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April 10, 2009

Mortgage Modification Bill in Senate Not Looking So Good

Thanks to Eric Clark

From the American Bankruptcy Institute 4/9/09


Senate Democratic leaders appear likely to drop several high-profile legislative issues from their agenda, including efforts to tax bonuses paid to corporate executives and giving bankruptcy judges the ability to reduce mortgage payments on the primary mortgages of chapter 13 debtors, according to a CongressDaily report today.

Senate aides said that the legislative agenda this year might increasingly focus on revamping financial regulations -- which could reach the Senate floor in late  summer -- and on health care reform. The chamber will reconvene April 20 by taking up a fraud-e enforcement bill that authorizes increasing Justice Department funding and authority to crack down on mortgage fraud and other crimes related to federal assistance programs. Those efforts come as more high-profile legislation sits on the back burner in the face of opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have said that they have not dropped efforts to craft a bill slapping heavy taxes on bonuses for firms such as American International Group that received bailout money, but Democrats have no immediate plans to move an AIG bill in the face of White House concerns and strong opposition from the banking industry. Also faltering is mortgage cramdown legislation that lobbyists and some senators say lacks the votes to pass. Reid has said previously that he is prepared to drop the cramdown language provision from a broader housing bill if the votes are not there.

April 10, 2009 in Legislation | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Prepackaged Chapter 13s?

"The Housing Crisis and Bankruptcy Reform: The Prepackaged Chapter 13 Approach" by Eric Posner and Luigi Zingales can be accessed here.  They propose

"what we call a prepackaged Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in which the mortgage is automatically readjusted in line with the decline of housing prices in the homeowner’s ZIP code. The homeowner ends up with positive equity in his house, so that he will either maintain the house or sell it outside foreclosure, and the creditor ends up with a claim of greater value than the foreclosure price of the house. Because both parties are made better off, the cost of credit should not increase in the long run; and taxpayers do not have to subsidize the scheme." 

April 10, 2009 in Article Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jeff Turner - Commercial Law Scholar Extrordinaire

Comment on my last post.

Thanks for honoring my brother.  I wish so badly I could be there.  I miss him every day! 
Felicia S. Turner, Deputy Executive Director, American Bankruptcy Institute

April 10, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 9, 2009

Jeffrey Turner Memorial Commercial Law Dinner


This meeting is jointly sponsored by The Financial Lawyers Conference and The Los Angeles County Bar Association Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section, Commercial Law Committee

Thursday, May 7, 2009
Speakers: Steven O. Weise, Proskauer Rose LLP
Robert Goldschein, Mayer Brown LLP
Location: The Olympic Collection
11301 Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
Time: 6:00pm - 6:45 pm: Registration and Cocktails
6:45pm - 7:30 pm: Dinner
7:30pm - 9:00 pm: Program 
Cost: $70.00 FLC & LACBA Members
$85.00 Nonmembers
$40.00 Lawyers in Gov’t Svc. 


Pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, May 5. After Tuesday, May 5, the registration fee increases by $5.00. Cancellations must be received by the pre-registration deadline of Tuesday, May 5.

For information on FLC’s events and membership, go to www.financiallawyers.org
Mail completed registration form and payment to:
Financial Lawyers Conference 214 Main Street, #336, El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 322-1350
Federal Tax ID# 23-7448511
For information on FLC’s events and membership, go to www.financiallawyers.org

April 9, 2009 in Programs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 8, 2009

WSJ Executive Compensation Chart for 2008

This is a pretty nice analysis by the Wall Street Journal of the executive compensation for the 200 largest companies by sales in 2008.  You can access it here. 

April 8, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 7, 2009

Oral Argument at the Supreme Court in Travelers Indemnity v. Bailey

On March 30, 2009, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the sole bankruptcy case it has taken this term.  The issue is the power of the bankruptcy court to "bar related lawsuits."  The case results from the Johns Manville reorganization in 1986.  Creditors of the estate were suing the insurance company.  Its a pretty interesting transcript because the justices are completely confused.  You can access the transcript of the oral argument here.   

One exchange between appellant's counsel and Justice Stevens:

JUSTICE STEVENS: Mr. Ostrager, may I ask this question? I -- I was unable to find the complaints in the voluminous filings here. Do any of the plaintiffs' cases seek recovery from assets of the estate that would reduce the payments to creditors of Manville?
MR. OSTRAGER: Well, what -- the reason that this is so critical is that, as the -
JUSTICE STEVENS: Can you answer my question?

I guess he didn't read Scalia's book "The Art of Persuading Judges." 

April 7, 2009 in Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Circuit Court of Appeals Cases from Last Week

1st Circuit Court of Appeals, April 01, 2009
Stornawaye Fin. Cor. v. Hill, --- F.3d ---, 2009 WL ----------- (1st Cir. 2009)(522(g) does not authorize the bankruptcy court to deny a debtor's homestead exemption where property fraudulently transferred and then voluntarily reconveyed pre-petition)

7th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 31, 2009
In re Bartle, --- F.3d ---, 2009 WL ----------- (7th Cir. 2009)(Order dimissing chapter 11 case affirmed even though inadequate opportunity to respond to the motion to dismiss where plaintiff has made no effort to demonstrate that his substantial rights were affected by the error) 

10th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 31, 2009
Official Comm. of Unsec. Creds. v. Harris, --- F.3d ---, 2009 WL ----------- (10th Cir. 2009)(creditors' committee chosen counsel denied appointment based on excessive rates the firm proposed to charge)

April 7, 2009 in Other Circuit Briefs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 6, 2009

Bankruptcy Filings Way Up in March, 2009

I was wondering why I was so busy.  Total petitions filed in March were 131,000, a 28% increase over February which totaled 102,000 and a 47% increase over the 89,000 filed in January.  That is 323,000 for the quarter compared to 296,000 for the fourth quarter of last year or a 9% increase.  Based on the first quarter, we're looking at 1,292,000 for the year 2009.  

The first quarter 2009 is still lower than every pre-BAPCPA quarter going back to the fourth quarter of 2000.  Every quarter in 1997 through 1999 exceeded 323,000 except the fourth quarter of 1999.  If the next quarter averages the same as March, that quarter (393,000 filings) would multiply out to 1,572,000 annually or less than the totals in 2004, 2003,and 2002 although the filings in total are getting pretty close.       

Prof. Bob Lawless has a great post on this at CreditSlips.com.  He says that on a daily basis, the increase from March over February was only 9%.      

April 6, 2009 in Bankruptcy Statistics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 5, 2009

April 4 - A Day We Should Remember

Martin_Luther_King_Jr_NYWTS 41 years ago Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis at 38 years old.  I was a sophmore at Gonzaga. 

Also, April 4 is the birthday of Muddy Waters, the greatest bluesman of all time.   

April 5, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack