American Bankruptcy Institute Update

June 14, 2005

In This Issue


Legislation Update

Committee to Hold Hearing on Pension Laws

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on comprehensive legislation aimed at overhauling the nation’s pension laws. The bill, introduced by Education and the Workforce Chairman John Boehner (R–Ohio), includes a proposal similar to a White House plan to raise pension premiums and establish a new rate that companies must use to calculate their pension contributions. Under the bill, companies would have less time to make up shortfalls in their pension funds. It would also require companies to disclose more information to employees about the financial status of their pensions. Boehner said he hopes to mark up the bill next week in subcommittee and complete a full-committee markup the week before the Independence Day recess, CongressDaily reported.

Istook Seeks Cost Estimate for Asbestos Bill

Rep. Ernest Istook (R–Okla.) yesterday asked the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to prepare a cost estimate of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s asbestos litigation bill “as soon as possible” so House members can evaluate it, even though the bill has not yet passed the Senate, CongressDaily reported. While Istook said in a letter to CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin that he has “not established a position” on the legislation, he said he has “been informed that [the bill’s] resolution fund would add billions of dollars to the public debt that would take decades to pay off, interest costs would consume much of the value of the fund, be unable to pay all valid claims, create a gigantic, wasteful bureaucracy and sunset early.”

Fed Considering Revisions to Credit Card Term Disclosures

For the first time since 1980, the Federal Reserve Board is considering major revisions to the clarity and content of credit card disclosures so consumers can better understand the terms of their cards and make more informed decisions about using them, Knight Ridder reported. The Fed also is reviewing the effectiveness of consumer protections against unfair card practices and inaccurate billing in the wake of unprecedented growth in credit card usage and public outcry over rising interest rates and penalties along with costly, abrupt changes in card agreements. Read the full story.

Sign Up for Tomorrow’s Bankruptcy Business I Webinar

Register today to participate in tomorrow’s Webinar on business bankruptcy under the new law, the first in a series that will address practice under the new law. The first 90-minute program on business bankruptcies will be held on Wednesday, June 15, at 2 p.m. EDT and will feature new small-business rules, expansion of reclamation claims, broadened preference defenses, trade creditor strategies, new grounds for the appointment of a trustee, single-asset cases and limits on exclusivity. ABI is excited to offer the latest distance learning technology in order to provide this innovative learning experience. Participants will be able to access a special Web interface that will allow them to interact with presenters via Q&As, polling and chats and provide online access to educational materials. A complimentary copy of the new Code is included with each paid registration.

Confirmed faculty are:

  • Andrew Caine of Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young, Jones & Weintraub PC (Los Angeles)
  • Alec Ostrow of Stevens & Lee PC (New York)
  • Michael Richman of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP (New York)
  • George Singer of Lindquist & Vennum PLLP (Minneapolis)
  • Deborah Thorne of Barnes & Thornburg LLP (Chicago)

The series includes three programs devoted to the details of business practice under the new law and three consumer programs. The final session will be a judges’ roundtable. View the full Webinar schedule at ABI World.

Register online today.

ABI World Tutorial Highlights Membership Directory

Do You Know?

Not sure how to use ABI’s online Membership Directory? A new online tutorial demonstrates the many different ways you can search for ABI members. The tutorial features a visual demonstration of how to use the directory with both text and voiceover instructions. This is the first in a series of tutorials that will highlight the many resources and services that are available at the ABI World web site.

‘Best of ABI’ Audioconference Features Judges on the New Law

ABI will present the third in a series of “Best of ABI” audioconferences, “Judges’ Roundtable—The New Bankruptcy Law," on June 29, 2005, at 3:00 pm (EDT). The panel of experienced bankruptcy judges from four different circuits (Joan Feeney, David Houston, Linda Riegle and Mary Walrath) will discuss the coming significant changes in business and consumer bankruptcy law. The panel was selected as the top-rated program by a record crowd at the Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. The program is 90 minutes. Visit ABI World for more information or to register.

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: