American Bankruptcy Institute Update

April 7, 2005

In This Issue

Highlights

Legislation Update

House to Consider Bankruptcy Bill Next Week

The House is expected to take Senate-passed bankruptcy bill (S. 256) next Wednesday. The bill would have been taken up this week, but action was postponed due to members attending Pope John Paul II’s funeral. House Republican leaders laid out their eight-week legislative agenda. In the coming weeks the House will also attempt to move tort reform, CongressDaily reported.

House Committee Defeats PBGC Resolution, But Still Seeks Information

The House Education and the Workforce Committee defeated a resolution yesterday sponsored by Education and the Workforce ranking member George Miller (D-Calif.) asking the nation's pension insurer to disclose the status of certain companies' pension plans, CongressDaily reported. Under an agreement with Education and the Workforce Chairman John Boehner (R-Ohio), the committee will report the resolution unfavorably. However, Miller and Boehner will then write a joint letter seeking much of that information, according to a Miller spokesman. The spokesman said Miller wanted the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to make public the status of pension plans that are in the worst financial shape. Under the pact with Boehner, Miller agreed the information would not be shared with anyone outside Congress.

Specter Firm on Trust Fund, Rejects Narrower Asbestos Bill

Republicans and Democrats have made "major concessions" in negotiations aimed at crafting an asbestos bill, Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said on Tuesday, although he conceded after a series of meetings that differences remain difficult to bridge, CongressDaily reported. Faced with concerns from both sides and criticism from a group of insurers, Specter said he would not resort to introducing a bill that has the support of only Republicans, nor would he scrap the current asbestos framework in favor of a narrower bill. Judiciary Committee Republicans still have several concerns, Specter said, but they are "solvable," the newswire reported.

Separately, the New York Times reported yesterday that asbestos claims have declined. The number of claims filed against one of the biggest trusts set up to compensate victims of asbestos fell last year to its lowest level in more than a decade, the newspaper reported. Recent court proceedings have also uncovered questionable practices by some of the doctors whose diagnoses allowed some asbestos claimants to collect.

Paying Taxes by Credit Card Remains Stagnant

American taxpayers are still hesitant to embrace the option to pay their taxes by credit cards, according to a study of 1,001 American adults conducted by market research firm Ipsos-Insight. The study revealed for the second year that while 62 percent of American adults are aware that the Internal Revenue Service accepts credit cards, only 1 percent plan to use a credit card to pay incremental federal income taxes for 2004. “As was apparent in previous years, a large convenience charge aimed directly at the consumer is clearly the barrier to broader use of this service,” said Doug Cottings, Senior VP with Ipsos-Insight’s Financial Services practice. For more information, click here.

Register to Attend ABIís 12th Annual Northeast Bankruptcy Conference

Make plans to attend ABI’s Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, July 14 - 17, 2005, at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster (Cape Cod), Mass. The program brings together America’s preeminent insolvency professionals for four days of intense learning and entertainment. Earn up to 10 hours of CLE credits. Topics this year include Supreme Court year in review, coming changes in chapter 13 practice, new developments under Sections 523 and 727, significant tax issues in individual cases, injunctions in bankruptcy, ethics issues, the business of workouts and reorganizations, asset sales, avoidance and recovery actions, divergent precedents and practices among the First, Second and Third Circuits and more! Optional events including a sea watch, kayaking and sailing in Hyannis Harbor and a Saturday night event featuring ABI’s own Indubitable Equivalents!

The event will sell out! Register online today!

Time to Update Your ABI Profile

Updates for the 2005-2006 ABI Membership Directory are due by April 20. Included in the directory will be your main contact information, plus any additional demographic information you may wish to include (school, certifications, specialties, etc.) Please make sure all of our information is complete and correct by visiting ABIWorld (www.abiworld.org/profileupdate). You will need to input your user id and password to gain access. The default user id is your e-mail address and the default password is your ABI membership number, which can be found above your name on your ABI Journal label. This information will be used for the printed, online, and CD-rom membership directories. ABI has mailed a printed directory questionnaire, which you should receive in the next few weeks. Additional city listings can be purchased with the questionnaire.

Bankruptcy Litigation Committee to Discuss Valuation Cases at the Annual Spring Meeting

The popular Bankruptcy Litigation Committee will be present “Making the Valuation Case without Breaking the Bank,” at the Annual Spring Meeting, on Saturday, April 30 in Washington, D.C. This program will focus on the practical aspects of proving several types of valuation cases – real estate, inventory, intellectual. The focus will be on practical ways to keep the case short and effective without incurring “big case” expenses.

If you still need to reserve a room for the April 28-May 1 conference, the new overflow hotel is the Renaissance Washington DC, 999 9th St NW, $249/night. The deadline to reserve a room is April 14. Please call (202) 898-9000 and ask to be placed in the ABI room block. Register online today.

Please Note Guidelines for Use of ABI ListserveS

ABI has posted guidelines for use of committee listserves. We appreciate the lively discussions taking place in various committees, but urge all members to read and follow our rules, and observe proper listserve etiquette.

New Opinion Posted Online

In re G-I Holdings Inc. - February 2005 

Latest Job Postings at ABI Career Center

Check out the ABI Career Center. The Center is a one-stop site for job seekers and employers in the insolvency community. Career Center resources are available free to both employers and job seekers. New positions are featured daily. The latest listings include: