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July Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 18 Percent from Last Year

Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             [email protected]

JULY CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS FALL 18 PERCENT FROM LAST YEAR

August 2, 2011, Alexandria, Va. - July consumer bankruptcies decreased 18 percent nationwide from July 2010, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The data showed that the overall consumer filing total for July reached 113,470, down from the 137,698 consumer filings recorded in July 2010. It was the seventh straight month of fewer bankruptcies in 2011 than last year.

'The continued decline in consumer bankruptcies in tandem with a sluggish economy is a reflection of the deleveraging of household debts and tightening of consumer credit over the past year,' said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. 'Should these trends persist, we expect to see fewer consumer bankruptcies in 2011 than were filed in 2010.'

The July 2011 filings also represented a 5 percent decrease from the June 2011 consumer bankruptcy total of 119,768 filings. The percentage of chapter 13 filings for July was 29 percent, a one percent increase from June.

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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 more than 13,000 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.

NBKRC is an online research center that offers subscribers access to up-to-date research and statistics on bankruptcy filings. The database contains complete information dating back to 1995. For more information on NBKRC, please visit http://www.nbkrc.com.

*Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is available to both individual and business debtors. Its purpose is to achieve a fair distribution to creditors of the debtor's available non-exempt property.  Unsecured debts not reaffirmed are discharged, providing a fresh financial start.

Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both business and consumer debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going concern or reorganize an individual's finances through a court-approved reorganization plan.

Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special debt relief to a family farmer with regular income from farming.

Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for an individual with regular income whose debts do not exceed specific amounts; it is typically used to budget some of the debtor's future earnings under a plan through which unsecured creditors are paid in whole or in part. 

 

Total U.S. Bankruptcies in First Half of 2011 Down 8 Percent over First Half of 2010 Second Quarter Consumer Filings Increase 4 Percent from First Quarter

Contact: Carolyn Kanon
             703-739-0800
             [email protected]

TOTAL U.S. BANKRUPTCIES IN FIRST HALF OF 2011 DOWN 8 PERCENT OVER FIRST HALF OF 2010; SECOND QUARTER CONSUMER FILINGS INCREASE 4 PERCENT FROM FIRST QUARTER

 

August 5, 2011 Alexandria, Va. — The total number of U.S. bankruptcies filed during the first six months of 2011 dropped 8 percent over the same six-month period in 2010, according to data released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Total filings reached 745,968 during the first half of calendar year 2011 (January 1-June 30), compared to 810,209 cases filed over the same period in 2010. Total bankruptcy filings increased 4 percent, however, during the second quarter of 2011 (April 1-June 30), which totaled 379,790, from the 366,178 filings in the first quarter of 2011 (January 1-March 31) due to an increase in consumer bankruptcy filings.

'The broad trend of a leveling or even decline in consumer bankruptcies in tandem with a sluggish economy is a reflection of the deleveraging of household debts and tightening of consumer credit over the past year,' said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. 'Should these trends persist, we expect to see fewer consumer bankruptcies in 2011 than were filed in 2010.'

Business filings decreased 15 percent for the six-month period ending June 30, 2011, to 24,680 from the first-half 2010 total of 29,059. Chapter 7 business liquidations also fell by 15 percent, as there were 17,284 in the first half of 2011 compared with the 20,385 business chapter 7 filings during the same period in 2010. Chapter 11 business reorganizations registered the sharpest decrease, as the 5,172 filings during the first half of 2011 represented a 16 percent drop from the 6,152 total chapter 11 business filings during the first half of 2010. Total business filings decreased slightly (1 percent) from 12,376 in the first quarter 2011 to 12,304 in the second quarter 2011.

Filings by individuals or households with consumer debt decreased 8 percent to 721,288 for the six-month period ending June 30, 2011, from the 2010 first-half total of 781,150. Consumers filing for chapter 7 protection decreased 9 percent to 518,097 during the first half of 2011 from 571,417 during the first six months of 2010. Consumer chapter 13 filings dropped as well, decreasing 3 percent as 202,292 consumers filed for chapter 13 in the first half of 2011, down from 208,778 during the first half of 2010. The 367,486 total consumer filings for the second quarter of 2011 showed a 4 percent increase from the 353,802 total consumer filings in the first quarter of 2011.

The 379,790 total filings for the second calendar quarter 2011 (April 1-June 30) represented a 10 percent decrease from the second quarter 2010 filing total of 422,061. Consumer filings also decreased 10 percent from 407,609 recorded in the second quarter of 2010 to 367,486 filings in the second quarter of 2011. Business filings decreased 15 percent from 14,452 in the second quarter of 2010 to 12,304 filings in the second quarter of 2011.

The 1,529,560 total filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, represented a 3 percent overall decrease from the same period in 2010, which totaled 1,572,597. The bankruptcy filing rate per thousand U.S. residents totaled 4.85 for all chapters during the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, as 3.44 Americans per thousand filed for chapter 7 while 1.37 per thousand filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Nevada maintained its position as the state with the highest per capita filing rate in the country, with 10.13 residents per thousand filing in all chapters, and also had the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 7 filings at 7.62. The state with the highest per capita filing rate for chapter 13 bankruptcy was Alabama at 3.92 per thousand for the 12-month period ended June 30, 2011.

Non-business filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, were down to 1,477,426, a 2 percent decrease from the 1,512,989 total non-business filings over the same period in 2010. Business filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, totaled 52,134, down 13 percent from the 59,608 business bankruptcy petitions filed in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010.

The 1,083,671 total chapter 7 filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, represent a 4 percent decrease from the 1,133,320 filings from the same period in 2010. Total chapter 11 filings decreased 11 percent to 12,714 in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, from 14,272 during the same period in 2010. Total chapter 13 filings increased 2 percent to 432,333 in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, from 424,242 during the same period last year. Chapter 12 filings increased 8 percent from 660 in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, to 717 for the same period in 2011.

Chapter breakdowns of BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending June 30, 2011: 8,669 chapter 7s; 2,567 chapter 11s; 166 chapter 12s; and 881 chapter 13s.

Chapter breakdown of NON-BUSINESS filings for the 3-month period ending June 30, 2011: 265,759 chapter 7s; 441 chapter 11s; and 101,286 chapter 13s.

Districts with the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE INCREASE in total filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011 (compared to the identical period in 2010):

  1. Southern District of Florida: 15.1%
  2. Central District of California: 13.0%
  3. District of Utah: 12.8%
  4. Southern District of Texas: 4.9%
  5. Western District of Washington: 4.2%

Districts with the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE DECREASE in total filings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011 (compared to the identical period in 2010):

  1. District of Northern Mariana Islands: -69.2%
  2. District of Vermont: -18.9%
  3. Southern District of West Virginia: -18.6%
  4. Western District of New York: -16.9%
  5. Northern District of West Virginia: -14.7%

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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 more than 13,000 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 http://www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.

*Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is available to both individual and business debtors. Its purpose is to achieve a fair distribution to creditors of the debtor's available non-exempt property. Unsecured debts not reaffirmed are discharged, providing a fresh financial start.

Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both business and consumer debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going concern or reorganize an individual's finances through a court-approved reorganization plan.

Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special debt relief to a family farmer with regular income from farming.

Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for an individual with regular income whose debts do not exceed specific amounts; it is typically used to budget some of the debtor's future earnings under a plan through which unsecured creditors are paid in whole or in part.

 

August Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Fall 11 Percent from Last Year

Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             [email protected]

AUGUST CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS FALL 11 PERCENT FROM LAST YEAR

September 2, 2011, Alexandria, Va. — August consumer bankruptcies decreased 11 percent nationwide from August 2010, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The data showed that the overall consumer filing total for August declined to 113,432, down from the 127,028 consumer filings recorded in August 2010. Each month of 2011 has recorded fewer bankruptcies than last year.
 
“Consumer bankruptcies continue to decline over the past year as households deleverage and consumer credit remains tight,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As a result, total consumer filings will be lower in 2011 than the 1.5 million consumer cases in 2010.”
 
The August 2011 filings also represented a less than a 1 percent decrease from the July 2011 consumer bankruptcy total of 113,470 filings. The percentage of chapter 13 filings for August was 30 percent, a one percent increase from July.

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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 more than 13,000 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.
 
NBKRC is an online research center that offers subscribers access to up-to-date research and statistics on bankruptcy filings. The database contains complete information dating back to 1995. For more information on NBKRC, please visit http://www.nbkrc.com.
*Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the American Bankruptcy Institute.
 
Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is available to both individual and business debtors. Its purpose is to achieve a fair distribution to creditors of the debtor’s available non-exempt property.  Unsecured debts not reaffirmed are discharged, providing a fresh financial start.
 
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both business and consumer debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going concern or reorganize an individual’s finances through a court-approved reorganization plan.
 
Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special debt relief to a family farmer with regular income from farming.
 
Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for an individual with regular income whose debts do not exceed specific amounts; it is typically used to budget some of the debtor’s future earnings under a plan through which unsecured creditors are paid in whole or in part.   

ABI Quick Poll Responses Mixed as to Whether Municipalities Should Be Required to Go Through Mediation Before Filing for Chapter 9

Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             [email protected]

ABI QUICK POLL RESPONSES MIXED AS TO WHETHER MUNICIPALITIES SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO GO THROUGH MEDIATION BEFORE FILING FOR CHAPTER 9

September 15, 2011, Alexandria, Va.— Though not achieving a majority, more respondents in a closely divided ABI Quick Poll thought that local governments should be required to first go through mediation before filing for chapter 9. Forty-nine percent agreed (30 percent “strongly agreed” and 19 percent “somewhat agreed”) and 44 percent disagreed (33 percent “strongly disagreed” and 11 percent “somewhat disagreed”) that mediation should be required prior to a municipal government filing for chapter 9. Five percent “did not know or had no opinion” on the question.
 
Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code provides for the reorganization of municipalities (including cities and towns, as well as villages, counties, taxing districts, municipal utilities and school districts). Financially struggling towns and local governments looking to recover from the recent recession are finding it harder to restructure debts accrued for infrastructure costs, as well as employee-related costs for health care, pensions and wages. Alabama’s Jefferson County is trying to avert a chapter 9 filing by continuing to work on an agreement with creditors of a failed sewer-bond refinancing. Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, is still negotiating debt payments on an incinerator system that has had the city’s council discussing a chapter 9 filing since 2009.
 
In California, legislation designed to limit the discretion of cities, counties, special districts and other public agencies from filing for bankruptcy is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) after passing the state legislature earlier this month. Assembly Bill 506 would bar local government agencies from filing for bankruptcy until they undergo mediation or hold a public hearing and declare a fiscal emergency threatening the health, safety or well-being of residents. The bill is a priority for public employee unions whose contracts might be disturbed by a chapter 9 filing.
 
 
ABI’s Quick Poll is posted on ABI’s home page, www.abiworld.org. ABI members and the public are invited to respond to a question on a timely bankruptcy or insolvency issue. Visit http://www.abiworld.net/quickpoll/ to access the results of previous ABI Quick Polls.

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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 over 13,000 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.

ABIs Growing Social Media Presence Provides Members and the Public with a New Forum for Bankruptcy News and Events

Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             [email protected]

ABI’S GROWING SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE PROVIDES MEMBERS AND THE PUBLIC WITH A NEW FORUM FOR BANKRUPTCY NEWS AND EVENTS

September 30, 2011, Alexandria, Va. — With nearly 2,700 LinkedIn members, over 1,000 Twitter followers and more than 500 Facebook fans, the American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) social presence continues to expand to provide the most up-to-date bankruptcy information to practitioners and the public. In conjunction with an award-winning website, publications and educational materials, ABI’s social media channels provide members and the public an expedient way of delivering bankruptcy information on familiar networks for users to efficiently share.
 
ABI’s growth in social media supplements the organization’s mission to act as a forum for its members and the public to find out about and discuss important bankruptcy topics. Posts to ABI’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn networks deliver information on hot bankruptcy topics and news, updates on ABI events and programming, and the latest membership resources that ABI has to offer. ABI also utilizes social media to provide a social media forum for discussion at conferences and events by assigning and promoting a unique Twitter hashtag to each of its conferences. Additionally, ABI provides discounts and exclusive offers over all of its networks for its members and the public to save on ABI events and products.
 
If you are looking to expand your social networking presence or engage in discussions on topics related to bankruptcy, ABI invites you to join its social networks:
 
Twitter: http://twitter.abi.org
 
Facebook: http://facebook.abi.org
 
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.abi.org
(Note: ABI’s LinkedIn page is currently restricted to ABI members only.)

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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 13,000 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.   

Professor Jason Kilborn to Serve as Fall 2011 ABI Resident Scholar

Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             [email protected]

PROFESSOR JASON KILBORN TO SERVE AS FALL 2011 ABI RESIDENT SCHOLAR

 
September 9, 2011, Alexandria, Va. — Prof. Jason Kilborn will serve as the Robert M. Zinman ABI Resident Scholar for the fall 2011 semester. Prof. Kilborn teaches bankruptcy, secured transactions and corporations at The John Marshall Law School (Chicago) and is one of the nation’s leading scholars on comparative law in consumer bankruptcy. He will be based in ABI's Alexandria, Va., office, assisting ABI with its educational programming and in its role as the authoritative source of bankruptcy information for Congress, the media and the public. While at ABI, Prof. Kilborn will serve as co-editor for upcoming books and monographs, including the forthcoming ABI Year in Review in Consumer Bankruptcy. He will also host podcasts at ABI World and serve as a speaker at ABI’s 7th Annual Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference and the 23rd Annual Winter Leadership Conference.
 
Prof. Kilborn has written several pioneering articles and a book examining developing consumer insolvency systems throughout Europe.  He also co-authored a book on international cooperation in cross-border business reorganization, published by Oxford University Press in 2009. Prof. Kilborn is the lead scholar assisting The World Bank in an ongoing examination of legal regimes for the treatment of insolvency of natural persons, with a global presentation coming this November in Washington, D.C.
 
After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, Prof. Kilborn clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit before becoming an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York, and later joined the Washington, D.C., office of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. He previously taught at Louisiana State University Law School and as a visiting professor at the University of Texas.

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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 more than 13,000 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.   

Supreme Courts Ruling in Stern v. Marshall Complicates Bankruptcy Process According to ABI Journal Article

Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             [email protected]

SUPREME COURT’S RULING IN STERN V. MARSHALL COMPLICATES BANKRUPTCY PROCESS, ACCORDING TO ABI JOURNAL ARTICLE

October 3, 2011, Alexandria, Va. — An article in the October edition of the ABI Journal finds that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Stern v. Marshall could cause considerable consternation in the administration of bankruptcies going forward. Author David P. Leibowitz of Lakeland Law (Chicago) provides potential implications of the Court’s ruling in Stern as well as the historical precedent used by the Court in determining that a state law counterclaim to a proof of claim is not within the constitutional jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court, and that such a counterclaim must rather be heard by an Article III judge or a state court judge. “The Court will not tolerate anything that in any way tends to limit or usurp the judicial power of Article III courts,” Leibowitz writes.
 
The constitutional foundation centers primarily on the jurisdiction of Article I courts, including bankruptcy courts, and Article III courts, including federal district courts. While both were authorized by Constitution, Article III, or judicial courts are the only courts with judicial power whose judges serve a lifetime tenure. Bankruptcy courts, or legislative courts, created by Congress under Article I function as units of the district courts and have subject-matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases. While Leibowitz explores previous Supreme Court cases that have dealt with jurisdictional issues in bankruptcy cases, he highlights the Supreme Court’s 1982 ruling in Northern Pipeline Constr. Co. v. Marathon Pipeline Co. In that case, the Court focused on the importance of separation of powers, especially the importance of lifetime tenure of Article III judges, which bankruptcy judges do not have. The Court in Marathon ruled that matters that are “inherently judicial” were to be decided exclusively by Article III courts in the federal system.
 
In Stern v. Marshall, “the Supreme Court asserted its zealous protection of Article III courts’ prerogatives even more emphatically than it did in Marathon,” according to Leibowitz. Though Justice Roberts minimized the practical consequences of Stern in speaking for the Court, Leibowtiz wrote that a number of subsequent adversary proceedings involving proofs of claim, which were formerly heard by the bankruptcy courts prior to the Stern decision, must now be heard in district court. “Matters that had been heard in bankruptcy court will now be subject to forum-shopping in the district and state courts,” Leibowtiz wrote. “Stern will cause considerable consternation in bankruptcy circles for some time,” according to Leibowitz, and bankruptcy judges might “feel a lot more like erstwhile bankruptcy referees.” 
 
To obtain a copy of “Stern v. Marshall: A Constitutional Conundrum,” published in the October edition of the ABI Journal, please contact John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or via email at [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 13,000 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.

ABI Journal Article Details How Terminated Employees Scored a Key Ruling on Priority Treatment of Severance Claims

Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             [email protected]

ABI JOURNAL ARTICLE DETAILS HOW TERMINATED EMPLOYEES SCORED A KEY RULING ON PRIORITY TREATMENT OF SEVERANCE CLAIMS

September 6, 2011, Alexandria, Va. — An article in the September edition of the ABI Journal looks at a recent district court ruling that provided laid-off employees with a key victory on the priority treatment of severance claims. Author Gregory Fox of Friedman Kaplan Seller & Adelman LLP (New York) explains how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit addressed the issue in the chapter 11 case of Land America Financial Group, Inc. The Fourth Circuit upheld a bankruptcy court ruling to grant full priority treatment to severance claims of laid-off employees of LandAmerica. “This case represents a bittersweet victory for the workers who are often the casualties of bankruptcy, and should be considered carefully by corporations seeking to address severance obligations through a chapter 11 plan,” Fox writes.
 
Employee layoffs are frequently part of a failing company’s cost-cutting strategy. During the 180-day period prior to filing for chapter 11 in 2008, LandAmerica terminated 125 employees who, as of the bankruptcy filing, had not received their severance payments owed to them under the company’s severance plan. The former employees then filed proofs of claim against the company’s bankruptcy estate, seeking priority treatment for their claims up to the statutory cap set by § 507(a)(4) of the Bankruptcy Code. The liquidating trustee appointed under LandAmerica’s confirmed reorganization plan objected to these proofs of claim in 2010. The bankruptcy court overruled the trustee’s objections and held that the severance pay was earned on the date of the worker’s termination and the severance claims brought by the former employees were entitled to priority treatment. On July 6, 2011, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court’s ruling that LandAmerica’s former employees should receive priority treatment to recoup their severance claims.

“The Fourth Circuit bolstered a significant employee-protection statute and went against the grain of case law that had been upholding debtors’ and trustees’ efforts to limit the amount of severance obligations that actually reaches the pockets of terminated employees,” Fox wrote. “In the future, debtors seeking to take advantage of the chapter 11 process will need to consider the result in LandAmerica if they have significant unpaid severance obligations incurred six months in advance of the bankruptcy filing.”


To obtain a copy of “Laid-Off Employees Score Key Victory on Priority Treatment of Severance Claims,” published in the September edition of the ABI Journal, please contact John Hartgen at 703-894-5935 or via email at [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 13,000 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.

ABIs Powerful New Search Engine Blazes Across Archives to Find the Information That Bankruptcy Professionals Need

Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             [email protected]

ABI’S POWERFUL NEW SEARCH ENGINE BLAZES ACROSS ARCHIVES TO FIND THE INFORMATION THAT BANKRUPTCY PROFESSIONALS NEED

September 29, 2011, Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) has developed a new, more powerful online search engine (http://search.abi.org) that allows ABI members to search content across ABI websites to quickly find much-needed information. As another valuable service provided to ABI members, users of the site simply enter keywords and gain immediate access to content from ABI’s entire online archive of articles and analysis, including the ABI Journal, Law Review, conference educational materials, Volo, Interactive Code and Rules, Asset Sales Databank, ABI blogs and more.
 
Developed by ABI’s Interactive Media and Technology Department, this new member resource searches more than 2 million keywords across all the ABI information platforms, which include more than 100,000 documents. The search covers every issue of the ABI Journal since 1997 and every ABI Law Review since 1995, in addition to all books, CLE conference materials and other exclusive ABI content. Results are instantaneous and categorized by source. One search enables users to gain access to expert analysis, relevant Bankruptcy Code sections and circuit court opinions on any insolvency topic. Practitioners will be amazed at how much time and money they will save. Start your research on bankruptcy topics at http://search.abi.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 13,000 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.

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Down 10 Percent Through Nine Months of 2011

Contact: John Hartgen
             703-894-5935
             [email protected]

CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS DOWN 10 PERCENT THROUGH NINE MONTHS OF 2011

October 4, 2011, Alexandria, Va. — U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 1,044,722 nationwide during the first nine months of 2011 (Jan. 1-Sept. 30), a 10 percent decrease from the 1,165,172 total consumer filings during the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). September consumer bankruptcies decreased 17 percent nationwide from September 2010 as the data showed that the overall consumer filing total for September reached 108,517 down from the 130,329 consumer filings recorded in September 2010.
 
“The trend of declining filings has been consistent with consumers continuing to reign in their spending, household debt, and an overall pull back in consumer credit,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Total consumer filings for 2011 will be less than 2010.”
 
The September 2011 filings also represented a 4 percent decrease from the August 2011 consumer bankruptcy total of 113,432 filings, a slight change that could be the result of one less day in the month. The percentage of chapter 13 filings for September was 30 percent, a one percent increase from August.

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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 more than 13,000 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.
 
NBKRC is an online research center that offers subscribers access to up-to-date research and statistics on bankruptcy filings. The database contains complete information dating back to 1995. For more information on NBKRC, please visit http://www.nbkrc.com.
*Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the American Bankruptcy Institute.
 
Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is available to both individual and business debtors. Its purpose is to achieve a fair distribution to creditors of the debtor’s available non-exempt property.  Unsecured debts not reaffirmed are discharged, providing a fresh financial start.
 
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both business and consumer debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going concern or reorganize an individual’s finances through a court-approved reorganization plan.
 
Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special debt relief to a family farmer with regular income from farming.
 
Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for an individual with regular income whose debts do not exceed specific amounts; it is typically used to budget some of the debtor’s future earnings under a plan through which unsecured creditors are paid in whole or in part.