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Latest ABI Podcast Examines Mortgage Lien-Stripping Cases Before the Supreme Court

 
  

December 30, 2014

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES MORTGAGE LIEN-STRIPPING CASES BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT

Former ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Lois Lupica is joined by Dennis Levine of Dennis LeVine & Associates, P.A. (Tampa) and Rich Thomson of Clark and Washington, P.C. (Atlanta) to discuss two cases recently granted certiorari by the Supreme Court (Bank of America v. Calukett and Bank of America v. Toledo-Cardona) involving mortgage lien-stripping in bankruptcy. Levine, who typically represents creditors, and Thomson, a debtors' lawyer, share their perspectives on arguments that may be raised before the Court for both cases. Click hereto listen.

For more information on these cases and other bankruptcy cases currently being considered by the Supreme Court, be sure to visit the ABI Newsroom

CFPB ISSUES REPORT ON STEPPING UP MILITARY FINANCIAL PROTECTIONS

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a report highlighting how loopholes in the current Military Lending Act rules are racking up costs for servicemembers, NationalMortgageProfessional.com reported yesterday. According to the report, these gaps have allowed companies to offer high-cost loans to military families by skirting the 36 percent rate cap and other military-specific credit protections. The CFPB included these findings in a comment letter filed in support of the Department of Defense's proposal to broaden the scope of the Military Lending Act rules to cover deposit advance products, and more types of payday, auto title, and installment loans. In 2006, Congress passed the Military Lending Act to protect active-duty military personnel, active National Guard or Reserve personnel, and their dependents from predatory lending practices. In 2013, Congress amended the law by, among other things, giving the CFPB specific authority to enforce it. Read the full report.

For more information on servicemember protections and bankruptcy, be sure to pick up a copy of ABI's Bankruptcy and Debt under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act from the ABI Bookstore.

RATES INCREASE ON FRIDAY!

 

 

CREDIT-DEFAULT SWAPS GET ACTIVIST NEW LOOK

Hedge-fund managers are putting a new twist on credit-default swaps, using the contracts to fortify bets on troubled companies, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The swaps, which work like insurance policies when companies default on bonds and loans, fell out of favor after Wall Street's outsize bets on the swaps soured during the financial crisis. Now, investors are increasingly combining credit-default-swaps trades with elements of activist investing to push companies toward default in some cases and away in others. Swaps buyers pay sellers an upfront fee and a steady flow of premiums in exchange for a guaranteed payout from the seller if default occurs. Historically, the corporate credit-default-swaps market was dominated by bets on giant borrowers with billions of dollars of debt outstanding. But that use has declined, while swaps contracts on the debt of smaller companies in financial distress has surged. The average market capitalization of the five most actively traded nonfinancial companies in the credit-default-swaps market has been about $6 billion since March, according to data from Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. and S&P Capital IQ. That's down from $20 billion at the end of 2013 and well below the $16 billion average since July 2010, when DTCC began collecting the data. Read more.(Subscription required.)

INVESTORS STRUGGLE TO GET INTO SOME PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS

Pension funds, endowments and wealthy individuals that invest with private equity are finding it increasingly hard to get into the most sought-after funds, according to data and industry participants, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Private-equity firms, which raise money from such investors and then put it to work in various investment strategies, are generally filling their coffers faster this year from clients. The proportion of private-equity funds that reached or exceeded the maximum amount the firms set out to raise this year is at its highest level since at least 2009, according to a snapshot of funds for which private-equity tracker Preqin has data. Typically, firms put a limit on the size of the fund they are raising, known as a hard cap, at the beginning of the fundraising process. That hard cap generally can't be exceeded without approval from fund investors. As of Nov. 13, 55 percent of roughly 280 funds for which Preqin had hard-cap data reached or surpassed that maximum size. Last year, 43 percent of funds hit or exceeded those limits. Also, private-equity firms have taken an average of 16.4 months to raise capital for funds that have closed this year, Preqin data show. That's two months shorter than the average time it took to raise funds that closed in 2013.Read more.(Subscription required.)

Additionally, some of the largest private-equity firms are giving up their claim to fees that generated hundreds of millions of dollars for them over the years in the face of pressure from investors and heightened scrutiny from federal regulators, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The investment firms usually collect the fees from companies they buy for providing services such as consulting, serving as directors and helping them make their own acquisitions. Instead of keeping some of the money, the buyout firms, in new funds they are raising, will now pass the fees on in full to investors in the funds. The payouts being reimbursed, known in the industry as transaction and monitoring fees, have provided many private-equity firms with a steady income stream augmenting their share of investment gains on deals, which remain the key source of profits from their buyout funds. The decision by private-equity firms to essentially reimburse investors with payments that can amount to tens of millions of dollars or more, sometimes on just one transaction, shows the increased influence wielded by investors such as public pension funds that historically accepted terms buyout firms proffered. To reimburse investors, the buyout firms don't actually pay cash. Instead, they lower separate management fees the investors owe by the same amount. For managing their money, private-equity firms typically charge investors between 1 and 2 percent of the cash they commit as a management fee. Blackstone, Apollo Global Management LLC, Carlyle Group LP and KKR collectively reported roughly $9 billion in management fees from their private-equity businesses between 2008 and the end of 2013, regulatory filings show. Read more.(Subscription required.)

EMERGING-MARKET DISTRESSED DEBT LOSS IS WORST SINCE 2008

Emerging-market distressed debt losses are the worst this month since the global financial crisis, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Distressed Emerging Markets Corporate Plus Index fell 13.4 percent through Dec. 26, set for its worst performance since October 2008, as a tumble in the price of oil sparked a currency crisis in Russia. That brought this year's decline to 19.7 percent, the most in six years. High-yield distressed securities in the U.S. lost 8 percent, the indexes show. Emerging markets accounted for 14 of the 56 global defaults this year in Standard & Poor's coverage. Read more.

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USTP NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING ON CHAPTER 11 MONTHLY OPERATING REPORTS

Section 602 of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) authorizes the U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) to issue rules requiring uniform periodic reports by debtors in possession or trustees in non-small business cases under chapter 11. The USTP just published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comment on the proposed rule and periodic report forms. The proposed rule is published in the Federal Register at 79 FR 66659 (Nov. 10, 2014) (to be codified at 28 C.F.R. pt. 58). The proposed rule, along with the proposed periodic report forms and instructions, may be viewed on the USTP's website. The proposed rule may also be accessed at www.regulations.gov. All public comments must be submitted on or before January 9, 2015, via www.regulations.gov. Please note that the proposed rule and forms only apply in chapter 11 cases filed by debtors that are not small businesses. Small business debtors are already required to use Official Form 25C, "Small Business Monthly Operating Report."

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: STATION FINANCIAL V. MCCORMICK (IN RE MCCORMICK; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Bryan Robinson

 

The Eighth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel reversed the bankruptcy court's order denying Starion Financial's motion to compel payment of fees under the confirmed reorganization plan and granting the debtors' motion to disallow attorneys' fees and costs. The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel remanded the case back to the bankruptcy court for further proceedings consistent with the panel's opinion. There are more than 1,500 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: IRS AUCTIONING DEFERRED ANNUITY OF FORMER BASEBALL PLAYER

A recent blog post looks at the IRS auction of the deferred annuity the New York Mets owe to former major league baseball player Darryl Strawberry.

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

"Executoriness" should be dropped as a threshold requirement in § 365.

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
 

2015

January
- New Orleans Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Jan. 19, 2015 | New Orleans
- Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
    Jan. 22-23, 2015 | Denver

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
    Feb. 5-7, 2015 | Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
- VALCON 2015
    Feb. 25-27, 2015 | Las Vegas
 

  

 

March
- Paskay Bankruptcy Seminar
    March 5-7, 2015 | Tampa, Fla.
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
    March 24, 2015 | Los Angeles, Calif.

April
- Annual Spring Meeting
    April 16-19, 2015 | Washington, D.C.

 

 

 
 
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Regulators and 13 Banks Complete 9.3 Billion Deal for Foreclosure Relief

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | February 26 2013
 
  

February 28, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

REGULATORS AND 13 BANKS COMPLETE $9.3 BILLION DEAL FOR FORECLOSURE RELIEF

Federal banking regulators have reached a $9.3 billion pact with 13 major lenders to settle claims of foreclosure abuses like bungled loan modifications and flawed paperwork, the New York Times DealBook blog reported today. The settlement is made up of $3.6 billion in cash relief and $5.7 billion in relief to avert foreclosures. Under the deal, homeowners can receive up to $125,000 in cash relief. Despite the banner numbers in the settlement, consumer groups and a range of lawmakers have criticized it for not providing enough relief for aggrieved homeowners. The agreement formalizes the tentative deals that were reached in January between the mortgage servicing companies and the regulators from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve. Read more.

FORECLOSURE SALES IN 2012 HIT LOWEST MARK IN FIVE YEARS

While 2012 had the fewest foreclosure-related sales of homes since 2007, RealtyTrac released figures today showing that levels remained far higher than before the bursting of the housing-market bubble, MarketWatch.com reported today. Almost 950,000 U.S. properties in some state of foreclosure or owned by a bank were sold in 2012, down 6 percent from the prior year, according to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace. Despite the decline, these sales remain far above the pre-bubble-burst levels: There were about 46,000 foreclosure-related sales in 2005, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosure-related sales made up about 21 percent of all U.S. residential sales last year, down from 23 percent in the prior year, but much greater than the roughly 1 percent of foreclosure sales in 2005. Meanwhile, properties sold as short sales rose 4 percent from the prior year. These short sales made up about 22 percent of all residential sales last year. Read more.

CFPB DECELERATES REVIEW OF CHECKING OVERDRAFT RULES

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which last year began exploring whether to tighten rules on checking overdraft fees, has decided against quick action after hearing from smaller U.S. banks that rely on the revenue, Bloomberg News reported today. The bureau announced Feb. 22, 2012, that it was collecting data on overdraft practices and would complete the inquiry by the end of 2012. Nine large banks, including Bank of America Corp., U.S. Bancorp and Regions Financial Corp., are providing information. This month, CFPB director Richard Cordray said that no decisions have been made about possible new rules, adding that "over the next couple of years" the agency will continue to work on the matter. Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, said revenue from overdraft fees represents 3 percent to 15 percent of total income for institutions in his association. In 2011, bank customers paid $31.6 billion in overdraft fees, down from $33.1 billion in 2010, according to Moebs Services, a research firm. About 15 million Americans overdraw their accounts 10 or more times a year, Moebs reported. Read more.

COMMENTARY: "TOO BIG TO FAIL" RULES HURTING "TOO SMALL TO COMPETE" BANKS

Almost five years have passed since governments in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. used about $600 billion in capital to shore up banks during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and regulators are still trying to ensure that it never happens again, according to a Bloomberg News commentary today. "With all the debating going on, the financial market structure didn't change very much," Zhu Min, the International Monetary Fund's deputy managing director, said in January. Some say the industry's biggest banks should be forced to break up, including Sanford Weill and John Reed, who created New York-based Citigroup Inc. They have said that financial conglomerates could be more valuable and safer if split apart. So have former Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive Officer David Komansky and former Morgan Stanley CEO Philip Purcell. Investors such as Joshua Siegel, founder and managing principal at New York-based StoneCastle Partners LLC, see bigger changes at the other end of the spectrum. Small banks will seek mergers because their management teams are aging and new regulations are too costly to bear, he says. JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, a critic of regulations he views as unnecessary or excessive, has recently touted the benefits. He told Citigroup analysts this month that new rules will help banks such as JPMorgan, the largest in the U.S., win market share from smaller competitors, the analysts wrote in a report. Read more.

ANALYSIS: FOR SEC, A SETBACK IN BID FOR MORE TIME IN FRAUD CASES

The Supreme Court yesterday delivered a swift and decisive rejection of the Securities and Exchange Commission's argument that it should operate under a more forgiving statute of limitations in pursuing penalties in fraud cases, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. As a result of the decision, the agency will have to find a long-term solution to give itself more time to investigate cases. In Gabelli v. Securities and Exchange Commission, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in the unanimous decision rejecting the SEC's argument that a federal statute that limits the government's authority to pursue civil penalties should commence when a fraud is discovered, not when it occurs. The SEC was hoping that the court would apply what is known as the "discovery rule." In 2010, the Supreme Court endorsed this rule in a private securities fraud class-action suit, Merck & Co. v. Reynolds, stating that "something different was needed in the case of fraud, where a defendant's deceptive conduct may prevent a plaintiff from even knowing that he or she has been defrauded." In the Gabelli case, the SEC filed fraud charges in 2008 against mutual fund manager Marc Gabelli and a colleague, Bruce Alpert, saying that they had violated the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 for permitting an investor to engage in market timing. In its complaint, the SEC sought civil monetary penalties based on market timing that it claimed had taken place from 1999 to 2002, which resulted in the preferred investor purportedly reaping significant profits while ordinary investors suffered large losses. Read more.

LATEST BLOOMBERG "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: SECRET MADOFF AGREEMENT MAY HARM VICTIMS

Money stolen from victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme is earmarked for someone who may have been an accomplice in the fraud, and the agreement is being kept secret by a federal district judge. That's the first item on the new video with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle. Click here to view.

DON’T MISS THE ABI LIVE WEBINAR ON APRIL 5 - "LEGACY LIABILITIES: DEALING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL, PENSION, UNION AND SIMILAR TYPES OF CLAIMS"

A panel of experts has been assembled for a webinar on April 5 from 1-2:15 p.m. ET to discuss environmental and pension liabilities, the statutory schemes under which these liabilities arise and the key players involved. Are non-monetary environmental claims dischargeable? Do post-petition expenditures for environmental cleanup constitute administrative expenses? When can an employer terminate a pension plan in bankruptcy, what is the process and what are the consequences? Learn the answer to these questions and more from the comfort of your own office. Special ABI member rate is available! Register here as this webinar is sure to sell out.

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR APRIL 10 TO TAKE PART IN ABI’S LIVE WEBINAR "STUDENT LOANS: BANKRUPTCY MAY NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS – BUT DOES CONGRESS?"

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

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

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

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

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

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: CLINTON AVENUE CLO FUND LTD. V. BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. (11TH CIR.)

Summarized by Weston Eguchi of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Affirming the district court's rulings, the Eleventh Circuit concluded that (A) the plaintiff term lenders lacked standing to enforce the defendant revolving lenders' promise to lend to borrowers under a credit agreement; and (B) summary judgment on the issue of whether the revolving lenders were required to fund under the credit agreement was inappropriate where the relevant contractual language was ambiguous such that consideration of extrinsic evidence of the parties' intent would be necessary.

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: ASSIGNMENT OF RENTS: SIXTH CIRCUIT THROWS OUT DEBT-BUYER SETTLEMENT

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new blog post reported that the Sixth Circuit recently threw out a nationwide settlement involving Midland, a robo-signing debt buyer, and more than a million consumers. This will allow other class and individual actions to proceed against Midland. The suit was thrown out for faulty notice to class members, who were not told in the settlement notice that they’d lose their individual fraud claims against Midland.

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

April
- ABI Live Webinar: "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.


 
 
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Stockton Experienced Years of Unraveling Prior to Bankruptcy

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | July 19, 2012
 
  

July 19, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

STOCKTON EXPERIENCED YEARS OF UNRAVELING PRIOR TO BANKRUPTCY

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

CALIFORNIA'S "CHARTER" CITIES ARE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

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

FORECLOSURE CRISIS HITTING OLDER AMERICANS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STUDENT DEBT HITS THE MIDDLE-AGED

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

REPORT: PENSION UNDERFUNDING ON THE RISE

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

COMMENTARY: KEEPING CREDIT BUREAUS IN CHECK

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

The panel will address:

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

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

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

Summarized by Aaron Kaufman of Cox Smith Matthews Inc.

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

More than 570 appellate opinions are summarized on Volo typically within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: LIBOR SCANDAL UNDERMINES BANKERS' CLAIMS OF OVERREGULATION

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

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

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

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

IS YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP PROFILE CURRENT?

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENT:

 

SE 2012
July 25-28, 2012
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August 2-4, 2012
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Sept. 13-14, 2012
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Sept. 13-15, 2012
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Sept. 19-20, 2012
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Oct. 18, 2012
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Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
MGM Grand Detroit
Detroit, Michigan
Nov. 12, 2012
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

September
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
     September 13-14, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
     September 13-15, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- 38th Annual Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
     September 19-20, 2012 | New York, N.Y.


  

October
- Nuts & Bolts for Young and New Practitioners - KC
     October 4, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program, Midwestern Consumer Forum
     October 5, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Bankruptcy 2012: Views from the Bench
     October 5, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     October 8, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy

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


 
 
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Foreclosure Filings Increase in 60 Percent of Large U.S. Cities

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | July 26, 2012
 
  

July 26, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

FORECLOSURE FILINGS INCREASE IN 60 PERCENT OF LARGE U.S. CITIES

RealtyTrac Inc. reported that foreclosure filings rose in almost 60 percent of large U.S. cities in the first half of 2012, indicating that many areas will have more distressed homes on the market later this year, Bloomberg News reported today. More than 1 million homes in metropolitan areas with populations of at least 200,000 received notices of default, auction or repossession, up 1.5 percent from the last six months of 2011, the Irvine, Calif.-based data provider said today. Among the 20 largest markets, Tampa, Fla., Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City had the biggest percentage increases in filings. Across the nation, one in 126 households received a foreclosure notice in the first half of the year, RealtyTrac said. Of the 212 metro areas with at least 200,000 residents, 125 cities had an increase in filings from the latter half of 2011. Read more.

DEMOCRATS PROPOSE BILL TO PROTECT WAGES, BENEFITS IN BANKRUPTCY

Congressional Democrats are proposing legislation that could double employees' and retirees' recoveries when their employers file for chapter 11 protection, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported yesterday. Led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. John Conyers (R-Mich.), the "Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act" introduced on July 12 would amend the Bankruptcy Code to double, to $20,000, the maximum claim for wages and benefits that workers and retirees can assert in their employers' chapter 11 cases. Rep. Conyers and Sen. Durbin have introduced similar legislation twice already, in 2007 and 2010, but neither version made it before the full House or Senate. Read more. (Subscription required.)

To read the text of the "Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act," please click here.

COMMENTARY: BETTER DISCLOSURE FOR PRIVATE LOANS NEEDED

About two-thirds of bachelor’s degree recipients borrow to complete their educations, but only the fortunate among them rely on federal loans that offer a low, fixed-interest rate and broad consumer protections that allow them to defer payments if they lose their jobs, according to a New York Times editorial today. However, many students have to turn to private student loans that have variable interest rates and few consumer protections. A new study issued jointly last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education makes it clear that the government, Congress in particular, can do a better job of educating families about the significant differences between private and federal loans while making sure that colleges and lenders are up-front and honest about risks. The study's most distressing finding is that more than 40 percent of students who borrowed privately were in fact eligible to borrow from the safer and generally less costly federal program. The study says that the poor economy has made it hard for many student borrowers of private loans to meet their obligations, and many are at risk of default. At a minimum, Congress should revisit the 2005 amendments to the bankruptcy law, but it should also pass a pending bill sponsored by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that would require colleges and lenders to thoroughly explain borrowing options to students. Read the full editorial.

MAJOR RETAILERS OPPOSE SWIPE FEE SETTLEMENT

Many analysts considered the $7.25 billion credit card interchange fee settlement to be a significant victory for retailers, but the world's two largest retailers, Walmart and Target, have both come out against the proposed settlement, Forbes.com reported today. They join the National Association of Convenience Stores and the National Retail Federation, two organizations which immediately denounced the settlement when it was first announced on July 13. These organizations feel that the settlement has left credit card issuers with too much control over swipe fees. As part of the landmark agreement–the largest antitrust class-action settlement in history–MasterCard, Visa and major banks agreed to pay more than $6 billion to resolve accusations that they engaged in anticompetitive practices and price fixing in payment processing. In addition, credit card companies agreed to reduce swipe fees for eight months, an adjustment valued at $1.2 billion. The settlement would also allow retailers to charge higher prices to their customers for paying with credit cards. Before this settlement, the card companies prohibited retailers from adding this type of surcharge. Read more.

STATES SEEK CONGRESSIONAL ASSISTANCE TO COLLECT INTERNET SALES TAXES

More than 21 states have simplified how they collect taxes in hopes of recovering an estimated $20 billion in sales taxes that go uncollected by out-of-state online merchants every year, but the nation's governors say that they still need help from Congress, the Associated Press reported today. Speaking on behalf of the National Governors Association, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that it is not fair to local businesses that online sellers are not required to collect and distribute state sales taxes for purchases made where they don't have a physical presence. Through the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax coalition, nearly 21 states are in full compliance with the laws and regulations set forth by the cooperative and have agreed to implement the policies and software technology that would make it easy for even the smallest businesses to collect and forward sales taxes across state lines. Reps. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) urged the House to pass the Marketplace Equity Act of 2011, which is co-sponsored by 48 House lawmakers from both parties. The act was in response to a 1992 Supreme Court decision that restricted states from collecting sales taxes on Internet transactions from online retailers that did not have a physical connection with the state. Read more.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES CALIFORNIA COUNTY'S CONTROVERSIAL PROPOSAL TO USE EMINENT DOMAIN TO PROVIDE RELIEF FOR UNDERWATER HOMEOWNERS

The latest ABI podcast features ABI Executive Director Sam Gerdano talking with former ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Mark Scarberry from the Pepperdine University School of Law about a controversial proposal being considered by a few localities in California to provide relief to underwater homeowners. Officials from San Bernardino County, Calif., along with two other cities are considering a proposal to use eminent domain to reclaim underwater, but performing, mortgages to then rewrite the mortgage and lower the monthly payments. The county would then pay investors what they consider "fair value" for the mortgage. Scarberry, who continues to analyze various approaches to the foreclosure crisis, talks about the proposal and the potential legal ramifications of using eminent domain to provide relief from the foreclosure crisis. Click here to listen to the podcast.

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

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

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

The panel will address:

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: MORRIS V. BROWN (IN RE BROWN; 6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Robert Hillyer of Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens & Cannada PLLC

The Sixth Circuit affirmed a lower court order granting summary judgment in favor of appellee Brown dismissing the adversary complaint filed by appellants Morris and Lynch seeking determination that Brown's debt to them was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).

More than 570 appellate opinions are summarized on Volo typically within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: MORTGAGE MODIFICATIONS IN BANKRUPTCY HELP HOMEOWNERS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post advocates for more bankruptcy courts to start using the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program first started by Judge Robert Drain in the Southern District of New York.

Strong opinions on mortgage modification in bankruptcy proceedings? Make sure to vote on ABI's latest Quick Poll below!

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

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

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

IS YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP PROFILE CURRENT?

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER!

Webinar: "Subjecting Business Projections to Scrutiny in Valuation Disputes"
July 30, 2012
Register Today!


COMING UP

 

MA 2012
August 2-4, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

SE 2012
Sept. 13-14, 2012
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SW 2012
Sept. 13-15, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

NYU 2012
Sept. 19-20, 2012
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NABMW 2012
Oct. 4, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
Register Today!

 

SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
Register Today!

 

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

September
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
     September 13-14, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
     September 13-15, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- 38th Annual Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
     September 19-20, 2012 | New York, N.Y.


  

October
- Nuts & Bolts for Young and New Practitioners - KC
     October 4, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program, Midwestern Consumer Forum
     October 5, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Bankruptcy 2012: Views from the Bench
     October 5, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     October 8, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy

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


 
 
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Mortgage-Relief Plan Is Extended

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | May 30 2013
 
  

May 30, 2013

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

MORTGAGE-RELIEF PLAN IS EXTENDED

The Obama administration announced today that its signature consumer-mortgage modification initiative, due to expire at the end of the year, will be extended for two more years, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Senior administration officials said yesterday that, despite a growing housing-market recovery, it did not make sense to dismantle the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) given the real estate bust's lingering damage. About 1.1 million borrowers were still in some stage of foreclosure at the end of April, according to a report released yesterday by CoreLogic, and banks have been completing nearly 52,000 foreclosures a month. Read more. (Subscription required.)

REALTYTRAC: FORECLOSURE SALES TUMBLE IN FIRST QUARTER

Sales of U.S. homes in foreclosure fell in the first quarter, a report from RealtyTrac showed today, the latest data to suggest that the housing market is on the mend, Reuters reported. There were 190,121 properties sold that were in the foreclosure process or already seized by lenders, down 18 percent from the last quarter of 2012 and a 22 percent decrease from the first quarter the year before. That accounted for 21 percent of all home sales, down from 25 percent in the first quarter of 2012. It was also well off the peak of 45 percent seen during the first quarter of 2009 as the housing market was still reeling from its collapse and the global financial crisis. Read more.

U.S. TRUSTEE PROGRAM REPORT SHOWS EFFORTS CONTINUE TO REIN IN EXECUTIVE BONUSES IN BANKRUPTCY

In a self-generated report card, the U.S. Trustee Program said that it has made significant accomplishments in many areas of monitoring the bankruptcy system and expects that its efforts will continue to rein in executive bonuses in bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. According to the U.S. Trustee Program, the executive bonus plans that many companies are putting forth for court approval today aren’t true incentives. Instead, trustees argue, the bonus plans set easily achievable goals, making them disguised—and illegal—retention payments. One focus of the program has been to crack down on the bonuses that companies in chapter 11 seek to pay to their executives while other obligations go unpaid—an effort in which trustees have a 66.7 percent success rate, according to a recently filed annual report. The report showed that U.S. Trustees earned better grades for their role objecting to professional fees (94.7 percent success rate), bringing motions to appoint an independent trustee or examiner (90.3 percent), asking that a chapter 11 case be dismissed or converted to a chapter 7 liquidation (97.9 percent) and chapter 11 plan objections (95.3 percent). Read more.

Click here to read the annual report.

DETROIT SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON SPEED OF DESTRUCTION, ACCORDING TO HOMEBUILDER

Homebuilder William Pulte says that the only way to truly save Detroit and get the housing market functioning properly again is to destroy large swaths of the city as quickly as possible, Bloomberg News reported today. Pulte, a scion of the family that created PulteGroup Inc., the largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, has already knocked down 10 blocks in Detroit’s Southeast section of the city as part of the nonprofit Detroit Blight Authority program, which Pulte co-created with Detroit Mayor David Bing. It’s a preview of the effort he says is needed to get ahead of the metal strippers and arsonists devastating the city’s property values. Housing markets in Detroit and other rustbelt cities such as Cleveland and Buffalo are hampered by decaying, vacant homes, even as sales of existing homes hover around a three-year high nationally. In addition, pilfering of vacant units in urban areas cut the number of U.S. homes with complete plumbing by about 10.4 percent from 2008 to 2011, according to U.S. Census data compiled by Bloomberg, including 66,722 such homes in Detroit alone. Read more.

FITCH: U.S. STATES' RECOVERY TO REMAIN SLOW, STEADY

Fitch Ratings released a report yesterday stating that the economic recovery will continue at a slow pace in fiscal 2014 for most U.S. states, with federal budget deals and health care reforms creating uncertainty in many budgets, Reuters reported yesterday. For most states, the new fiscal year starts July 1 and legislators and governors are putting the final touches on their budgets. Fitch found that the automatic federal spending cuts that began on March 1, known as "sequestration," have had a limited effect on states' economies and finances. According to a report released yesterday by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a liberal-leaning think tank, states will lose out on $5.1 billion in grants this federal fiscal year, which ends in September, under sequestration. In recent years, they have received more than $600 billion in federal grants, according to EPI. Read more.

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: THE MAJESTIC STAR CASINO LLC V. BARDEN DEVELOPMENT INC. (IN RE THE MAJESTIC STAR CASION LLC; 3D CIR.)

Summarized by John Eggum of Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff

The Third Circuit ruled that the debtor lacked standing to challenge the nondebtor parent/shareholder's revocation of an election to S Corp status. Rejecting cases from other circuits, the Third Circuit found that S Corp status is not a property interest. Alternatively, even if S Corp status were a property interest, S Corp status is not an interest of the debtor entity because the right to revoke S Corp status belongs to the shareholder parent.

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: WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS IN BANKRUPTCY

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post looks at case law and issues surrounding workers’ compensation benefits in bankruptcy.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT WEEK:

 

 

Memphis 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

 

CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

Golf Tournament 2013
June 14, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

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


 
   
  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.

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


 
 
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FHFA Seeks to Limit Mortgage Buybacks Afflicting Big Banks

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | June 19, 2012
 
  
June 19, 2012
 
home  |  chart of the day  |  blogs  |  bankruptcy code and rules  |  statistics  |  legislative news  |  volo
  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

FHFA SEEKS TO LIMIT MORTGAGE BUYBACKS AFFLICTING BIG BANKS

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, plans to help banks avoid being forced to buy back mortgages out of concern that lenders are tightening standards even for the most creditworthy home buyers, Bloomberg News reported today. The FHFA is also standardizing the data Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collect on each loan so they have more information when buying mortgages from lenders. Banks are requiring credit scores on government-backed loans that are between 100-200 points higher than the minimums set by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration, after the government-controlled agencies demanded that lenders repurchase more than $80 billion in flawed loans over the past three years. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. said on June 12 that it is increasing reserves by $350 million to cover demands, while Bank of America Corp., the second-biggest U.S. lender, said in May that it will buy back $330 million of home loans from Freddie Mac. Read more.

ANALYSIS: BANKS WORRY AS BREAKUP TALK REVIVED AFTER JPMORGAN LOSS

Congress' inquiry into JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s $2 billion trading loss has reignited the question of whether a bank can grow too large and complex for its own executives to oversee, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. The banking industry is taking notice that a move to cap the size of Wall Street firms is gaining traction on Capitol Hill. "There seems to be growing interest in some type of breakup proposal," said Sheila Bair, a former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The concept is expected to arise today as JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on the trading debacle. Last week he told the Senate that the losses, which carved about $23 billion from the bank’s market value, were due to a poor investing strategy coupled with management failures. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) seized on that admission at the hearing. "It appears executives and regulators simply can't understand what is happening in all these offices at once," Brown said during the June 13 hearing. "It demonstrates to me that too-big-to-fail banks are, frankly, too-big-to-manage and too-big-to-regulate." While bank lobbyists say they are still most concerned that JPMorgan's trading loss could prompt regulators to write a stronger U.S. rule against proprietary trading, they are also closely monitoring the emerging talk about too-big-to-manage. Read more.

RATING-FIRM OVERSIGHT TO INCREASE

The head of a new federal office charged with overseeing the credit-rating firms pledged to step up scrutiny of an industry blamed by lawmakers for exacerbating the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Thomas J. Butler, a former brokerage executive, was sworn in Monday as director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Credit Ratings. The office was created by the Dodd-Frank Act in response to allegations that credit-rating firms had rated too highly many of the mortgage-linked securities at the heart of the housing bubble. As one of his first tasks, Butler said that he will explore whether the office will have its own enforcement, examination and rule-writing staff. Such a step would increase the number of people who would devote their full attention to overseeing credit-rating firms, including Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and Moody's Investors Service. Currently, at least 20 people are dedicated to oversight of the credit-rating firms, working in the SEC's different divisions. Butler said that the SEC's most recent budget granted the new office the power to have around 30 employees. Read more. (Subscription required.)

GM SEEN FUELING PENSION DEALS AS EMPLOYERS FACE SHORTFALL

General Motors Co.'s deal to cut pension obligations by $26 billion and shift plans to Prudential Financial Inc. is poised to fuel more transfers as U.S. firms face a retirement-funding shortfall the size of Greece's debt, Bloomberg News reported today. MetLife Inc. and Prudential are among insurers that expect the GM deal to encourage more corporations to offload plans. Pension liabilities exceed assets by more than $435 billion, according to a Bloomberg review of data disclosed by firms in the Russell 1000 Index of large U.S. companies. Greece, facing demands for austerity measures in exchange for rescue funds, had total debt of about $450 billion at the end of 2011. Employers who endured two stock-market crashes in a decade and 10-year Treasury yields near record lows may be tempted to follow GM’s lead by paying insurers to take the risk that market returns are inadequate or that beneficiaries live longer than expected. GM, the largest automaker, said that most of the 118,000 retirees and surviving beneficiaries affected by the shift will get Prudential annuities, with about 42,000 having the option of lump-sum payments. GM pensions were underfunded by $25.4 billion, the largest gap among the biggest U.S. companies, as of Dec. 31. The Detroit-based firm had global pension obligations of about $134 billion. Read more.

REPORT: CEO PAY IS RISING DESPITE SCRUTINY

Despite a lot of noise from shareholders and a few victories at big names like Citigroup and Hewlett-Packard, CEO pay continues to rise, according to a report in Sunday's New York Times. Median pay of the nation's 200 top-paid CEOs was $14.5 million, equating to a 5 percent raise, according to a study conducted for the New York Times by Equilar, a compensation data firm based in Redwood City, Calif. Because the list includes only the CEOs of public companies, it does not capture the many billions that have been earned by top hedge fund managers and private-equity dealmakers in recent years. But even in the more narrow universe of public companies, the complete Equilar study shows that there were not one, but two executives who had nine-figure paydays last year — the first time that has ever happened, according to Aaron Boyd, Equilar's head of research. Read more.

CREDIT CARD COMPLAINTS TO BE AVAILABLE ONLINE

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today is launching the first part of an online database of complaints from customers in the $2.05 trillion credit card industry, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The database will list searchable information about individual complaints, including the name of the company responsible for the credit card, the type of complaint and the customer's ZIP Code. Initially, it will only contain credit card-related complaints the bureau has received as of June 1, which means it is likely to have only 100 or so entries at first, according to a senior CFPB official. The bureau, which has been collecting credit card complaints since last July, will add in older complaints later this year. It may also incorporate complaints about other products, such as mortgages and private student loans, in the future. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ABI IN-DEPTH

WEBINAR NEXT WEEK WILL EXAMINE SUPREME COURT'S RULING IN THE RADLAX CASE

Having already examined the oral argument in a previous ABI media teleconference, panelists will reconvene for an ABI and West LegalEd Center webinar on June 26 to discuss the Supreme Court's ruling in RadLAX Gateway Hotel LLC v. Amalgamated Bank. CLE credit will be available for the webinar, which will be held from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.

Experts on the program include:

Adam A. Lewis of Morrison Foerster, lead counsel for Amalgamated Bank before the Court.
David Neff of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago), the counsel of record for petitioner RadLAX Gateway Hotel LLC and participant in the argument.
Jason S. Brookner of Andrews Kurth LLP (New York), whose article was cited in the brief for the respondent.
• Prof. Charles Tabb, the Alice Curtis Campbell Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, who recently published a paper titled "Credit Bidding, Security, and the Obsolescence of Chapter 11."

ABI Resident Scholar David Epstein will be the moderator for the webinar.

The webinar costs $115 and purchase provides online access for 180 days. If you are purchasing a live webcast, you will receive complimentary access to the on-demand version for 180 days once it becomes available. Click here for more information.

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: IN RE MAHARAJ (4TH CIR.)

Summarized by Dennis O'Dea of SFS Law Group

The Fourth Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court's denial of confirmation of an individual chapter 11 plan accepted by two classes of creditors, but rejected by a class of unsecured creditors. The court held, in a case of first impression in the circuit courts of appeal, that the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) did not abrogate the absolute priority rule as it applies to individual chapter 11 debtors and that the plan could not be confirmed over the dissenting vote of a class of unsecured creditors if the debtors retained any nonexempt property under a plan in which general creditors were not paid in full.

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: IS THE "PONZI SCHEME PRESUMPTION" EXPANDING INTO NEW TERRITORY?

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines the expansion of the "Ponzi scheme presumption" by courts, as well as the case of Stoebner v. Ritchie Capital Management, LLC (In re Polaroid Corp.), 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 1926 (Bankr. D. Minn. April 30, 2012), in which a bankruptcy court applied the presumption of intent to defraud a transferor who was not even directly involved in a Ponzi scheme.

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

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

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

IS YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP PROFILE CURRENT?

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENT

 

ABI'S Webinar to Discuss the Supreme Court's Forthcoming Ruling in RadLAX Gateway Hotel LLC v. Amalgamated Bank
June 26, 2012
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COMING UP

 

NE 2012
July 12-15, 2012
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SE 2012
July 25-28, 2012
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MA 2012
August 2-4, 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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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS

June
- ABI Webinar Examining the Supreme Court's Ruling in the RadLAX Case
     June 26, 2012

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

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


  

September
- Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
     September 13-15, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
     September 13-14, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.

October
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program, Midwestern Consumer Forum
     October 5, 2012 | Kansas City, Mo.
- Bankruptcy 2012: Views from the Bench
     October 5, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     October 8, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.
- International Insolvency and Restructuring Symposium
     October 18, 2012 | Rome, Italy

 
 
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Changes in Mortgage Servicing Practices Take Effect Today

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 27, 2012
 
  

October 2, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

CHANGES IN MORTGAGE SERVICING PRACTICES TAKE EFFECT TODAY

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

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

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

COMMENTARY: MONEY MARKET MUTUAL FUNDS AND MORAL HAZARD

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

CALIFORNIA DAIRIES GOING BROKE DUE TO FEED, MILK PRICES

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized by Guy Moss of Riemer & Braunstein LLP

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

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

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

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines the Fifth Circuit's ruling in Matter of Pilgrim's Pride Corp., No. 11-10774 (5th Cir. 8/10/12), to allow a $1 million fee enhancement to a chief restructuring officer who achieved results described as "rare and exceptional." The court rejected the argument that a recent Supreme Court opinion on fee-shifting precluded enhancements, and in the process set forth a comprehensive framework for allowance of professional fees in bankruptcy.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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THIS WEEK:

NABMW 2012
Oct. 4, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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COMING UP:

 

SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
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ABI YOUNG AND NEW MEMBERS COMMITTEE “TRENDING ISSUES: EXAMINERS AND SELECT PLAN CONFIRMATION ISSUES” WEBINAR
Oct. 15, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 16, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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ABI/ST. JOHN'S "BANKRUPTCY AND RACE: IS THERE A RELATION?" SYMPOSIUM
Oct. 19, 2012
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ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING
Oct. 26, 2012
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MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
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4TH ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Nov. 9, 2012
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SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
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SE 2012
Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2012
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MT 2012
Dec. 4-8, 2012
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

  

 

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

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

2013

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


 
 
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