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ABI Launches Veterans Affairs Task Force Website to Provide News and Information on Initiatives to Help Financially Struggling Servicemembers

Alexandria, Va. — The ABI Task Force on Veterans and Servicemembers Affairs launched veterans.abi.org to provide updates and information on initiatives and activities to assist debt-burdened veterans and servicemembers. The Task Force aims to unite and deploy the expert resources within ABI to understand, respond to and coordinate with other institutions and organizations to educate, remediate and prevent adverse debt concerns and impacts on veterans and servicemembers. The new website provides information about Task Force members, as well as projects and activities to assist financially struggling veterans and servicemembers. Specific sections include:

  • Committees: Learn about the five committees — Pro Bono, Legislation, Financial Education, Outreach and Tribal — that support the Task Force’s efforts.
  • Twitter Feed: Follow @VetAffairsTF to get the latest Task Force news and information via Twitter.
  • Members: Learn more about the professionals, including its members who are veterans and those who are active or retired servicemembers, volunteering to help financially struggling servicemembers.
  • Podcasts: Listen to the podcasts on the formation of the Task Force, how to get involved, and why the Task Force is providing Congress with information regarding the HAVEN Act of 2019.
  • Press: Read articles and news reports about Task Force activities.

Be sure to bookmark the website for ABI’s Task Force on Veterans and Servicemembers Affairs to get the latest news, information and activities of the Task Force as it advances its mission of addressing problems specific to financially struggling veterans and servicemembers.  You can also follow as the Task Force adds resources to assist veterans and servicemembers facing financial difficulties.

Members of the press looking to speak to a member of the Task Force regarding the Task Force’s efforts should contact ABI Public Affairs Manager John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or jhartgen@abiworld.org.

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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.

Student Loans, Fraudulent Transfer Actions, Trademarks and More to be Discussed at ABI's Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Consumer Forum on July 11-13

Alexandria, Va. –More than 400 practitioners will join a 16-judge faculty at ABI’s 2019 Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Consumer Forum on July 11-13 at the Newport Marriott in Newport, R.I. The conference provides up to 11/13 hours of CLE/CPE, including 1.25/1.5 hours of ethics, and will again offer a separate three-day consumer forum at a reduced registration rate. Co-chairs for the Northeast Bankruptcy Conference are David A. Rychalsky of Capstone Headwaters LLC (Boston) and Adrienne K. Walker of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. (Boston). Bankruptcy Judges Michael A. Fagone (D. Maine; Bangor) and Diane Finkle (D. R.I.; Providence) are the judicial co-chairs.

Sessions for the Northeast Bankruptcy Conference include:

  • Emerging Leaders Program
  • Bankruptcy and the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Nonprofits: The Internal Struggles of Officers and Directors
  • Early-Case Orders that Dictate the End-of-Case Orders: Efficient or Disenfranchising?
  • Not Your Parents’ Fraudulent-Transfer Action
  • Achieving Consensus in Bankruptcy Disputes Through Mediation
  • Welcome to the New Age: Don’t Be Radioactive (or a Cybersecurity Victim)
  • Other Nonbankruptcy Alternatives: Exchange Offers, Strict Foreclosures and Workouts
  • Are Trademarks Really That Special, or Did Congress Just Miss Something?
  • The Honorable James F. Queenan, Jr. Seaside Chat

In conjunction with the Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, ABI’s 2019 Northeast Consumer Forum will be held July 12-13 and will focus on consumer bankruptcy educational programs designed for both experienced and new professionals. This two-day forum offers consumer insolvency practitioners an opportunity to earn approximately 7.5/9 hours of CLE/CPE credit, including 1.25/1.5 hours of ethics. Donald R. Lassman (Needham, Mass.) and Anthony J. Manhart of PretiFlaherty (Portland, Maine) are the co-chairs of the Northeast Consumer Forum.

The Consumer Forum features the following sessions:

  • Access to Bankruptcy Justice: Expanding Opportunities (Ethics Panel)
  • Student Loans: How Do We Deal with Them Before and After Bankruptcy?
  • Violations of the Automatic Stay and the Discharge Injunction
  • Practice Pointers: When Bankruptcy and Consumer-Protection Statutes Collide

For more information about the speakers and sessions at the Northeast Consumer Forum, please visit https://www.abi.org/events/2019-northeast-bankruptcy-conference-northeast-consumer-forum.

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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.

Total April Bankruptcy Filings Increase 2 Percent over Last Year, Commercial Chapter 11s Increase 11 Percent

Alexandria, Va. Total U.S. bankruptcy filings increased 2 percent in April 2018 over April of last year, according to data provided by Epiq Systems, Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 71,260 in April 2019, up from the April 2018 total of 69,781. The 67,817 consumer bankruptcy filings in April 2019 were also up 2 percent over the April 2018 consumer total of 66,510. Total commercial filings increased 5 percent in April 2019, as the 3,443 filings were up from the 3,271 commercial filings registered in April 2018. Total commercial chapter 11 filings increased 11 percent to 440 in April 2019 from the April 2018 total of 395.

“The costs of accessing the promised fresh start of bankruptcy add another challenge to families and businesses struggling with heavy debt burdens,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “ABI’s Chapter 11 Reform Commission and Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy have released recommendations to modernize the Bankruptcy Code to provide better access to struggling households and businesses seeking a financial fresh start.”

Both the Senate and House are considering the recommendations of ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 for restructuring small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy last month issued its Final Report of recommendations to improve access to the consumer bankruptcy system. Click here to get your copy.

Meanwhile, soaring bankruptcies in the farm belt could benefit from legislation (S. 897, H.R. 2336) that would raise debt limits in chapter 12.

April’s commercial filing total represented a 5 percent increase from the March 2019 commercial filing total of 3,292. Total bankruptcy filings for the month of April, however, decreased 3 percent when compared to the 73,500 total filings recorded the previous month. Total noncommercial filings for April also represented a 3 percent decrease from the March 2019 noncommercial filing total of 70,208. Commercial chapter 11 filings fell 2 percent from the 448 filings in March 2019.

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate in April was 2.50 (total filings per 1,000 per population), a slight increase from the 2.42 filing rate during the first three months of the year. Average total filings per day in April 2019 were 3,239, a 3 percent decrease from the 3,323 total daily filings in April 2018. States with the highest per capita filing rates (total filings per 1,000 population) in April 2019 were:

1. Alabama (5.65)

2. Tennessee (5.42)

3. Mississippi (4.40)

4. Georgia (4.26)

5. Illinois (3.83)

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

For further information about the statistics or additional requests, please contact ABI Public Affairs Manager John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or jhartgen@abiworld.org.

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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 Systems is a leading provider of managed technology for the global legal profession. Epiq Systems offers innovative technology solutions for electronic discovery, document review, legal notification, claims administration and controlled disbursement of funds. Epiq System’s clients include leading law firms, corporate legal departments, bankruptcy trustees, government agencies, mortgage processors, financial institutions, and other professional advisors who require innovative technology, responsive service and deep subject-matter expertise. For more information on Epiq Systems, Inc., please visit http://www.epiqsystems.com.

 

Preparing for the Next Recession, Farm Bankruptcy Cases, Small Business Owner Chapter 13s and More to Be Discussed at ABI's 2019 Central States Bankruptcy Workshop June 13-15

Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) 2019 Central States Bankruptcy Workshop returns on June 13-15, 2019, to the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Traverse City, Mich., bringing a flexible workshop format for both consumer and business practitioners. The Workshop’s repeating sessions allow attendees to customize their personal learning experience while earning up to 8.25/9.5 hours of CLE/CPE, including 2.75/3 hours of ethics. Workshop panel sessions will feature 11 bankruptcy judges representing Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Concurrent panel sessions at the Central States Bankruptcy Workshop include:

  • Top 10 Ethics Traps and How to Avoid Them
  • E-Discovery and Cybersecurity for Insolvency Professionals
  • The Ethics of the Vulnerable Client Population in Bankruptcy
  • Judicial Roundtable

Sessions on the Workshop’s Business Track include:

  • Preparing for the Next Recession
  • Contracting Around the Bankruptcy Code and Communicating with Your Corporate Partner
  • Farm to Table, They Are All in Trouble!
  • Benefits and Pitfalls to Restructuring, Recapitalizing or Selling Out of Court

Sessions on the Workshop’s Consumer Track include:

  • Who Gets What? Chapter 7 and 13 Conversions, Dismissal Considerations and More
  • Automatic Stay Violations and Sanctions Litigation
  • The Small Business Owner’s Chapter 13

Sessions on the Workshop’s Skills Track include:

  • Effective Client Interviews, Deposition Strategies, Techniques and More
  • Understanding DIP Financing Agreements, Valuation Approaches and More

Richard E. Kruger of Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss (Southfield, Mich.) and Mark L. Radtke of Fox Rothschild LLP (Chicago) are the Workshop co-chairs. Bankruptcy Judges James W. Boyd (W.D., Mich.) and Catherine J. Furay (W.D. Wis.; Madison) are the judicial co-chairs for the Workshop.

To view the full list of expert speakers and for more information on attending ABI’s Central States Bankruptcy Workshop, please click here. Members of the press interested in attending the Workshop should contact ABI Public Affairs Manager John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or jhartgen@abiworld.org.

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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.

ABI Enters into Licensing and Publishing Partnership with Fastcase to Provide Top Insolvency Titles for Legal Research Service, Publish Consumer Commission Final Report

Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) announces that it is partnering with legal research provider Fastcase to provide ABI’s extensive catalogue of bankruptcy publications as part of Fastcase’s research suite. Fastcase’s large base of retail and bar association member benefit users will be able to purchase access to more than 30 of ABI’s top insolvency titles to add to their existing legal research accounts. To browse the ABI titles available to Fastcase subscribers, please click here.

“Pairing ABI’s superior catalogue of top insolvency titles with Fastcase’s innovative digital platform provides a powerful resource for those conducting legal research on bankruptcy,” said Karim Guirguis, ABI Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer.

“Our budding partnership with ABI is another step toward adding unique, must-have content for subscribers, and providing leading legal analysis with contributions from firm partners across the country,” said Fastcase Full Court Press Publisher Morgan Morrissette Wright.

Fastcase is also the exclusive publisher of the Final Report of ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy. The 272-page hard copy of the Consumer Commission’s Final Report is available for purchase for $39 via Fastcase’s Full Court Press publishing imprint.

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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.

 

As the smarter alternative for legal research, Fastcase democratizes the law, making it more accessible to more people. Using patented software that combines the best of legal research with the best of Web search, Fastcase helps busy users sift through the clutter, ranking the best cases first and enabling the re-sorting of results to find answers fast. Founded in 1999, Fastcase has more than 900,000 subscribers from around the world. Fastcase is an American company based in Washington, D.C. For more information, follow Fastcase on Twitter at @Fastcase, or visit http://www.fastcase.com.

 

Bankruptcy Judge Janet S. Baer Elected to ABI’s Board of Directors

Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) announces that Bankruptcy Judge Janet S. Baer (N.D. Ill.; Chicago) has been elected to ABI’s Board of Directors. An ABI member since 2010, Judge Baer is the judicial chair of ABI’s Seventh Circuit Eugene Wedoff Consumer Bankruptcy Conference and a member of ABI’s Bankruptcy Litigation, Business Reorganization, Commercial Fraud, Young and New Members Committees. She will serve a term of three years on the 60-member ABI Board of Directors.

Judge Baer was appointed to the bench in March 2012. Prior to being appointed to the bench, she was a restructuring lawyer for over 25 years and involved in some of the most significant chapter 11 bankruptcy cases in the country. The majority of her practice focused on the representation of large publicly held debtors in both restructuring and chapter 11 matters. She also represented companies in commercial litigation matters including lender liability, fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Prior to forming her own firm in 2009, Judge Baer was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Winston & Strawn and Schwartz, Cooper, Greenberger & Krauss, all in Chicago. Judge Baer earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her J.D. from DePaul College of Law.

Judge Baer is a frequent speaker for the ABI, ABA, Chicago Bar Association, IWIRC and the Turnaround Management Association. She also acts on a regular basis as the Presiding Judge in the Northern District of Illinois for Naturalization ceremonies.

The complete list of directors and officers is available at http://www.abi.org/about-us/board-directors.

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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.

Prof. Robert M. Lawless Receives Prestigious ABI Service Award

Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute presented Prof. Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois College of Law (Champaign, Ill.) with its highest membership award, the ABI Annual Service Award, at the 2019 Annual Spring Meeting on April 12, 2019. The Service Award is presented to an ABI member whose contributions over the past year have been extraordinary, as determined by ABI’s Advisory Board of past presidents. An ABI member since 1997, Prof. Lawless is the official Reporter for the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy, a two-and-a-half-year study funded by ABI’s Endowment Fund to improve the consumer bankruptcy system.

Prof. Lawless is the Max L. Rowe Professor of Law and co‐director of the Program on Law, Behavior & Social Science at the University of Illinois College of Law. In addition to numerous scholarly papers on the bankruptcy system, he is a co‐author for the eighth edition of Secured Transactions: A Systems Approach and the co‐author of Empirical Methods in Law, a textbook on empirical methodologies as applied to the study of law. Prof. Lawless administers and contributes to the blog Credit Slips, a discussion on credit, finance and bankruptcy. He also participates in the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, a long‐term research project studying persons who file bankruptcy. Prof. Lawless is a member of the American Law Institute, the National Bankruptcy Conference and the American College of Bankruptcy.     

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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.

Clifford A. Zucker of FTI Consulting Selected to ABI’s Board of Directors

Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) announces that Clifford A. Zucker of FTI Consulting (New York) has been elected to ABI’s Board of Directors. An ABI member since 2000, Zucker is on the advisory board of ABI’s Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, was a co-chair for ABI's Health Care Committee and an editor for ABI’s Health Care Insolvency Manual, 3rd Edition, and is a frequent speaker at ABI conferences. He will serve a term of three years on the 60-member ABI Board of Directors.

Zucker is a senior managing director in FTI Consulting’s Turnaround & Restructuring Services practice. He has over 30 years of experience representing companies, receivers, examiners, court-appointed trustees and unsecured and secured creditors across diverse industries. In particular, he has developed extensive expertise in the health care industry, working to restructure and transform hospitals, nursing homes, senior living facilities and physician practices. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Zucker was a partner in the Restructuring & Insolvency Advisory and Dispute Resolution Services practice of CohnReznick. Before that, he was an auditor with an accounting firm that was part of the former Big Eight. Zucker received his B.A./B.S. from Boston University in 1980.

The complete list of directors and officers is available at http://www.abi.org/about-us/board-directors.

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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.

 

Donald A. Workman of Bakerhostetler Selected to ABI’s Board of Directors

Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) announces that Donald A. Workman of BakerHostetler (Washington, D.C.) has been elected to ABI’s Board of Directors. An ABI member since 1996, Workman chairs the ABI Views from the Bench conference while also serving on seven ABI Membership Committees. He contributes regularly to the ABI Journal and is a frequent speaker at ABI conferences. He will serve a term of three years on the 60-member ABI Board of Directors.

Workman is the head of BakerHostetler's Washington, D.C., office’s Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights practice group. His practice includes business bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, debtor reorganizations, general insolvency, stockbroker liquidations and commercial litigation. He has experience representing every constituency involved in major reorganizations and workouts, including creditor committees, secured creditors, debtors, trustees, debtor-in-possession lenders, receivers, assignees for the benefit of creditors, creditors in regulated industries, and asset-purchasers. He has represented entities around the country in bankruptcy matters, including retail cases such as Toys “R” Us and Circuit City, as well as airline bankruptcies such as TWA, US Airways I and II, United, ATA, Aloha, Hawaiian Air, Delta, Northwest, Mesaba and Independence Air.

Workman was selected as a Fellow in the American Bar Foundation and is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell for preeminence in his field and his ethical standards. Additionally, he co-authored a book for CEOs and chief financial officers titled The Role of Creditors’ Committees in Chapter 11 Bankruptcies, a publication of the Thompson Cos., and Journal of Bankruptcy Law, a publication of A.S. Workman received his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law in 1991 and his B.A./B.S. from the University of Florida in 1977.

The complete list of directors and officers is available at http://www.abi.org/about-us/board-directors.

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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.

Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie Selected to ABI’s Board of Directors

Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) announces that Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie (Chicago) has been elected to ABI’s Board of Directors. An ABI member since 2008, Walker is on the advisory board for ABI’s Central States Bankruptcy Workshop and serves as the education director for ABI's Health Care Committee while also serving on ABI's Business Reorganization and Secured Credit Committees. He is also an inaugural member of ABI’s “40 Under 40” program and a frequent speaker at ABI conferences. He will serve a term of three years on the 60-member ABI Board of Directors.

Walker focuses his practice on all aspects of commercial litigation, financial restructuring and bankruptcy, including experience representing debtors, creditors, asset-purchasers, examiners and trustees in bankruptcy proceedings throughout the country. He has significant experience in the hotel and hospitality industry, regularly representing hotel owners, developers, operators, lenders and major hotel brands in transactions, state and federal litigation and bankruptcy. He also has experience in the highly regulated health care industry, representing stalking-horse bidders, asset-purchasers, landlords, unsecured creditors and other constituents in out-of-court restructuring negotiations, bankruptcy and litigation. Walker was selected as a member of the 2013 Next Generation Class at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, which is designed to identify “leaders of the next generation of bankruptcy practitioners.” He also served as a faculty member and author for the PLI 17th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute, and he frequently writes and speaks on issues of bankruptcy, hospitality and health care law. He received his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2006 and his B.A./B.S. from the University of Miami in 2000.

The complete list of directors and officers is available at http://www.abi.org/about-us/board-directors.

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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.

 

 

 

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