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Commentary Dodd-Franks Orderly Liquidation Is Out of Order

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 27, 2012
 
  

September 27, 2012

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

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

CFPB FACING TEST OF "AGGRESSIVE ABILITY TO INVESTIGATE"

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

GOV. BROWN SIGNS CALIFORNIA FORECLOSURE PREVENTION LEGISLATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: LEWIS BROTHERS BAKERIES INC. V. INTERSTATE BRANDS CORP. (IN RE INTERSTATE BAKERIES CORP.; 8TH CIR.)

Summarized by William Joanis of JoanisLaw

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

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: THE CURE FOR THE BANKING INDUSTRY: WHY DODD-FRANK IS NO HELP

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT 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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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
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

  

 

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

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

2013

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


 
 
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Regulators to Give More Guidance on Leveraged Loans

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | October 23, 2014
 
  

October 23, 2014

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

REGULATORS TO GIVE MORE GUIDANCE ON LEVERAGED LOANS

U.S. regulators are preparing to offer more public guidance for banks that provide loans for private-equity deals, as officials and financiers have tussled for months over acceptable practices, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reportedly plan to publish a list of frequently asked questions about their guidance governing so-called leveraged loans. The document, which could be made public as soon as next week, is the latest by regulators to cajole banks into compliance with March 2013 guidance that urged them to avoid providing companies with what the agencies deem as too much debt. The guidance targeted a type of financing tapped by private-equity firms to take over corporations, among other uses. The regulators also told banks to limit borrowing agreements that stretch out payment timelines or don't contain ample lender protections, known as covenants. Some banks have resisted regulators' push — sometimes based on interpretations of what they called unclear guidance, other times concluding that certain deals can move forward as exceptions. About half of U.S. private-equity deals this year have breached a rough limit set by regulators of debt that exceeded six times a company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, according to data provider S&P Capital IQ LCD. At 52 percent, that is the same rate as 2007, the peak of the leveraged buyout boom. Read more (subscription required).

ANALYSIS: YEARS AFTER THE MARKET COLLAPSE, SIDELINED BORROWERS RETURN

Four years since foreclosures and short sales peaked during the Great Recession, millions of former borrowers have spent the required amount of time on the sidelines, which means that they have cleared at least one of the major hurdles required to qualify for another government-backed mortgage, the New York Times reported today. "We certainly have heard from a number of lenders that boomerang buyers are coming back," said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association. He added that the situation varies across the country because the foreclosure process takes longer in certain states. Bank of America, one of the nation's largest lenders, said that of all its approved loans and loan applications from January through September, only about 1 percent came from consumers with short sales or foreclosures. But some mortgage brokers report that more people are calling. In August, Fannie Mae tweaked its rules for borrowers who went through short sales and those who voluntarily signed a home over to a lender (through what is known as a deed in lieu). Fannie said that it would continue to permit loans as soon as two years after those events hit borrowers' credit reports, as long as they could document that something like a job loss or a divorce pushed them over the financial edge. They would also need a down payment of at least 5 percent. Read more.

COMMENTARY: IS THE CFPB COMMITTING REGULATORY OVERREACH?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is touted as one of the crowning achievements of the Dodd-Frank Act, but a new CFPB report on student loans is highly flawed, raising doubts about its regulatory reach over the private student loan market, according to a commentary in The Hill yesterday. The CFPB was created to bring all consumer financial products under one regulatory umbrella. It oversees everything in the financial sector that affects consumers — from credit cards to mortgages to auto and student loans. Last week, the CFPB issued its third annual report on student loan complaints. The agency first created a platform for student loan complaints in 2012 and embarked on a massive solicitation for general comment on private student loans in 2013. Shortly after, CFPB brought private non-bank loan servicers under its oversight authority. Complaints regarding loans and loan servicers are up 38 percent year over year, with many complaints indicating that private lenders and servicers "provided no options [to modify repayment plans], leading the borrower to default." Complaints against student loan giant Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) were up a staggering 48 percent, with the entire rise dubiously occurring in the month of December. But a closer look reveals that the report is fundamentally flawed, according to the commentary. First, the report makes the private student loan market seem entirely to blame for the growing student debt crisis. Second, it offers no analytical evidence that private student lenders are unwilling to work with struggling borrowers. Read the full commentary.

SENATOR WARREN DEMANDS AN INVESTIGATION OF MORTGAGE COMPANIES

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday called on the Government Accountability Office to investigate non-bank companies that service Americans' mortgages, noting in a letter co-signed by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) that an increasing number of lawsuits have been filed in recent years against these firms — which are not regulated as strictly as banks, MotherJones.com reported yesterday. Mortgage servicers, whether they are owned by banks or not, handle mortgages after they've been sold to a customer. That means that they take care of administrative business that includes collecting mortgage payments and dealing with delinquent borrowers. What Warren and Cummings say they are worried about is that the share of non-banks servicing mortgages has grown astronomically — 300 percent between 2011 and 2013 — and it appears that the increased workload has led to shoddier service. The rise of the industry, which typically services lower-income borrowers, "has been accompanied by consumer complaints, lawsuits, and other regulatory actions as the servicers' workload outstrips their processing capacity," according to a recent report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Last December, for instance, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the agency Warren helped create — entered a $2 billion settlement with the nation's largest non-bank servicer over mortgage mismanagement. Financial industry watchdogs and consumer advocates have charged that non-bank home loan servicing companies are often unwilling to work with troubled borrowers to modify mortgages and prevent foreclosures. Read more.

ANALYSIS: COLLEGES WHERE STUDENT LOAN DEFAULTS ARE SKYROCKETING

While data from the U.S. Department of Education showed that overall default rates fell to 13.7 percent from 14.7 percent two years ago, some schools moved in the opposite direction as default rates rose between two years ago and last year, and again between last year and this year, according to an analysis in QZ.com. Many of the schools on the list that are associated higher default levels are located deep in the heart of the U.S. industrial region known as the Rust Belt, which was particularly hard hit by the recession. "When the latest recession began in 2008, we, like other institutions, saw a significant influx of new students, a number of which were then not able to find jobs commensurate with their additional education, and others utilizing college as a source of loans they could not otherwise get to finance their living circumstances," said Rob Denson, president of Des Moines Area Community College, which saw default rates surge in recent years. "These are the loans we believe are most likely now in default." Denson added that he expects default rates to drop back down to pre-2008 levels in coming years. To see the full list of schools where default rates surged, please click here.

USTP UPDATES MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME DATA FOR CASES FILED ON OR AFTER NOV. 1

The U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) has updated the Census Bureau's Median Family Income Data and will apply the updated data to cases filed on or after Nov. 1. For the latest data required for completing Form 22A and Form 22C, please click here.

NEXT FREE COMMITTEE TELECONFERENCE WILL BE NOV. 4 ON THE BANK SECRECY ACT!

Members are encouraged to dial-in and listen to or participate in upcoming ABI Committee conference calls. While committee membership is encouraged, it is not required to join the free teleconferences. Upcoming Committee teleconferences include:

- Unsecured Trade Creditors Committee: Tuesday, Nov. 4; 3 pm ET
Topic: "Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering"
Speakers: Mark Gittelman of PNC Bank and Brent Weisenberg

All committee teleconferences are free to ABI members and registration is not required. Simply utilize the following dial-in information:

Call in: (712) 432-1500
Participant code: 692933

 

ABI MEMBERS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA- DON'T MISS THE SPECIAL TMA EVENT TO BENEFIT THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT ON NOV. 12

ABI members are invited to attend TMA Southern California's special fundraiser to support the Wounded Warrior Project and SoCal veteran support groups on Nov. 12 at the Beverly Hilton. Funds raised will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, Veterans Legal Institute and the Public Law Center. For more information or to attend, please click here.

ABI MEMBERS INVITED TO ATTEND RETIREMENT DINNER FOR BANKRUPTCY JUDGE PETER J. WALSH ON NOV. 19

ABI members are invited to a special retirement dinner on Nov. 19 honoring the Hon. Peter J. Walsh's 50 years of dedicated service to the bench and bar. The event will be held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Del., and is being hosted by the Bankruptcy Section of the Delaware State Bar Association and the Delaware Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Questions should be directed to Karen B. Owens at 302-654-1888. To attend, please go to https://sites-pepperhamilton.vuturevx.com/107/772/uploads/judge-walsh-retirement-dinner-form.pdf

VOLO ECLIPSES 1,500 CIRCUIT COURT SUMMARIES! NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: DERBABIAN V. BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. (6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Ryan Heilman of Wolfson Bolton PLLC

The Sixth Circuit affirmed the district's court's dismissal of the plaintiffs' eight-count complaint relating to the foreclosure-by-advertisement of their home. Specifically, the plaintiffs (1) failed to plead fraud with specificity, (2) failed to state a claim for breach of contract because agreements relating to loans from a financial institution must be in writing to be enforceable, (3) were barred by the statute of limitations from asserting Truth in Lending Act claims, and the recoupment and set-off exceptions do not apply to non-judicial foreclosures, (4) failed to adequately plead fraud, irregularity or prejudice with respect to the foreclosure process, (5) could not maintain an action to quiet title because they made no showing of superior title to the property, and (6) could not maintain an action for slander of title because they failed to plausibly identify any false statements.

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: CREDIT RISK RETENTION RULES AND QUALIFIED RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGES

A recent blog post examines the government's long-awaited credit risk retention rules for securitization.

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 §547(c)(2) ordinary course preference defense should be repealed.

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
 

2014

October
- Views from the Bench
    Oct. 24, 2014 | Washington, D.C.
- Claims-Trading Program
    Oct. 30, 2014 | New York
- International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium
    Oct. 30-31, 2014 | London

November
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
    Nov. 6, 2014 | Philadelphia
- Corporate Restructuring Competition
    Nov. 6-7, 2014 | Philadelphia
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Nov. 11, 2014 | Chicago
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Nov. 11, 2014 | Troy, Mich.
- Mid-Level Professional Development Program
    Nov. 12, 2014 | Chicago

  

 


December
- Winter Leadership Conference
    Dec. 4-6, 2014 | Palm Springs, Calif.
- 40-Hour Mediation Training Program
   Dec. 7-11, 2014 | New York

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

 

 

 
 
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Restructuring Experts Recession Did Not Improve Corporate Governance

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | February 5 2013
 
  

February 12, 2013

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

RESTRUCTURING EXPERTS: RECESSION DID NOT IMPROVE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

The Great Recession taught businesses some valuable lessons, but a recent survey found that restructuring experts do not think companies learned enough about changing their corporate governance practices, the Wall Street Journal reported today. In its 2013 Outlook Survey of restructuring experts, advisory firm AlixPartners said that slightly less than half of the 98 professionals questioned believe corporate governance is better now than it was before the recession. Corporate governance breakdowns have indeed been a major factor in several bankruptcies of the past few years, including the collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd. and the massive fraud at Peregrine Financial Group Inc. Despite those events, more than two-thirds of the restructuring professionals who think corporate governance is worse said that it was because of liquidity oversight. When asked which sectors might face increases in distressed situations, the restructuring gurus picked industries facing scrutiny in Washington, D.C. Forty-one percent of those surveyed picked health care, up from just 20 percent last year. The restructuring experts also expect an uptick in distressed situations at energy companies, along with aerospace and defense. Read more. (Subscription required.)

PRIVATE EQUITY BRACING FOR BUYOUT-BOOM SHAKEOUT

The private-equity industry, comprised of nearly 4,500 firms with $3 trillion in assets, is bracing for a shakeout that has been brewing since the collapse of credit markets choked off a record leveraged-buyout binge, Bloomberg News reported today. Firms that attracted an unprecedented $702 billion from investors from 2006 to 2008 must replenish their coffers for future deals and avoid a reduction in fee income when the investment periods on those older funds run out, typically after five years. As many as 708 firms face such deadlines through 2015, according to London-based researcher Preqin Ltd. Many firms are suffering from below-average profits on their boom-period funds, and top executives from Carlyle Group LP co-founder David Rubenstein to Blackstone Group LP President Tony James say that future returns will be far more modest than those investors got used to in the past. As investors gravitate to the best-performing managers and cut loose others, 10 to 25 percent of the firms may find themselves without fresh money. Read more.

REPORT: SEC'S REVOLVING DOOR HURTS ITS EFFECTIVENESS

The Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group long critical of the SEC's revolving door, released a study yesterday highlighting a pattern of SEC alumni going to bat for Wall Street firms, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. The report, similarly skeptical of Wall Street lawyers joining the SEC, cites recent enforcement cases and scuttled money market regulations to underscore its concerns. "Former employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission routinely help corporations try to influence SEC rule-making, counter the agency's investigations of suspected wrongdoing, soften the blow of SEC enforcement actions, block shareholder proposals and win exemptions from federal law," the report says. Read more.

SPECULATIVE BETS PROVE RISKY AS SAVERS CHASE PAYOFF

Regulators across the country are confronting a wave of investor fraud that is saddling retirement savers with steep losses on complex products that until a few years ago were pitched only to the most sophisticated investors, the New York Times reported yesterday. The victims are among the millions of Americans whose mutual funds and stock portfolios plummeted in the wake of the financial crisis, and who started searching for ways to make better returns than those being offered by bank deposits and government bonds with minuscule interest rates. Tens of thousands of them put money into speculative bets promoted by aggressive financial advisers. The investments include private loans to young companies like television production firms and shares in bundles of commercial real estate properties. Those alternative investments have now had time to go sour in big numbers, state and federal securities regulators say, and are making up a majority of complaints and prosecutions. "Since the crisis, we've seen more and more people reaching out into different types of exotic investments that are a big concern to us," said William F. Galvin, the Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth. Last Wednesday, Galvin's office ordered one of the nation's largest brokerage firms, LPL Financial, to pay $2.5 million for improperly selling the real estate bundles, known as nontraded REITs, or real estate investment trusts, to hundreds of state residents from 2006-09, in some cases overloading clients' accounts with them. Read more.

COMMENTARY: QUIETLY KILLING A CONSUMER WATCHDOG

Having failed to block the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, Senate Republicans are now trying to take away its power by filibuster, and they may well succeed, according to a New York Times editorial today. Under the Dodd-Frank law, most of the CFPB's regulatory powers -- particularly its authority over nonbanks like finance companies, debt collectors, payday lenders and credit agencies -- can be exercised only by a director. Knowing that, Republicans used a filibuster to prevent President Obama's nominee for director, Richard Cordray, from reaching a vote in 2011. Obama then gave Cordray a recess appointment, but a federal appeals court recently ruled in another case that the Senate was not in recess at that time because of the Republicans' tactics. That opinion, if upheld by the Supreme Court, is likely to apply to Cordray as well, which could invalidate the rules the bureau has already enacted. The president has renominated Cordray, but Republicans have made it clear that they will continue to filibuster to block his confirmation. Earlier this month, 43 Senate Republicans wrote a letter to the president vowing to block any nominee until "key structural changes" are made, including a bipartisan commission to run the bureau instead of one director, and congressional control of its appropriations. Other bank regulators, like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are not subject to the appropriations process, as a shield against political interference. Congress does, however, control the budgets of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and House Republicans have voted to strip those agencies of money needed to regulate derivatives and curb abuses. Read the full editorial.

ANALYSIS: S&P'S TOXIC AAA RATINGS OF MORTGAGE DEBT HAD FAR-REACHING EFFECTS

Institutions throughout the financial services industry felt the effects of the damages inflicted when S&P allegedly inflated rankings of mortgage debt that contributed to the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, according to a Bloomberg News analysis yesterday. As a result, the Justice Department sued New York-based S&P and parent McGraw-Hill Cos. last week. The world's leading financial institutions suffered more than $2.1 trillion of writedowns and losses after soaring U.S. mortgage defaults caused the credit crunch. Some of the biggest losers were banks, including Citigroup and Bank of America Corp., which created and purchased collateralized debt obligations. Many of these investments -- created by packaging mortgage-backed bonds, derivatives and other CDOs and dividing them into new securities with varying degrees of risk -- imploded within a year after they were sold, even though they had pristine credit ratings. Smaller financial institutions were also ruined by mortgage-backed debt. Western Federal Corporate Credit Union failed after its executives employed an improperly "aggressive investment strategy" that had no limits on highly rated mortgage bonds, according to a regulatory report on its collapse. Read more.

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 they 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!

POWER TO VETO BANKRUPTCY SALES AMONG ISSUES TO BE EXAMINED AT ABI'S 31ST ANNUAL SPRING MEETING

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

- 17th Annual Great Debates
- Mediation: An Irrational Approach to a Rational Result
- Creditors' Committees and the Role of Indenture Trustees and Related Issues
- Current Issues for Financial Advisors in Bankruptcy Cases
- The Individual Conundrum: Chapter 7, 11 or 13?
- 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!

Enter code "LOVEASM50" at checkout to save $50 on a new registration this week! Click here to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: LEAVITT V. FINNEY (IN RE FINNEY; 9TH CIR.)

Summarized by David Hercher of Miller Nash LLP

The Ninth Circuit ruled that because the chapter 13 debtor received a chapter 7 discharge in a prior case commenced during the four-year period before the current petition date, she was not entitled to a discharge in the current chapter 13 case, even though the first case was commenced under chapter 13 and converted to chapter 7 before discharge.

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: CASE FOCUSES ON A COMMERCIAL LANDLORD'S CLAIM FOR INDEMNIFICATION

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines the case of In re Mervyn's Holdings, LLC, in which the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware held that a claim arising from an indemnification provision, in a non-residential commercial lease, which was rejected post-petition, was entitled to administrative priority pursuant to § 365(d)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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ABI Live Webinar: Revisiting RadLAX and Hall- New Legal and Practical Impact of the Decisions
Feb. 19, 2013
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COMING UP:

 

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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9th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference
Feb. 22, 2013
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Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
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BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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"Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM- A Must for Junior Professionals or Those New to Bankruptcy Practice
April 18, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
Enter code "LOVEASM50" at checkout to save $50 on a new registration this week!
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

     February 22, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.

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


  

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

May
- "Nuts and Bolts" Program at NYCBC
     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.


 
 
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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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SE 2012
July 25-28, 2012
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MA 2012
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. 4, 2012
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Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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Oct. 8, 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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U.S. Mortgage Credit Card Delinquency Rates Decline

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | August 14, 2012
 
  

August 14, 2012

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

U.S. MORTGAGE, CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCY RATES DECLINE

TransUnion Corp. reported today that the delinquency rates for mortgages and credit cards declined during the second quarter, and the firm predicts mortgage-delinquency rates will maintain their downward trajectory for the remainder of 2012, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The national mortgage delinquency rate--or the rate of borrowers at least 60 days past due--dropped for the second consecutive quarter, to 5.49 percent from the 5.78 percent mortgage delinquency rate in the first quarter. Between the first and second quarters of 2012, all but five states experienced decreases in their mortgage-delinquency rates, and 76 percent of metropolitan areas saw improvement in their mortgage-delinquency rates during the second quarter. Meanwhile, the national credit card delinquency rate--or the ratio of borrowers at least 90 days past due--dropped to 0.63 percent in the second quarter from 0.73 percent in the previous quarter. The credit card delinquency rate is at its lowest level since reaching 0.6 percent a year earlier. Read more.

COMMENTARY: THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD LOOK TO MASS MORTGAGE REFINANCING

With principal writedown no longer an option, the government needs to find a new way to facilitate mass mortgage refinancings, according to a commentary in today's New York Times by Prof. Joseph E. Stiglitz of Columbia University and Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics. Refinancing at the current low rates would allow homeowners to significantly reduce their monthly payments, and a mass refinancing program would work like a potent tax cut. Refinancing would also significantly reduce the chance of default for underwater homeowners, according to the commentary. With fewer losses from past loans burdening their balance sheets, lenders could make more new loans, and communities plagued by mass foreclosures might see relief from blight. Read the full commentary.

DURBIN SEES VISA ACCORD THWARTING PUSH TO CAP CREDIT CARD FEES

Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.)'s office told retailers that their efforts to have Congress rein in credit card swipe fees would be imperiled if they support a $6.6 billion antitrust settlement with Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., Bloomberg News reported yesterday. "This is going to foreclose the prospect of good legislation for the foreseeable future," Dan Swanson, senior judiciary counsel for Durbin, said in a conference call with the Food Marketing Institute. Durbin, the Senate Majority Whip, won the inclusion of limits on debit-card swipe fees, or interchange, in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. That trimmed annual revenue for the biggest U.S. banks by about $8 billion and benefited retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. Credit-card swipe fees are higher and generate about $40 billion a year for lenders such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. The Food Marketing Institute, a trade group whose members include Target, Sears Holdings Corp. and Wal-Mart, does not have a position on the settlement. Visa, MasterCard and banks agreed last month to resolve the seven-year-old case, one of the largest class actions in history. The deal, which requires the approval of U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, N.Y., may be nullified if enough merchants refuse to join the proposed class action. Read more.

MUNICIPAL BOND RULE MIRED IN LEGISLATIVE LIMBO

A provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that would require municipal bond advisers to put the interests of taxpayers first has been bogged down in a rule-making quagmire in Washington, D.C., the New York Times reported today. As part of the wide-ranging regulatory changes that followed the financial crisis of 2008, the Dodd-Frank Act included a provision that would make municipal advisers "fiduciaries," meaning they must put local residents’ interests ahead of their own. Making advisers fiduciaries would be “the first time in the history of the securities laws that issuers of the securities have been protected,” said Robert W. Doty, president of AGFS, a consulting firm in Sacramento. He is a registered municipal adviser and favors the fiduciary mandate. But before that provision can take effect, the law calls for the Securities and Exchange Commission to define "municipal adviser." The SEC proposed a definition 20 months ago, but it was swiftly beaten back by the banking, brokerage and engineering industries, among others. Opponents argued that the SEC was overreaching and that they were already regulated and should not be given a new mandate. Additionally, Rep. Robert J. Dold (R-Ill.) introduced a bill last year that would eliminate the measure. Read more.

ANALYSIS: HARD TIMES SPREAD FOR CITIES

Fiscal woes that have caused high-profile bankruptcies in California are surfacing across the country as municipalities struggle with uneven growth and escalating health and pension costs following the worst recession since the 1930s, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Budget crunches already have prompted Michigan lawmakers to authorize emergency fiscal managers, and led the mayor of Scranton, Pa., to temporarily cut the pay of all city workers to the minimum wage. In a majority of the nation's 19,000 municipalities—urban and rural, big and small—stagnant property tax revenues, diminish aid from states and rising costs are forcing less dramatic but still difficult steps. Moody's Investors Service recently said that while municipal bankruptcies are likely to remain rare, it warned of a "a small but growing trend in fiscally troubled cities unwilling to pay their debt obligations." Read more. (Subscription required.)

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: FIRST PREMIER CAPITAL LLC V. REPUBLIC BANK OF CHICAGO (IN RE EQUIPMENT ACQUISITION RESOURCES; 7TH CIR.)

Summarized by Allen Guon of Shaw Gussis Fishman Glantz Wolfson & Towbin LLC

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's ruling, which affirmed the bankruptcy court's ruling, that the granting of the settlement motion was not an abuse of discretion.

There are 600 appellate opinions 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: FIFTH CIRCUIT HOLDS STATE AGENCY PROCEEDINGS EXEMPT FROM AUTOMATIC STAY

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines the Fifth Circuit’s ruling on June 18 in Halo Wireless, Inc. v. Alenco Communications, Inc., et al., affirming a bankruptcy court order that various state public utility commission proceedings initiated against Halo could proceed despite Halo’s subsequent chapter 11 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
The Twombly/Iqbal rule for pleading ‘plausible’ claims has been applied too stringently in dismissing avoidance actions for failure to state a claim.

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENTS:

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

 

NYU 2012
Sept. 19-20, 2012
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NABMW 2012
Oct. 4, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 5, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
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ABI YOUNG AND NEW MEMBERS COMMITTEE “TRENDING ISSUES: EXAMINERS AND SELECT PLAN CONFIRMATION ISSUES” WEBINAR
Oct. 15, 2012
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SE 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
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MEXICO 2012
Nov. 7, 2012
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4TH ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Nov. 9, 2012
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SE 2012
Nov. 12, 2012
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

  


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

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


 
 
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More Homeowners Emerge from Underwater Status

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 19 2013
 
  

March 19, 2013

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

ANALYSIS: MORE HOMEOWNERS EMERGE FROM "UNDERWATER" STATUS

Rising home values have lifted more borrowers out of the hole of owing more than their properties are worth, an encouraging sign for an economy still closely tied to the health of the housing market, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The number of "underwater" homeowners in the fourth quarter of 2012 declined by 1.7 million from a year earlier, meaning 1.7 million U.S. households have regained home equity, according to data released Tuesday by CoreLogic, a research company. Overall, the company said 21.5 percent of households with a mortgage were underwater at the end of 2012, down from 25.2 percent at the end of 2011. While the trends are encouraging, some newly above-water households are just barely at breakeven and therefore are a long way off from being able to change their finances in any significant way. And the overall ranks of those underwater remain large, at about 10.4 million, down from 12.1 million at the end of 2011, according to CoreLogic. Read more. (Subscription required.)

To see a state-by-state analysis of CoreLogic's 4Q 2012 data, be sure to check out ABI's Chart of the Day site.

FANNIE MAE SEES WAY TO REPAY BILLIONS TO U.S. TREASURY

The rebounding housing market has helped return Fannie Mae to profitability and now might allow the government-controlled mortgage-finance company to repay as much as $61.5 billion in rescue funds to the U.S. Treasury, the Wall Street Journal reported. The potential payment would be the upshot of an accounting move whereby the company would reclaim certain tax benefits that were written down shortly after the company was placed under federal control in 2008. The potential move was disclosed last week in a regulatory filing in which the company said that it would delay the release of its annual report, due yesterday, as it tries to reach a resolution with its accountants and regulator over the timing of the accounting move. The debate about when Fannie should be allowed to reclaim the deferred-tax assets comes as Fannie and its smaller sibling, Freddie Mac, are likely to show large profits in the coming quarters as the housing market gradually recovers from its prolonged bust. The potential payment also has political implications as lawmakers and regulators wrangle over the fate of the firms, which were placed into a federal conservatorship amid soaring losses. The Obama administration has publicly said that the two companies eventually would be wound down and has blocked them from retaining profits, but has done little to de-emphasize their role in the mortgage market. Read more. (Subscription required.)

CFPB ISSUES PROPOSAL TO SUPERVISE STUDENT LOAN SERVICERS

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Friday issued a proposal to supervise nonbank servicers of private and federal student loans that qualify as "larger participants" in the student loan servicing market, according to an analysis yesterday by Ballard Spahr LLP. The proposal represents an attempt by the CFPB to significantly expand its supervisory authority over student loan servicers. Because it already has supervisory authority over larger banks and nonbank private student lenders, the CFPB believes it should oversee student loan servicing by those entities. The CFPB's current authority to supervise nonbank private student lenders, however, does not allow it to supervise the nonbank student loan servicers that do not offer or provide private student loans. The proposal would allow the CFPB to supervise servicing of private and federal student loans by such nonbank servicers. Comments on the proposal will be due 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. Click here to read the proposal.

OBAMA CUTS STUDENT-DEBT COLLECTOR COMMISSIONS TO AID BORROWERS

President Barack Obama's administration slashed the commissions paid to private collection companies that chase overdue student loans, reducing an incentive to squeeze borrowers, Bloomberg News reported today. Previously, the U.S. Education Department paid a commission as high as 16 percent of the entire loan amount only if collectors convinced defaulted borrowers to make stiff monthly payments. Starting this month, the fee dropped to as low as 11 percent, regardless of payment size. With $77.4 billion worth of student loans in default, the federal government turns to an army of private collectors to pursue borrowers. These companies, which receive about $1 billion annually in commissions, have sparked growing complaints that they insist on high payments, even when borrowers qualify for leniency. Under the new schedule, collectors will no longer have an incentive to avoid offering affordable payments tied to borrowers' incomes. Read more.

PLASTIC-SHY YOUNG IN U.S. SPUR MOVE TO USE NEW CREDIT DATA

Thirty-nine percent of undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24 owned a credit card in 2012, down from 49 percent in 2010, a Sallie Mae and Ipsos Public Affairs survey found, Bloomberg News reported today. And young adults who do have credit cards are carrying smaller balances: A median of $1,600 in 2010 compared with $2,500 in 2001 for under-35 households, according to Federal Reserve data. The trend, rooted in stricter lending rules and weaker job outlooks for young Americans since the 2008-09 recession, has implications for the strength of the economy. Fewer are building the traditional credit histories that would help them obtain financing for the purchases of homes and cars, which is critical to economic growth. Credit bureaus and the lending industry are stepping up their search for new ways to bolster credit files, and young people who do not pay credit card bills often do pay mobile phone bills. As reporting agencies gather data from telephone, rent and other payments, some scoring models incorporate this information to help assess candidates' creditworthiness. Read more.

ANALYSIS: WORKERS SAVING TOO LITTLE TO RETIRE

Workers and employers in the U.S. are bracing for a retirement crisis, even as the stock market sits near highs and the economy shows signs of improvement, the Wall Street Journal reported today. New data show that powerful financial and demographic forces are combining to squeeze individuals and companies that are trying to save for the future and make their money last. Fifty-seven percent of U.S. workers surveyed reported less than $25,000 in total household savings and investments excluding their homes, according to a report to be released Tuesday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Only 49 percent reported having so little money saved in 2008. The survey also found that 28 percent of Americans have no confidence they will have enough money to retire comfortably—the highest level in the study's 23-year history. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NUMBER OF CASES FILED BY SEC SLOWS

The Securities and Exchange Commission is filing significantly fewer civil fraud cases this year as its efforts to punish misconduct related to the financial crisis start to ebb, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The agency is likely to fall short this fiscal year of its record-breaking number of enforcement actions in the previous two years. The expected drop in the numbers could be a headache for Mary Jo White, the former prosecutor nominated by President Barack Obama to be SEC chairman. A Senate panel is set to approve White's appointment today, the last step before the full Senate votes on it. White last week told a Senate hearing that she would strengthen the SEC's enforcement function to ensure that "all wrongdoers … will be aggressively and successfully called to account." The slowdown in enforcement actions reflects changes in the economic cycle, according to SEC officials. "We're at a point of inflection in our enforcement program," George Canellos, acting SEC enforcement head, said last month. Market meltdowns on the scale of the 2008 crisis, when companies implode and trillions of dollars are wiped off asset values, tend to expose major frauds and produce big cases, Canellos said. "We're now in a different era," he added. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NEW ABI BOOK EXPLORES THE DEPTHS OF DEEPENING INSOLVNECY

Any company executive juggling the competing demands of the troubled firm and its obligations to investors, as well as litigators practicing on either side of the insolvency aisle, will be interested in ABI’s latest publication, The Depths of Deepening Insolvency: Damage Exposure for Officers, Directors and Others. Authors Kathy Bazoian Phelps (Diamond McCarthy LLP) and Prof. Jack F. Williams (Mesirow Financial) wrote the book from both the plaintiffs' and defendants' perspectives to offer a deep analysis of the legal principle known as "deepening insolvency." The book also provides potential defenses that may be asserted to deepening insolvency allegations, as well as a state-by-state list of significant case law on this issue. To find out more about the book or to pre-order your copy, please click here. (Make sure to log in using your ABI member credentials to obtain the ABI member discount.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make sure to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

Starting with the Annual Spring Meeting, ABI will offer conference registrants the option to participate in the ABI Golf Tour. The Tour will take place concurrently with all conference golf tournaments. The Tour is designed enhance the golfing experience for serious golfers, while still offering a fun networking opportunity for players of any ability. As opposed to the format used in the regular ABI conference events, Tour participants will "play their own ball." They will be grouped on the golf course separately from other conference golf participants and will typically play ahead of the other participants, expediting Tour play. Tour participants will randomly be grouped in foursomes, unless otherwise requested of the Commissioner in advance of each tournament. Prizes will be awarded for each individual Tour event, which are sponsored by Great American Group. The grand prize is the "Great American Cup," also sponsored by Great American Group, and will be awarded to the top player at the end of the Tour season. Registration is free. Click here for more information and a list of 2013 ABI Golf Tour event venues.

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: GORDON V. PAPPALARDO (IN RE GORDON; 1ST CIR.)

Summarized by Jennifer L. Saffer of J.L. Saffer, P.C.

In this appeal by a debtor in her chapter 13 case, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) for the First Circuit affirmed, after de novo review, the bankruptcy court’s order sustaining the chapter 13 trustee’s objection to the debtor's claimed exemption in a scheduled remainder interest in real estate. Affirming the decision of the bankruptcy court, the BAP determined that the property claimed as exempt was not "owned" by the debtor as required by and within the meaning of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 188, § 3(a); the debtor had elected Massachusetts exemption rules rather than the federal, as was her option under 11 U.S.C. § 522(b).

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: CONGRESS, NOT FHFA, SHOULD BE REFORMING THE GSEs

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post found that while there is an emerging bipartisan consensus on the way forward for the secondary mortgage market, Congress has punted on what should be done with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the (Federal Housing Finance Agency) FHFA is taking significant steps without hearings or public discussion.

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

Who will win the NCAA basketball tournament?

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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FRIDAY:

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

 

BBW 2013
April 5, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

BBW 2013
April 10, 2013
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ASM NAB 2013
April 18, 2013
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ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
July 18-21, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

March
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
     March 22, 2013 | Los Angeles, Calif.
- ACB's Free Event, "The Auto Bankruptcies: Checking the Rearview Mirror" Program
     March 22, 2013 | Newton, Mass.

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


  

 

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

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

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


 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

More Homeowners Emerge from Underwater Status

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | March 19 2013
 
  

March 19, 2013

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

ANALYSIS: MORE HOMEOWNERS EMERGE FROM "UNDERWATER" STATUS

Rising home values have lifted more borrowers out of the hole of owing more than their properties are worth, an encouraging sign for an economy still closely tied to the health of the housing market, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The number of "underwater" homeowners in the fourth quarter of 2012 declined by 1.7 million from a year earlier, meaning 1.7 million U.S. households have regained home equity, according to data released Tuesday by CoreLogic, a research company. Overall, the company said 21.5 percent of households with a mortgage were underwater at the end of 2012, down from 25.2 percent at the end of 2011. While the trends are encouraging, some newly above-water households are just barely at breakeven and therefore are a long way off from being able to change their finances in any significant way. And the overall ranks of those underwater remain large, at about 10.4 million, down from 12.1 million at the end of 2011, according to CoreLogic. Read more. (Subscription required.)

To see a state-by-state analysis of CoreLogic's 4Q 2012 data, be sure to check out ABI's Chart of the Day site.

FANNIE MAE SEES WAY TO REPAY BILLIONS TO U.S. TREASURY

The rebounding housing market has helped return Fannie Mae to profitability and now might allow the government-controlled mortgage-finance company to repay as much as $61.5 billion in rescue funds to the U.S. Treasury, the Wall Street Journal reported. The potential payment would be the upshot of an accounting move whereby the company would reclaim certain tax benefits that were written down shortly after the company was placed under federal control in 2008. The potential move was disclosed last week in a regulatory filing in which the company said that it would delay the release of its annual report, due yesterday, as it tries to reach a resolution with its accountants and regulator over the timing of the accounting move. The debate about when Fannie should be allowed to reclaim the deferred-tax assets comes as Fannie and its smaller sibling, Freddie Mac, are likely to show large profits in the coming quarters as the housing market gradually recovers from its prolonged bust. The potential payment also has political implications as lawmakers and regulators wrangle over the fate of the firms, which were placed into a federal conservatorship amid soaring losses. The Obama administration has publicly said that the two companies eventually would be wound down and has blocked them from retaining profits, but has done little to de-emphasize their role in the mortgage market. Read more. (Subscription required.)

CFPB ISSUES PROPOSAL TO SUPERVISE STUDENT LOAN SERVICERS

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Friday issued a proposal to supervise nonbank servicers of private and federal student loans that qualify as "larger participants" in the student loan servicing market, according to an analysis yesterday by Ballard Spahr LLP. The proposal represents an attempt by the CFPB to significantly expand its supervisory authority over student loan servicers. Because it already has supervisory authority over larger banks and nonbank private student lenders, the CFPB believes it should oversee student loan servicing by those entities. The CFPB's current authority to supervise nonbank private student lenders, however, does not allow it to supervise the nonbank student loan servicers that do not offer or provide private student loans. The proposal would allow the CFPB to supervise servicing of private and federal student loans by such nonbank servicers. Comments on the proposal will be due 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. Click here to read the proposal.

OBAMA CUTS STUDENT-DEBT COLLECTOR COMMISSIONS TO AID BORROWERS

President Barack Obama's administration slashed the commissions paid to private collection companies that chase overdue student loans, reducing an incentive to squeeze borrowers, Bloomberg News reported today. Previously, the U.S. Education Department paid a commission as high as 16 percent of the entire loan amount only if collectors convinced defaulted borrowers to make stiff monthly payments. Starting this month, the fee dropped to as low as 11 percent, regardless of payment size. With $77.4 billion worth of student loans in default, the federal government turns to an army of private collectors to pursue borrowers. These companies, which receive about $1 billion annually in commissions, have sparked growing complaints that they insist on high payments, even when borrowers qualify for leniency. Under the new schedule, collectors will no longer have an incentive to avoid offering affordable payments tied to borrowers' incomes. Read more.

PLASTIC-SHY YOUNG IN U.S. SPUR MOVE TO USE NEW CREDIT DATA

Thirty-nine percent of undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24 owned a credit card in 2012, down from 49 percent in 2010, a Sallie Mae and Ipsos Public Affairs survey found, Bloomberg News reported today. And young adults who do have credit cards are carrying smaller balances: A median of $1,600 in 2010 compared with $2,500 in 2001 for under-35 households, according to Federal Reserve data. The trend, rooted in stricter lending rules and weaker job outlooks for young Americans since the 2008-09 recession, has implications for the strength of the economy. Fewer are building the traditional credit histories that would help them obtain financing for the purchases of homes and cars, which is critical to economic growth. Credit bureaus and the lending industry are stepping up their search for new ways to bolster credit files, and young people who do not pay credit card bills often do pay mobile phone bills. As reporting agencies gather data from telephone, rent and other payments, some scoring models incorporate this information to help assess candidates' creditworthiness. Read more.

ANALYSIS: WORKERS SAVING TOO LITTLE TO RETIRE

Workers and employers in the U.S. are bracing for a retirement crisis, even as the stock market sits near highs and the economy shows signs of improvement, the Wall Street Journal reported today. New data show that powerful financial and demographic forces are combining to squeeze individuals and companies that are trying to save for the future and make their money last. Fifty-seven percent of U.S. workers surveyed reported less than $25,000 in total household savings and investments excluding their homes, according to a report to be released Tuesday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Only 49 percent reported having so little money saved in 2008. The survey also found that 28 percent of Americans have no confidence they will have enough money to retire comfortably—the highest level in the study's 23-year history. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NUMBER OF CASES FILED BY SEC SLOWS

The Securities and Exchange Commission is filing significantly fewer civil fraud cases this year as its efforts to punish misconduct related to the financial crisis start to ebb, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The agency is likely to fall short this fiscal year of its record-breaking number of enforcement actions in the previous two years. The expected drop in the numbers could be a headache for Mary Jo White, the former prosecutor nominated by President Barack Obama to be SEC chairman. A Senate panel is set to approve White's appointment today, the last step before the full Senate votes on it. White last week told a Senate hearing that she would strengthen the SEC's enforcement function to ensure that "all wrongdoers … will be aggressively and successfully called to account." The slowdown in enforcement actions reflects changes in the economic cycle, according to SEC officials. "We're at a point of inflection in our enforcement program," George Canellos, acting SEC enforcement head, said last month. Market meltdowns on the scale of the 2008 crisis, when companies implode and trillions of dollars are wiped off asset values, tend to expose major frauds and produce big cases, Canellos said. "We're now in a different era," he added. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NEW ABI BOOK EXPLORES THE DEPTHS OF DEEPENING INSOLVNECY

Any company executive juggling the competing demands of the troubled firm and its obligations to investors, as well as litigators practicing on either side of the insolvency aisle, will be interested in ABI’s latest publication, The Depths of Deepening Insolvency: Damage Exposure for Officers, Directors and Others. Authors Kathy Bazoian Phelps (Diamond McCarthy LLP) and Prof. Jack F. Williams (Mesirow Financial) wrote the book from both the plaintiffs' and defendants' perspectives to offer a deep analysis of the legal principle known as "deepening insolvency." The book also provides potential defenses that may be asserted to deepening insolvency allegations, as well as a state-by-state list of significant case law on this issue. To find out more about the book or to pre-order your copy, please click here. (Make sure to log in using your ABI member credentials to obtain the ABI member discount.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make sure to register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

Starting with the Annual Spring Meeting, ABI will offer conference registrants the option to participate in the ABI Golf Tour. The Tour will take place concurrently with all conference golf tournaments. The Tour is designed enhance the golfing experience for serious golfers, while still offering a fun networking opportunity for players of any ability. As opposed to the format used in the regular ABI conference events, Tour participants will "play their own ball." They will be grouped on the golf course separately from other conference golf participants and will typically play ahead of the other participants, expediting Tour play. Tour participants will randomly be grouped in foursomes, unless otherwise requested of the Commissioner in advance of each tournament. Prizes will be awarded for each individual Tour event, which are sponsored by Great American Group. The grand prize is the "Great American Cup," also sponsored by Great American Group, and will be awarded to the top player at the end of the Tour season. Registration is free. Click here for more information and a list of 2013 ABI Golf Tour event venues.

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: GORDON V. PAPPALARDO (IN RE GORDON; 1ST CIR.)

Summarized by Jennifer L. Saffer of J.L. Saffer, P.C.

In this appeal by a debtor in her chapter 13 case, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) for the First Circuit affirmed, after de novo review, the bankruptcy court’s order sustaining the chapter 13 trustee’s objection to the debtor's claimed exemption in a scheduled remainder interest in real estate. Affirming the decision of the bankruptcy court, the BAP determined that the property claimed as exempt was not "owned" by the debtor as required by and within the meaning of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 188, § 3(a); the debtor had elected Massachusetts exemption rules rather than the federal, as was her option under 11 U.S.C. § 522(b).

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: CONGRESS, NOT FHFA, SHOULD BE REFORMING THE GSEs

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post found that while there is an emerging bipartisan consensus on the way forward for the secondary mortgage market, Congress has punted on what should be done with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the (Federal Housing Finance Agency) FHFA is taking significant steps without hearings or public discussion.

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

Who will win the NCAA basketball tournament?

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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FRIDAY:

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

 

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


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

March
- Bankruptcy Battleground West
     March 22, 2013 | Los Angeles, Calif.
- ACB's Free Event, "The Auto Bankruptcies: Checking the Rearview Mirror" Program
     March 22, 2013 | Newton, Mass.

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


  

 

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

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

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


 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

Validity of CFPB at Stake in Legal Challenge

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 31 2013
 
  

January 31, 2013

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

VALIDITY OF CFPB AT STAKE IN LEGAL CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago)

Click here to register!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized by George Spathis of Horwood Marcus & Berk

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

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

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

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENT:

 

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 7-9, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

COMING UP:

 

 

 

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

2013

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

     February 22, 2013 | Philadelphia, Pa.


  

 

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

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

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


 
 
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Loans Borrowed against Pensions Squeeze Retirees

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | April 16 2013
 
  

April 30, 2013

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

LOANS BORROWED AGAINST PENSIONS SQUEEZE RETIREES

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

EDITORIAL: REGULATORS SHOULD CONTINUE CRACKDOWN ON PREDATORY LENDERS

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

CFTC DEMANDS THAT BANKS PROVE DODD-FRANK ACT SWAPS COMPLIANCE

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

COMMENTARY: SHOULD SMALLER BANKS REALLY HAVE LESS CAPITAL PROTECTION?

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

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

CEO PAY RATIO CLIMBS AFTER FINANCIAL CRISIS

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

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

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

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXPLORES NEW METHODS FOR COMPANIES TO RAISE CAPITAL

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

 

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

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: SAN BERNARDINO SAYS OK TO CALPERS IN NEW BUDGET

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

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

TEE OFF ON THE NEW ABI GOLF TOUR!

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT EVENTS:

 

 


NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 29, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
July 18-21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

MA 2013
Sept. 10, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

MA 2013
Sept. 12, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

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


  

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

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

September
- ABI Endowment Golf & Tennis Outing
    Sept. 10, 2013 | Maplewood, N.J.
- ABI Endowment Baseball Game
    Sept. 12, 2013 | Baltimore, Md.


 
 
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