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ABI Bankruptcy Brief | June 6 2013
 
  

June 6, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

SENATE DEADLOCKS ON STUDENT LOANS

In what is becoming an annual June ritual, the Senate deadlocked today over federal student loan interest rates, with no consensus in sight on how to prevent rates on certain loans from doubling for about 7 million borrowers on July 1, the Washington Post reported today. Amid a swirl of competing proposals from lawmakers and the White House, preliminary votes showed that no Senate bills have the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the Democratic-led chamber. A Republican bill to peg rates on a variety of loans to the yield on the government’s 10-year Treasury bill, plus 3 percentage points, was blocked today on a 40 to 57 vote. A Democratic bill to freeze for two years the current 3.4 percent rate for subsidized loans to students in financial need also was thwarted. A procedural vote on the bill was 51 to 46, nine short of the 60 needed. The votes were largely symbolic measures expected to fail short of an agreement. Read more.

SEC PROPOSES CHANGES TO MONEY-MARKET FUND RULES

The portion of the money-market fund industry that suffered extreme disruptions during the financial crisis would be revamped under a plan proposed yesterday by federal regulators, who have been struggling to address the industry’s vulnerabilities for years, the Washington Post reported today. The nearly $3 trillion industry has fiercely opposed major changes to money-market funds, but regulators have persisted, citing the losses and panic they sparked during the crisis. These mutual funds have been popular with investors because they have been perceived to be as reliable as savings accounts. But that perception was shattered in September 2008, when a major money-market fund “broke the buck,” meaning its value fell below $1 a share. A run on money-market funds ensued, with investors withdrawing $300 billion in a week. The government intervened and temporarily guaranteed that investors would be repaid. The SEC said that its plan is designed to avoid a repeat of the meltdown. The agency offered two alternatives focused solely on “prime” funds, which invest in short-term corporate debt. The options could be adopted separately or in combination, depending on the public feedback the SEC receives during the next three months. A plan could be finalized this year, experts tracking the issue said. Read more.

INVESTORS RETURN TO RISKY "SYNTHETIC CDOS"

Investors are once again clamoring for a risky investment blamed for helping unleash the financial crisis: synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), the Wall Street Journal reported today. In a sign of how hard Wall Street is trying to satisfy voracious demand for higher returns amid rock-bottom interest rates, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley bankers in London are moving to assemble the synthetic CDOs. Basic CDOs pool bonds and offer investors a slice of the pool. Synthetic CDOs pool insurance-like derivative contracts on the bonds, rather than the bonds themselves. Like their crisis-era predecessors, the new CDOs would be sliced up into different levels of risk and returns. Investors who want a chance at the highest returns would have to buy the riskiest slice. While spreading risk in some ways, synthetic CDOs also can multiply the financial damage if companies fall behind on their debt payments. During the financial crisis, CDOs pegged to soured mortgage loans caused losses to careen around the world. Some details of the deals being worked on at J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley aren't clear, including the size of the CDOs and which investment firms have expressed an interest in buying slices of them. Read more. (Subscription required.)

REGULATORS INVESTIGATING "DARK POOL" STOCK TRADING

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra), Wall Street's self-regulatory body, last month sent 15 examination letters to operators of "dark pools"—lightly regulated, off-exchange trading venues that have been a rising concern for regulators and some investors as more activity shifts away from exchanges, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Finra is seeking details about how the increasingly popular venues operate, what they disclose to clients and whether they adequately police trades. It could bring enforcement actions against dark-pool operators or issue recommendations for tighter oversight, depending on the answers it receives and additional examinations, said John Malitzis, executive vice president of market regulation at Finra. The letters are a follow-up to an initial round of questions the regulator circulated last fall. "We want to understand whether [dark pools] are disclosing to their customers how their orders work [and] whether customers are informed who their orders will interact with," Malitzis said in an interview. "A big part of this is to get an understanding of practices that may or may not be problematic." Read more. (Subscription required.)

U.S. HOUSEHOLD WORTH TOPS PRE-RECESSION PEAK FOR FIRST TIME

Household wealth in the U.S. jumped to a record in the first quarter, exceeding its pre-recession peak for the first time, bolstered by gains in the stock and housing markets that are helping Americans mend finances, Bloomberg News reported today. Net worth for households and nonprofit groups increased by $3 trillion from January through March, or 4.5 percent from the previous three months, to $70.3 trillion, the Federal Reserve said today in its financial accounts report, previously known as the flow-of-funds survey. Household wealth eclipsed its pre-recession level as gains in the stock and housing markets are helping Americans withstand an increase in the payroll tax this year. Household net worth is $2.29 trillion above its pre-recession peak of $68.1 trillion reached in the third quarter of 2007. It was at $67.3 trillion in the last three months of 2012. Read more.

REPORT: ENTITLEMENT CHANGES TO PUT SENIORS AT FINANCIAL RISK

The Economic Policy Institute reported that nearly half of the nation’s elderly population is “economically vulnerable” and would be particularly hard hit by even modest changes in the Social Security and Medicare programs being considered to slow the growth of the nation’s long-term debt, the Washington Post reported today. The report said that 48 percent of the elderly population earns less than double the supplemental poverty threshold, putting those seniors at financial risk if their income is cut even slightly. Older blacks and Hispanics are especially vulnerable, the report said, as the vast majority of them live on the financial edge. Read more.

LIVE WEBCAST AVAILABLE FOR ABI'S CHAPTER 11 REFORM COMMISSION HEARING TOMORROW LOOKING AT USE OF EXAMINERS, LABOR ISSUES AND PROBLEMS IN RESTRUCTURING TODAY'S COMPANIES

ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 will hold its seventh public hearing of 2013 on Friday from 3-5 p.m. CT (4-6 p.m. ET) at the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors (AIRA) 29th Annual Bankruptcy Restructuring Conference at the Westin Chicago River North; Chicago, Ill. The hearing will feature witness testimony from two leading scholars on the use of examiners in bankruptcy and labor issues including § 1113 and 1114. A panel of experts from the AIRA will also identify current problems faced by financial advisors. To view the witness list and watch a live webcast of the hearing tomorrow, please visit http://commission.abi.org.

ABI WEBSITE (ABI.ORG) WILL BE DOWN THIS WEEKEND FOR SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE

From 10 p.m. ET on Friday, June 7, through Sunday evening, June 9, the ABI homepage (abi.org) will be down for scheduled maintenance. During this period, members will not be able to access certain features, including registering for conferences, printing and viewing CLE certificates, and purchasing publications. Other ABI sites, like Search.abi.org, Volo.abi.org, Journal.abi.org, law.abi.org, blogs.abi.org and news.abi.org, will be operational during this time, but users may experience limited functionality. ABI intends to limit this downtime as much as possible. If you have any questions, please email support@abiworld.org.

NEW ABI LIVE WEBINAR ON JULY 15 WILL FOCUS ON THE § 1111(b) ELECTION, PLAN FEASIBILITY AND CRAMDOWN ISSUES

Utilizing a case study, ABI's panel of experts on July 15 will explore issues surrounding a lender’s decision on whether or not to make an election under § 1111(b), plan feasibility and voting. The abiLIVE panel will also walk attendees through the necessary mathematical analyses used to analyze these issues. The webinar will take place from 1-2:15 p.m. ET. Special ABI member rate available! Click here to register.

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; NEXT STOP IS CENTRAL STATES BANKRUPTCY WORKSHOP NEXT WEEK

Rob Schwartz and Scott Gautier are tied at 34 Stableford Points atop the closely bunched leaderboard after the ABI Golf Tour's first stop at Lake Presidential Golf Club. Next up for the Tour is the famed Bear course at the Grand Traverse Resort at the Central States Bankruptcy Workshop on June 14. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup—sponsored by Great American Group—is based on your top three scores at seven scheduled ABI events, so play as many as you can before the tour wraps up at the Winter Leadership Conference in December. See the Tour page for details and course descriptions. The ABI Golf Tour combines networking with fun competition, as golfers "play their own ball." Including your handicap means everyone has an equal chance to compete for the glory of being crowned ABI's top golfer of 2013! There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour, and women are most welcome.

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW ABI "BANKRUPTCY IN DEPTH" ON-DEMAND CLE PROGRAM LOOKS AT PRINCIPLES OF PROPERTY OF THE ESTATE: DEMYSTIFYING EQUITABLE INTERESTS

In this 90-minute seminar, Profs. Andrew Kull of Boston University School of Law and Scott Pryor of Regent University School of Law provide an in-depth analysis of a legal principle that has become, in their words, "a long-lost area of the law": § 541 of the Bankruptcy Code. Seeking to demystify what is meant by "property of the estate" and, in particular, the distinction between legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property, Kull and Pryor describe the legal entanglements that ensue when legal title belongs to one person but the equitable title belongs to someone else. The cost of the seminar, which includes written materials and qualifies for 1.5 hours of CLE, is $95. To order or to learn more, click here.

ASSOCIATES: ABI'S NUTS & BOLTS ONLINE PROGRAMS HELP YOU HONE YOUR SKILLS WHILE SAVING ON CLE!

Associates looking to sharpen their bankruptcy knowledge should take advantage of ABI's special offer of combining general, business or consumer Nuts & Bolts online programs. Each program features an outstanding faculty of judges and practitioners explaining the fundamentals of bankruptcy, offering procedures and strategies tailored for both consumer and business attorneys. Click here to get the CLE you need at a great low price!

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: STEINBERG V. BANK OF AMERICA N.A. (IN RE STEINBERG; 10TH CIR.)

Summarized by Andrew Johnson of Onsager, Staelin & Guyerson

The Tenth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel reversed the bankruptcy court's order granting relief from stay to Bank of America to foreclose on the debtor's house because the bankruptcy court failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing on whether Bank of America was in possession of the note secured by debtor's residence, or if Bank of America had some other legal basis to enforce the note. The court rejected Bank of America's argument that a debtor's failure to schedule a debt as disputed estops the debtor from challenging relief from stay.

There are more than 900 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: FURTHER EXAMINATION OF GE AND CITI'S SETTLEMENTS WITH FHFA

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new blog post takes a closer look at the reason behind GE and Citi's recent settlements with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT WEEK:

 

 

CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

 

Golf Tournament 2013
June 14, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
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NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
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abiLIVEJuly
July 15, 2013
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SEBW 2013
July 18-21, 2013
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MA 2013
Aug. 8-10, 2013
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SW 2013
Aug. 22-24, 2013
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NYIC Golf Tournament 2013
Sept. 10, 2013
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Endowment Baseball 2013
Sept. 12, 2013
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Sept. 27, 2013
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Endowment Football 2013
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Detroit
Oct. 14, 2013
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Detroit
Nov. 11, 2013
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40-Hour Mediation Program
Dec. 8-12, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

June
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 13-16, 2013 | Grand Traverse, Mich.
- INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar
     June 13, 2013 | São Paulo, Brazil
- Charity Golf Tournament
     June 14, 2013 | City of Industry, Calif.

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

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

September
- ABI Endowment Golf & Tennis Outing
    Sept. 10, 2013 | Maplewood, N.J.


  



- ABI Endowment Baseball Game
    Sept. 12, 2013 | Baltimore, Md.
- Bankruptcy 2013: Views from the Bench
    Sept. 27, 2013 | Washington, D.C.

October
- Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program and Midwestern Consumer Forum
    Oct. 4, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.
- ABI Endowment Football Game
    Oct. 6, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
    Oct. 14, 2013 | Chicago, Ill.

November
- Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
   Nov. 11, 2013 | Detroit, Mich.

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


 
 
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Commentary The Intangible Costs of Bankruptcies

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | October 4, 2012
 
  

October 4, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

COMMENTARY: THE INTANGIBLE COSTS OF BANKRUPTCIES

While most experts examine direct costs, such as filing fees, professionals fees and court fees, there are indirect costs of a company’s financial distress, which are more abstract, like lost revenue, lost opportunities and lost good will, according to a commentary by Prof. Stephen Lubben in the New York Times DealBook blog on Monday. Some of these costs may be of concern to the company’s stakeholders, but not to policy makers if, for example, financial distress simply results in the shifting of sales from the distressed firm to a competitor firm – unless the competitor is abroad, according to Lubben. If most of the cost is incurred long before bankruptcy, according to Lubben, then we may need to reform the chapter 11 portion of the bankruptcy code in a way that will allow those costs to be cut sooner. Read the full commentary.

ANALYSIS: BURDENED BY OLD MORTGAGES, BANKS ARE SLOW TO LEND NOW

While the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 3.53 percent last week, thousands of would-be homeowners are being locked out of the market because lenders, facing a hard-line stance from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have grown wary of making new loans, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The two mortgage giants have been forcing banks to take back an increasing number of loans that the banks made during the boom years and sold to Fannie and Freddie. To protect themselves from such demands in the future, banks are ratcheting up credit and documentation standards for new mortgages. This play-it-safe stance by banks threatens to undercut the Federal Reserve's latest effort to push down mortgage rates by buying up mortgage-backed securities. Even if rates keep falling, many people will find it much harder to take advantage. Read more. (Subscription required.)

REPORT: CONSUMER CREDIT DELINQUENCIES NEAR 6-YEAR LOW

The American Bankers Association (ABA) said that U.S. consumer-loan delinquencies dropped to their lowest level in nearly six years during the second quarter of 2012, Bloomberg News reported today. Delinquencies across eight loan categories fell a total of 11 basis points to 2.24 percent of all accounts in the second quarter, the best showing since the fourth quarter of 2006, when the rate was 2.23 percent. The rate has now been below the 15-year average of 2.40 percent for two consecutive quarters, the ABA said in its Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. Delinquencies on bank card debt fell from 3.08 percent of all accounts in the first quarter to an 11-year low of 2.93 percent, well below the 15-year average of 3.91 percent. Read more.

SUBPRIME SECURITIES GAIN 30 PERCENT AS GOLDMAN, CERBERUS TARGET MARKET

U.S. home-loan securities without government backing, the kind of debt that sparked the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, shrank last quarter to less than $1 trillion for the first time in eight years, leaving fewer bonds to meet soaring demand as housing recovers, Bloomberg News reported today. The non-agency mortgage bond market has contracted from $2.3 trillion in mid-2007, when a property bubble fueled by shoddy loans burst, according to Federal Reserve data. It’s fallen to about $970 billion after record homeowner defaults, borrower refinancing and limited sales of new debt. Growing interest in a diminishing asset has bolstered a rally that has pushed returns on subprime-backed securities to almost 30 percent this year. Cerberus Capital Management LP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are among firms that have raised money for new funds targeting the bonds, as investors speculate on the real estate recovery or seek to earn higher returns as the Fed pushes yields on safer debt to record lows. Read more.

COMMENTARY: WHY DODD-FRANK RULES KEEP LOSING IN COURT

Since the mid-2000s, regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission have been challenged six times in the federal court of appeals in Washington, D.C., and the SEC lost every time, according to a commentary in the Wall Street Journal today. Some former SEC staffers and investor advocates try to blame the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, saying that they favor Wall Street. The "blame-the-appellate-judges" theory suffered its latest setback last Friday, when a judge appointed by President Obama, in the district court in Washington, D.C., struck down the controversial rule of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that placed new "position limits" on the amounts of commodities investors can hold. Financial regulators should be particularly attentive to the financial consequences of their actions when adopting regulations, the commentary said. Other agencies have conducted sophisticated cost-benefit analyses for decades, and these are reviewed (and sometimes rejected) by a special White House office of regulation. As an independent agency, the SEC is exempt from that external expert review. Its rules have suffered as a result, according to the commentary. Read the full commentary.

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

SEE THE N.L. EAST DIVISION CHAMPION WASHINGTON NATIONALS IN THE PLAYOFFS: ABI HAS YOUR TICKET FOR OCTOBER 10!

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

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

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

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

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

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

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SUHAR V. BRUNO (IN RE NEAL; 6TH CIR.)

Summarized by Robert Miller of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina

The Sixth Circuit found that the debtor's assumption of the marital credit card debt of the debtor and the defendant, as part of a separation agreement, should not impact whether the debtor received reasonably equivalent value for transfers to the defendant in the separation agreement. The Sixth Circuit also followed recent precedent holding that a separation decree under Ohio law neither adjudicates reasonably equivalent value nor has a preclusive effect in a subsequent bankruptcy proceeding to determine whether reasonably equivalent value was transferred as part of the separation agreement.

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: STOCKTON'S CREDITORS CHALLENGE CITY'S ELIGIBILITY TO FILE FOR CHAPTER 9

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines the court challenge from Stockton, Calif.'s creditors about the city's eligibility to file for chapter 9 protection.

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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SE 2012
Oct. 8, 2012
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ABI ENDOWMENT EVENT: WASHINGTON NATIONALS PLAYOFF GAME!

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Oct. 10, 2012
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COMING UP:

 

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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Nov. 12, 2012
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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
 

October
- Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     October 8, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.
- ABI Endowment Event: Nationals Playoff Game
     October 10, 2012 | Washington, D.C.
- "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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Analysis Mortgage Interest Deduction Under Scrutiny in Congressional Budget Talks

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 27 2012
 
  

November 27, 2012

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

ANALYSIS: MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION UNDER SCRUTINY IN CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET TALKS

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

SECOND CIRCUIT HEARS FHFA'S MBS LITIGATION

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

EDITORIAL: ELIZABETH WARREN SHOULD GET SEAT ON SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE

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

SCHAPIRO'S DEPARTURE COULD SLOW DODD-FRANK IMPLEMENTATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

Summarized by Bodie Colwell of Bernstein Shur

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

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: BANKRUPTCY COURT WARNS ON "WARN" ACT

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

2013

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


  

 

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

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


 
 
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August Bankruptcy Filings Increase Slightly over Last Month

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | September 6, 2012
 
  

September 6, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

AUGUST BANKRUPTCY FILINGS INCREASE SLIGHTLY OVER LAST MONTH

Total bankruptcy filings in the United States for the month of August increased 7 percent compared to July, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. August bankruptcy filings totaled 104,336, up from the 97,104 filings registered in July 2012. The 99,417 total noncommercial filings for August represented a 7 percent increase from the July noncommercial filing total of 92,562. Total commercial filings for August 2012 were 4,919, representing an 8 percent increase from the 4,542 filings in July. Commercial chapter 11 filings also increased in August as the 648 filings represented an 8 percent increase over the 600 filings in July.

The 104,336 total bankruptcy filings in August represented a 14 percent decrease from the 120,905 filings registered in August 2011. The 4,919 commercial filings for August 2012 represented a 24 percent decrease from the 6,434 filings during the same period in 2011. The August commercial chapter 11 filing total of 648 represented a 9 percent decrease from August 2011’s total of 710. The 99,417 total noncommercial filings for August represented a 13 percent drop from the August 2011 noncommercial filing total of 114,471. Click here for the full ABI press release.

REPORT: DEBT-PROTECTION PLANS UNDER SCRUTINY

Several consumer advocates lump credit-protection plans in the category of an expensive type of insurance that most consumers do not really need, according to a report in today's Detroit Free Press. Credit card protection plans are under fire for deceptive marketing practices, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has put all institutions on notice. One concern is that the third-parties that often pitch these products mislead consumers. Under a settlement with regulators, Capital One Bank will refund about $150 million to 2.5 million customers and pay $60 million in penalties. Capital One said it believes that the average refund will be less than $100. Federal regulators charged that Capital One engaged in deceptive marketing tactics to pressure or mislead some consumers into buying payment-protection plans and credit-monitoring services when they activated their credit cards. Here is a look at what other card issuers are doing:

• Bank of America quit pitching its Credit Protection Plus and Credit Protection Deluxe products in August and no longer offers the credit-protection plans to new customers.

• American Express stopped offering its Account Protector program -- a debt-cancellation product -- earlier this year and will discontinue the plan on Dec. 31.

• Chase said that it stopped offering its Chase Payment Protector plans to new enrollments in October 2011, but it is continuing to serve customers who already purchased the service.

• Discover declined to comment this week but was still offering its payment-protection plan at that time.

• Citi Cards recently paused telephone sales for its debt-protection products and said it would fully complete reviews already under way, in line with new guidance recently issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research for CreditCards.com, said that one troubling issue with the credit-protection product involved hard-sell, fear-driven phone pitches. Click here to read the full report.

ANALYSIS: PREPAID PLASTIC IS CREEPING INTO CREDIT

Prepaid cards are among the fastest-growing types of plastic, according to payment-industry researcher Mercator Advisory Group, as U.S. consumers loaded $83.3 billion onto prepaid cards in 2011, a 34 percent increase over the prior year, the Wall Street Journal reported today. While the cards were designed to help the less-affluent have better control their finances, overdraft and other credit-like features have been added to these cards in recent years. Some consumers are outspending their means and racking up big debts from the cards, say consumer advocates, who are lobbying regulators to ban the practice. Several nonbank prepaid card providers and large banks that recently started offering prepaid cards, including Green Dot Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., have steered clear of overdraft or other credit-like features. But a number of players, including Netspend Holdings Inc., the second-largest prepaid card provider behind Green Dot, allow users to take on debt, which can add to the fees they must pay. The National Consumer Law Center, the Center for Responsible Lending and the Consumer Federation of America have joined forces to lobby the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to prohibit prepaid cards from offering any type of credit. The CFPB is evaluating the consumer advocates' proposal as part of a broader effort to more closely regulate prepaid cards. Read more. (Subscription required.)

COMMENTARY: PRUNING HEDGE FUND REGULATION WITHOUT CULTIVATING BETTER RULES

Fresh from having declined to constrain money market funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission has moved to loosen marketing constraints on hedge funds, according to a commentary yesterday in the New York Times DealBook blog. Two weeks ago, the agency said that it would not be able to defend millions of investors from money market funds that do things like invest in European bank bonds, but portend to be perfectly safe. While hedge funds should be able to promote themselves to investors with data about their returns and methods, the SEC does not have any new resources and has not put in place any policies to police these promotions. Even professionals have a problem in evaluating hedge fund performance, according to the commentary, because distinguishing skill from luck and excessive risk-taking is extremely difficult. Read the full commentary.

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: CARDWELL V. GURLEY (IN RE CARDWELL; 5TH CIR.)

Summarized by Eric Lockridge of Kean Miller LLP

The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's summary judgment affirming the bankruptcy court's determination that the creditor's state-court judgment against the debtor was not dischargeable in bankruptcy. The state court's findings of fact and conclusions of law established the elements of actual fraud that support a determination that the judgment debt is non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(2)(A).

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: JUDICIAL CONFERENCE PROPOSES AMENDED BANKRUPTCY RULES IN RESPONSE TO SUPREME COURT'S RULING IN STERN V. MARSHALL

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post details how the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules for the Judicial Conference of the United States has proposed amendments to Bankruptcy Rules 7008, 7012, 7016, 9027 and 9033 in an attempt to address some of the inefficiencies that the Supreme Court’s Stern v. Marshall decision has introduced into bankruptcy proceedings. The proposed amendments were published in the Federal Register on Aug. 17, 2012, for public comment. Public hearings on the proposed amendments will be held in Chicago on Jan. 18, 2013, and Washington, D.C., on Feb. 1, 2013. The public comment period ends Feb. 15, 2013.

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 have unfettered discretion in adjusting fee applications, even when no party-in-interest has raised objections.

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

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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Sept. 19-20, 2012
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"WHEN IS AN INDIVIDUAL CHAPTER 11 THE BEST FIT?" LIVE WEBINAR
Sept. 27, 2012
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Oct. 4, 2012
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Oct. 5, 2012
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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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Oct. 18, 2012
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Nov. 7, 2012
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

September
- 7th Annual Golf and Tennis Outing
     September 11, 2012 | Maplewood, N.J.
- Complex Financial Restructuring Program
     September 13-14, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
     September 13-15, 2012 | Las Vegas, Nev.
- 38th Annual Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
     September 19-20, 2012 | New York, N.Y.
- "When Is an Individual Chapter 11 the Best Fit?" Live Webinar
     September 27, 2012
- American College of Bankruptcy's "Bankruptcy: Back to the Future" Program
     September 28, 2012 | Chicago, Ill.

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

  


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

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


 
 
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PBGC Says Pension Deficit Widened to Record 34 Billion

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | November 20 2012
 
  

November 20, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

PBGC SAYS PENSION DEFICIT WIDENS TO RECORD $34 BILLION

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) said that its deficit increased to $34 billion by the end of the most recent fiscal year, its largest ever, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported yesterday. As a result of plan failures, the PBGC said last week that its obligations totaled $119 billion by the end of fiscal 2012, while it has $85 billion in assets on hand to cover them. PBGC Director Joshua Gotbaum said that the agency continues its work to preserve pensions but "continuing financial deficits will ultimately threaten its ability to pay benefits." Read more. (Subscription required.)

BANKS SAY THEY HAVE GIVEN $26 BILLION IN HOMEOWNER RELIEF TO DATE

The nation's biggest banks provided more than $26 billion in relief to struggling homeowners between March 1 and Sept. 30, as part of a settlement earlier this year with state and federal officials over widespread foreclosure abuses, the Washington Post reported today. Joseph A. Smith Jr., the former North Carolina banking commissioner hired by the government to ensure the banks follow through on their promises, reported that more than 300,000 homeowners have benefitted so far, for an average of roughly $84,385 per borrower. The aid undertaken by the five banks involved in the settlement — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Ally Financial and Citigroup — has taken various forms, from lowering loan balances to completing growing numbers of short sales to helping refinance many homeowners into mortgages with much lower interest rates. Each bank is responsible for providing a set amount of aid under the terms of the settlement, but different kinds of relief receive different amounts of credit. In general, banks received more credit for providing aid during the first year of the settlement and for activities such as reducing principal on loans and refinancing mortgages. Read more.

In related news, big banks are giving billions of dollars to distressed California homeowners through a landmark mortgage settlement — but mostly to get people out of their homes rather than help them stay, the Los Angeles Times reported today. Short sales should be reserved for homeowners who couldn't afford to live in a home even with a lower principal or for people who need to move, said UC Irvine law professor Katherine Porter, who was appointed by the state attorney general's office to monitor the deal. The preponderance of short sales in California may change, Porter said, as banks begin delivering other types of mandated relief, namely principal reduction. In California, the three biggest mortgage servicers — Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. — promised to contribute $12 billion worth of homeowner aid. Bank of America is on the hook for the biggest portion of that agreement, $8 billion. Read more.

COMMENTARY: WHEN WILL FANNIE AND FREDDIE PAY TAXPAYERS BACK?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owe American taxpayers nearly $140 billion — and there seems to be no plan on any front to pay it back, according to a commentary in yesterday's New York Times. In the midst of the housing crisis and the Great Recession in 2008, Congress agreed to spend $600 billion in public money to rescue major American banks, insurers, automakers and, yes, the GSE's — fearing an even deeper and longer recession if these companies failed. Since then, most of these bailed-out firms have paid taxpayers back, but not Fannie or Freddie. Even more remarkable than their $140 billion public debt (the money lent to the agencies minus dividends paid) is that there seems to be no active plan to reimburse taxpayers. Read more.

SHADOW BANKING GROWS TO $67 TRILLION INDUSTRY, REGULATORS SAY

The shadow banking industry has grown to about $67 trillion, $6 trillion bigger than previously thought, leading global regulators to seek more oversight of financial transactions that fall outside traditional oversight, Bloomberg news reported on Sunday. The size of the shadow banking system, which includes the activities of money market funds, monoline insurers and off-balance sheet investment vehicles, "can create systemic risks" and "amplify market reactions when market liquidity is scarce," the Financial Stability Board said in a report, which utilized more data than last year’s probe into the sector. While watchdogs have reined in excessive risk-taking by banks in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008, they are concerned that lenders might use shadow banking to evade the clampdown. Read more.

ANALYSIS: MIXED RESULTS FOR SEC IN FINANCIAL CRISIS CASES

Last week was a study in contrasts in how the Securities and Exchange Commission has been able to pursue cases from the financial crisis, according to an analysis yesterday in the New York Times DealBook blog. The regulator has been successful in extracting large settlements from banks that were at the heart of the meltdown in the mortgage market, but it has not done as well in proving any significant wrongdoing by individuals. The SEC announced settlements on Friday with JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse over their dealings in residential mortgage-backed securities. JPMorgan will pay $296.9 million and Credit Suisse $120 million in disgorgement and penalties. But it had a much worse week in dealing with individuals accused of securities fraud as a federal jury in New York on Nov.12 largely absolved Bruce Bent Sr. and his son, Bruce Bent II, for statements they made about the money market fund they oversaw, the Reserve Primary Fund. That collapsed at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008. Read more.

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

ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 will hold a public hearing on Friday, Nov. 30, at 11:15 a.m. (MT) during the Winter Leadership Conference in Tucson, Ariz., at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort. Members are welcome to provide testimony on their suggestions for ways to improve the operation of chapter 11. The hearing is the fifth in a series of public field hearings. Statements and video from all the recent hearings can be found at the Commission website at http://commission.abi.org.

Interested members should contact Sam Gerdano at sgerdano@abiworld.org for more details about in-person testimony. Those interested may also file written statements of any length for consideration by the Commission. All materials will be part of the Commission's record to be transmitted to Congress following the two-year investigation and report. Please consider this great opportunity to become part of the legal reform of the Bankruptcy Code.

LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES BANKRUPTCY'S EFFECTS ON MANUFACTURING SUPPLY CHAINS

ABI’s latest podcast features ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Susan Hauser speaking with the authors of Interrupted! Understanding Bankruptcy's Effects on Manufacturing Supply Chains. John T. Gregg, Deborah L. Thorne and Patrick E. Mears of Barnes & Thornburg LLP discuss the book and the issues that arise when suppliers are unable to make deliveries of promised parts due to financial problems. Click here to listen to the podcast.

To purchase Interrupted! Understanding Bankruptcy's Effects on Manufacturing Supply Chains, please make sure to visit the ABI Book Store at http://bookstore.abi.org.

RICHMOND BAR CALLING FOR NOMINATIONS TO FILL JUDICIAL VACANCY; SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DEC. 13

The Judiciary Committee of the Richmond (Va.) Bar Association invites ABI members to submit nominations to fill a judicial vacancy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The court is looking to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Bankruptcy Judge Douglas O. Tice, Jr.

Suggestions must be in writing and should be mailed to Virginia H. Grigg, Esq., c/o Richmond Bar Association, P.O. Box 1213, Richmond, Virginia 23218 or hand-delivered to her at the Bar office located at 707 E. Main Street, Suite 1620, Richmond, VA 23219. Nominations must be received by 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 13, 2012, in order to be considered.

ABI IN-DEPTH

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: HAWKS HOLDINGS LLC V. KALINOWSKI (IN RE KALINOWSKI; 10TH CIR.)

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

The 10th Circuit ruled that since debtor was the de facto manager of an LLC, he stood in a fiduciary relationship to the creditor of that LLC under a New Mexico statute that created a technical trust. Since the debtor’s participation in the mismanagement of funds paid to the LLC for the construction of homes constituted defalcation, the debt was thus excepted from discharge.

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: NINTH CIRCUIT RULES POST-PETITION PAYMENTS RECEIVED BY DEBTOR ARE NOT PROCEEDS OF "PAYMENTS TO BECOME DUE"

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post examines a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit in LID Acquisition LLC v. Lake at Las Vegas Joint Venture, LLC (In re Lake at Las Vegas Joint Venture, LLC) affirmed the lower courts' rulings that, pursuant to §552(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, a pre-petition security agreement that gives a lender a security interest in "payments" or "future payments" does not give a lender a security interest in post-petition payments.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

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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SE 2012
Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2012
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MT 2012
Dec. 4-8, 2012
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WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
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Jan. 24-25, 2013
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Feb. 7-9, 2013
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ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
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  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

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

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

2013

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


  

 

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


 
 
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Court Ruling Puts Cloud Over Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as Work Slows

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | May 23 2013
 
  

May 23, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

COURT RULING PUTS CLOUD OVER CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU AS WORK SLOWS

A court ruling that cast doubt on the authority of its director has hampered the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, slowing some enforcement, impeding recruitment of a second-in-command and delaying joint ventures with the states, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. President Obama last year appointed Richard Cordray director when the Senate was not in session, the same day he made appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Jan. 25 concluded that the NLRB moves were unconstitutional, which could also affect Cordray. The Obama administration has appealed to the Supreme Court. House Republicans have said they will not take testimony from Cordray in the meantime. The Senate cannot move on Cordray’s renomination because Republicans will not permit an up or down vote. A Native American tribe has refused to supply information about its online lending business, claiming Cordray is not a legitimate director. In addition, candidates to be Cordray’s deputy will not pursue the job while his fate is unclear. The bureau’s plans to cooperate on enforcement with state attorneys general under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law also have not panned out, said Greg Zoeller, the attorney general of Indiana. “There has not been the gearing-up on consumer protection that I’d expected because of the cloud over the CFPB’s authority,” Zoeller, a Republican, said in an interview. The headwinds have not stopped the bureau’s work. Since it was established by Dodd-Frank, the agency has obtained $425 million in restitution for consumers and has imposed fines, including $15 million on mortgage insurers over kickbacks. The bureau has also warned banks about the consequences of discriminatory auto lending, released data on consumer complaints and published a study on payday lending. Read more.

SURVEY: NUMBER OF AMERICANS IN FORECLOSURE DOWN 25 PERCENT

Survey data by Lender Processing Services (LPS) shows that the number of Americans in the foreclosure process has fallen by almost 25 percent since April 2012, The Hill reported yesterday. Delinquency rates have also dropped, falling below 6.5 percent for the first time since July 2008. In line with LPS data, the National Association of Realtors reported yesterday that distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 18 percent of sales in April, down from 21 percent in March and 28 percent in April 2012. But while lower foreclosure rates are a sign that the economy and household finances are recovering, economists have blamed the dearth of foreclosures for some of the lackluster gains in the housing market recently. Existing and new home sales have both been constrained by tight inventory, according to experts, driving prices up in markets across the country and stunting a more solid recovery. Read more.

WALL STREET SEEKS DODD-FRANK CHANGES THROUGH TRADE TALKS

U.S. bankers and insurers are trying to use trade deals, which can trump existing legislation, to weaken parts of the Dodd-Frank Act designed to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, Bloomberg News reported today. While the companies say that they are seeking agreements that preserve strong regulations and encourage economic growth, their effort is drawing fire from groups who argue that Wall Street wants to make the trade negotiations a new front in its three-year campaign to stop or alter the law. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a May 7 statement that there are “growing murmurs” about Wall Street’s efforts to “do quietly through trade agreements what they can’t get done in public view with the lights on and people watching.” The U.S. has embarked on three major negotiations aimed at reducing barriers to international commerce, one with the European Union covering most types of trade and investment, and a similar one with Asia-Pacific nations including Japan. A third set of talks, covering only services, is under way at the World Trade Organization. The Coalition of Service Industries, a trade association whose website lists Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., American International Group Inc. and The Chubb Corp. as members, told the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in a May 10 letter that “more compatible regulations for services” should be part of the EU deal. In separate letters on the EU and Asia-Pacific pacts, the industry coalition said that negotiators should draft rules limiting what regulators can do in the name of protecting financial stability. The letters also urged using the pacts to curb extra-territorial rules that can reach beyond U.S. borders, like ones currently being considered on financial derivatives. Read more.

COMMENTARY: WHY THE SEC NEEDS "NO-ADMIT" SETTLEMENTS

Last week, in a letter to the heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) criticized the SEC practice of settling its civil litigation without requiring the defendant to admit wrongdoing, according to a commentary in today's Wall Street Journal. Warren said that this practice reduces the Wall Street regulator's leverage and forces it "to settle on terms that are much more favorable to the wrongdoer." Warren's criticism has long been shared by others on Capitol Hill and the courts who believe that "no-admit" settlements let defendants off without sufficient accountability, obscure the public record, and deprive private plaintiffs of the ability to piggyback on admissions to win monetary damage awards. In one prominent case in 2011, Judge Jed Rakoff of the district court in Manhattan took the rare step of refusing to sign off on a $285 million settlement between the SEC and Citigroup, calling it "pocket change" for the bank. That refusal has been appealed, and a decision is expected soon. The SEC and defense lawyers counter that no-admit settlements allow the agency to secure prompt and certain sanctions that are comparable to what regulators could reasonably attain through costly litigation—litigation that the SEC might actually lose. They contend that even without admissions, SEC settlements typically involve greater transparency and accountability than civil settlements by other federal agencies, some of which not only don't require an admission of wrongdoing, but actually allow the settling party to explicitly deny any wrongdoing. Read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)

LATEST BLOOMBERG VIDEO EXPLORES DEWEY CASE AND PROSPECT OF FUTURE LAW FIRM FAILURES

While failed law firms make for notoriously difficult bankruptcy cases, Dewey & LeBoeuf's time in bankruptcy court was quicker and easier than other notable law firms. Joe Samet, head of restructuring at Baker & McKenzie, and Al Togut, founding partner at Togut, Segal & Segal, talk with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia about why Dewey's case went so smoothly compared to others, the prospects for other large law firm failures and how managing partners can keep their firms out of bankruptcy. Click here to watch the video.

ABI LIVE WEBINAR NEXT WEEK WILL FOCUS ON CLASS ACTIONS IN BOTH BUSINESS AND CONSUMER CASES

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

ASSOCIATES: ABI'S NUTS & BOLTS ONLINE PROGRAMS HELP YOU HONE YOUR SKILLS WHILE SAVING ON CLE!

Associates looking to sharpen their bankruptcy knowledge should take advantage of ABI's special offer of combining general, business or consumer Nuts & Bolts online programs. Each program features an outstanding faculty of judges and practitioners explaining the fundamentals of bankruptcy, offering procedures and strategies tailored for both consumer and business attorneys. Click here to get the CLE you need at a great low price!

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; NEXT STOP IS CENTRAL STATES BANKRUPTCY WORKSHOP IN JUNE

Rob Schwartz and Scott Gautier are tied at 34 Stableford Points atop the closely bunched leaderboard after the ABI's Golf Tour's first stop at Lake Presidential Golf Club. Next up for the Tour is the famed Bear course at the Grand Traverse Resort at the Central States Bankruptcy Workshop on June 14. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup—sponsored by Great American Group—is based on your top three scores at seven scheduled ABI events, so play as many as you can before the tour wraps up at the Winter Leadership Conference in December. See the Tour page for details and course descriptions. The ABI Golf Tour combines networking with fun competition, as golfers "play their own ball." Including your handicap means everyone has an equal chance to compete for the glory of being crowned ABI's top golfer of 2013! There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour, and women are most welcome.

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: GENTILE V. DEGIACOMO (IN RE GENTILE; 1ST CIR.)

Summarized by Nathaniel Hull of Verrill Dana LLP

The First Circuit BAP dismissed the debtors’ appeal of a bankruptcy court order granting the chapter 7 trustee’s motion to sell real estate that was fully encumbered by a disputed lien for lack of appellate standing. The BAP concluded that the debtors failed to meet their burden of demonstrating that nullification of the sale would be likely to result in an overall surplus in the chapter 7 estate to which the debtors would become entitled once the bankruptcy case is closed.

There are nearly 900 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: STUDENT LOANS MAY NOW BE DISCHARGED MORE EASILY IN BANKRUPTCY IN THE 9TH CIR.

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new post examines the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' opinion in Hedlund v. The Educational Resources Institute, Inc. and Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, Case 12-35258 (D.C. 6:11-cv-6281AA), suggesting that the opinion (and other pending decisions) may have made it a little easier on some student loan debtors to have their student loans discharged in bankruptcy.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT WEEK:

 

 

CCA Webinar 2013
May 29, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

 

Memphis 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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Golf Tournament 2013
June 14, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
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NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
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SEBW 2013
July 18-21, 2013
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MA 2013
Aug. 8-10, 2013
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SW 2013
Aug. 22-24, 2013
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NYIC Golf Tournament 2013
Sept. 10, 2013
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Endowment Baseball 2013
Sept. 12, 2013
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VFB2013
Sept. 27, 2013
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Endowment Football 2013
Oct. 6, 2013
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40-Hour Mediation Program
Dec. 8-12, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

May
- ABI Live Webinar: Consumer Class Actions
     May 29, 2013

June
- Memphis Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     June 7, 2013 | Memphis, Tenn.
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 13-16, 2013 | Grand Traverse, Mich.
- INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar
     June 13, 2013 | São Paulo, Brazil
- Charity Golf Tournament
     June 14, 2013 | City of Industry, Calif.

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


  

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

September
- ABI Endowment Golf & Tennis Outing
    Sept. 10, 2013 | Maplewood, N.J.
- ABI Endowment Baseball Game
    Sept. 12, 2013 | Baltimore, Md.
- Bankruptcy 2013: Views from the Bench
    Sept. 27, 2013 | Washington, D.C.

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

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


 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

House Committee Approves Student Loan Fix

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | May 16 2013
 
  

May 16, 2013

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

HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVES STUDENT LOAN FIX

Members of the Republican-led House Education and Workforce Committee approved a bill that would keep interest rates from doubling on new subsidized Stafford loans on July 1, the Associated Press reported. The GOP measure, which is opposed by House Democrats, provides lower rates immediately and for the next few years, but the plan also comes with potentially higher costs for some students in coming years. Without Congress's action, interest rates for new subsidized Stafford student loans would double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. Under the proposal by the committee's chairman, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), student loans would be reset every year and based on 10-year Treasury notes, plus an added percentage. Using Congressional Budget Office projections, that would translate to a 5 percent interest rate on Stafford loans in 2014 but climb to 7.7 percent for loans in 2023. Read more.

Read the House Education and Workforce Committee's press release.

EDITORIAL: NEW YORK TARGETING PENSION PREDATORS

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has done retirees and military veterans a great service by ordering New York’s top banking regulator to investigate “pension advance” firms that persuade customers to sign over all or part of their monthly pensions in exchange for immediate cash payments, according to a New York Times editorial today. The payments, advertised as advances, are, in fact, cleverly disguised loans that can carry ruinously high interest rates and eventually strip older citizens of their meager assets. By insisting that they are making advances, not loans, these firms elude state supervision, including usury laws, licensing regulations and the federal Truth in Lending Act, which requires lenders to disclose borrowing costs. These and other subterfuges have enabled the companies to ambush pensioners with “advance” loans that carry interest charges ranging from 27 percent to 106 percent, according to a review by the New York Times. Read more.

INVESTORS FLOOD INTO LOAN FUNDS

Money is flooding into funds that buy up loans to companies as some investors brace for the end of ultra-low interest rates, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The activity is adding fuel to the roaring corporate-refinancing boom by driving loan prices up, in turn pushing interest rates lower for companies rated below investment grade. Leveraged loans are again increasing in popularity among investors because the interest they pay changes with benchmark interest rates, typically quarterly. That is a major selling point amid concerns that prices of Treasurys and long-term corporate bonds will drop as the Federal Reserve pares back its support for financial markets—even though policymakers have signaled that a shift is not imminent. Yields rise as prices fall. Loan mutual funds took in $5.6 billion in April, dwarfing the combined $2.25 billion that went into Treasury bond and junk-bond funds, according to Lipper Inc. Inflows in the first four months of 2013 hit $22.4 billion, eclipsing full-year tallies for every year since 2003, when Lipper started tracking the data. Read more. (Subscription required.)

NEW SEC CHIEF MARY JO WHITE BEGINS JOB WITH PRESSURE TO TACKLE RULES

Since Mary Jo White took over as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission a month ago, Congress has pressed the former federal prosecutor to pump out long-overdue financial regulations required by the Dodd-Frank Act and rewrite key rules that govern the capital markets, the Washington Post reported today. This week, lawmakers are applying more pressure to get the job done — on their terms. The House passed a measure yesterday that gives the SEC an Oct. 31 deadline to adopt a portion of the JOBS Act, which aims to make it easier for small businesses to raise money. On Friday, another bill is scheduled to reach the House floor that would reinforce the need for the agency to do thorough cost analyses of any rules it’s considering. White yesterday tapped Keith Higgins of Ropes & Gray to head the SEC’s corporation finance division, which is heavily involved in writing the JOBS Act rules. She also named Lona Nallengara, who joined the SEC in 2011, as the agency’s chief of staff. Meanwhile, the SEC staff internally circulated a draft this month to revamp part of the money market fund industry, a plan that’s evolved over the past year. The agency has also proposed a plan for how rules governing derivatives should be applied in the global marketplace. But they are less stringent than what the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has promoted, alarming some investor advocates. Read more.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: TRUSTEES SLEEP EASY AFTER HIGH COURT RULING

Trustees of all types are sleeping easier, knowing that their liabilities for theft by a co-trustee is a debt that can be wiped out in bankruptcy as a result of a unanimous Supreme Court decision discussed by Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle on their latest video. To watch, please click here.

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

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

ASSOCIATES: ABI'S NUTS & BOLTS ONLINE PROGRAMS HELP YOU HONE YOUR SKILLS WHILE SAVING ON CLE!

Associates looking to sharpen their bankruptcy knowledge should take advantage of ABI's special offer of combining general, business or consumer Nuts & Bolts online programs. Each program features an outstanding faculty of judges and practitioners explaining the fundamentals of bankruptcy, offering procedures and strategies tailored for both consumer and business attorneys. Click here to get the CLE you need at a great low price!

ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; NEXT STOP IS CENTRAL STATES BANKRUPTCY WORKSHOP IN JUNE

Rob Schwartz and Scott Gautier are tied at 34 Stableford Points atop the closely bunched leaderboard after the ABI's Golf Tour's first stop at Lake Presidential Golf Club. Next up for the Tour is the famed Bear course at the Grand Traverse Resort at the Central States Bankruptcy Workshop on June 14. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup—sponsored by Great American Group—is based on your top three scores at seven scheduled ABI events, so play as many as you can before the tour wraps up at the Winter Leadership Conference in December. See the Tour page for details and course descriptions. The ABI Golf Tour combines networking with fun competition, as golfers "play their own ball." Including your handicap means everyone has an equal chance to compete for the glory of being crowned ABI's top golfer of 2013! There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour, and women are most welcome.

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

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

ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: SOTO V. DORAL BANK (IN RE SOTO; 1ST CIR.)

Summarized by Samuel Ari Mushell of Americans United for Government Reform

The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court's decision to dismiss the debtors' chapter 13 petition because the debtors did not comply with 521(a) of the Code. 521(a) requires debtors to submit their tax returns and payment advices to the trustee.

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: BROWN-VITTER BILL A POTENTIAL CAPITAL FIX FOR TROUBLED MARKETS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent post finds that the common-sense steps taken in the "Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act," introduced by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.), will help even the playing field between community banks and big financial firms.

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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NEXT WEEK:

 

 

LSS 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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COMING UP

 

 

CCA Webinar 2013
May 29, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

Memphis 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

CSBW 2013
June 13-16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

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

 

 

NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

SEBW 2013
July 18-21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

MA 2013
Aug. 8-10, 2013
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SW 2013
Aug. 22-24, 2013
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NYIC Golf Tournament 2013
Sept. 10, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

Endowment Baseball 2013
Sept. 12, 2013
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Endowment Football 2013
Oct. 6, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

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


 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

May
- Litigation Skills Symposium
     May 21-24, 2013 | Dallas, Texas
- ABI Live Webinar: Consumer Class Actions
     May 29, 2013

June
- Memphis Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
     June 7, 2013 | Memphis, Tenn.
- Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
     June 13-16, 2013 | Grand Traverse, Mich.
- INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar
     June 13, 2013 | São Paulo, Brazil
- Charity Golf Tournament
     June 14, 2013 | City of Industry, Calif.

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


  

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

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

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

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


 
 
ABI BookstoreABI Endowment Fund ABI Endowment Fund
 

Report Student Borrowers Retreat from Home Buying

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | April 18 2013
 
  

April 18, 2013

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

REPORT: STUDENT BORROWERS RETREAT FROM HOME BUYING

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued a report yesterday saying that Americans who borrowed to pay for school are now less likely to have a home mortgage at age 30 than those who never had student debt, a reversal of past trends, the Wall Street Journal reported today. As of late last year, roughly 22 percent of 30-year-olds with a history of student debt—either currently or in the past—owed money on a mortgage, the Fed said. That compares with 24 percent of 30-year-olds who never took out student loans. Similarly, young people with a history of student debt are less likely to have a car loan than those who did not have student loans, the report said. This marks a significant turnabout from recent history. For most of the past decade, student borrowers were much more likely to own a home or car, relative to those without student loans, because they typically were college graduates with higher incomes. But now, student debt could be among the factors holding them back, at least temporarily, the Fed report suggests. The report shows that credit scores for student borrowers have fallen sharply since the recession, likely due to higher average student-debt levels and a rise in delinquencies. Read more. (Subscription required.)

MORTGAGE RELIEF CHECKS GO OUT, ONLY TO BOUNCE

Many struggling homeowners received checks stemming from a $3.6 billion settlement with the nation’s largest banks over wrongful evictions and other abuses, only to find that the checks were bouncing, the New York Times DealBook Blog reported yesterday. It is unclear how many of the 1.4 million homeowners who were mailed the first round of payments covered under the foreclosure settlement have had problems with their checks. But housing advocates from California to New York and even regulators say that in recent days frustrated homeowners have bombarded them with complaints and questions. The mishap is just the latest setback to troubled homeowners. It took more than two years to resolve a federal investigation into foreclosure abuses, and even after the settlement was reached in January, the checks were delayed for weeks. Read more.

RISING BANK PROFITS TEMPT A PUSH FOR TOUGHER RULES

Banks have been reporting steady growth in earnings since the financial crisis, but their ballooning bottom lines could embolden lawmakers and regulators who want to introduce additional measures to overhaul the banking system, the New York Times DealBook blog reported yesterday. After the financial crisis, many officials involved in the regulatory revamping feared that tougher rules, like caps on bank assets, could destabilize the financial system and harm economic growth. It is a view that prominent bankers and lobbyists have also voiced. Despite industry opposition to the new rules, the buoyant bank profits could add to the ammunition that influential figures in Washington, D.C., are using to advocate for more radical ideas to overhaul the banks. "I hope the regulators move forward with tougher regulations," said Sheila C. Bair, a former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and now a senior adviser at the Pew Charitable Trusts. "This wouldn’t endanger the economic recovery." Read more.

SEC TO MOVE PAST FINANCIAL CRISIS CASES UNDER CHAIRMAN WHITE

Mary Jo White, the first former prosecutor to serve as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has pledged to run a "bold and unrelenting" enforcement program at the agency charged with regulating Wall Street, Bloomberg News reported today. With financial crisis cases mostly done and some of the biggest insider-trading cases in history closed, White will have to chart a course into new areas to keep that pledge. White, who was sworn in last week, has already provided a few signals about what that cause might be. During her Senate confirmation hearing, she said that she intends to focus on high-frequency and automated trading. She has also raised questions about a drop in the number of accounting fraud cases the agency has brought in recent years. Read more.

BLOOMBERG'S LATEST "BILL ON BANKRUPTCY" VIDEO: EASTERBROOK TURNS THE TIDE ON STUDENT LOANS

Why and when U.S.-managed hedge funds can go bankrupt in the Caribbean, but not in the U.S., is the first item discussed on the new bankruptcy video with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill Rochelle. The video ends with discussion of an opinion by U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook, who's turning the tide against recent decisions that have left former students virtually incapable of shedding education loans in bankruptcy. Click here to watch the video.

Attending ASM? Don't miss Bloomberg's Bill Rochelle moderating the "BK 360 Revisited: ABI Past-Presidents Panel" session at lunch on Saturday from 12:30-2 p.m. ET.

 

ATTENDING ABI'S ANNUAL SPRING MEETING? MAKE SURE TO DOWNLOAD THE MOBILE APP FOR SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS!

The official Annual Spring Meeting mobile web app, sponsored by Diamond McCarthy LLP, is now available for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices! Utilize the app during ASM this week to view your personal schedule, browse what programs are taking place or search for information related to the meeting. The mobile web app stores the schedule data locally on your phone for offline access, too.

To take advantage of the ASM web app, bookmark the following address on your device’s browser: http://31stannualspringmeeting2013.sched.org/mobile

LIVE WEBSTREAMS OF THE GREAT DEBATES AND ABI'S CHAPTER 11 REFORM COMMISSION HEARING AVAILABLE TOMORROW FROM THE ANNUAL SPRING MEETING!

17TH ANNUAL GREAT DEBATES

Starting at 8:30 a.m. EST, the 17th Annual Great Debates will be streamed live at the following address: http://www.abiworld.org/debate13/

There will be three debates moderated by Jeffrey N. Pomerantz, ABI VP-Education, of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Los Angeles):

I. Past Presidents’ Debate
Resolved: The Bankruptcy Code should be revised to eliminate a debtor in possession's and trustee's ability to recover preferential transfers.

Pro: John D. Penn
Haynes and Boone LLP; Fort Worth

Con: Andrew W. Caine
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; Los Angeles

II. Judicial Debate
Resolved: A claim against the debtor’s estate, transferred to a third party, should be treated the same as if in the hands of the original holder.

Pro: Hon. Arthur J. Gonzalez
New York University School of Law; New York

Con: Hon. Kevin J. Carey
U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Del.); Wilmington

III. Consumer Debate
Resolved: An attorney in a consumer case should be able to limit the scope of her employment.

Pro: Brian Michael Shockley
Clark & Washington, PC; Atlanta

Con: Pamela J. Griffith
Office of the U.S. Trustee; Washington, D.C.

ABI's CHAPTER 11 REFORM COMMMISSION HEARING AT 1 P.M. EST

There will also be a live webstream available on the ABI Chapter 11 Reform Commission's site (http://commission.abi.org) of the hearing tomorrow starting at 1 p.m. EST. Prepared witness testimony will also be linked to the site at that time.

Witnesses set to testify at the hearing include:

Panel I:

Wilbur L. Ross of WL Ross & Co. (New York)

Panel II (Bankruptcy Judges’ Panel):

Hon. Dennis R. Dow (W.D. Mo.)
Hon. Barbara J. Houser (N.D. Texas)
Hon. Pamela Pepper (W.D. Wis.)

Panel III:

Holly Felder Etlin of AlixPartners LLC (New York)
Daniel F. Dooley of MorrisAnderson (Chicago)
John M. Haggerty of Argus Management (Grafton, Mass.)


ABI IN-DEPTH

NEW ABI LIVE WEBINAR ON MAY 29 WILL FOCUS ON CONSUMER CLASS ACTIONS

Class action lawsuits in chapter 13 cases are becoming more prevalent. Are you wondering whether your client's claims would be better pursued in a class action? If your client is a defendant in a consumer class action, do you know what your client's best defenses are against class certification? ABI's panel of experts on May 29 from 1-2:15 p.m. ET will explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of class actions by debtors/trustees against creditors in chapter 13 cases by highlighting two recent appeals court decisions. 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.

LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: THOMAS V. BENDER (IN RE THOMAS; 11TH CIR.)

Summarized by Melissa Youngman of McCalla Raymer LLC

The Eleventh Circuit found no reversible error in the lower court's holding that proceeds from a post-petition real estate deal arising from a pre-petition option contract constituted property of the debtor's bankruptcy estate, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 541.

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: SMALL BANKS WOULD BENEFIT FROM BIG-BANK BREAKUPS

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. Taking on the size of firms that put our financial system at risk is the only way to eliminate unfair competitive advantages, unleash free markets and allow community banks to thrive, according to a recent blog post.

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 offers conference registrants the option to participate in the ABI Golf Tour. The Tour will take place concurrently with all conference golf tournaments. The Tour, which kicked off this morning at ABI’s Annual Spring Meeting, is designed to 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 at ABI’s regular 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 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

The scope of protection of "financial contracts" in bankruptcy should be rolled back to what it was before BAPCPA expanded it in 2005.

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

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TOMORROW:

 

LIVE WEBSTREAMS FROM ABI'S 31ST ANNUAL SPRING MEETING:

 

17TH ANNUAL GREAT DEBATES
Start Time: 8:30 A.M. EST

 

HEARING OF ABI'S COMMISSION TO STUDY THE REFORM OF CHAPTER 11
Start Time: 1 P.M. EST.

 

 

 

COMING UP

 

 

NYCBC 2013
May 15, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 21-24, 2013
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ASM 2013
May 29, 2013
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ASM 2013
June 7, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
June 13-16, 2013
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INSOL’s Latin American Regional Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil
June 13, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

NE 2013
July 11-14, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
July 18-21, 2013
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MA 2013
Aug. 8-10, 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.


 
 
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Validity of CFPB at Stake in Legal Challenge

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | January 31 2013
 
  

January 31, 2013

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

VALIDITY OF CFPB AT STAKE IN LEGAL CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register today!

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

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

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

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

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

Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago)

Click here to register!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summarized by George Spathis of Horwood Marcus & Berk

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

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

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

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

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

ABI Quick Poll

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

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

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
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

9th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference
Feb. 22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

"Nuts and Bolts" Program at ASM- A Must for Junior Professionals or Those New to Bankruptcy Practice
April 18, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

 

 

ASM 2013
May 16, 2013
Register Today!


 
   
  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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Commentary Allow Private Education Loan Debts to Be Erased in Bankruptcy

ABI Bankruptcy Brief | December 20 2012
 
  

December 27, 2012

 
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  NEWS AND ANALYSIS   

COMMENTARY: ALLOW PRIVATE EDUCATION LOAN DEBTS TO BE ERASED IN BANKRUPTCY

As total student loan debt exceeded $1 trillion in 2012, debt from student loans issued by private for-profit lenders is still not eligible to be discharged under the Bankruptcy Code, according to a commentary by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) in yesterday's edition of U.S. News & World Report. Private for-profit student loans often lack consumer protections and typically have variable interest rates with no caps, exorbitant fees, and hidden charges, according to Cohen. Private lenders do not deserve protection under the Bankruptcy Code because the "undue hardship" provision, first enacted in 1976, was intended to protect the taxpayer dollars that fund federal student loan programs, according to Cohen. "Yet Congress, in 2005, extended this protection to for-profit educational lenders, even though no taxpayer money was at stake," Cohen writes. He introduced H.R. 2028, the "Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act," which would allow private education loan debts to once again be erased in bankruptcy just like other types of debts. "By restoring bankruptcy dischargeability, my legislation will ensure that lenders only make prudent loans and will encourage private lenders to work with financially distressed borrowers to modify loan terms," according to Cohen. Read the full commentary.

ANALYSIS: DO OR DIE FOR FOUR RETAILERS

While 2013 will be a tough year for retailers due to the tepid economic recovery, Best Buy, J.C. Penney, RadioShack and Sears face a critical 12 months, the Wall Street Journal reported today. These unlucky retailers are going into the New Year with extra woes: slipping sales, questionable strategies and tight finances. Best Buy Co. has been plagued by the retail phenomenon called "showrooming," where shoppers examine products in its stores but buy online through rivals. J.C. Penney Co. has been trying to shed its image as an old-fashioned department store, but its rapid and radical makeover has left it burning through cash and struggling to attract shoppers. RadioShack Corp.'s bet on mobile phones and tablets has backfired. Sears Holdings Corp.'s sales and profits continue to slide as the department store chain has been shoring up its liquidity by selling itself off in pieces—but some of its remaining assets might be tough to unload at a time when retailing is under pressure. Read more. (Subscription required.)

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DECREASES IN DECEMBER

Confidence among U.S. consumers declined more than forecast in December as the budget debate in Washington, D.C., soured Americans' outlook on the economy, Bloomberg News reported today. The Conference Board's index of sentiment fell to 65.1 from a revised 71.5 reading the prior month, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. A drop in consumer expectations for the next six months to a one-year low coincides with mounting concerns about looming tax increases and government budget cuts in 2013 that threaten expansion. At the same time, employment gains, rising home values, and lower gas prices may keep spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, from foundering. Read more.

SEC GOING HIGH-TECH WITH REAL-TIME TRADE DATA

As computing power and big data have revolutionized stock trading in recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission is trying to catch up, the Washington Post reported today. This month, the agency is in the final phases of testing software that will stream real-time trade data into its headquarters, helping regulators better grasp the market’s plumbing. The technology should go live in early 2013, at a cost of $2.5 million for the year. The SEC is still coping with the public fallout from the “flash crash” that took place on May 6, 2010, when the stock market plunged nearly 1,000 points in minutes then whipsawed back up. It took the SEC about four months to unwind the billions of orders that took place that day and issue a report of what happened. Although the SEC started collecting the data in June 2010, it could not aggregate them into a single database for analysis until three months later. The incident made the wide gulf in technical prowess between the regulators and the regulated painfully clear, prompting the SEC to explore hiring an outside firm that could gather up-to-the-minute market feeds from the public exchanges. Read more.

ABI IN-DEPTH

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

Summarized by Eduardo Glas of McCarter & English, LLP

The Third Circuit ruled that an agreement that settled litigation between Spansion and Apple at the International Trade Commision pursuant to which the debtor agreed not to sue Apple in the future over the use of flash memory products was a license, and its rejection by the debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 365 permitted Apple to elect to retain its rights as licensee under 11 U.S.C. § 365(n).

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

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: CALPERS SLAMS SAN BERNARDINO BANKRUPTCY AS "SHAM"

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog discusses CalPERS firing back at the city of San Bernardino and its pendency plan for operating during the Chapter 9 case, calling it “criminal” and a “sham.” Since filing for bankruptcy, the city has stopped making its biweekly payments to CalPERS. As a result, San Bernardino now owes CalPERS approximately $8 million.

For more on the San Bernardino case and chapter 9 issues, make sure to order a copy of ABI's latest publication, Municipalities in Peril: The ABI Guide to Chapter 9, Second Edition, now available for pre-order in ABI's Bookstore.

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

ABI Quick Poll

A licensee of a trademark has the right to retain the license even when a debtor rejects the underlying contract creating the license. (Sunbeam Products, 7th Cir.)

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

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

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

Have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Account?

Join our networks to expand yours.

  

 

NEXT EVENT:

 

 

WCBC 2013
Jan. 21, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

COMING UP:

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Jan. 24-25, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 17-19, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

ACBPIKC 2013
Feb. 20-22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

Paskay 2013
March 7-9, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

BBW 2013
March 22, 2013
Register Today!

 

 

 

ASM 2013
April 18-21, 2013
Register Today!

 
   
  CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 

2013

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

February
- Caribbean Insolvency Symposium
     February 7-9, 2013 | Miami, Fla.
- Kansas City Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Institute
     February 17-19, 2013 | Kansas City, Mo.


  

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

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

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


 
 
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