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Creditor Strategies Under the Small Business Reorganization Act Detailed in Summer ABI Law Review

Alexandria, Va. — Creditors will have to develop a new playbook for small business debtors because of subchapter V elections ushered in by the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA), according to an article in the Summer 2020 edition of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Law Review (Volume 28, No. 2). “The contents of this playbook depend greatly on how debtors use subchapter V, how trustees play their role under it, and how judges interpret it,” writes Prof. Christopher G. Bradley of the University of Kentucky's Rosenberg College of Law (Lexington, Ky.) in his article “The New Small Business Bankruptcy Game: Strategies for Creditors Under the Small Business Reorganization Act.” Bradley’s article presents a preliminary strategic analysis of the subchapter V provision of SBRA from the perspective of creditors that will be affected by it.

Other articles included in the Summer 2020 ABI Law Review include:

  • “The Supreme Court, Dischargeability and Actual Fraud” by Prof. David Gray Carlson of Cardozo Law (New York).
  • “Poking at Preference Actions: SBRA Amendments Signal the Need for Change” by Prof. Brook E. Gotberg of the University of Missouri School of Law (Columbia, Mo.).
  • “The Geography of Bankruptcy in Australia” by Dr. Lucinda O'Brien, Dr. Malcolm Anderson and Prof. Ian Ramsay of Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne.
  • “Disclosure Requirements for Reorganization Consultants Under the Bankruptcy Code” by Frank Pecorelli of St. John's University School of Law (New York) and recipient of the 2020 American Bankruptcy Institute Medal for Excellence in Bankruptcy Studies.

 

ABI’s Law Review, published in conjunction with St. John’s University School of Law in Jamaica, N.Y., is among the most cited and respected scholarly publications in the bankruptcy community. Now in its 28th year, it has the largest circulation of any bankruptcy law review. Past issues of the Law Review have focused on a variety of timely insolvency issues, including chapter 11 reform, distressed sectors, single-asset cases, consumer bankruptcy, revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and other topics.

Members of the press looking to obtain any of the articles from the Summer 2020 issue should contact John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or [email protected]

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Increase 17 Percent in August from Last Year, Total Filings Drop 41 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Commercial chapter 11 filings increased 17 percent in August 2020 from last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. The 526 commercial chapter 11 filings in August 2020 were up over the 450 filings registered in August 2019. All other filing categories registered decreases from last year. The 39,349 total U.S. bankruptcy filings for August 2020 represented a 41 percent decrease from the August 2019 total of 66,530 filings. The 36,877 consumer filings in August 2020 also represented a 42 percent decrease from last year’s consumer total of 63,132. Overall commercial filings in August 2020 totaled 2,472 filings, down 27 percent from the 3,398 filings in August 2019.

“A number of key factors continued to keep bankruptcy filings from overwhelming the court system,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “The CARES Act helped businesses and consumers initially weather the economic shock of the pandemic, collection, eviction and foreclosure activity was largely suspended, and quarantining measures presented challenges for struggling debtors to meet with attorneys. However, with the expiration of government stabilization programs, elevated unemployment levels and growing economic uncertainty, we anticipate a dramatic climb in filings later this year.”

Total bankruptcy filings in August 2020 represented an 8 percent decrease from the 42,865 total filings in July. The 36,877 consumer filings in August also represented an 8 percent decrease from July’s consumer total of 40,085. August 2020 business filings decreased 11 percent to 2,472 from July’s business total of 2,780. The 526 commercial chapter 11 filings recorded in August 2020 represented an 18 percent decrease from the 644 commercial chapter 11 filings in July.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in August was 1.84 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight decrease from the filing rate of 1.89 during the first seven months of 2020. Average total filings per day in August 2020 were 1,874, a decrease of 38 percent from the 3,024 total daily filings in August 2019. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in August 2020 were:

 

1. Alabama (4.16)

2. Tennessee (3.65)

3. Delaware (3.49)

4. Mississippi (3.21)

5. Georgia (3.02)

ABI has partnered with Epiq in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media. Epiq is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession. To view the full monthly statistical tables provided by Epiq, be sure to visit ABI’s Newsroom.

ABI’s COVID-19 Resources website is continually being updated for bankruptcy professionals and the public to access essential information and analysis regarding the financial distress being inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The site features exclusive ABI content on the crisis, weekly filing statistics, recommended member analysis, industry sector news, charts and more. Also, ABI’s SBRA Resources webpage is routinely updated with information, statistics, analysis and events related to the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, which went into effect this year to make bankruptcy more accessible, efficient and cheaper for struggling small businesses.

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Officer John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or [email protected].

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abi.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

Epiq, a global leader in the legal services industry, takes on large-scale, increasingly complex tasks for corporate counsel, law firms, and business professionals with efficiency, clarity, and confidence. Clients rely on Epiq to streamline the administration of business operations, class action and mass tort, court reporting, eDiscovery, regulatory, compliance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. Epiq subject-matter experts and technologies create efficiency through expertise and deliver confidence to high-performing clients around the world. Learn more at www.epiqglobal.com.

 

ABI Journal Article Examines How "Mothball Motions" Let Bankrupt Retailers Suspend Rent Payments Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Alexandria, Va. — Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, courts have alleviated some financial burdens of bankrupt retailers by granting “mothball motions,” allowing companies to shelve post-petition rental payments, according to an article in the August ABI Journal. “Stay-at-home orders spawned by the pandemic have forced many retailers to close their brick-and-mortar shops, causing severe and unexpected cash-flow shortages,” Paul J. Ricotta and Kaitlin R. Walsh of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, PC (New York) write in their article, “Mothballing Motions from Retail Debtors to Avoid Rent Payments Due to COVID-19 Pandemic.” “Most retailers lease their store locations, therefore the cost of rent constitutes a large proportion of their operating expenses.”

Retailers that have filed for bankruptcy protection prior to (Modell's and Pier 1) and during (J. Crew, True Religion and J.C. Penney) the crisis have cited the pandemic and its effects as a reason for the court to defer payment of post-petition rents, according to Ricotta and Walsh. “They have argued, among other things, that because they have been forced to "mothball" their store locations, any obligations to pay current rents should also be postponed unless and until they are allowed to fully reopen store locations.”

However, commercial landlords have strenuously objected to mothball motions. The authors write that the landlords have asserted that the well-known rule under §365(d)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code, which requires that a debtor continue to "timely" perform its post-petition obligations such as paying rent as it becomes due, should not be ignored — even during the current public health crisis.  

“To date, a majority of bankruptcy courts have been sympathetic to the exigent circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Ricotta and Walsh. The courts have allowed debtors to remain in possession of the premises and temporarily cease paying rents while at the same time continuing to pay other administrative expenses, such as salaries and professional fees. The authors write that the willingness of courts to allow debtors to defer their post-petition rent obligations in light of the ongoing uncertainty caused by COVID-19 signals a divergence from the strict enforcement of the protections previously afforded commercial landlords under §365(d)(3), and it requires landlords to shoulder more of the risk of a debtor's potential administrative insolvency.

“As stay-at-home orders expire and nonessential retail is permitted to reopen across the U.S., it remains to be seen whether motions seeking to defer post-petition rent obligations will continue to be granted, and whether courts will continue to accommodate such requests as the effects of COVID-19 (hopefully) begin to wane,” Ricotta and Walsh conclude.

To obtain your copy of “Mothballing Motions from Retail Debtors to Avoid Rent Payments Due to COVID-19 Pandemic,” please click here.

To stay up to date on the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to bookmark ABI’s Coronavirus Resources for Bankruptcy Professionals website (abi.org/covid19).

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/education-events.

Next Big Wave of Chapter 11s, Force Majeure and Business Insurance and Bankruptcy Issues Related to PPP Loans Among ABI Sessions Featured at Insolvency 2020 Virtual Summit

Alexandria, Va. —American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) sessions will be part of the Insolvency 2020 Restructuring, Insolvency and Distressed Debt Virtual Summit to examine key issues facing the commercial bankruptcy landscape. ABI and 15 leading insolvency organizations are participating in the Virtual Summit from Sept. 16 – Oct. 27 to bring together thought leaders from the worlds of restructuring, insolvency and distressed debt for insightful online programming and engaging networking via a state-of-the-art virtual platform. ABI will feature top-rated sessions, including Great Debates, to add to the Summit’s flexible schedule of online sessions, creative optional events and virtual networking opportunities. More than 170 leading industry professionals will be taking part on panels, which will offer more than 50 hours of educational content throughout the Summit.

“Bankruptcy practitioners have answered the calls of struggling businesses facing the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, but have had limited opportunities to recharge their skill sets, discuss key issues and network with their peers,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “ABI is proud to join with leading organizations at the Virtual Summit to offer attendees enhanced programming, networking and events to strengthen and grow their connections within the insolvency community, and we are pleased that we are able to play such a pivotal role in making this Summit a reality.”

ABI sessions at the Insolvency 2020 Restructuring, Insolvency and Distressed Debt Virtual Summit include:

  • Views from the Bench: Great Debates
  • Force Majeure and Business-Interruption Insurance
  • Views from the Bench: Dilemmas of an Official Committee
  • Views from the Bench: Mass Torts
  • Views from the Bench: Sales — Chapter 11 or § 363?
  • Views from the Bench: Confirmation Roundtables: Competing Interests in Today's Chapter 11
  • ABI: How to Restructure an Industry that Has Been Shut Down, and How to Prove Feasibility When You're Starting from Ground Zero
  • ABI: Next Big Wave of Chapter 11's: Corporate Real Estate
  • ABI: Bankruptcy Issues Related to PPP Loans and Other Pandemic Governmental Lending Programs
  • Views from the Bench: Ethics

Attendees will be able to flexibly choose from an array of timely educational sessions, tour the virtual Exhibit Hall to view tools to boost their practice, and connect with colleagues from across the business bankruptcy and insolvency community in strategic networking sessions — all hosted on a cutting-edge online platform. More than 30 hours of CLE/CPE credit will be available for the Virtual Summit.

Members of the press looking to attend the Virtual Summit should contact ABI Public Affairs Officer John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or [email protected].

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.

 

July Commercial Chapter 11s Increase 52 Percent over Last Year, Total Filings Down 33 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Total commercial chapter 11 filings in July 2020 increased 52 percent from the previous year, according to data provided by Epiq. Commercial chapter 11 filings totaled 643 in July 2020, expanding from the July 2019 total of 423. Conversely, total commercial filings decreased 17 percent in July 2020, as the 2,768 filings were down from the 3,314 commercial filings registered in July 2019. The 42,861 total bankruptcy filings in July 2020 were down 33 percent from the 64,345 total filings in July 2019. Total consumer filings decreased 34 percent in July 2020, as the 40,093 filings fell from the 61,031 consumer filings registered in July 2019.

“As the government considers renewing or bolstering lifelines to help stabilize the economy, the financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic is weighing on families and businesses,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “We anticipate filings increasing in the next few months as more households and companies seek the shelter of bankruptcy amid intensifying financial distress.”

Congress is currently considering another economic stimulus package as important aid provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) have or will shortly expire. The weekly unemployment bonus of $600 established by the CARES Act ended on July 31, and the deadline for businesses to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8.

ABI’s COVID-19 Resources website is continually being updated for bankruptcy professionals and the public to access essential information and analysis regarding the financial distress being inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The site features exclusive ABI content on the crisis, weekly filing statistics, recommended member analysis, industry sector news, charts and more. Also, ABI’s SBRA Resources webpage is routinely updated with information, statistics, analysis and events related to the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, which went into effect this year to make bankruptcy more accessible, efficient and cheaper for struggling small businesses.

July’s commercial chapter 11 filings represented a 6 percent increase from the 609 filings in June 2020. Total commercial filings were up 2 percent over the June 2020 commercial filing total of 2,713. Total bankruptcy filings in July represented a 1 percent increase over the 42,425 total filings recorded the previous month. Total noncommercial filings for July also represented a 1 percent increase from the June 2020 noncommercial filing total of 39,712.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in July was 1.89 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight decrease from the filing rate of 1.92 during the first six months of 2020. Average total filings per day in July 2020 were 1,948, a 33 percent decrease from the 2,925 total daily filings in July 2019. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in July 2020 were:

1. Alabama (4.31)

2. Tennessee (3.75)

3. Delaware (3.70)

4. Mississippi (3.35)

5. Georgia (3.12)

ABI has partnered with Epiq in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media. Epiq is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession. To view the full monthly statistic tables provided by Epiq, be sure to visit ABI’s Newsroom.

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Officer John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or [email protected].

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abi.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

Epiq, a global leader in the legal services industry, takes on large-scale, increasingly complex tasks for corporate counsel, law firms, and business professionals with efficiency, clarity, and confidence. Clients rely on Epiq to streamline the administration of business operations, class action and mass tort, court reporting, eDiscovery, regulatory, compliance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. Epiq subject-matter experts and technologies create efficiency through expertise and deliver confidence to high-performing clients around the world. Learn more at www.epiqglobal.com.

 

COVID-19 Pandemic Propels Court Systems Around the World to Rapidly Digitize Their Practices and Procedures, According to ABI Journal Article

Alexandria, Va. — One effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on legal systems around the world is that common law jurisdictions (such as the U.S.) and civil law jurisdictions (such as Quebec and France) are being forced to accelerate the move toward electronic signatures, electronic filings and remote notarizations, according to an article in the July ABI Journal. “The novel coronavirus disease has altered the way that legal professionals practice law across the globe, as courts in both the common law and civil law traditions have had to modify the administration of law to do their part to enforce health restrictions,” Rafael X. Zahralddin-Aravena of Elliott Greenleaf, PC (Wilmington, Del.), Antoine Leduc of Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melancon, LLP (Montréal) and Olya Antle of Cooley LLP (Washington, D.C.) write in their article, “COVID-19: A Catalyst of Modernization Across Jurisdictions.”

While courts closed, then reopened primarily virtually, as their services are deemed "essential" functions in many jurisdictions, the authors write that some modernization efforts had already been underway long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Zahralddin-Aravena, Leduc and Antle pointed to three efforts prior to the pandemic shutdowns this year to move courts toward digital processes:

  1. Global Proliferation of Electronic Transactions: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported that 145 countries across the globe have adopted laws to facilitate electronic transactions.
  2. Movement Toward Digitized Records, Electronic Filings and e-Signatures: Canada adopted the Uniform Electronic Commerce Act in 1998, and the U.S. has recognized electronic transactions, including smart contracts and electronic signatures, through the U.S. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN Act), passed in 2000, as well as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, released in 1999.
  3. Electronic Notarizations and Remote Online Notarizations: Even before the pandemic, a number of states in the U.S. permitted electronic notarizations or e-notarizations, which involve the notarization of electronic signatures on documents in electronic format.

In light of the pandemic, Zahralddin-Aravena, Leduc and Antle write that many modernization efforts accelerated for court systems. “In bankruptcy (and other federal) courts across the U.S., ‘wet signatures’ have been eliminated for most filings under the CM/ECF system; however, the majority of the U.S. bankruptcy courts have gone a step further by temporarily suspending the requirement to obtain ‘wet signatures’ on documents for which such signatures were required, including debtors' voluntary petitions for bankruptcy relief,” according to the authors.

While the modernization of the Québec judiciary system is still at an early stage, the authors write that all Québec Superior Court judges have received special training on videoconference facilities and have formed a judicial IT Committee. “There is no e-filing system, and new urgent applications must still be filed at the court registry on paper with court fees paid at the registry, but this is about to change in the forthcoming weeks,” they write.

“As legal systems throughout the world are propelled into the digital age, they will emerge from the current crisis dramatically transformed post-pandemic,” Zahralddin-Aravena, Leduc and Antle conclude.

To stay up to date on the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to bookmark ABI’s Coronavirus Resources for Bankruptcy Professionals website (abi.org/covid19). Mr. Zahralddin-Aravena also leads ABI’s COVID-19 Global Economic Response Project (globalinsolvency.com/covid19).

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/education-events.

 

Cannabis in Bankruptcy, Distressed Health Care Providers, Key 'ABI Talks' Among Sessions Featured at ABI's 2020 Mid-Atlantic Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop

Alexandria, Va. — Bankruptcy judges and leading practitioners from the Third and Fourth U.S. Judicial Circuits will examine important and timely topics pertaining to both consumer and business bankruptcy practice at ABI’s 2020 Mid-Atlantic Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop on August 6 and 7. The virtual program will take place via an innovative Zoom meeting environment, allowing attendees to choose from a range of interactive educational sessions during the two-day event from the comfort of their home or office. Up to 4/4.5 hours of general CLE/CPE credit are available for the program, including 1 hour of ethics. This online workshop will also provide participants with ample opportunities to network virtually with bankruptcy professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond — for a total price of $100.  

One of the featured sessions at the Virtual Workshop will be the “ABI Talks,” presented in the style of TED Talks. The ABI Talks will focus on three important issues: (1) the coronavirus, namely the reaction of the market, what industries have been/are going to be hurt the most, and the potential short-term and long-term financial implications of the outbreak; (2) the changing public perceptions of bankruptcy, looking at the way history has moved from imprisoning debtors to bankruptcy being such a commonly accepted tool to address debts that even the President has used it; and (3) social issues in bankruptcy, such as the #MeToo movement and the Catholic priest and Boy Scouts scandals.

Other sessions at the Mid-Atlantic Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop include:

  • Cannabis in Bankruptcy
  • Bax Decision
  • The Pros and Cons of Transactions Involving Distressed Hospitals and Health Care Providers
  • Ethics: How to Get Retained as Debtors’ Attorneys
  • Judicial Round-and-Round

Program co-chairs for the Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop are Anne Eberhardt of Gavin/Solmonese LLC (New York), Shanti M. Katona of Polsinelli (Wilmington, Del.) and Lisa B. Tancredi of Gebhardt & Smith LLP (Baltimore). The judicial co-chairs for the workshop are Bankruptcy Judges Ashely Chan (E.D. Pa.; Philadelphia) and Stacey L. Meisel (D. N.J.; Newark).

If you are a member of the press and would be interested in attending the 2020 ABI Mid-Atlantic Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop, please contact ABI Public Affairs Officer John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or [email protected]

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

Small Business Bankruptcies, Workout Strategies, Litigation Tips During COVID-19 Crisis and More to Be Discussed at ABI's Northeast Virtual Bankruptcy Conference & Consumer Forum on July 29 & 30

Alexandria, Va. – Leading insolvency professionals from the Northeast region will join 10 judges to present their insights on a variety of important and timely topics pertaining to both consumer and business bankruptcy practice at ABI’s 2020 Northeast Virtual Bankruptcy Conference and Consumer Forum. Held on July 29 and 30 via an innovative Zoom meeting environment, the virtual conference provides up to 4.25/5 hours of general CLE/CPE credit, including 1 hour of ethics. This online workshop will also provide participants with ample opportunities to network virtually with bankruptcy professionals in the Northeast and beyond — for a total price of $100.

Bankruptcy Judge Diane Finkle (D. R.I.; Providence) is the judicial chair and Julia Frost-Davies of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (Boston) and David A. Rychalsky of Capstone Headwaters (Boston) are the co-chairs of the Northeast Bankruptcy Conference. Janet J. Goldman, Attorney at Law (Warwick, R.I.) and Anthony J. Manhart of PretiFlaherty (Portland, Maine) are the co-chairs of the Northeast Consumer Forum.

Sessions for the Northeast Virtual Bankruptcy Conference and Consumer Forum include:

  • The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019
  • Exploring the Effects of and Novelties Related to the Coronavirus in the Bankruptcy World
  • Litigation in a Virtual World: Strategies, Technology Issues and Ethical Considerations
  • Bankruptcy Mediation in Consumer Cases: New Tools for Changing Times
  • Out of Workouts
  • Judicial Round-and-Round

For more information about the program, please click here. Members of the press that would like to attend ABI’s 2020 Northeast Virtual Bankruptcy Conference and Consumer Forum should contact ABI Public Affairs Officer John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or [email protected]

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

Agricultural Bankruptcies, Top Consumer Bankruptcy Issues, Valuation Testimony and More to Be Discussed at ABI’s 2020 Southeast Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop on July 24

Alexandria, Va. — Ten bankruptcy judges and top bankruptcy professionals based in the Southeast will discuss the latest bankruptcy topics at ABI’s 2020 Southeast Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop on July 24. The workshop will be held via an innovative Zoom-format that brings together the region’s top insolvency professionals for an afternoon of interactive and informative programming. Attendees have the opportunity to earn up to 5.1 hours of CLE credit, including 1.2 hours of ethics, and engage in valuable networking with regional colleagues — all from the comfort of home or office — for a total price of $100.

Program co-chairs for the Southeast Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop are James R. Irving of Dentons Bingham Greenebaum (Louisville, Ky.) and Jennifer M. McLemore of Williams Mullen (Richmond, Va.). The judicial chair for the workshop is Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin A. Kahn (M.D.N.C.; Greensboro).

Sessions at the Southeast Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop include:

  • Judicial Merry-Go-Round
  • Big Ag Panel
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Hot Topics
  • Valuation Testimony
  • How to Have Your Evidence Admitted
  • Ethics Quick Hits

For more information about the program, please click here. Members of the press that would like to attend ABI’s 2020 Southeast Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop should contact ABI Public Affairs Officer John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or [email protected]

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

 

 

Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Increase 26 Percent in First Half of 2020 over Last Year, Total Filings Drop 23 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Total commercial chapter 11 filings during the first six months of the year (Jan. 1-June 30) increased 26 percent to 3,604 from the 2,855 total filings during the same period in 2019, according to data provided by Epiq. Total bankruptcy filings decreased to 298,080 during the first six months of 2020, a 23 percent decrease from the 388,594 total filings during the same period a year ago. Total consumer filings registered a 24 percent decrease, as the 280,649 filings during the first half of 2020 were down from the 368,953 filings during the first six months of 2019. The 17,431 total commercial filings for the first half of 2020 represented an 11 percent drop from the commercial filing total of 19,641 for the first half of 2019.

“Businesses and consumers continue to navigate a challenging economic course as a result of the financial crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “As government lifelines to help stabilize the economy begin to expire, bankruptcy provides a shield for households and companies facing intensifying financial distress. We anticipate filings to begin increasing as a result.”

Total commercial chapter 11 bankruptcies for the month of June 2020 were 609, representing a 44 percent increase from the 424 commercial chapter 11 filings in June 2019, according to Epiq’s data. During June there were a number of notable chapter 11 cases filed, including two more Catholic Dioceses, numerous large energy-related cases including Chesapeake Energy, and a number of well-known national companies such as 24 Hour Fitness, General Nutrition, Libbey Glass and Chuck E. Cheese. More than one-half of the chapter 11 cases filed during the month were actually associated cases filed by the subsidiaries of a larger financial group.

Total commercial bankruptcies slipped to 2,697 filings in June 2020, a 13 percent decrease from the 3,097 registered in June 2019. Total bankruptcy filings in June 2020 fell 31 percent to 42,416 from the 61,102 total filings in June 2019. Noncommercial bankruptcies for June 2020 decreased 32 percent, to 39,719 from the 58,005 filings in June 2019.

ABI’s COVID-19 Resources website is continually updated for bankruptcy professionals and the public to access essential information and analysis regarding the financial distress being inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The site features exclusive ABI content on the crisis, weekly filing statistics, recommended member analysis, industry sector news, charts and more. Also, ABI’s SBRA Resources webpage is routinely updated with information, statistics, analysis and events related to the Small Business Reorganization Act that went into effect this year to make bankruptcy more accessible, efficient and cheaper for struggling small businesses.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first six calendar months of 2020 (Jan. 1-June 30) decreased slightly to 1.92 (total filings per 1,000 per population) from 1.98 for the first five months. The average total filings per day in June 2020 were 1,928, a 37 percent decrease from the 3,055 total daily filings in June 2019. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first six months of 2020 were:

1. Alabama (4.46)

2. Delaware (3.89)

3. Tennessee (3.88)

4. Mississippi (3.49)

5. Georgia (3.25)

ABI has partnered with Epiq in order to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers and members of the news media. Epiq is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession. 

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Officer John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or [email protected].

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abi.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

Epiq, a global leader in the legal services industry, takes on large-scale, increasingly complex tasks for corporate counsel, law firms, and business professionals with efficiency, clarity, and confidence. Clients rely on Epiq to streamline the administration of business operations, class action and mass tort, court reporting, eDiscovery, regulatory, compliance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. Epiq subject-matter experts and technologies create efficiency through expertise and deliver confidence to high-performing clients around the world. Learn more at https://www.epiqglobal.com.

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