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ABIs Chapter 11 Commission Eyes Updates to Bankruptcy Code

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 17 2013
 
  

January 17, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

ABI'S CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION EYES UPDATES TO BANKRUPTCY CODE

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

PENSION FUNDING GAP WIDENS FOR BIG CITIES

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

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

CFPB'S NEW MORTGAGE RULES AID HOMEOWNERS

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

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

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

FLORIDA DEFIES HOUSING REBOUND AS FORECLOSURES SOAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago)

Click here to register!

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: TIMCO LLC V. T AND M SALES AGENCY INC. (IN RE TIMCO LLC; 6TH CIR.)

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

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

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: HIGH-INCOME EARNERS NOT BARRED FROM PASSING BANKRUPTCY'S MEANS TEST

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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MONDAY:

 

 

WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
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NEXT THURSDAY:

 

 

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

 

 

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

2013

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

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


  

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

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

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


 
 
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Judge Rules Detroit Eligible for Chapter 9 Says Pensions Could Be Cut

 

 

 
  

December 3, 2013

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

JUDGE RULES DETROIT ELIGIBLE FOR CHAPTER 9, SAYS PENSIONS COULD BE CUT

The city of Detroit today officially became the largest municipality in U.S. history to enter chapter 9 bankruptcy after Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes declared that it met the specific legal criteria required to receive protection from its creditors, the Detroit Free Press reported today. The landmark ruling ends more than four months of uncertainty over the fate of the case and sets the stage for a fierce clash over how to slash an estimated $18 billion in debt and long-term liabilities while the city attempts to recover from pervasive blight and violent crime. Judge Rhodes found that the city was and is insolvent. While he found that the city did not negotiate in good faith, he excused this pre-filing requirement because it was impractical under the circumstances. The decision clears the way for pension cuts, though Judge Rhodes emphasized that he won't agree to pension cuts unless the entire plan is fair and equitable. "Resolving this issue now will likely expedite the resolution of this bankruptcy case," he said. Unions announced an immediate appeal. Read more.

For complete coverage, see ABI's Detroit in Distress webpage: http://news.abi.org/detroit

ANALYSIS: NEW BOOM IN LEVERAGED LOANS FOR SMALLER BUSINESSES

Wall Street and private-equity firms, hedge funds and other opaque financing pools have grown frustrated by low returns on other forms of debt and have turned instead to riskier but more lucrative bets on ever-smaller companies, the New York Times reported on Thursday. "Weaker credit is traveling down to smaller companies that ordinarily would not have this kind of leverage," said Barbara M. Goodstein, a banking and finance lawyer at Mayer Brown in New York. Leveraged loans became popular before the 2008 collapse but nearly disappeared afterward, regarded as a symbol of unbridled lending. But they started to return in 2010 and are now back in force, with volumes of $548.4 billion this year through Nov. 14, already exceeding the precrisis level of $535.2 billion in 2007. Read more.

VOLCKER RULE SET FOR DEC. 10 APPROVAL BY REGULATORS

At least three U.S. regulators will meet on Dec. 10 to adopt the final version of the Volcker rule, which bans banks from making speculative bets with their own money, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are scheduling meetings to act on the rule on that date. Two other agencies that need to approve the rule -- the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission -- are trying to arrange Dec. 10 votes as well. The agencies are not required to approve the rule at the same time. "If one or more of the other regulators have set December 10, I would expect us to act on or about that date as part of that coordination," SEC Chairman Mary Jo White said. The agencies' approval would be the final stage in the process of adopting the Volcker rule, a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act designed to prevent a repeat of the 2008 global credit crisis. The final version is also expected to extend the rule's compliance dates, a move that was sought by Wall Street banks and trade groups. Read more.

ANALYSIS: PUERTO RICO, WITH AT LEAST $70 BILLION IN DEBT, CONFRONTS A RISING ECONOMIC MISERY

The economy in Puerto Rico has been in recession for nearly eight years, crimping tax revenue and pushing the jobless rate to nearly 15 percent, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. Meanwhile, the government is burdened by staggering debt, spawning comparisons to bankrupt Detroit and forcing lawmakers to severely slash pensions, cut government jobs and raise taxes in a furious effort to avert default. The implications are serious for Americans outside of Puerto Rico, both because a taxpayer bailout would be expensive and a default would be far more disruptive than Detroit's record bankruptcy filing in July. Officials in San Juan and Washington, D.C., are adamant that a federal bailout is not on the table, but the situation is being closely monitored by the White House, which recently named an advisory team to help Puerto Rican officials navigate the crisis. The island's problems have ignited an exodus not seen here since the 1950s, when 500,000 people left for jobs on the mainland. Now Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, are again leaving in droves. Read more.

ABI'S INTERACTIVE CODE AND RULES SITE UPDATED WITH DEC. 1 AMENDMENTS

ABI's Interactive Code and Rules site (http://law.abi.org) has been updated with several changes to the federal court miscellaneous fee schedules that relate to bankruptcy courts and that became effective on Dec. 1. The changes, which were approved by the U.S. Judicial Conference, include:

- A new $176 fee for the filing of motions for the sale of property free and clear of liens under § 363(f).

- An increase in the records-retrieval fee from $53 to $64 for the first box requested from the Federal Records Center, and a new fee of $39 for each additional box requested.

For the most up-to-date version of the Bankruptcy Code and Rules, be sure to visit ABI's Code and Rules website.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER: BEST OF ABI 2013: THE YEAR IN CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY

Now available for pre-order in the ABI Bookstore is Best of ABI 2013: The Year in Consumer Bankruptcy. This must-have reference contains the best ABI Journal articles and papers from ABI's top-rated educational seminars selected by ABI Board Member Alane Becket of Becket & Lee LLP (Malvern, Pa.) to cover the most important developments in consumer bankruptcy for 2013. The book delves into such timely topics as the foreclosure crisis, tax issues, the latest on chapter 13, student loans and much more, and it also features relevant case summaries drawn from ABI's Volo site (volo.abi.org). Make sure to log into www.abi.org to get your discounted ABI member pricing. The book will ship in mid-December. Click here to order.

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; LAST STOP FOR 2013 IS THIS WEEK'S WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE!

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.

NEXT WEEK'S ABILIVE WEBINAR LOOKS AT HOW TO HIRE THE RIGHT FINANCIAL ADVISORS

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

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

Speakers on the webinar include:

-Daniel F. Dooley of MorrisAnderson (Chicago)

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

-Ivan Lehon of Ernst & Young (New York)

-Allen Soong of Deloitte CRG (Los Angeles)

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

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

Click here for more information and to register.

ABI IN-DEPTH

RENEW YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP BY DEC. 31 AND SAVE!

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

ABI LAUNCHES SIXTH ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION FOR LAW STUDENTS

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

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: BEHRENS V. U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (IN RE BEHRENS; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by Bryan Robinson of the Law Offices of Bryan Robinson

The Eighth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmed the bankruptcy court's order granting the secured creditor relief from the automatic stay to complete its foreclosure proceedings.

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: APPEAL FILED IN ARCAPITA BANKRUPTCY CASE CENTERS ON CHOICE OF LAW

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks more than 80 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new blog post looks at the appeal filed concerning the choice of law used in the ground-breaking bankruptcy proceedings of Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank B.S.C.(c)

For witness testimony and a video of the hearing, please be sure to visit http://commission.abi.org.

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

A holder of an unstayed judgment, which is subject to an ongoing appeal, can qualify as a petitioning creditor under § 303(b)(1).

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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THIS WEEK:

 

 

WLC
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COMING UP

 

 

 

abiLIVE
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Western Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
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Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference
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Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
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VALCON2014
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VALCON2014
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

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

  

 

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
    Feb. 6-8, 2014 | San Juan, P.R.
- VALCON14
    Feb. 26-28, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nev.

March
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
    March 11, 2014 | Los Angeles, Calif.

 

 
 
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Living Wills Are Due for Some Banks on July 1 but FDICs Hoenig Sees No Cure-All

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | June 26, 2012
 
  
June 26, 2012
 
home  |  chart of the day  |  blogs  |  bankruptcy code and rules  |  statistics  |  legislative news  |  volo
  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

LIVING WILLS ARE DUE FOR SOME BANKS ON JULY 1, BUT FDIC'S HOENIG SEES NO CURE-ALL

Some of the biggest banks are being asked to submit by July 1 road maps for how they can be quickly and cleanly liquidated, but a top regulator said that he does not back using the so-called living-will process to break them up, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., also does not think that the new regulatory process will end "too big to fail"-- the expectation that the government will bail out faltering financial firms rather than risk the damage their failure would inflict on the system. "I want it to have good results, but it will not be the cure-all," Hoenig said in an interview. While the living wills will force bank management to better understand their own institutions, the largest firms will remain excessively big and complex, with too much of an impact on the economy, he said. The living-will process was established in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Act. Read more. (Subscription required.).

REPORT: HOMEOWNERS SHOW INCREASED INTEREST IN EXPANDED HARP

A recent government report showed that more underwater homeowners have been taking advantage of an expanded Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to refinance their loans and obtain lower interest rates, the New York Times reported on Friday. According to the June report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in the first quarter 180,000 mortgages were refinanced through what is known as HARP 2, almost double the 93,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the highest quarterly number since the HARP program started in 2009. The program was expanded last fall with several modifications, including the removal of certain fees and a second appraisal, and an extension of the deadline to Dec. 31, 2013. In addition, the cap was removed on the loan-to-value ratio. When the program began, there had been a ceiling of 125 percent, meaning loans could not be underwater by more than 25 percent. Read more.

BIGGEST U.S. BANKS CURB LOANS AS REGIONAL FIRMS FILL GAP

The biggest U.S. banks are extending less credit amid a faltering economic recovery as regional lenders step in to fill the gap, Bloomberg News reported today. Total loans at the four largest U.S. banks -- JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. -- fell 4.9 percent to $3.04 trillion in the first quarter from the same period in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Lending by the 17 smallest of the 24 firms in the KBW Bank Index increased 9.8 percent to $1.27 trillion. Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. lender by assets, and Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America reported the biggest drops. Total loans at New York-based Citigroup fell 10 percent to $648 billion in the two-year period, while those at Bank of America declined 7.6 percent to $902.3 billion. Read more.

U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT PLANS TOUGHER RULES ON SMALL LOANS

The U.S. Department of Defense plans to strengthen rules designed to curb abusive lending to servicemembers as Congress considers changes to a 2006 law that regulates small loans, according to a senior military officer, Bloomberg News reported today. The Senate Armed Services Committee approved amendments to the Military Lending Act on June 6 as part of its annual review of defense policy, including one that would tighten the definition of "payday loan" to cover other high-interest products. Congress passed the law in response to complaints from the Pentagon that so-called payday loans were often harmful for servicemembers and that they affected troop readiness. The law effectively banned payday lending to members of the military by limiting the loans to an interest rate of 36 percent. The proposed changes would also require the Pentagon to study and regulate installment loans aimed at members of the military. "The legislation has been extremely effective in stamping out abuses involving these types of credit," Colonel Paul Kantwill, director of legal policy in the Department of Defense's Office of the Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness, said in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee today. Kantwill said in his testimony that the department may publish advance notices of proposed rulemaking once it is clear what changes may be included in the final legislation. Read more.

Click here to read the prepared witness testimony from today's hearing.

ANALYSIS: BIRMINGHAM LIKELY TO PAY A PRICE FOR JEFFERSON COUNTY'S BANKRUPTCY

While officials from Birmingham, Ala., say that they have a lot to offer municipal-bond investors, the city is the county seat for Jefferson County, which last year filed the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S history, the Wall Street Journal reported today. As Birmingham weighs a return to the bond market, its leaders will soon find out if the city will pay a price for the county's chapter 9 filing. Though Birmingham offers a jobless rate below the national average, a credit rating on par with New York City's and lots of cash in reserve, it is likely the city will pay higher interest rates than similarly credit-worthy cities and towns. The city and county keep their finances separate, and the contrast between them is stark. Jefferson County recently cut back services at its hospital for the poor and skipped a debt payment to preserve cash. County officials expect to run out of reserves by October. Read more. (Subscription required.)

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SAMSON V. WESTERN CAPITAL PARTNERS, LLC (IN RE BLIXSETH; 9TH CIR.)

Summarized by Elie Ian Herman of Pace Law School

The Ninth Circuit ruled that termination of the automatic stay under Section 362(h) applies to all the debtor's personal property securing a creditor's claim, rather than just the personal property scheduled as securing that claim.

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: SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO HEAR NET EQUITY ISSUE

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post looked at the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to pass on the opportunity to decide how the claims of investors in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC should be calculated.

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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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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SE 2012
Sept. 13-14, 2012
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Sept. 13-15, 2012
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Sept. 19-20, 2012
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Oct. 4, 2012
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Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

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


  

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

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

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | July 10, 2012
 
  

July 10, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

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

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

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

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

CONSUMER BORROWING INCREASED IN MAY, PROPELLED BY CREDIT CARD BORROWING

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

ANALYSIS: PRICE OF USING CREDIT CARDS MAY RISE

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

COMMENTARY: COMMERCIAL MORTGAGES SHOW DEPTH OF BAD LOAN SECURITIZATIONS

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

CFTC SUES PEREGRINE FINANCIAL GROUP

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

The panel will address:

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SUNBEAM PRODUCTS, INC. V. CHICAGO AMERICAN MANUFACTURING, LLC (7TH CIR.)

Summarized by Jonathan Brand of Lakelaw

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

More than 550 appellate opinions are summarized on Volo typically within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: DREIER BANKRUPTCY DEMONSTRATES THE ENDLESS SCOPE OF CLAWBACK CLAIMS

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

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

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

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

IS YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP PROFILE CURRENT?

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

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NE 2012
July 12-15, 2012
Last Chance to Register


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SE 2012
July 25-28, 2012
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August 2-4, 2012
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SE 2012
Sept. 13-14, 2012
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SW 2012
Sept. 13-15, 2012
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NYU 2012
Sept. 19-20, 2012
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NABMW 2012
Oct. 4, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
Register Today!

 

 

SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

July
- Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Northeast Consumer Forum
     July 12-15, 2012 | Bretton Woods, N.H.
- Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
     July 25-28, 2012 | Amelia Island, Fla.
-Valuation Webinar, July 30 at 11 a.m. ET

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

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


  

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

 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

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