American Bankruptcy Institute Update

August 4, 2005

In This Issue

Highlights

Legislation Update

Advisory Committee Continues Meetings

The U.S. Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure meets again today to discuss the proposed Interim Rules for the new bankruptcy law, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, Judicial Conference Center, One Columbus Circle, NE, Washington, D.C. Contact: John Rabiej, 202-502-1820.

The Zero-savings Problem

Americans are both saving at the lowest rate since the Great Depression and at record peaks. How is that possible?

Even as a government report released Tuesday showed the national savings rate at zero—yes, you read that right: zero—the rise in the value of homes has given the average U.S. household a net worth of greater than $400,000, according to a separate report from the Federal Reserve, CNN/Money reported yesterday. Household real estate assets have risen by just over two-thirds since 1999, and the run-up has enabled consumers to spend more money than they are bringing home in their paychecks, using home equity loans and refinancing to pull out cash and support a higher level of spending.

“[Rising home values] are making people feel they don’t need to save,” said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute. That means they are spending more of their paychecks than they would otherwise. That’s good news for the current economy, but it could cause trouble in the longer term, according to some economists. Read the full story.

Register Now for ABI’s New Investment Banking Program

In an exciting new format and location, the 2005 Investment Banking Program, to be held Sept. 8–9 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas, will offer a unique approach to understanding the role of investment bankers in insolvency and restructuring. The case study will dramatize the many perspectives of parties-in-interest as they examine strategic alternatives and seek the highest value for an insolvent company, and an “all-star” cast of industry leaders will play the roles of the major constituents as they work through the case study in this day-long program. Register today!

CD-ROM Helps Attorneys Get Certified before the New Law Takes Effect

ABI is now offering self-study materials on CD-ROM for certification exams covering the current Code. Exams covering the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which takes effect on October 17, 2005, will be offered in 2006. The new law authorizes bankruptcy judges to base their fee awards on whether attorneys meet the high objective standards needed to become board-certified by the American Board of Certification. New §330(a)(3)(E) directs the judges to consider “whether the person is board certified or otherwise has demonstrated skill and expertise in the bankruptcy field.”

Attorneys can use the CD-ROM—which includes interactive sample quizzes, study materials and much more—to prepare for the four remaining exams covering current law. The CD-ROM, available to members for $195, also includes general bankruptcy provisions, information on ethics and professional responsibility and information on business bankruptcy, creditors’ rights and consumer bankruptcy certification exams. The ABC web site provides additional information about the exams and how to register.

The four remaining exams covering current law are:

  • ABI Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (Las Vegas), Sept. 8
  • National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (San Antonio), Nov. 2
  • ABI Detroit Bankruptcy Conference (Detroit), Nov. 10
  • ABI Winter Leadership Conference (Indian Wells, Calif.), Dec. 1

Visit ABI World for more information or to order your copy.

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: