American Bankruptcy Institute Update

July 3, 2008

In This Issue

Highlights

ABI LAUNCHES NEW CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY CENTER

With personal bankruptcy cases on the rise and comprising the vast majority of annual bankruptcy filings, education and research in the area of consumer bankruptcy continues to be a priority for ABI.  ABI provides a vast array of ever-increasing resources to the consumer bankruptcy professional through its publications, conferences and Web resources. The redesigned Consumer Bankruptcy Center has two main sections: one for the consumer and one for the consumer bankruptcy professional.  A consumer who is seeking information about the bankruptcy process or looking for a bankruptcy attorney may visit the “For Consumers” section for links to valuable information. A consumer bankruptcy professional may direct his or her clients to this section, and should also visit the “For Consumer Professionals” area for a wealth of resources that will assist him or her in practice.  The section for the consumer professional has four subsections for upcoming consumer events, consumer publications, consumer educational resources and useful links to other sections of ABIWorld, such as headlines, blogs, podcasts and statistics.  The site includes a search function where you can use keywords to search for consumer topics of interest. You may view the site at http://consumer.abiworld.org/.

BUSINESS BANKRUPTCIES INCREASE 34 PERCENT

Jupiter eSources reported that bankruptcy filings in the United States during June increased 34 percent from a year earlier, CreditandCollectionsWorld.com reported today. Total filings were up 33 percent and consumers filed at an annualized rate that is 23 percent above 2007, according to data compiled by Oklahoma City-based research firm. Bankruptcy courts had almost 513,000 total filings in the first six months of 2008, according to Jupiter's Automated Access to Court Electronic Records service. Filings began the year above 70,000 in January and rose above 90,000 by March. Monthly filings have hovered around 90,000 since then. Click here to read the full article.

BILLIONS IN TROUBLED CONSTRUCTION LOANS POSE TEST FOR REGIONAL LENDERS

Wall Street is bracing for regional and small banks to account for large losses from their mounting volume of soured construction loans made primarily to home builders, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., $45.4 billion of the $631.8 billion in construction loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter were delinquent. When banks announce second-quarter results in coming weeks, they are expected to report sharp increases in loans that builders can't repay. Banks are also facing intensifying pressure from federal and state regulators to deal with the problem loans on their books. Scores of banks were already suffering headaches by the end of the first quarter, according to a review by The Wall Street Journal of FDIC-filed reports by 6,919 banks that make construction loans. The smallest banks, those with total assets of less than $5 billion, faced the biggest problems. The WSJ analysis didn't include savings-and-loan institutions, or so-called thrift banks. Nearly one in three of the banks analyzed -- or 2,182 -- had construction-loan portfolios that exceeded 100 percent of their total risk-based capital and 73 of those banks had construction-loan delinquency rates of more than 25 percent. Click here to read the full article. (Registration required.)

BOND RISK RISES TO 3-MONTH HIGH ON CONCERN OVER GLOBAL SLOWDOWN

The cost of protecting corporate bonds from default jumped to the highest in more than three months on investor concern that record oil prices and rising interest rates will derail corporate earnings, Bloomberg News reported today. Credit-default swaps on the benchmark Markit iTraxx Europe index increased 3.5 basis points to 109.5, the highest since April 2, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. In Tokyo, the Markit iTraxx Japan index rose 11 to 150, Morgan Stanley prices show. The cost of protecting bank debt increased to the highest since April 9 after Citigroup Inc. analyst Jeremy Sigee said Zurich-based UBS AG, the biggest wealth manager, may post $6.9 billion of additional writedowns and seek to raise more capital. The CDX North America Investment Grade Index closed 9 basis points higher at 149 in New York, according to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Click here to read the full article.

EMPLOYERS CUT JOBS FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT MONTH

The U.S. economy lost more than 60,000 jobs last month, as Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. warned that record-high oil prices will likely mean a longer economic slowdown with no "quick fixes" in sight, the Washington Post reported today. New data from the Department of Labor showed that a steady erosion of jobs that began in January continued for a sixth month. In addition to the 62,000 jobs lost in June, the department said the employment decline in April and May was larger than first estimated. Overall, the economy has lost about 438,000 jobs since the first of the year. The unemployment rate, which is affected by the number of people seeking work and other factors, remained steady at 5.5 percent. Click here to read the full story.

ABI’S 4TH CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY WEBINAR STOPS IN DENVER TO EXAMINE DISCHARGE, ATTORNEY FEES AND RELATED ISSUES UNDER BAPCPA

The fourth stop on ABI’s “Consumer Bankruptcy in Practice Webinar Series” on July 23 will be Denver to look at discharge, debtor and creditor attorney fees, plan modifications and other issues under BAPCPA. Moderator Felicia S. Turner, ABI’s Deputy Executive Director and a former U.S. Trustee, will be joined by Bankruptcy Judge Howard R. Tallman (D. Colo.; Denver), Standing Chapter 13 Trustee Sally Zeman (Denver), attorney Ellen R. Welner of George T. Carlson & Associates (Englewood, Colo.) and Ramona D. Elliott, General Counsel for the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (Washington, D.C.). The two-hour program is only $75 for members. Click here to register.

UPDATE YOUR ABI MEMBERSHIP PROFILE ONLINE!

Please click here to review your ABI membership information and make sure the data is current and complete. Your credentials are searchable by ABI members from around the world via the ABI online membership directory. You may need to login to update your profile. Your default user id is your e-mail address and your default password is your member id number. If you don't know your member id/password, you can find the six-digit number on your ABI Journal mailing label above your name.

NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: FIFTH CIRCUIT REJECTS EQUITABLE SUBORDINATION CLAIM WITH DEEPENING INSOLVENCY ASPECT

The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks nearly 25 bankruptcy-related blogs. New today is a post discussing a recent ruling by the Fifth Circuit that insiders who “grabbed for as much as they could get” were not subject to equitable subordination where the bankruptcy court did not find sufficient harm resulting from their conduct. (Matter of S.I. Restructuring, Inc., 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 13140 (5th Cir. 6/20/08).)

Be sure to check back several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new item, a link to the item will appear on the top of this site. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.

ONLINE VIDEO OF ABI’S LITIGATION SKILLS PROGRAM NOW AVAILABLE!

Not able to make it to ABI’s 7th Annual American Bankruptcy Institute/Tulane University Law School Litigation Skills Symposium held at the Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana, May 13-16? Purchase the online video of the entire program at a discounted member rate! The Symposium combined quality instruction with individualized critique as expert faculty demonstrated the specific advocacy skills necessary to be an effective practitioner.
Lecture and demonstration topics included:

* Introduction to Bankruptcy Litigation and Trial Preparation
* Direct Examination and Introducing Evidence
* Cross Examination of Expert and Lay Witnesses
* Art of Persuasion/Trial Techniques to Win Your Case
* Tactics and Strategies
* Litigation Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Click here to purchase the online video at the discounted ABI member rate of $395!

Orders are processed during business hours, Monday-Friday, 9-5:30pm ET. Please allow one business day to receive your access code to view the program.

REGISTER FOR NEXT WEEK'S NORTHEAST BANKRUPTCY CONFERENCE AND NORTHEAST CONSUMER FORUM

ABI’s popular Northeast Bankruptcy Conference provides the opportunity to earn up to 9.25 hours of continuing education credit from July 10-13 at the Ocean Edge Resort & Club in Brewster, Mass. More than 350 are already registered to attend. Bring the whole family and enjoy the best Cape Cod has to offer! Topics this year include:

  • Sunny Side Up, or Down?  Breakfast with the Economists
  • Current Issues in Commercial Leasing
  • Appellate Advocacy Skills
  • You Can’t Treat the Patient without a Diagnosis: Identifying Causes for Business Failure
  • Current Issues in Avoidance Actions
  • Gaining Support from All of Your Constituencies
  • Cross-Border Issues Coming to Your Town
  • Troubled Portfolio Companies
  • Privileges, Exceptions and Civil and Criminal Liability
  • Avoiding Administrative Insolvency
  • Hot Topics in Claims Purchasing and Trading
  • Views from the Bench: Supreme Court Year in Review

Click here to register for ABI's Northeast Bankruptcy Conference.

Held in conjunction with ABI’s Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, the Third Annual Northeast Consumer Forum, July 10-12, offers educational programs designed for both experienced and new consumer professionals at a reduced rate. Topics include:

  • Messing with Mortgages: Continuing Consumer and Creditor Confusion
  • The Bursting Bubble: Behind on Mortgages and Car Loans—Is Chapter 13 an Option?
  • BAPCPA Three Years Later: Through the Looking Glass—How Is It Down the Rabbit Hole?
  • Fables and Fairy Tales…How the Practice Has Evolved

Register here for the Northeast Consumer Forum.

REGISTER BY TOMORROW TO SAVE $50 ON ABI’S 13TH ANNUAL SOUTHEAST BANKRUPTCY WORKSHOP

ABI’s 13th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop will be held on July 16-19 at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Fla. Plenary sessions will bring you up to speed on the latest consumer and business updates, with 8 judges on the program. A plenary session examines the new litigation opportunities from the subprime fallout. Attendees can also participate in a special "Surfside Chat" featuring former ABI presidents.

Timely topics include:  

  • Adequate Protection in Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 Cases
  • Tax Issues in Bankruptcy
  • Venue Issues in Chapter 11 Filings
  • Consumer Ethics: How to Stay Out of Jail
  • Condo Mania
  • Consumer Claims against Creditors
  • The Chapter 11 Fees Study: Moving-Forward Analysis
  • 363 Sales

Register by tomorrow to save $50.

REGISTER FOR ABI’S 4th ANNUAL MID-ATLANTIC BANKRUPTCY WORKSHOP

ABI’s Fourth Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop will be held July 31-Aug. 2 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Md. Members will have the opportunity to earn 7.0 CLE credits at the workshop sessions, including 1.0 hour of ethics.

Sessions at the Workshop include:

  • The Straight and Narrow: Ethics Issues
  • When Circuits Collide: Revisted
  • What's on OUST's Radar?
  • Real Estate Issues
  • Understanding Today's Capital Markets
  • Nonbankruptcy Alternatives
  • Navigating the New Claims Rules
  • Mediation and ADR
  • Avoidance Issues Update
  • Post-confirmation Issues

    Click here to register.

REGISTER FOR ABI’S ANNUAL SOUTHWEST BANKRUPTCY CONFERENCE, COMPLEX FINANCIAL RESTRUCTURING PROGRAM

ABI’s popular 16th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference will be held Sept. 4-6 at the Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of the Vegas Strip.  An outstanding faculty of judges, academics and industry professionals will present workshops on a variety of topics, and Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will keynote the Friday luncheon. More than 200 are already registered. Timely topics for the panel sessions include:

  • Multimedia Ethics Extravaganza
  • Consumer Remedies for Lender Misconduct
  • Handling the Next Wave of Retail Insolvencies
  • Claims Trading, Fiduciary Duties and Other Pesky Committee Issues
  • The Anatomy of a Bankruptcy M&A Transaction: From Teaser to Tombstone
  • The Subprime Meltdown from an Insolvency Litigation Perspective
  • Individual Chapter 11s: The Saga Continues
  • Creative Ways to Find Cash for the Estate
  • Current Case Law Developments (Commercial and Consumer)
  • Relationships and Stakeholder Positions in a Changing Market
  • Judges' Roundtable

Click here to register for ABI’s Sixteenth Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference.

Held in conjunction with ABI’s Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, ABI's Investment Banking Committee presents the Eighth Annual Complex Financial Restructuring Program at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas, Sept. 4-5. The program offers a unique approach to understanding the role of investment bankers and financial advisors in insolvency and restructuring contexts. A case study will be presented that will dramatize the various perspectives of parties-in-interest as they examine strategic alternatives and seek the highest value for an insolvent company. Leaders in the industry will play the role of the major constituents as they work through the case study in this day-long program.

Click here to register.

REGISTER FOR ABI’S ANNUAL “VIEWS FROM THE BENCH” CONFERENCE

Register for ABI’s “Bankruptcy 2008: Views from the Bench” conference on Sept. 12 at The Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. Earn up to 7.0 CLE credits, including 1.0 hour of ethics. The program features the views of 18 bankruptcy judges New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas and Nevada.

Topics to be addressed at the conference panel sessions include:

• Liquidating Cases and Asset Disposition: Sales, Auctions, Appeals
• Real Estate: Homebuilders, Commercial and Hotels
• The New Wave of Retail Bankruptcies
• DIP Financing
• The Changing Paradigm in Distressed Debt and Claims Buying: Securitized Lending and Capital Markets Issues
• Current Developments in Ethics
• Confirmation Issues

This year’s program also features four break-out lunch sessions. The first three will be conducted with the judges and faculty from the first three panel sessions to follow up on the topics in small-group formats. The fourth break-out lunch session will take an in-depth look at DIP financing.

Click here to register for ABI’s 2008 “Views from the Bench” conference.

REGISTER FOR THE 28TH ANNUAL MIDWESTERN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE PROGRAM, MIDWESTERN CONSUMER FORUM

ABI and the UMKC School of Law have partnered to present the 28th Annual Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute program and Midwestern Consumer Forum in Kansas City, Mo., on October 3. Plenary sessions at the conference include:

• Case Law Update
• The ABI Landmark Fee Study: A Looking-forward Analysis
• The Great Debates – pitting litigators against judges on timely issues
• The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Other Hot Topics in Bankruptcy Tax
• Judges’ Roundtable Featuring Judges of the 8th and 10th Circuits
• Business Ethics: Does Conflicts Counsel Solve the Problem?
• Nonbankruptcy Business Alternatives

Click here to register for the Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program.

There will also be a special discounted Consumer Forum featuring breakout sessions.or specifically designed for consumer practitioners:

• Consumer Ethics: Balancing the Multiple Roles of Consumer Debtor’s Counsel under BAPCPA: Can You Be a Watchdog, Counselor and Advocate at the Same Time?
• Mortgage Claims in Chapter 13: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Click here to register for the Midwestern Consumer Forum.

REGISTER NOW FOR ABI’S CHICAGO CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY CONFERENCE

Registration is now open for ABI’s Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference on Oct. 13 at The Standard Club in Chicago. The day-long conference will focus solely on current issues affecting the consumer bankruptcy professional. Faculty members include experienced local chapter 7 and 13 consumer attorneys, bankruptcy judges and panel trustees from the Northern District of Illinois and a representative from the Executive Office of the U.S. Trustee. In addition, attendees are invited to join ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano for a lunchtime discussion on current developments in and future prospects for consumer bankruptcy legislation on the eve of the 2008 Congressional and Presidential elections.

Click here to register for ABI’s Chicago Bankruptcy Conference.

GET INVOLVED!

Do You Know?From publishing opportunities to committee involvement, ABI offers many options for members to raise their professional profiles. Click here for more opportunities.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL

The International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 37 member associations worldwide with more than 9,500 professionals participating as members of INSOL International.  As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate.  See ABI's enrollment page for details.

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: