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American Bankruptcy Institute Update

May 12, 2005

In This Issue

Highlights

Legislation Update

Asbestos Bill to Go Forward

Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) urged panel members today to narrow down the pending amendments to proposed asbestos legislation in hopes of completing the markup by the Memorial Day recess later this month, CongressDaily reported. "The Majority Leader is very anxious to have the opportunity to put this on the floor in June if we are to move ahead with the appropriations process," Specter said, asking senators to notify him about which of the 88 pending amendments they most want the committee to consider. Specter said staff had negotiated a series of 33 changes to the bill that are acceptable on both sides of the aisle, as he seeks to broaden support. So far, the bill has the backing of five Republicans and two Democrats on the committee, and supporters are aiming to get more support through amendments. The panel will resume work on the bill again next Wednesday and Thursday.

April Survey on Bank Lending Practices Released

The April 2005 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices addressed changes in the supply of, and demand for, bank loans to businesses and households over the past three months. Banks reported in the survey that they had eased lending standards and terms for loans over the past three months.  Banks that eased standards or terms once again reported having done so in large part because of increased competition from other sources of business credit. 

Almost one-fourth of the domestic respondents had eased lending standards on commercial real estate loans over the past three months, about the same fraction as in the January survey. Credit standards on residential mortgages were largely unchanged in the April survey, in contrast to a small easing of standards in January.  Though demand for residential mortgage loans reportedly weakened again over the past three months, the fraction of banks reporting lower demand fell to 18 percent, compared with about 25 percent in the past two surveys. 

Register to Attend ABIís First Annual Mid Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop

Make plans to attend ABI’s First Annual Mid Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop, to be held August 4-6 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland. This workshop brings together the region’s preeminent insolvency professionals for three days of intense learning, offering up to 9 hours of continuing education credits. Topics this year include the latest on retention of professionals, asbestos cases after Combustion Engineering, planning bankruptcy cases, Section 363, receiverships and other alternatives, professional liability, understanding diverse options and selected ethical issues.

Plenty of networking opportunities are planned including a welcome reception, crab feast dinner, golf, tennis, sailing, sporting clays and much more! Register online today!

Financial Advisors Committee e-Newsletter Available Online

The May issue of ABI’s Financial Advisors Committee e-newsletter is available online. Read a summary of the new bankruptcy law, focusing on the most significant changes to the Bankruptcy Code and their practical effects, as well as the key provisions affecting chapter 11 debtors and professionals.

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: