

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 7, 2013
 
  

November 7, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

NEW STUDENT LOAN RULES ADD PROTECTIONS FOR BORROWERS

The U.S. Department of Education has created new rules that will bolster borrower protections for federal education loans, the New York Times reported today. The new regulations will make it easier for distressed borrowers to get out of default and repay their loans, said Pauline Abernathy, vice president of the nonprofit Institute for College Access and Success, which supported the changes. More than 600,000 federal student loan borrowers who began repaying their debts in 2010 defaulted on their loans by 2012, according to federal data. Almost half -- 46 percent -- attended for-profit colleges, which also had higher average default rates than other schools: For-profit schools had an average default rate of almost 22 percent compared with about 15 percent for borrowers across all colleges. Under federal law, those who are in default on federal student loans may "rehabilitate" them by making nine on-time payments in amounts that are "reasonable and affordable." Rehabilitation lets the borrower get out of default and become eligible for further federal student aid. Some private debt collectors under contract with the government, however, were failing to offer payments that former students could afford, instead offering to allow payments based, for instance, on a percentage of the borrower's total debt. Such payments increased the commissions paid to collection agencies, but were often unworkable for borrowers. In its final rules, the Education Department requires that borrowers who want to rehabilitate loans must first be offered a payment amount similar to what would be offered under the federal income-based repayment program. That option, meant to help borrowers who have high debt in relation to income, caps a borrower's monthly payments at 15 percent of his or her monthly income. Read more.

For further analysis of student loan debt and bankruptcy, ABI has a new book and a workshop next Friday, Nov. 15, dedicated to this important issue.

ABI's newest publication, Graduating with Debt: Student Loans under the Bankruptcy Code, examines issues surrounding bankruptcy and student loan debt. Profs. Daniel A. Austin of Northeastern University (Boston) and Susan E. Hauser of North Carolina Central University School of Law (Durham, N.C.) looked at different types of student loans and loan-forgiveness programs, delinquency and default, and administrative and nonjudicial remedies for borrowers having trouble repaying their loans. For more information on Graduating with Debt, please click here.

ABI will also be hosting a workshop on Nov. 15 titled "You Can't Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy - Or Can You?" Featured speakers at the Workshop include David Bergeron of the Center for American Progress (Washington, D.C.), Bankruptcy Judge Laurel Isicoff (S.D. Fla.; Miami) and Prof. Susan E. Hauser of North Carolina Central University (Durham, N.C.), co-author of Graduating with Debt. The program will last from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET, and you can attend in person (66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 600, Alexandria, Va. 22314) or via live webstream. For more information or to register to attend, please click here.

MORTGAGE DELINQUENCIES REACH 5-YEAR LOW

The share of U.S. mortgages that are seriously delinquent fell to a five-year low as job gains have been helping borrowers keep up with payments while rising home prices have been enabling others to sell, Bloomberg News reported today. The percentage of home loans that are more than 90 days behind or in the foreclosure process fell to 5.65 percent in the third quarter from 7.03 percent a year earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report today. That is the lowest rate since the third quarter of 2008, when it was 5.17 percent. Fewer Americans are falling behind on their payments as the economy stabilizes and property values rise across the country. The jobless rate in September fell to 7.2 percent, the lowest level since November 2008. Median U.S. home prices rose 12.5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday. Cities hurt worst by the foreclosure crisis, such as Las Vegas, Atlanta and Sacramento, California, had the biggest increases. Read more.

LEW SAID TO WARN BANKS OF TOUGHER VOLCKER RULE

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew warned chief executive officers of top U.S. banks in a private meeting last month that the final Volcker rule ban on proprietary trading would be tougher than Wall Street expects, Bloomberg News reported today. At the meeting, Lew told industry leaders that he has been encouraging regulators to make provisions of the Volcker rule more stringent. The bank executives, members of the Financial Services Forum, left the meeting concerned that the final rule would be more restrictive on their trading business than previously indicated. This week, regulators are putting the final touches on the rule, which could be released as soon as Dec. 10. That timeframe would put regulators on track to meet the administration's self-imposed deadline to complete the rule by the end of the year. Administration officials have signaled that one provision that will be more restrictive than the rule's first draft is its exemption for trades conducted as hedges against other risks. The revised rule is expected to require hedges to be taken against individual positions and limit broader hedges against a bank's entire portfolio. The change came in response to JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s "London Whale" trades, which cost the bank $6.2 billion in 2012 and were described by bank officials as portfolio hedging. Read more.

SMALL LENDERS CAUTIOUSLY RAMP UP FEES

Small lenders have been raising fees in recent months in order to offset the triple economic threat of low interest rates, tepid loan growth and increasing compliance costs that is squeezing the banking industry, the Wall Street Journal reported today. While large banks can push into more lucrative businesses, small lenders offer fewer products and services that can offset low profit margins in their core business. For them, fee increases are the best way to add revenue in a difficult environment. Small banks, however, must carefully weigh their choices so that they don't alienate their customer base. U.S. banks of all sizes collected $8.39 billion in fees on deposit accounts in the second quarter, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., up from $8.21 billion in the first quarter. Credit unions also are bringing in more fees, posting an increase of $1.87 billion in the second quarter compared with $1.79 billion in the first quarter, according to the National Credit Union Administration, which regulates more than 6,600 of the nonprofit lenders. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NEXT WEEK: EXPERTS TO EXAMINE STUDENT LENDING AND BANKRUPTCY AT ABI WORKSHOP PROGRAM

Experts will tackle the hot topic of student lending issues in bankruptcy on the abiWorkshops series' new program, "You Can't Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy - Or Can You?" The program will be held on Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET in the ABI Headquarters Conference Center in Alexandria, Va. The abiWorkshops series provides attendees two great ways of participating: You can register to attend in person at the ABI Conference Center, or you can participate via a live webstream! Topics that will be covered on the Nov. 15 program include:

- Student Lending Today: Who Borrows, How Much, Delinquency & Default Trends
- Repayment Options: Income Based Repayment and New Lender/Servicer Programs
- Litigation under Sect. 523(a)(8): What Proofs Are Needed? Evidence Demonstration

For more information or to register for the "You Can't Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy - Or Can You?" abiWorkshop on Nov. 15, please click here.

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; LAST STOP FOR 2013 IS WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN DECEMBER

The 7th and final stop for the 2013 ABI Golf Tour is on Dec. 5 at the Trump National Golf Club, held in conjunction with ABI’s Winter Leadership Conference. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup — sponsored by Great American Group — is based on your top three scores from the seven ABI events. See the Tour page for details and course descriptions. The ABI Golf Tour combines networking with fun competition, as golfers "play their own ball." Including your handicap means everyone has an equal chance to compete for the glory of being crowned ABI's top golfer of 2013! A 22-handicapper won the tour event at July’s Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop. There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour.

NEW ABILIVE WEBINAR LOOKS AT HOW TO HIRE THE RIGHT FINANCIAL ADVISORS

ABI's Financial Advisors & Investment Banking Committee is proud to present the next abiLIVE webinar, "How to Hire the Right Financial Advisors," on Dec. 11 from 1-2:15 p.m. ET. The program will provide attendees with an overview and basic understanding of the different types of financial advisors that may be relevant for in- and out-of-court cases. Topics include:

- The different types of financial advisors available;
- The benefits and limitations for each category of advisor; and
- How to select the right advisor for the job.

Speakers on the webinar include:

-Daniel F. Dooley of MorrisAnderson (Chicago)

-Gregory S. Hays of Hays Financial Consulting LLC (Atlanta)

-Ivan Lehon of Ernst & Young (New York)

-Allen Soong of Deloitte CRG (Los Angeles)

Teri Stratton of Piper Jaffray & Co. (El Segundo, Calif.)

Registration is $75 for ABI members/$175 for non-members. Have a number of colleagues that would like to participate? Take advantage of group pricing for ABI members: register 5 or more and the registration cost drops to $60 per person!

Click here for more information and to register.

ABI IN-DEPTH

RENEW YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP BY DEC. 31 AND SAVE!

Beginning in January 2014, ABI will institute its first dues increase to the regular dues rate in six years. The $20 increase will ensure that ABI can continue to provide you with the latest and most effective tools available in insolvency information and education. You can lock in 2013 rates, and additional discounts, for up to three years by using a multi-year renewal option (save $75!). You can also save 10 percent on future dues by opting into the automated dues program. To renew your membership and save, please go to renew.abi.org.

ETHICS CLE AVAILABLE! NEW "BANKRUPTCY IN DEPTH" VIDEO PREVIEWS UPCOMING SUPREME COURT BANKRUPTCY CASES

Available now for purchase from ABI's eLearning Center (http://cle.abi.org) is a new "Bankruptcy In Depth" video featuring ABI Resident Scholar Kara Bruce and Eric Brunstad of Dechert LLP (Hartford, Conn.) previewing the bankruptcy cases that the Supreme Court will consider during its 2013 term. Brunstad, who has argued many cases before the Court and is an expert in bankruptcy appellate practice, discusses in depth Law v. Siegel, which questions whether the court may use its general equitable authority under §105 of the Bankruptcy Code to surcharge a debtor's exempt assets, and Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham), which will address the bankruptcy court's authority to adjudicate Article III matters. He also provides a candid view of what it is like to argue a case before the Court and an in-depth analysis of the issues involved with the upcoming cases. Available for the member price of $75, ABI will also seek 1.25 hours of ethics CLE credit in 60-minute-hour states and 1.5 hours of credit in 50-minute-hour states for this program. This online CLE program is presumptively approved in CA, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, NV, NJ, NY (Approved Jurisdiction Policy), RI and SC. Credit hours granted are subject to approval from each state, which has not been determined. To purchase the new "Bankruptcy In Depth" video, please click here.

ABI LAUNCHES SIXTH ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION FOR LAW STUDENTS

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

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SHELTON V. CITIMORTGAGE INC. (IN RE SHELTON; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Michael Tamburini of Commercial Law Group P.A.

The Eighth Circuit ruled that a secured creditor's lien is not void solely due to the fact that the secured creditor filed an untimely claim.

There are more than 1,000 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: CAN BANKRUPTCY HELP SOLVE STUDENT LOAN DEBT EVEN IF THE DEBT IS NON-DISCHARGEABLE?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks more than 80 bankruptcy-related blogs. Bankruptcy Code § 523(a)(8) provides that unless the debtor can show "undue hardship," student loans will survive discharge.


Further analysis of student loans and bankruptcy will be the focus of the Nov. 15 abiWorkshop. For more information or to register, please click here.

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

ABI Quick Poll

Can litigant consent enable the bankruptcy court to enter final judgment in a matter which, after Stern, falls outside the court's constitutional authority?

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT WEEK:

 

 

Detroit
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abiWorkshop_StudentDebt
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COMING UP

 

 

Delaware
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WLC
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Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
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Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
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Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

November
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
   Nov. 11, 2013 | Detroit, Mich.
-abiWorkshop: "You Can't Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy - Or Can You?"
   Nov. 15, 2013 | Alexandria, Va.
- Delaware Views from the Bench
   Nov. 25, 2013 | Wilmington, Del.

December
- Winter Leadership Conference
    Dec. 5-7, 2013 | Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
-abiLIVE Webinar
    Dec. 11, 2013

  


January
- Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Jan. 20, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
    Jan. 23-24, 2014 | Denver, Colo.

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
    Feb. 6-8, 2014 | San Juan, P.R.


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

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 6 2012
 
  

November 6, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

OCTOBER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS INCREASE 16 PERCENT OVER PREVIOUS MONTH, COMMERCIAL FILINGS UP 19 PERCENT

Total bankruptcy filings in the United States for the month of October increased 16 percent compared to September, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. October bankruptcy filings totaled 101,278, up from the 87,522 filings registered in September 2012. The 96,498 total noncommercial filings for October represented a 16 percent increase from the September noncommercial filing total of 83,493. Total commercial filings for October 2012 were 4,780, representing a 19 percent increase from the 4,029 filings in September. Commercial chapter 11 filings also increased in October as the 704 filings represented a 3 percent increase over the 681 filings in September. Read the full release.

ANALYSIS: ELECTION UNLIKELY TO AFFECT HOUSING REBOUND

Regardless of the outcome of today's elections, experts expect the housing market to continue its rebound, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Home prices continue to rise, as shown by the latest S&P/Case-Shiller data, and sales activity is strengthening, while delinquency trends are improving. Experts point out that the government still backs more than 90 percent of new mortgages, however, and there has been little progress made in devising new structures to encourage private capital to again take on residential-housing risk. Read more. (Subscription required.)

BONUSES ON WALL STREET EXPECTED TO EDGE UP SLIGHTLY IN 2012

Wall Street employees, whose paychecks have often been cut in recent years, are likely to get a slight bump in their bonuses this year, the New York Times DealBook blog reported today. Year-end incentives, which include cash bonuses and stock awards, will be flat to up to 10 percent higher when compared with last year, according to a survey released by Johnson Associates yesterday. The same firms in 2011 drastically cut costs, employment and pay. Johnson Associates, based in New York, surveyed 10 public asset management firms, eight major banks and more than a dozen other financial institutions. Business on Wall Street has picked up somewhat in 2012, but firms are still cutting both compensation and other expenses to save money and improve their profits. Read more.

Read the full Johnson Associates survey.

ANALYSIS: COMPANIES LOOK TO LIGHTEN THE PENSION LOAD

More companies are considering so-called annuity settlements as a way to pare down their burgeoning pension liabilities, even though historically low interest rates make the strategy significantly more expensive, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Last month Verizon Communications Inc. bought an annuity that transferred $7.5 billion of pension obligations, about a quarter of the phone giant’s total pension obligations, to Prudential Financial Inc. Over the summer General Motors Co. shifted roughly $25 billion of its pension obligations—or about 20 percent of its global total—to Prudential also through an annuity deal. The approach works like this: A company transfers pension obligations to an insurer by buying a group annuity for its employees at a price that includes a premium. The insurer agrees to use the funds it gets from the company’s pension plan to make regular payments to company retirees for as long as they live. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

Summarized by Michael Nestor of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that if, upon conversion of a chapter 13 case to a case under chapter 7, the chapter 13 trustee is holding funds acquired post-petition by the debtor for eventual distribution to creditors under a confirmed chapter 13 reorganization plan, the trustee must return those funds to the debtor rather than distribute them to creditors under the plan.

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: NATIONAL MORTGAGE DATABASE FACES CHALLENGES IN BECOMING GO-TO RISK TOOL

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Housing Finance Agency's effort to build a comprehensive data repository and identify emerging mortgage lending risks will depend on how regulators handle four areas: collaboration, scope, privacy and the regulatory burden.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

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THIS WEEK:

 

MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
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4TH ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Nov. 9, 2012
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COMING UP:

 

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
Register Today!

 
   
  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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Big Banks Push Back against Tighter Rules

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | May 9 2013
 
  

May 9, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

BIG BANKS PUSH BACK AGAINST TIGHTER RULES

In the wake of the latest push against the too-big-to-fail banks, the banks are pushing back against regulators and legislators, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The banks have hired longtime influential Washington, D.C., personnel to deflect regulatory and political pressure to strengthen their finances and to sell assets. Regulators and some lawmakers have raised concern that large banks remain "too big to fail" and could require another government bailout in the event of another financial meltdown. The effort by banks marks a lobbying turning point for the industry, which adopted a mostly low-profile stance to new regulations in the wake of the financial crisis. It also comes as banks such as Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are shedding lucrative assets that would have required them to hold more capital to compensate for their risk-taking. Several banks and the Financial Services Forum, a top trade association, have hired Tony Fratto, a former Bush administration official, to provide what they call a "rapid response" to criticism that the banks remain too large. Regulators and lawmakers are increasingly signaling that more work is needed to lessen the risk posed by large, complex banks, including bigger capital cushions and minimum amounts of expensive long-term debt. The moves by banks include pushing back against bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sens. David Vitter (R.-La.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) that would sharply increase capital cushions at large banks to the point where most analysts expect firms would be forced to shrink. Read more. (Subscription required.)

REALTYTRAC: FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY AT SIX-YEAR LOW IN APRIL

A report from RealtyTrac on Thursday showed that foreclosure activity fell in April to its lowest level in more than six years, the latest sign that the recovery in the housing market is on track, Reuters reported yesterday. Foreclosure activity – which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – was seen on 144,790 properties last month, down 5 percent from March and down 23 percent from a year earlier, the lowest level since February 2007. There were also signs that some foreclosures that had been deferred were working their way through the process in states that use the court system to handle foreclosures, known as judicial states. There are 26 judicial or quasi-judicial foreclosure states, according to RealtyTrac. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in judicial states rose 22 percent in April to their highest level since October 2010. Scheduled auctions in non-judicial states fell 7 percent. Read more.

U.S. PUBLISHERS STILL REELING FROM BORDERS BANKRUPTCY

The closure of Borders Group, Inc. is still causing problems for the U.S. publishing industry two years after the nation's number two bookseller closed down, the (London) Telegraph reported today. According to a report in Publishers Weekly, the 20 largest unsecured publishing creditors were owed $241 million when the company filed for chapter 11 protection in February 2011. It is not yet clear which publishers have settled, but figures have emerged showing the extent they were left out of pocket and how much they have so far been remunerated. Penguin Putnam was owed $41 million and has only received $12 million. Hachette Book Group was owed almost $37 million and has only been paid back $4.9 million. Simon & Schuster was owed $33.7 million and has received $10.7 million. Read more.

REPORT: COLLEGES SOAK POOR STUDENTS TO FUNNEL AID TO RICH

A report by the New America Foundation released yesterday found that U.S. colleges such as Boston University are using financial aid to lure rich students while shortchanging the poor, forcing those most in need to take on heavy debt, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Almost two-thirds of private institutions require students from families making $30,000 or less annually to pay more than $15,000 a year, according to the report released today by the Washington, D.C.-based New America Foundation. The research analyzing U.S. Education Department data for the 2010-2011 school year undercuts the claims of many wealthy colleges that financial aid practices make their institutions affordable, said Stephen Burd, the report’s author. To increase their standing on college rankings, more private colleges are giving “merit aid” to top students, who are often affluent, while charging unaffordable prices to the needy, according to the report. The percentage of students receiving merit aid jumped to 44 percent in 2007-2008 from 24 percent in 1995-1996, the report found. Read more.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: LEHMAN TEST CASE ON JUDICIAL NULLIFICATION

Although Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. has been out of bankruptcy for a year, Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle discuss how Lehman is becoming a test case to decide whether a prohibition in one specific provision in bankruptcy law can be sidestepped by reliance on a general provision. To watch the full video, 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: WEBER V. SEFCU (IN RE WEBER; 2D CIR.)

Summarized by Joel Levitin, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling and held that failing to deliver repossessed vehicle to the debtor promptly after receiving notice of pending petition constituted willful violation of the automatic stay under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, and that the creditor is responsible for actual damages, costs and attorney's fees.

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: CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU CRACKS DOWN ON DEBT-SETTLEMENT SCAM

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post takes an in-depth look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) referral of a case for criminal prosecution against a debt-settlement company, Mission Settlement Agency. The action is the first-ever criminal referral by the CFPB.

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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NEXT WEEK:

 

 

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

 

 

LSS 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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CCA Webinar 2013
May 29, 2013
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Memphis 2013
June 7, 2013
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CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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Golf Tournament 2013
June 14, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
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NE 2013
July 11-14, 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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  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
- 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.


 
 
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ABIs Chapter 11 Commission Eyes Updates to Bankruptcy Code

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 17 2013
 
  

January 17, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ABI'S CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION EYES UPDATES TO BANKRUPTCY CODE

With the Bankruptcy Code now 35 years old, 2013 looks to be a key year in developing a replacement as ABI's Chapter 11 Commission continues its study of chapter 11 with a "top to bottom look" at the Code, The Deal reported yesterday. No specific changes have been recommended to date, and the Commission will not be close to specifics until it gets reports from all 13 of its advisory committees, according to Commission Co-Chair Al Togut of Togut, Segal & Segal LLP (New York). The commission, which is just looking at corporate chapter 11 and the parts of the code that affect business bankruptcies, expects to complete its report in the spring of 2014, said fellow Co-Chair Bob Keach of Bernstein Shur (Portland, Maine), adding that by the end of 2013 the commission should have a good idea of what the report will look like. The report will have two components: ideas for change where there is a consensus and proposals that lack a consensus. Since the ABI does not lobby Congress for legislation, an organization or a combination of organizations will likely work to convert the report into legislation, said Keach. "The idea is to develop a statute for the next 40 years that will get us through as well as this one did," Keach says. Read more.

PENSION FUNDING GAP WIDENS FOR BIG CITIES

A study released on Tuesday by the the Pew Center on the States found that major U.S. cities emerged from the financial crisis with increasingly underfunded pension and retiree health care plans, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Cities employing nearly half of U.S. municipal workers saw their pension and retiree health care funding levels fall from 79 percent in fiscal year 2007 to 74 percent in fiscal year 2009, according to the latest available data, the Pew report stated. The growing funding gulf, which the study estimated at more than $217 billion for the 61 cities in the study, raises worries about local finances at a time when states are also struggling to recover from the recession. More than half, or some $118 billion, of the projected pension shortfall stems from unfunded retiree health care costs, according to the Pew report. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ABI will be holding a media teleconference on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 11 a.m. ET with experts examining municipal distress in 2013. There are limited spots available to ABI members that would like to join the call next week. Contact John Hartgen, ABI's Public Affairs Manager, at jhartgen@abiworld.org if you would like to participate in the teleconference.

CFPB'S NEW MORTGAGE RULES AID HOMEOWNERS

U.S. banks will have to do more to help struggling mortgage borrowers keep their homes under final rules released today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Wall Street Journal reported today. Mortgage-loan servicers, which collect borrowers' loan payments, will have to evaluate troubled borrowers for all loan-assistance options permitted by mortgage investors such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as private investors, according to the CFPB rules that will take effect in a year. Currently, no national standard exists for how mortgage servicers must treat defaulting borrowers. The lending industry "must consider all options available from the mortgage owners or investors to help the borrower retain the home," said CFPB director Richard Cordray. The industry "can no longer steer borrowers to those options that are most financially favorable for the servicer." The agency's move follows numerous federal and state efforts to regulate the industry, which came under fire after reports in 2010 found that banks were foreclosing on borrowers without properly reviewing documents and other paperwork, a practice dubbed "robo-signing." In 2011, regulators found abuses of foreclosure processes at 14 lenders. Ten of those lenders agreed to an $8.5 billion settlement of regulators' allegations. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: "ODD COUPLE" IN U.S. HOUSE TO TACKLE MORTGAGE FINANCE

The will of the new Congress to begin rebuilding the U.S. mortgage finance system rests largely in the hands of Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), known to be partisan fighters from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Hensarling is the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, while Waters is the highest-ranking Democrat. "While we clearly have profound philosophical differences – some might call us Capitol Hill’s newest odd couple – we are exploring areas of common concern where we hopefully can work together," Hensarling said. In addition to grappling with proposals to tweak and amend the Dodd-Frank regulatory law, they will be seeking common ground on what may be the panel's biggest issue this year: The future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For Hensarling, the solution is to abolish the government-owned mortgage companies and completely privatize the mortgage market. Waters argues that some government involvement is needed to preserve the 30-year fixed home loan. It is likely that the two lawmakers eventually will support a plan that would shrink the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without threatening to choke off the flow of money into home loans. Read more.

FLORIDA DEFIES HOUSING REBOUND AS FORECLOSURES SOAR

More than six years after subprime lending and overbuilding led to the recent U.S. real estate slump, RealtyTrac Inc. reported that Florida had the biggest increase in home seizures last year, and the highest foreclosure rate, Bloomberg News reported today. One in every 32 Florida households received a notice of default, auction or repossession in 2012, more than double the average U.S. rate of one in every 72, according to RealtyTrac Inc.'s report. Home repossessions increased by 16,276 during the year to 84,456, the biggest gain nationwide. Adding to the state’s woes is a backlog of foreclosures caused by a required court review of each case. Judicial supervision of repossessions is slowing Florida’s rebound, in contrast to California and Arizona, so-called nonjudicial states, where lenders send notices to delinquent borrowers and record defaults at the county level without court intervention, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. It took 853 days on average in Florida to complete a foreclosure in the fourth quarter, the third-longest behind New York and New Jersey, RealtyTrac said in today’s report. The U.S. average rose to 414 days from 348 days a year earlier, the most since the data firm began tracking the metric in 2007. Texas had the shortest period at 113 days. Almost 20 percent of outstanding Florida loans were more than 30 days delinquent or in foreclosure in November, the largest share of non-current mortgages in the nation, according to data provider Lender Processing Services. Read more.

ANALYSIS: REWRITING U.S. TAX LAW HAS CONSENSUS WHILE FIX PROVES ELUSIVE

Maintaining a bipartisan consensus in Congress to rewrite the U.S. tax code will be difficult as there is little agreement on what a tax overhaul means and what it is supposed to achieve, according to a Bloomberg News analysis yesterday. Republicans, who control the U.S. House, want lower tax rates and fewer breaks in a simpler system that raises no additional revenue. The Obama administration and many Democrats endorse some of those goals – particularly corporate rate reduction – while viewing a tax rewrite as a way to guarantee more revenue from top earners. That split will challenge lawmakers as they decide whether to rewrite the code as part of budget talks or work on a major tax bill without a fiscal agreement. Compromise remains elusive, though the code is more convoluted -- and therefore, ripe for change -- following passage of a law Jan. 1 that raised marginal rates and reinstated limits on personal exemptions and deductions. Read more.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: MF GLOBAL CREDITORS UNDETERRED BY LOW VALUE

The low valuation creditors of MF Global Holding Ltd. put on their liquidating chapter 11 plan is not deterring the bond market where debt is being sold for roughly twice the predicted recovery for unsecured creditors of the liquidating commodity broker's holding company. Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle explore this and other current cases in their latest video. Click here to view.

TAKE AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT CREDITORS' COMMITTEES AND THE ROLE OF THE INDENTURE TRUSTEES AT ABI'S 31ST ANNUAL SPRING MEETING

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

• 17th Annual Great Debates
• Mediation: An Irrational Approach to a Rational Result
• 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: TIMCO LLC V. T AND M SALES AGENCY INC. (IN RE TIMCO LLC; 6TH CIR.)

Summarized by James E. Bailey III of Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens & Cannada PLLC

The Sixth Circuit ruled that the appeal of the bankruptcy court's decision to remand a case removed by state court action to confirm an arbitration award that was affirmed by a district court was not reviewable by the court of appeals under 28 U.S.C. § 1334(d). The appeal of the order granting relief from the automatic stay to allow the state court action to proceed was moot where the debtor failed to obtain stay pending appeal and the state court had entered a valid order confirming an arbitration award.

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: HIGH-INCOME EARNERS NOT BARRED FROM PASSING BANKRUPTCY'S MEANS TEST

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new post discusses the misconception that bankruptcy's means test bars high-income earners from qualifying for chapter 7 relief.

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

ABI'S INDUBITABLE EQUIVALENTS: TELL US A TUNE AND WE'LL SING YOU THAT SONG!

ABI's Indubitable Equivalents need your help: Tell us your favorite Rock and Roll tune - that elusive classic that takes you back, makes your feet tap, your head bang, and your horns come out! If we pick your song, you get widespread promotion by the band and you'll receive a free CD of IE’s greatest hits!

To enter, log onto www.abiband.com or “like” the Band’s Facebook page.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. You can enter as many times as you want. Multiple winners will be selected. Winners will be announced on the IE website and on Facebook. Entry deadline: January 31.

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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MONDAY:

 

 

WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
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NEXT THURSDAY:

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Jan. 24-25, 2013
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COMING UP:

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
Feb. 19, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
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BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
     February 7-9, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- 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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