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Commentary Schwab Case Casts Spotlight on Securities Arbitration

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 5, 2013
 
  

September 5, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

COMMENTARY: SCHWAB CASE CASTS SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITIES ARBITRATION AND ITS FLAWS

A skirmish between the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and brokerage firm Charles Schwab & Company has brought unwelcome attention to the investor arbitration process and its flaws, according to a commentary in yesterday’s New York Times DealBook Blog. The dispute started in 2011, when Schwab added a clause to its customer agreement requiring customers not to pursue or participate in class-action suits against the company. This removed an option allowing groups of investors to sue a firm, established by the Supreme Court’s 1987 ruling in Shearson v. McMahon. FINRA objected, filing a disciplinary action against Schwab last year to force the removal of the clause, and a final resolution on the matter will be heard before an adjudicatory panel next Wednesday. But the dispute has roused state securities regulators, investor advocates, and Democratic members of Congress, all demanding that the clause be done away with, no matter how the ruling goes. One investor advocate, F. Paul Bland Jr. of Public Justice, says that "If Schwab succeeds, investor protection will be enormously damaged." Click here to read the full commentary.

COMMENTARY: YOUR CITY MIGHT BE THE NEXT DETROIT...BUT THAT’S NOT ALL BAD

Detroit’s bankruptcy has sent shivers through cities all around America. That is both understandable and may not be all bad, says Benjamin R. Barber, author of the forthcoming book If Mayors Ruled the World, in a commentary in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. Detroit’s problems are shared by many cities. Barber says that "cities have become gargantuan unfunded mandates where much of the nation’s productivity, innovation and prosperity are generated without adequate support from the outside." He believes that federal government spending still skews towards rural areas, "even though cities represent over three quarters of the American population and the absolute electoral majority." But the problems that Detroit faces, though shared by other cities, are not insurmountable. Barber’s prescriptions:

  • Declining manufacturing base: Outsourcing of jobs is a national problem, Barber says, but "cities have proven more resilient than nations, finding ways to transition from the old to the new economy."
  • A redefinition of city limits: Maps conceived in the 19th century don’t reflect today’s realities, Barber notes. Detroit has lost two-thirds of its population, but the 10 surrounding counties have grown by more than 5.3 million, along with 2 million jobs.
  • Pensions: Many cities have bigger pension costs than Detroit’s, but the answer, Barber thinks, is for residents to shoulder more of the costs of services they enjoy, and to stop putting pension obligations behind obligations to bondholders.
"Detroit’s fate may in time be Miami’s, Atlanta’s and San Diego’s," Barber says. "But that’s fine." Cities face many challenges, but they are here to stay. After all, Barber notes, "London, Rome, Alexandria and Boston are much older than England, Italy, Egypt and the United States." Click here to read the full commentary (subscription required).

DETROIT DEFENDS CONTESTED SWAPS DEAL AS KEY TO CITY’S SURVIVAL

Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has asked Steven Rhodes, the federal judge overseeing its bankruptcy case, to allow a swaps deal completed with Merrill Lynch and UBS AG just prior to the filing of their chapter 9 case, according to a report from Reuters yesterday. Creditors, led by bond insurer Syncora Guarantee have objected to the deal, which would give the city unfettered access to casino tax revenue, arguing that it favors the swap counterparties over other creditors and eliminates the possibility of including the revenue — some $180 million a year — as a potential source for paying Detroit’s obligations. In a sworn deposition, Orr’s top outside financial consultant, Kenneth Buckfire, said he believed the city was in a "life and death" predicament at the time the swaps deal went through. Read more.

A BANKING BANKRUPTCY THAT TAKES A DIFFERENT PATH

When bank holding companies file for bankruptcy — usually after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has taken away its banking subsidiary — the only thing left to do is marshal any assets, including a typically large tax refund, pay out the results to creditors, and liquidate. But a small Wisconsin bank holding company, Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin, plans to use chapter 11 to recapitalize rather than liquidate, according to a story by Stephen Lubben in today’s New York Times DealBook blog. The company had received more than $100 million from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program during the financial crisis, but it still faced the prospect of losing its bank. Filing for chapter 11 will allow it to pay off more than $180 million in debt owed to other banks for just $49 million. It will also allow the company to convert the United States Treasury’s preferred stock — received as part of the TARP bailout — into a small equity stake, worth about $6 million, the holding company. Most important, according to Lubben, "Anchor said it would cancel its existing shares and sell the remaining new equity to investors, leading to the recapitalization of the holding company." Although federal regulators still need to sign off on the plan, the bankruptcy judge has approved it. This speedy trip through bankruptcy, Lubben says, was the result of a prepackaged bankruptcy case that "included the creditors voting on the plan before the bankruptcy filing." It may well "provide another template for use of chapter 11 in connection with other financial institutions," Lubben concludes. Read more.

ANALYSIS: HOSPITALS, DEBT COLLECTORS RUSH TO CREATE STANDARDS FOR COLLECTING PATIENT DEBT

Facing pressure from both the Congress and the IRS that would severely limit the ability to collect patient medical debt, The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), which comprises hospital and other healthcare financial professionals, last December joined forces with ACA International, the leading organization of debt collection professionals, to develop guidelines for dealing with patient medical debt, according to a post yesterday on Forbes.com. The stated purpose of the task force guidelines "is intended to identify a standardized process for resolving the patient portion of medical bills that should be adhered to and to provide a framework for educating patients about the patient balance resolution process," according to the task force’s recommendations. The new guidelines outline a proposed timeline for payment of patient debts. Once a bill "drops," patients would have 120 days before a health-care company would take "extraordinary collection action." The guidelines also propose removing medical debt from credit reports within 45 days, a key component of the Medical Debt Responsibility Act currently before Congress. Click here to read the full analysis.

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS PUBLISHED FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Bankruptcy and Civil Rules have proposed amendments to their respective rules and requested that the proposals be circulated to the bench, bar and public for comment. The following proposed amendments were approved for publication by the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure in June 2013:

Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy and Civil Procedure: The public comment period is open for proposed amendments to Bankruptcy Rules 2002, 3002, 3007, 3012, 3015, 4003, 5005, 5009, 7001, 9006 and 9009; Official Forms 17A, 17B, 17C, 22A-1, 22A-1Supp, 22A-2, 22B, 22C-1, 22C-2, 101, 101A, 101B, 104, 105, 106Sum, 106A/B, 106C, 106D, 106E/F, 106G, 106H, 106Dec, 107, 112, 113, 119, 121, 318, 423 and 427; and Civil Rules 1, 4, 6, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 55, 84 and Appendix of Forms. The public comment period closes on Feb. 15, 2014. Your comments are welcome on all aspects of each proposal. The advisory committees will review all timely comments, which are made part of the official record and are available to the public. Click here to read the proposed amendments and submit comments.

NEW ABILIVE WEBINAR OCT. 3: THE INTERSECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND BANKRUPTCY: KODAK, NORTEL AND OTHER CASES

IP experts will shed light on the mysteries of understanding IP law and navigating the often puzzling sales processes, drawing from their experiences in Nortel, Kodak and other important cases, in an abiLIVE webinar on Oct. 3 from 1:00-2:15 p.m. ET. Speakers will include David Berten (Global IP Law Group, LLC; Chicago), Pauline K. Morgan (Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP; Wilmington, Del.), Cassandra M. Porter (Lowenstein Sandler LLP; Roseland, N.J.), Kelly Beaudin Stapleton (Alvarez & Marsal; New York) and Christopher Burton Wick (Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP; Cleveland). To register, click here.

RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE OF THE ABILIVE WEBINAR EXAMINING THE NEW U.S. TRUSTEE FEE GUIDELINES!

If you were not able to join ABI's recent well-attended abiLIVE webinar examining the U.S. Trustee Fee Guidelines for chapter 11 cases filed on or after Nov. 1, a recording of the program is now available for downloading! A panel of experts, including Clifford J. White, the director of the U.S. Trustee Program, discussed some of the ways the new guidelines could change day-to-day operations in firms, issues relating to the new market rate benchmarks, and how these changes might alter insolvency practice. The 90-minute recording is available for the special ABI member price of $75 and can be purchased 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.

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: DANIELSON V. FLORES (IN RE FLORES) (9TH CIR.)

Summarized by Kevin M. Baum of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Affirming the Bankruptcy Court, the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, held that a Bankruptcy Court may confirm a chapter 13 plan of reorganization under § 1325(b)(1)(B) only if the plan’s duration is at least as long as the applicable commitment period under section 1325(b)(4), without regard to whether the debtor has positive, zero, or negative projected disposable income. In reaching its decision, the court expressly overruled the portion of its previous decision in Maney v. Kagenveama (In re Kagenveama), 541 F.3d 868, 875 (9th Cir. 2008) in which the Ninth Circuit had previously held that § 1325(b)(1)(B) does not impose a minimum duration for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan if the debtor has no "projected disposable income," as such term is defined in the Bankruptcy Code.

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: COMING RULES COULD CUT OFF BANKS FROM AFFILIATES

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post reported that Dance New Amsterdam, a financially troubled nonprofit dance education and performance center in New York, had staved off, at least temporarily, a shutdown by raising $50,000 it owed.

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

Success fees for financial advisors should be prohibited.

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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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

October
- abiLIVE Webinar: The Intersection of Intellectual Property and Bankruptcy: Kodak, Nortel and Other Cases
     Oct. 3, 2013
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program and Midwestern Consumer Forum
    Oct. 4, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Professional Development Program
    Oct. 11, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Oct. 14, 2013 | Chicago, Ill.
- International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium
    Oct. 25, 2013 | Berlin, Germany


  


November
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
   Nov. 7, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.
- Corporate Restructuring Competition
   Nov. 7-8, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.
- Austin Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
   Nov. 10-12, 2013 | Austin, Texas
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
   Nov. 11, 2013 | Detroit, Mich.
- Delaware Views from the Bench
   Nov. 25, 2013 | Wilmington, Del.

December
- Winter Leadership Conference
    Dec. 5-7, 2013 | Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
- ABI/St. John’s Bankruptcy Mediation Training
    Dec. 8-12, 2013 | New York


 
 
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Too-Big-to-Fail Claim Disputed by Bank Groups

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 12 2013
 
  

March 12, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

"TOO-BIG-TO FAIL" CLAIM DISPUTED BY BANK GROUPS

Lobbying groups for the largest U.S. banks pushed back against claims that they remain too big to fail, rebutting assertions by lawmakers and regulators that they enjoy a "taxpayer subsidy" because of their size, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. The Dodd-Frank Act, passed by Congress in response to the 2008 credit crisis, greatly diminished the advantage that the biggest lenders held over smaller rivals, five industry groups wrote today in a brief on the issue. "There is substantial evidence that the market recognizes the impact Dodd-Frank has had on investor expectations," the Clearing House, Financial Services Forum, Financial Services Roundtable, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and American Bankers Association said in their brief. “Given the sizable costs associated with new regulations, together with the new orderly liquidation framework, any purported TBTF-related funding advantage has clearly been reduced or even eliminated." The financial-industry groups, representing lenders such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., are responding to complaints by lawmakers and regulators including Warren and Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher that Dodd-Frank did not do enough to rein in big lenders. Read more.

COMMENTARY: HOW TO SHRINK THE "TOO-BIG-TO-FAIL" BANKS

A dozen megabanks today control almost 70 percent of the assets in the U.S. banking industry as the concentration of assets has been in progress for years, but it intensified during the 2008–09 financial crisis, when several failing giants were absorbed by larger, presumably healthier ones, according to a commentary in today's Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, the mere 0.2 percent of banks deemed "too big to fail" are treated differently from the other 99.8 percent, and differently from other businesses. Implicit government policy has made these institutions exempt from the normal processes of bankruptcy and creative destruction, according to the commentary. Without fear of failure, these banks and their counterparties can take excessive risks. The commentary offers a few steps to level the competitive landscape:

1) Roll back the federal safety net—deposit insurance and the Federal Reserve's discount window—to apply only to traditional commercial banks, and not to the nonbank affiliates of bank holding companies or the parent companies themselves, which the safety net was never intended to protect.

2) Require customers, creditors and counterparties of all nonbank affiliates and the parent holding companies to sign a simple, legally binding, unambiguous disclosure acknowledging and accepting that there is no government guarantee—ever—backstopping their investment. A similar disclaimer would apply to bank deposits outside the FDIC insurance limit and other unsecured debts.

3) Restructure the largest financial holding companies so that every one of their corporate entities is subject to a speedy bankruptcy process and, in the case of banking entities themselves, be of a size that is "too small to save."

Click here to read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: AS ASBESTOS CLAIMS RISE, SO DO WORRIES ABOUT FRAUD

With dozens of asbestos-related manufacturers forced into bankruptcy, a burgeoning swath of the legal action has shifted out of the courtroom and into a world of trusts that evaluate claims and authorize payouts with little outside scrutiny, according to an analysis yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. Fraud allegations have periodically dogged the trusts, and even though the worst asbestos-related diseases are finally starting to taper off, there is growing concern that the trusts will run out of money before America runs out of asbestos victims. Three decades after Manville Corp. collapsed under an avalanche of asbestos litigation, personal-injury claims in the case continue to pile up at a rate of 85 per day. By last March, a Manville bankruptcy trust had already paid out nearly $4.3 billion. "Right now there are a lot of suggestions that fraud and abuse are present," says House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia, who has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on a bill requiring trusts to publish detailed claims reports to help ensure that money goes only to legitimate victims. In recent months, judges across the country who handle asbestos cases involving still-viable companies have granted defense requests to subpoena bankruptcy trusts to sniff out potentially false and conflicting evidence. Many defendants believe such data could help expose fraudulent or inflated claims that could potentially save them hundreds of millions of dollars in jury verdicts. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Click here to review the bill text of H.R. 982, the "Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2013" introduced by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), which will be examined tomorrow at a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law at 2:30 p.m. ET.

COMMENTARY: ENTERPRISE VALUE TAX PROPOSAL WOULD HIT FIRMS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH "CARRIED INTEREST"

The Enterprise Value Tax (EVT) has been inserted into congressional proposals to "fix" carried interest, but the legislation would claw back significantly more money than investment managers and other financial professionals have ever saved by taking legal, proper and open advantage of the carried-interest tax treatment, according to a commentary in today's Wall Street Journal. Under current law, entrepreneurs of all types who sell their companies are taxed on the profits at the capital-gains rate. The EVT seeks to change this, but only for the sale of certain businesses—namely investment-service partnerships, the sale of which would now be taxed as regular income. The EVT is designed to claw back entrepreneurs' supposedly ill-gotten carried-interest gains from the past. Worse, the commentary says that the proposed new tax would mostly affect people who do not currently benefit much, if at all, from the tax treatment of carried interest. The savings afforded to carried interest have benefited only a small subset of investment managers who have substantial performance-fee earnings in the form of long-term capital gains. That category does not include many hedge funds, whose gains are mostly short-term, or traditional money managers, who do not center their businesses around performance fees. The EVT would raise the bulk of its revenue from investment-services partnerships that have little or no carried-interest earnings, or whose carried interest is already taxed at the same rate as ordinary income because the performance fee results from ordinary income or short-term capital gains. Read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)

For insight, the Cato Institute released an analysis last year on the dangers of the proposed enterprise value tax. Click here to read the analysis.

REPORT: APPEALS COURT ACTIVITY RISES, BANKRUPTCY COURTS AND DISTRICT COURTS SEE DROP-OFF IN CASELOADS IN FY2012

Appeals court activity increased in fiscal year 2012 (12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2012) as filings dropped in bankruptcy courts and district courts, according to the "Judicial Business of the U.S. Courts" report released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The regional U.S. courts of appeals reported that filings rose 4 percent to 57,501. In the U.S. district courts, total filings fell 5 percent to 372,563 as civil case filings decreased 4 percent to 278,442 and criminal defendant filings declined 9 percent to 94,121. Petitions filed in the U.S. bankruptcy courts dropped 14 percent to 1,261,140. To read the report and review the caseload totals, please click here.

SMU DEDMAN SCHOOL OF LAW TAKES TOP HONORS AT 21st ANNUAL DUBERSTEIN MOOT COURT COMPETITION

Students from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law prevailed over a record 60 other student teams to win first place at the 21st Annual Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, held March 9-11 in New York. The competition is co-sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute and St. John’s University School of Law. Florida Coastal School of Law took second place in the competition, while the University of Florida Frederic G. Levin College of Law and a team from Stetson University College of Law shared the honors for third place. The University of Miami School of Law won the award for the Best Brief of the competition, and Nicholas Andrews of Mississippi College School of Law took the honor of Best Advocate. Nearly 1,000 members of the New York-area insolvency community attended the final-night awards dinner at Pier 60 on the Manhattan waterfront. For more information on ABI's Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, please go to http://www.stjohns.edu/academics/graduate/law/academics/llm/duberstein.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CHAPTER 11 FOR CHURCH FINANCIAL DISTRESS

The latest ABI Podcast features ABI Resident Scholar Scott Pryor speaking with Prof. Pamela Foohey of the University of Illinois College of Law discussing her recent paper examining church reorganizations that filed for chapter 11 protection, titled "Bankrupting the Faith." Foohey discusses her empirical study looking at church bankruptcies from 2006-11 to draw out the characteristics of the filings and case outcomes to see if bankruptcy is an effective solution to the institution's financial problems. Click here to listen.

To read Prof. Foohey's study, please click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING: CONSUMER PROGRAMMING WITH CROSS-OVER APPEAL

With four session tracks looking at issues geared toward chapter 11 restructurings, financial advisors, professional development and consumer bankruptcy, a number of sessions at ABI's Annual Spring Meeting have cross-over appeal for both consumer and business practitioners. Sessions include:

The Appellate Process: This distinguished panel will explore recent issues in appellate practice that are of interest to both consumer and business practitioners, including the ability to bypass intermediary appellate courts and take appeals directly to the circuit courts.

Consumer Class Actions: This panel will explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of class actions by debtors/trustees against creditors in chapter 13 cases, which are highlighted by two recent decisions of the Fifth Circuit. Many of the issues discussed during this panel will be useful in business cases as well.

The Individual Conundrum - Chapter 7, 11 or 13?: Deciding on the appropriate chapter for a high net worth individual contemplating a bankruptcy filing can be a daunting task. This panel will explore the considerations that guide the practitioner in advising individual clients in making this decision.

To register for the Annual Spring Meeting and to see the full schedule of program tracks and events, please click here.

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: COOK V. BACA (10TH CIR.)

Summarized by Steven T. Mulligan of Bieging Shapiro & Barber LLP

The court affirmed the dismissal of the pro se appellant's complaint in part and remanded with instructions to modify a portion of the dismissal from a dismissal with prejudice to one without prejudice for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The court found that the appellant lacked the standing to argue that a violation of the automatic stay had occurred because the BAP had already found that such claims belong to the bankruptcy estate, so the appellant lacked standing to bring such arguments.

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: PROBLEMS AT FHA TOO BIG FOR CONGRESS TO IGNORE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post found that reform efforts could result in a much smaller scope of permissible lending at the FHA, with a renewed focus on its traditional core of low-income customers, higher credit score requirements and increased down payments.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

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


  

 

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

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

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


 
 
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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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Jan. 21, 2013
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Jan. 24-25, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
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Feb. 19, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 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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Analysis Firms in Chapter 11 Face Fast Trip to Auction Block

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 15 2013
 
  

January 15, 2013

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

ANALYSIS: FIRMS IN CHAPTER 11 FACE FAST TRIP TO AUCTION BLOCK

More companies that wind up in bankruptcy court are facing a stark demand from their banks: Sell yourself now, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Digital Domain Media Group Inc., a special-effects company founded by director James Cameron to work on "Titanic" and other films, filed for chapter 11 protection in September; its lenders gave it a window of just 12 days to find a buyer or risk losing its bankruptcy financing. Lenders gave RG Steel LLC less than two months to sell its steel plants, and ATP Oil & Gas Corp. is scrambling to find a buyer to avoid defaulting on its bankruptcy loan. Most companies that file for bankruptcy these days have debts that far exceed their assets, according to experts. That means they probably won't be able to pay off their lenders in full, let alone more-junior creditors like suppliers, no matter how long they stay in bankruptcy proceedings. As a result, banks and other lenders, who often are owed millions of dollars and get claims on any sale proceeds, are using their clout to press for a speedy sale. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: U.S. SHOULD NOT HAND OVER BATTERY TECHNOLOGY TO CHINA

Unless the U.S. government acts quickly, over a decade’s worth of advanced American technology is about to be handed to the Chinese at a creditors' sale in the A123 bankruptcy case, according to a commentary by former Congressman Ike Skelton and Duncan Hunter in yesterday's U.S. News and World Report. Under the decision of a federal bankruptcy judge, the company whose patents comprise the cutting edge of this technology, A123 Systems Inc., will soon become the property of China's Wanxiang Group, a leading Chinese manufacturer, for the relative bargain price of $250 million. Like all sales of critical technology to foreign entities, the bankruptcy court's auction is subject to approval by a powerful but obscure federal interagency panel known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Wangxiang has sought to win approval of the deal by agreeing to split off A123 Systems' existing military contracts to an American corporation. The trade secrets and patents that would be controlled by the Wanxiang Group, according to the commentary, resulted from a decade of trial and error by some of America's scientists, with much of the work funded by U.S. taxpayers. Read more.

RECOVERY IN U.S. SAVING 8 MILLION UNDERWATER HOMEOWNERS

As housing prices have recovered, the number of underwater borrowers fell by almost 4 million last year to 7 million, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), and that number could drop to 4 million within 2 years, Bloomberg News reported today. The housing market is rebounding faster than anyone thought possible, according to Blackstone Group LP's global head of real estate Jonathan Gray, as the Federal Reserve buys mortgage bonds to keep rates near record lows and investors sop up a diminishing supply of properties for sale. JPMorgan analysts led by John Sim estimate that the price growth last year was responsible for a drop of almost 4 million in underwater borrowers. The number of homeowners that owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth may fall to 4 million by the end of 2015, according to Sim. Foreclosure starts dropped 28 percent in November from a year earlier, data provider Lender Processing Services Inc. wrote in a report this week. Read more.

401(k) BREACHES UNDERMINING RETIREMENT SECURITY FOR MILLIONS

A large and growing share of American workers are tapping their retirement savings accounts for non-retirement needs, raising broad questions about the effectiveness of one of the most important savings vehicles for old age, the Washington Post reported today. More than one in four American workers with 401(k) and other retirement savings accounts uses them to pay current expenses, new data show. The withdrawals, cash-outs and loans drain nearly a quarter of the $293 billion that workers and employers deposit into the accounts each year, undermining already-shaky retirement security for millions of Americans. Fresh data from Vanguard, one of the nation’s largest 401(k) managers, show a 12 percent increase in the number of workers who took loans against their retirement accounts or withdrew money outright since 2008. Overall, about a third of American households participate in 401(k)-type accounts, which hold a combined $3.5 trillion in assets. But a large portion of that money does not make it to retirement. A recent study by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research found that the typical household approaching retirement age has an average of $120,000 in retirement savings, enough for roughly a $7,000-a-year annuity. Read more.

REPORT: RANKS OF WORKING POOR INCREASING

A new report released today by the Working Poor Families Project found that nearly a third of the nation’s working families earn salaries so low that they struggle to pay for their necessities, the Washington Post reported today. Analyzing 2011 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the report said that 32 percent of working families earned salaries that put them below double the poverty threshold, which was $45,622 for a family of four. That percentage has crept up from 28 percent in 2007, the year the recession began. And 37 percent of the nation’s children — 23.5 million — were part of working poor families in 2011, the report said, up from 33 percent in 2007. Read more.

E-FILING AND THE EXPLOSION IN TAX-RETURN FRAUD

Tax-identity theft exploded to more than 1.1 million cases in 2011 from 51,700 in 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration last summer reported discovering an additional 1.5 million potentially fraudulent 2011 tax refunds totaling in excess of $5.2 billion. One possible source of identity theft is due to American taxpayers, urged on by the IRS, filing their income-tax returns electronically and arranging for refunds to be directly deposited into bank accounts. E-filing is appealing because it provides an electronic postmark confirmation that the return was filed on time. When it is combined with direct deposit, a refund can arrive in as little as seven days. In 2012, 80 percent of individual returns were e-filed, fulfilling an initial goal Congress set in 1998. The result is an automated system in which the labor burden is transferred to the taxpayer. Tax return fraud can come in the form of tax-identity theft, refund fraud, or return-preparer fraud and is difficult to prosecute. With e-filing, evidence of fraud is difficult to find. There are no signed tax forms, envelopes or fingerprints, and e-filing promises quick refunds. Read more. (Subscription required.)

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: GLAZER V. CHASE HOME FINANCE LLC (6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Michael Coury of Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens, & Cannada PLLCs

The Sixth Circuit affirmed the trial court's finding that the mortgage servicer was not a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and that a subservicer who attempts to collect debts owed to another [from a debtor] that was not in default at the time it was obtained by the servicer is exempt from the definition of "debt collector" under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1692a(6). The Court also affirmed the trial court's denial of plaintiff's motion to amend as untimely where it was filed four months after discovery of new evidence and after the magistrate had already recommended dismissal of the claim against the subservicer.

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: PARALLELS BETWEEN THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE LOAN AND STUDENT LOAN CRISES

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new post examines similarities between the subprime mortgage loan crisis that caused the 2008 financial downturn and the current student loan crisis.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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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Jan. 21, 2013
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Jan. 24-25, 2013
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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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ABI Media Teleconference Examines Lessons Learned from Lehmans Chapter 11

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 12, 2013
 
  

September 12, 2013

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

ABI MEDIA TELECONFERENCE EXAMINES LESSONS LEARNED FROM LEHMAN’S CHAPTER 11

ABI held a media teleconference today looking at the Lehman chapter 11 filing, the lessons learned from it five years later and what the future holds for distressed large financial institutions. An audio archive of the teleconference will be posted soon on ABI.org, and its availability will be announced via social media (Twitter: twitter.abi.org; Facebook: facebook.abi.org). Key figures in the case who spoke on today's teleconference included:

- Bankruptcy Judge James Peck (S.D.N.Y.; New York) presided over the Lehman Brothers chapter 11 case.
- Harvey Miller of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (New York) was the lead debtor attorney for Lehman Brothers.
- Dennis Dunne of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (New York) represented unsecured creditors in the Lehman case.
- Bryan Marsal of Alvarez and Marsal (New York) served as Lehman's Chief Executive Officer after it filed for chapter 11 until 2012.
- Chris Kiplock of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP (New York) worked with the team of attorneys representing trustee James W. Giddens in liquidating Lehman Brothers.

The moderator for the program was ABI Fall Resident Scholar Kara Bruce of Toledo University School of Law. Be sure to check ABI's feeds on Twitter or Facebook for the availability of the teleconference audio archive!

ANALYSIS: VOLCKER RULE TO CURB BANK TRADING PROVES HARD TO WRITE

Three years after first proposing that banks be prevented from making market bets with their own money, Paul Volcker's rule remains unfinished, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The Volcker rule, a centerpiece of the sweeping overhaul of financial regulation known as Dodd-Frank, is an attempt to protect the financial system from risk. The rule looks to prohibit banks from making investment bets with their own money, but it has proved difficult to apply. Five years after cratering financial firms ignited a global crisis, and three years after Dodd-Frank outlined the Volcker rule as a central part of the government response, the rule languishes unfinished and unenforced, mired in policy tangles and infighting among five separate agencies whose job is to produce the fine print. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: FIVE YEARS LATER, FINANCIAL LESSONS NOT LEARNED

Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of the fateful day that investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, signaling the start of a frightening financial meltdown, but we are still missing some of the lessons drawn out by the crisis, according to a commentary in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Prof. Alan Blinder of Princeton University. Years of disgraceful financial shenanigans in the 2000s, some illegal but many just immoral, brought on the Great Recession with virtually no help from any co-conspirators, according to Blinder. Congress and President Obama reacted comparatively weakly with the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which Blinder said certainly did not seek to remake the U.S. financial system. A supporter of Dodd-Frank, Blinder has found that the law now seems to be withering on the regulatory vine. Far from being tamed, the financial beast has gotten its mojo back, according to Blinder. Read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)

ANALYSIS: SEC TRIES TO REBUILD ITS REPUTATION

The Securities and Exchange Commission is ending its push to punish financial-crisis misconduct in the same way it started -- with a new chairman vowing that Wall Street's top cop will be tougher in the future, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis today. In 2009, at the depths of the recession, Mary Schapiro took the reins at the SEC, promising to "move aggressively to reinvigorate enforcement" at the agency. She created teams to target various types of alleged misconduct, including one focused on the complicated mortgage bonds that helped set off a global financial panic. The agency has filed civil charges against 138 firms and individuals for alleged misconduct just before or during the crisis, according to the analysis, and it received $2.7 billion in fines, repayment of ill-gotten gains and other penalties. But some of the SEC's highest-profile probes of top Wall Street executives have stalled and are being dropped. In April, former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White took the reins as SEC chairman with a simple enforcement motto: "You have to be tough." She tossed out the SEC enforcement policy that allowed almost all defendants to settle cases without admitting wrongdoing. In August, hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone became the first example of this new approach when he and his firm, Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, admitted to manipulating bond prices and improperly borrowing money from a fund. The policy shift comes as the SEC turns the page on its financial crisis work. New investigations into misconduct linked to the meltdown have slowed to a trickle, and a statute-of-limitations deadline is looming for many cases, which will generally restrict the sanctions that the SEC can enforce for misconduct that is more than five years old. Read more. (Subscription required.)

U.S. FORECLOSURE FILINGS DROP 34 PERCENT AS PROPERTY PRICES RISE

RealtyTrac issued a report showing that foreclosure filings fell 34 percent in the U.S. last month as first-time defaults dropped to the lowest level in almost eight years and rising home prices made it easier for distressed owners to sell, Bloomberg News reported today. Default, auction and repossession filings totaled 128,560 in August, with one in 1,019 U.S. households receiving a notice, the Irvine, Calif.-based data seller said today in a report. It was the 35th consecutive month in which total notices declined on an annual basis, with foreclosure starts plunging 44 percent, RealtyTrac said. Increasing buyer demand and climbing property values are helping some troubled borrowers refinance or sell rather than lose their homes to foreclosure. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities rose 12.1 percent in June from a year earlier. Last month, foreclosure starts totaled 55,775, the lowest level since December 2005, and fell on a year-over-year basis in 38 states, RealtyTrac said. Read more.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXPLORES BANKRUPTCY'S CORPORATE TAX IMPLICATIONS

ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Kara Bruce speaks with Prof. Diane Lourdes Dick of Seattle University School of Law about how companies in chapter 11, such as Solyndra and WaMu, preserve valuable tax attributes through holding companies. Prof. Dick discusses her current research looking into how stakeholders of financially distressed firms exploit various loopholes in chapter 11 to transfer value outside of bankruptcy's distributional norms. Click here to listen to the podcast.

NEW ABILIVE WEBINAR OCT. 3: THE INTERSECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND BANKRUPTCY: KODAK, NORTEL AND OTHER CASES

IP experts will shed light on the mysteries of understanding IP law and navigating the often puzzling sales processes, drawing from their experiences in Nortel, Kodak and other important cases, in an abiLIVE webinar on Oct. 3 from 1:00-2:15 p.m. ET. Speakers will include David Berten (Global IP Law Group, LLC; Chicago), Pauline K. Morgan (Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP; Wilmington, Del.), Cassandra M. Porter (Lowenstein Sandler LLP; Roseland, N.J.), Kelly Beaudin Stapleton (Alvarez & Marsal; New York) and Christopher Burton Wick (Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP; Cleveland). To register, click here.

RECORDING AVAILABLE OF THE ABILIVE WEBINAR EXAMINING THE NEW U.S. TRUSTEE FEE GUIDELINES!

If you were not able to join ABI's recent well-attended abiLIVE webinar examining the U.S. Trustee Fee Guidelines for chapter 11 cases filed on or after Nov. 1, a recording of the program is now available for downloading! A panel of experts, including Clifford J. White, the director of the U.S. Trustee Program, discussed some of the ways the new guidelines could change day-to-day operations in firms, issues relating to the new market rate benchmarks, and how these changes might alter insolvency practice. The 90-minute recording is available for the special ABI member price of $75 and can be purchased 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.

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: MORRIS AVIATION LLC V. DIAMOND AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES INC. (6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Mike Debbeler of Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP

The Sixth Circuit ruled that the airplane manufacturer's opinion of the "quality and reliability" of components was not a fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation where the component manufacturer filed bankruptcy and voided warranties on components shortly after plaintiff purchased the airplane from the manufacturer. The airplane manufacturer's mere opinion as to component manufacturer's financial health did not form the basis of a misrepresentation 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: HOW HAS THE FINANCIAL SECTOR CHANGED SINCE THE LEHMAN FILING?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks more than 80 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post explores how the financial sector has changed since the Lehman Brothers chapter 11 filing on Sept. 15, 2008.

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

Success fees for financial advisors should be prohibited.

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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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

September
- Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
    Sept. 18-19, 2013 | New York
- abiLIVE Webinar: Complex Requirements and Ethical Duties of Representing Consumer Debtors
     Sept. 24, 2013
- Bankruptcy 2013: Views from the Bench
    Sept. 27, 2013 | Washington, D.C.

October
- abiLIVE Webinar: The Intersection of Intellectual Property and Bankruptcy: Kodak, Nortel and Other Cases
     Oct. 3, 2013
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program and Midwestern Consumer Forum
    Oct. 4, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Professional Development Program
    Oct. 11, 2013 | New York, N.Y.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Oct. 14, 2013 | Chicago, Ill.
- International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium
    Oct. 25, 2013 | Berlin, Germany


  


November
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
   Nov. 7, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.
- Corporate Restructuring Competition
   Nov. 7-8, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.
- Austin Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
   Nov. 10-12, 2013 | Austin, Texas
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
   Nov. 11, 2013 | Detroit, Mich.
- Delaware Views from the Bench
   Nov. 25, 2013 | Wilmington, Del.

December
- Winter Leadership Conference
    Dec. 5-7, 2013 | Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
- ABI/St. John’s Bankruptcy Mediation Training
    Dec. 8-12, 2013 | New York


 
 
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