2017

December

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 
Senate Bill 2267 » On December 21, 2017, Democrat All Franken introduced S. 2267 with the purpose to amend Title 11 of the US Code.  Currently, the text of the proposed legislation is not published however the summary provides that the intention of the Bill is to prioritize certain pension claims in bankruptcy, and for other purposes.  I will provide updated information when the Bill is published for review. ♦

Thursday, December 21, 2017
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with the CRF, Moody’s Analytics »
The Credit Research Foundation shares a viewpoint regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in conjunction with Moody’s …

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Venue Reform Press Release from the CLLA »
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE …The Commercial Law League of America Announces the Imminent Introduction of Bankruptcy Venue Reform Legislation 

Wauconda, IL – 12/18/2017– Over the years, the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) has been a leader in the creation and advancement of bankruptcy venue reform.The CLLA is pleased to announce that a bipartisan bankruptcy venue reform bill has been developed and will be proposed this week in the U.S. Senate to address out of control forum shopping of Chapter 11 business cases.

Under current law, there are multiple bankruptcy venue options to commence a case, which have unfortunately led to an increase of companies filing for bankruptcy outside of their home states, sometimes thousands of miles away from where the companies are located.The result of this forum shopping prevents smaller trade creditors, employees, retirees, landlords and other important stakeholders from participating in bankruptcy cases that will have tremendous impact on their lives and local economies.The CLLA believes that the proposed bill will correct this problem and will work to support its enactment.

In the recent past, the CLLA has actively supported SB 314 (109th Congress 2005-2006) and HR 2533 (112th Congress 2011-2012), in which the CLLA testified in support of the reform legislation.The CLLA encourages people to contact their U.S. Senators to support the legislation and consider becoming a co-sponsor of the forthcoming bill. ♦

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 
House Bill 4550 » On December 5, 2017, Democratic House Representative from Texas, Vincente Gonzalez introduced H.R. 4550 which proposes to amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.  Currently, the text of the proposed legislation is not published however the summary provides that the intention of the Bill is to exclude law firms and licensed attorneys who are engaged in activities related to legal proceedings from the definition of a debt collector.  Additionally, it provides for the prevention of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to exercise supervisory or enforcement authority with respect to attorneys when undertaking certain actions related to legal proceedings.  I will provide updated information when the Bill is published for review. ♦

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 
Ocwen Loan Servicing Unit Wins Dismissal of Robocall Allegations » A federal judge dismissed a claim brought by Plaintiff Jacqueline Selby who raised a TCPA claim against Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC for unwanted and stressful phone calls in an attempt to collect a debt.  Shelby argues she is protected from this frustration by the federal anti-robocall law.

Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California disagreed stating that the statute cited applies to telemarketers, not debt collectors. ♦

November

Monday, November 13, 2017
Supreme Court Argument in “High Stakes” Bankruptcy Case » The United States Supreme Court heard arguments on November 6th in a high stakes case that could affect corporate buyouts that are mostly debt financed.  The issue in the case is whether the “safe harbor rule” prevents a bankruptcy trustee from suing to undo the pre-bankruptcy sale of stock deemed fraudulent when the transfers were made through banks, even if the banks acted only as conduits.

The safe harbor rule was enacted by Congress to protect financial institutions from instability resulting from a reversal of settled securities transactions.  The intent was to minimize displacement in the markets in the event of a major bankruptcy that affected the industry and to prevent any ripple effects created by the insolvency from spreading to the affected industry.

There has been a deep split in the circuits on the issue and now the high Court will decide of 11 U.S.C. §546(e) prohibits trustee avoidance actions even when the financial institutions are not defendants and/or do not have a beneficial interest in the transfer.

The case before the Court stems from a Pennsylvania dispute where Valley View Downs L.P. and Bedford Downs Management Corporation both sought the last state license available for harness racing as they intended to create a race track and casino.  Both companies opposed the granting of the license to the other.  Valley View Downs eventually agreed to buy Bedford Downs stock so it could pursue the license unopposed. Merit Management Group L.P., the petitioner, owned about 30 percent of Bedford Downs.  About $16.5 million passed through an escrow held by Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania to Merit Management for its shares in Bedford Downs.  Valley View got the harness racing license, but it couldn’t secure a gaming license for the casino and wound up filing Chapter 11.

A reorganization plan was confirmed, and FTI Consulting Inc. became trustee of a litigation trust. That trust sued Merit Management to recover the $16.5 million it received as a constructive fraudulent conveyance.  Merit Management answered that Section 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code was a defense to the action. That section provides that a settlement payment made “by or to (or for the benefit of)” certain protected financial institutions can’t be sued for constructive fraudulent conveyances (as opposed to cases of intentional fraud).  Even though the parties to the transfer were Valley View as the purchaser of the Bedford Downs stock and Merit Management as the seller, Merit Management argued that because the banks are protected financial institutions, the Section 546(e) safe harbor applies to bar the action.

The concern is that many noteworthy transactions will come under scrutiny that previously would have fallen within the safe harbor, depending on which view the Supreme Court will adopt.

October

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Update: The Bankruptcy Judgeship Act  » As previously advised, On October 19, 2017 Senator McConnell made a Motion for Cloture to concur in the amendment by the House to H.R. 2266, after amending the effective date by five days.  Pursuant to the Cloture Motion the Senate debated on October 23rd and 24th as to the amendment by the House regarding disaster relief.

All but a handful agreed that the additional sums for disaster relief were necessary to aide California, Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico.  Senator Rand raised a point of order pursuant to the Congressional Budget Act and requested that in lieu of borrowing for the additional aide, 1% should be cut from the budget to offset the additional aide either across the board or from areas of the budget that were less of a priority.

A vote was taken as to the point of order and by a three-fifths vote the point of order failed.  A roll call vote was then taken as to H.R. 2266 with the amendment of the House, and was passed by a vote of 82 yeas and 17 nays.

The Bill will now be engrossed, sent to the Speak of the House and the President Pro Temp for signature, and then sent for signature to the President.

Monday, October 23, 2017
Bankruptcy Filings Hit 10-Year Low  » The most recent figures out of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts show that bankruptcy filings, after falling again in September, have marked a 10 year low for a 12 month period.

Filings for year ending September 2017 fell 1.8% compared to year ending September 2016 (a total of 14,724 less filings).  This number breaks down to 11,825 less Chapter 7 filings, 398 less Chapter 11 filings, 2,551 less Chapter 13 filings, and an increase of 50 Chapter 12 filings.  The business filings fell to 23,109 filings down from 24, 457 filings last year.♦

Monday, October 23, 2017
Update: Bankruptcy Judgeship Act   » Yesterday the Senate voted on the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act as presented with the House Amendment.  When I was advised that it was being held at the desk there apparently was some miscommunication with the Senate library and myself.  The Act was at the desk, but because the Senate had just voted on it, not because it was processing to be voted on.

In the Senate, Mitch McConnell made a motion to concur in the House amendment (House Resolution 569) and made a Cloture Motion to amend the language within the Act to state “This Act shall take effect 5 days after the date of the enactment”.  This was voted on and passed in the Senate. ♦

Monday, October 23, 2017
Update: Bankruptcy Judgeship Act  » A quick history of the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act shows that it was introduced and passed in the House (5/17/2017) providing for the status of  temporary bankruptcy judges in certain districts to be converted to permanent positions as well as appoint additional judges in Delaware, the middle district of Florida and the eastern district of Michigan.  It further provided for an increase in the quarterly fee payable to the U.S. trustee by certain Chapter 11 debtors and for 97.5% of the quarterly U.S. trustee fees to be deposited as offsetting collections to the U.S. Trustee System fund for FY2018 – FY2022.

The bill passed the Senate with Senate Amendment 1106.  Instead of converting the temporary judgeship positions, it extended the time of the temporary judgeships for five years.  It further raised the percentage of quarterly U.S. trustee fees to be deposited in the Trustee system from 97.5% to 98%.  Additionally, it included proposed Senate Bill 1237 (the Family Farm Act).  This language clarifies the rule allowing discharge to government claims from disposition of farm assets under Chapter 12 bankruptcies.

The House accepted the Senate amendments in S.A. 1106, and further added a provision requesting additional sums for the Disaster Relief Fund, and for some of those funds to be transferred to the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General for audits related to disasters etc.  This amendment by the House was passed, along with a name change from the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act to the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, on October 12, 2017, as House Resolution 569.

House Resolution 569 was received in the Senate on 10/16/17 and is currently at the desk in the Senate library, not yet “in the hands” of the Senate.

We are reaching out to Senator Cornyn to see if he has a formal position and will update when we have additional information.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Senate Bill 1963  » The Senate introduced S. 1963 on October 17, 2017 to amend Title 11 of the U.S. Code to include certain pension as administrative expenses in bankruptcy.  The proposed bill was read twice and then referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The text of the bill is not currently available.  I will update you when the text is published. ♦

Friday, October 13, 2017
House Resolution 569  » The House passed Resolution 569 on October 12, 2017.  The Resolution agreed to the amendments made to The Bankruptcy Judgeship Act by the Senate, and adding additional amendments.  The Resolution is attached for your review.♦

Monday, October 9, 2017
Bank of America Must Face Debt Collection Robocall Suit » Bank of America must defend a claim it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act as well as the Connecticut Creditors Collection Practices Act.  The Plaintiff had filed a request for a loan modification with Bank of America; her phone number was solicited and included on the loan modification form.  Bank of America allegedly stalled the modification process and in the interim, made over 104 unlawful autodialed phone calls without her permission, seeking collection in the context of an attempt to foreclose on the loan.

In response to Bank of America’s Motion to Dismiss, the court ruled that while the Plaintiff did provide her phone number on the modification form, autodialed calls in excess of 104 was more than necessary for debt collection attempts. The court further ruled that the Plaintiff is charged for the use of her mobile phone therefore, she has sufficient injury to constitute standing to sue.♦

Monday, October 9, 2017
H.R. 3969 Introduced » On October 5, 2017, Ohio Representative, Tim Ryan, introduced H.R.3969 into the house to amend Title 11 to include certain pensions as administrative expenses in a bankruptcy claim.  On the same day, the proposed legislation was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.  To date, a copy of the bill has not been published; however I will advise as to more details when it has become available.♦

September

Friday, September 29, 2017
Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017  » As previously advised, the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017 and with amendments, passed the House on May 17, 2017.

On September 27, 2017, the Act passed the Senate by unanimous consent with an additional amendment.  As amended the Bankruptcy Act provides for an extension of temporary office of bankruptcy judges in certain districts, increases the quarterly fee payable to trustees, and clarifies the allowance of discharge to governmental claims from disposition of farm assets.

To view a copy of that Act, as passed by the Senate yesterday, click here.

Friday, September 22, 2017
Recent Numbers Show Private Debt Collection Inefficient » In the 10 days prior to the hiring of a private debt collection agency in April of 2017 to collect certain debt, the IRS sent letters to the debtors notifying them that their cases would be transferred to the private agency.  In response, the IRS received $464,000 from debtors for their overdue taxes.

Since the IRS began outsourcing, the private agency has collected approximately $945,000 of the $407 million overdue taxes they were assigned to collect.  However, of the amount collected on 50% actual goes to the public treasury after the private agencies receive 25% for their commission and the IRS takes 25% for their fees and interest.  This equates to almost the same amount the IRS collected simply by sending a letter. ♦

Thursday, September 14, 2017
S. 1786 » Senate Bill S. 1786 was introduced on September 11, 2017.  A summary of the bill provides that the purpose is the amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to enhance the accuracy of credit reporting as well as to provide greater rights to consumers who dispute errors in their credit reports.  After being read, the bill was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.  A copy of the bill is not yet available, however I will update you as soon as the text is published.♦

Thursday, September 14, 2017
H.R. 3705 » House Bill H.R. 3705 was introduced on September 7, 2017.  A summary of the bill states that the substance of the bill directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to require the use of certified mail and other language in certain debt collection activities.  After introduction in the House, it was referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.  A copy of the bill is not available at this time; however, I will update you as soon as the text becomes available.♦

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
S. 1471 » Servicemember Debt Collection Reform Act » As previously advised, Senate Bill 1471 was introduced into the Senate and referred to the Armed Services Committee on June 28, 2017.  The bill directs a review and update of the Department of Defense regulations to ensure compliance with the consumer debt collection laws.

*On September 12, 2017 the substance of S. 1471 was added to Senate Bill 1519 – National Defense Authorization Act and was placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar No. 165.  More specifically the language in S. 1519 is as follows:

SEC. 653. REVIEW AND UPDATE OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING DEBT COLLECTORS INTERACTIONS WITH UNIT COMMANDERS.

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall review and update Department of Defense Instruction 1344.09 and any associated regulations to ensure that such regulations comply with Federal consumer protection laws with respect to the collection of debt. ♦

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
H.R. 3594 » Social Security Debt Recovery Act » As previously advised, the Social Security Debt Recover Act was introduced on July 28, 2017 to clarify the treatment of overpayments by the social security administration.  The bill was then referred to Ways and Means and the Committee on the Judiciary.

*On September 8, 2017, H.R. 3594 was referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.♦

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
H.R. 3553 – Bankruptcy Administration Improvement Act  » As previously advised, the Bankruptcy Administration Improvement Act was introduced on July 28, 2017 to increase the compensation paid to Chapter 7 trustees and increase the bankruptcy fees.  The bill was then referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

*On September 8, 2017, H.R. 3553 was referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.♦

Monday, September 11, 2017
SA 787 » Amendment To Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017 » As previously advised, on September 5th, the Senate unanimously passed S. 1107.  The Act, introduced on May 11th, amends the federal judicial code convert certain temporary bankruptcy judges to permanent judges in several states, authorize the appointment of additional bankruptcy judges in some districts, as well as increase the quarterly fee payable to the U.S. trustee by chapter 11 debtors whose disbursements equal or exceed $1 million in a fiscal year.

The act was passed immediately after a substitute amendment to the Act by Senator Grassley was adopted by unanimous consent, however the content of the substitute amendment (S.A. 787) was unavailable at the time the Bill was passed.

The amendment has now been published and I have attached a copy for your convenience.  The amendment adds proposed Senate Bill 1237, the Family Farmer Bankruptcy Clarification Act to the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act.♦

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017 » Yesterday, September 5th, the Senate unanimously passed S. 1107 and will move to the House.  The Act, introduced on May 11th, amends the federal judicial code convert certain temporary bankruptcy judges to permanent judges in several states, authorize the appointment of additional bankruptcy judges in some districts, as well as increase the quarterly fee payable to the U.S. trustee by chapter 11 debtors whose disbursements equal or exceed $1 million in a fiscal year.  The act passed immediately after a substitute amendment to the Act by Senator Grassley was adopted by unanimous consent.  To date, the text of the substitute amendment (S.A. 787) is not yet published however, I will update when the information becomes available.♦

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
IRS Considers Expanding Types of Debt Private Companies Collect  » The internal revenue service intends to expand the number of tax debt accounts assigned to the four private debt collection agencies that were hired in April.  The agencies currently handle the collection of delinquent accounts from Form 1040 filers.  Mary Beth Murphy, the commissioner of the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed division, announced on August 22nd that the IRS aims to outsource the delinquent accounts for tax penalties and liabilities of businesses in 2019.

Sunday, September 3, 2017
Robocall Consent is “Creditor Specific’, Federal Judge Says » In a recent law suit, Plaintiff sued the Credit protection Association (CPA) for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  Plaintiff owed debt to two creditors, Comcast and ComEd.  After CPA placed a call to Plaintiff in an attempt to collect said debt on behalf of Comcast, Plaintiff asked for the calls to stop and CPA closed the Comcast account with Plaintiff.  Later that year ComEd contracted with CPA, and CPA contacted Plaintiff in regard to his debt with ComEd.  Plaintiff sought damages for calls made after his initial request to stop collection calls.

On August 23, 2017, Judge Robert M. Dow Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued a ruling that revoking consent is creditor-specific and Plaintiff needed to revoke consent separately for each creditor, not through the CPA.

August

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
FTC Obtains Court Order: Debt Collector Banned from Debt Collection Business »  Anthony Coppola is now banned from debt collection activities after participating in illegal methods of debt collection against consumers.  The settlement with the Federal Trade Commission states that, “Coppola is banned from debt collection activities or otherwise trading in consumer information regarding debt.”  Coppola and his co-defendants collected on debts using previously banned methods such as sending deceiving messages, creating false charges, contacting third-parties for collection, and failing to identify as debt collectors.

More information regarding the illegal activities and details on the FTC settlement can be found here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Deception and Intimidation Charges against a North Carolina Debt Collection Operation by the FTC» The Federal Trade Commission just released information regarding its charges against a North Carolina debt collection operation that is accused of taking money from consumers that did not owe, but also did not have the right to collect from.  The Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont and Western North Carolina are assisting the FTC in the charges against Lombardo, Daniels & Moss LLC, Dion Barron, and Charles R. Montgomery III for using intimidation and deception against consumers.  They are charged with violating the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

For the full press release, read more here.

Thursday, August 17, 2017
H.R. 3630: Student Loan Borrowers’ Bill of Rights Act of 2017 »  The Student Loan Borrowers’ Bill of Rights Act was introduced in the House on July 28, 2017 and then referred to the committees on Education and the Workforce, Ways and Means, the Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform.

Title I of the Act provides for rights to consumer protections by reinstating the 6 year statute of limitations for student loans and prohibiting an offset of social security benefits and tax refunds and prohibiting wage garnishments.

Title II of the Act provides for rights to reasonable repayment options by exclusion from gross income for discharge and including parent plus loans in repayment programs.

Title III of the Act provides for rights to a meaningful degree by prohibiting suspensions of licenses for loan default and prohibiting loss of access to transcripts for loan default.

Title IV of the Act provides for a right to loan cancellation for public service careers.

A copy of H.R. 3630 is here for your review.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Proposed Bankruptcy Changes Ready for Public Comment » Proposed amendments to several Federal Rules of Bankruptcy procedures have been published for public comment by the Judicial Conference Committee and are open for public comment until February 15, 2018.   There will, additionally, be public hearings in Washington D.C., California, and Arizona on the proposed amendments in January 2018.  The proposed rule changes are as follows:

Bankruptcy Rule 2002(g) – The proposal will allow a creditor to elect to receive notices by-email.

Bankruptcy Rule 9036 – This amendment would allow notice AND service by electronic means.  Proof of Claim (Form 410) would then be modified to include a box to elect to receive noticed by email instead of regular mail.

Rule 4001(c) – This amendment intends to exclude Chapter 13 cases as it pertains to obtaining credit.

Rule 6007(b) – The proposed amendment establishes a deadline for any objection to motions addressing abandonment/disposition of property, specifies parties to be served with a motion any notice of the motion.

Rule 9037 – A proposed new section (h) to be added which would provide for a procedure for redacting personal identifiers in documents that were previously filed without complying with the redaction requirements.

Appellate Rule 26.1 – Proposes to create a new 26.1(c) requiring that the names of all debtors are disclosed in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
H.R. 3594: Social Security Debt Recovery Act of 2017 » H.R. 3594 intends to amend the Social Security Act to clarify treatment of overpayments by adding additional language to Section 207 stating that any overpayment and obligation to repay shall be determined solely under said title.

Read the full document here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
H.R. 3553: Bankruptcy Administration Improvement Act of 2017 » H.R. 3553 intends to increase to compensation that is paid to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy trustees for their services.  Additionally it increases the Bankruptcy Fees.

Read the full document here.  

July

Monday, July 24, 2017
Bankruptcy Filings at Historic Lows But Expected to Rise » The number of bankruptcies filed from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 fell 2.8 percent from the previous year with 20,758 less Chapter 7 filings, 929 less Chapter 11 filings, and 1,460 less Chapter 13 filings compared to last year.

The drop in filings is attributed mostly to the drop in unemployment and the continued historically low interest rates.  However, with the prospect of increased interest rates in the near future as well as trouble in the car finance market the bankruptcy filings are expected to increase in the next 12 month period.♦

Thursday, July 13, 2017
S. 1471: Servicemember Debt Collection Reform Act » On June 28, 2017 Senator Warren introduced S. 1471.  The Act directs the Secretary of Defendant to review and update the Department of Defense regulations to ensure that they are in compliance with the consumer debt collection laws.  The Act was referred to the Armed Services Committee on June 28, 2017.

A copy of the Servicemenber Debt Collection Act as submitted is here.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Democrats Ask FTC To Review IRS Private Debt Collection Scripts  » Four Democratic senators are asking the Federal Trade Commission for a review and briefing of the call scripts used by private debt collection companies in order to ensure taxpayer rights are protected.  Some senators are concerned that the third party collection companies are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by violating the privacy protections of taxpayers, implying threats in their call scripts, and not appropriately responding to taxpayer requests to cease and desist.  The democrats are requesting this to be completed by no later than September 1, 2017.♦

June

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Taxpayer Advocate to Tackle IRS Private Debt Collection  »  The Taxpayer Advocate Service is taking additional steps to ensure protection of taxpayer rights under the debt collection program for fiscal year 2018.  One initiative for the TAS is to exclude those recipients of Social Security who have an income below 250% of the federal poverty level from being assigned to a private debt collection agency.

Additionally, the Taxpayer Advocate Service will continue to push for more transparency of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. ♦

Friday, June 16, 2017
Anti-Robocall Law Needs Update, Industry Tells House Panel » On June 13th at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, witnesses said that Congress should review and amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to give businesses more certainty on prohibited practices while preserving the law’s consumer privacy function: protection from unsolicited robocalls, faxes, and texts.

TCPA allows consumers to sue companies that make phone calls using an automatic dialing system without prior consent. This has led to many TCPA class actions that have resulted in large settlements. In addition, messaging technologies have evolved significantly since TCPA was enacted, giving rise to inconsistent interpretations and enforcement of the statue.♦

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Cordray Says CFPB Moving Forward with Debt Collection Rules » Richard Cordray will move forward with plans to regulate debt collectors in remarks made just before the House passed a bill that would reduce the agency’s rulemaking and enforcement powers.

The Choice Act, a Republican bill, would eliminate the bureau’s supervisory functions and its authority to act against unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP), and do away with its single-director structure and independent funding.

The Bureau announced draft proposals on part of the debt collection market in 2016 that would apply to third-party debt collectors and debt buyers. ♦

March

Tuesday, March 22, 2017
Bankruptcy Filings Dropped 6 Percent in 2016  » According to the 2016 Annual Report, bankruptcy petitions dropped 6 percent to 805,580 compared to 2015. This was the lowest total since 2007. Consumer or non-business petitions accounted approximately 97 percent of all petitions filed and fell 6 percent to 781,123; business petitions accounted for 3 percent of all petitions and fell 2 percent to 24,457.

  • Chapter 7 – Filings fell 9 percent to 498,367 in 2016 (constituted 62 percent of all filings).
  • Chapter 7 – Nonbusiness filings fell 9 percent (amounted to 62 percent of all nonbusiness filings).
  • Chapter 7 – Business petitions fell 8 percent (equaled 62 percent of all business filings).
  • Chapter 11 – Filings increased 6 percent to 7,450 (The 6,329 business filings amounted to 26 percent of all business filings).
  • Chapter 13 – Filings decreased by 1 percent to 299,150 (petitions equaled 37 of all filings).
  • Chapter 13 – The 296,824 nonbusiness petitions accounted for 38 percent of all nonbusiness petitions.
  • Chapter 13 – The 2,326 business petitions increased 10 percent from 2015. ♦

Friday, March 7, 2017
CLLA Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) Hosts 4th Annual Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C. » 

PRESS RELEASE
March 7, 2017 – Wauconda, IL – The Commercial Law League of America hosted its fourth legislative event in Washington D.C. on February 26 – February 28, 2017. CLLA held its first D.C. Legislative Day in February of 2014 and found the event to be very successful in building relationships with legislators, regulators and forming relationships with other like minded organizations.

The Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Teams met with the legislative staffers of our two home Senators and our own District Representative. We also met with the appropriate Senate and House Committees.   Continue

February

Friday, February 24, 2017
Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) to Host 4th Annual Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C.  » Wauconda, IL – The Commercial Law League of America is scheduled to host its fourth legislative event in Washington D.C., February 26 – February 28, 2017. CLLA held its first D.C. Legislative Day in February of 2014 and found the event to be very successful in building relationships with legislators, regulators and forming relationships with other likeminded organizations.

The Bankruptcy Team in its continued efforts at Venue and Preference Reform will meet with Senator and House staffers from various judiciary committees and personal representatives. PDF

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

PRESS RELEASE
Commercial Law League of America Names Alan Nahmias as 2017 President’s Cup Award Winner »  Wauconda, IL, 2/21/2017 – The Commercial Law League of America has named Alan I. Nahmias, of the California-based law firm Mirman, Bubman & Nahmias, as the 2017 President’s Cup award recipient.

Nahmias, who has been a CLLA member since 1988, has held several key positions in the organization. From 1992 to 2001 he served as Bankruptcy Section Executive Council and went on to Chair the Section from 2004 to 2005. Nahmias also served as a member of the CLLA Board of Governors 2005 to 2006 and 2008 to 2010 and Recording Secretary 2007 to 2008. He is also an active member of such organizations as the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum, American Bankruptcy Institute and Financial Lawyers Conference.

CLLA will present the award to Nahmias at its 2017 National Convention and Chicago Spring Meeting, held from April 5-8, 2017 in Chicago at the Westin Michigan Avenue. Event details can be found at clla.org/events.

“I owe a great deal of who I am professionally to the CLLA,” Nahmias says of receiving the President’s Cup. “I am truly humbled to have been selected to receive this prestigious award and look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago in a few weeks.”

President’s Cup winners are selected by a special committee comprised of CLLA board members, a previous President’s Cup recipient and a member of the American Lawyers Quarterly law firm directory. Since 1964, the award has been presented to a CLLA member who has shown outstanding service to the organization, in addition to leading a respected personal and professional life.

For more information about CLLA and the President’s Cup award, visit the CLLA website, www.CLLA.org. For more on Nahmias’ firm, visit http://www.mbnlawyers.com.

Click Here for the pdf version  

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bankruptcy Filings for 2016 Hit 30-year Low: ‘Flattening Out’  » According to statistics released January 25 by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2016, dropped 5.9 percent since last year.
The annual bankruptcy filings from December 2016 totaled 794,960, compared with 844,495 cases filed in 2015.

Breakdown by Chapter:·
Chapter 7 – Filings totaled to 490,365, down from 535,047 in 2015.·
Chapter 11 – filings totaled 7,292, and increase from 7,241 in previous year.·
Chapter 13 – filings totaled 296,655, down from 301,705 in the previous year.Katherine HerreraWebster
Chamberlain & Bean, LLP
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)785-9500 x133   Fax: (202)835-0243   kherrera@wc-b.com

January

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
S.105 Introduced  » On January 11, 2017 Sen Deb Fischer (R – NEB) reintroduced bill, S. 105 to change the CFPB structure. The bill would replace Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB, with a 5-member board of directors. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and a copy of the bill can be found here.

Katherine HerreraWebster
Chamberlain & Bean, LLP
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)785-9500 x133  Fax: (202)835-0243  kherrera@wc-b.com

Friday, January 27, 2017
CLLA Update – Republican Bill Could Draw Shutters on CFPB Complaint Database  »
A Republican bill, recently introduced, could shut down the Consumer Protection Bureau’s public complaints website. The proposal says the CFPB may not make any information about a consumer complaint in such database available to the public without first verifying the accuracy of all facts alleged in such complaint.

The proposal on the complaints portal was included in the Financial Choice Act, but the bill died with the end of the 114th Congress in December 2016. The recently introduced bill is said to take action later this year.

In addition, president Trump is looking to remove Richard Cordray as director of the CFPB. It appears that Randy Neugebaurer, who tried to replace the CFPB’s director with a five-member board, is now the top contender to run the agency. As of today, president Trump has not reached a decision regarding the change of leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Katherine Herrera
Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, LLP
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)785-9500  x133   Fax: (202)835-0243   kherrera@wc-b.com

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Press Release: CLLA to Host 4th Annual Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C.
PRESS RELEASE

January 26, 2017 – Wauconda, IL – The Commercial Law League of America is scheduled to host its fourth legislative event in Washington D.C., February 26 – February 28, 2017. CLLA held its first D.C. Legislative Day in February of 2014 and found the event to be very successful in building relationships with legislators. Hill Day also helps market our organization by forming relationships with other likeminded organizations.

Historically, the League has focused on certain bankruptcy issues such as Venue and Preference Reform. This year CLLA will focus on CFPB reform to roll back the impact to our constituents, collection agencies and banks.   More information on these positions can be found on the League’s Hill Day Event page, visit www.clla.org/events and select Hill Day 2017 from the calendar.

The CLLA has devoted a section of its website, www.clla.org, to Venue Reform. The ad hoc group’s written statement as well as other related resources are available in the CLLA Venue Reform Workroom.

CLLA’s Hill Day event also provides attendees the opportunity to learn about the important lobbying work CLLA is doing and how to get its voice heard in Washington. Join CLLA in our efforts on Capitol Hill by registering online or contacting us at info@clla.org.

CLLA has a history of providing members and non-members alike with outstanding educational opportunities, many which provide state required CLE credit. CLLA has presented courses on Venue Reform for many years, as well as hosting a variety of events centered on the topic, such as the 2014 “Great Debate” at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. 2017 Capitol Hill Day is another such opportunity.

For more information on the D.C. Summit or other CLLA events, please contact us or visit our events page.

About the CLLA

Since 1895, the not-for-profit Commercial Law League of America has connected experienced attorneys with credit grantors, lending institutions and other commercial credit, bankruptcy and general finance industry members through networking, education, legislative advocacy and specialized legal services. The association’s members include attorneys, collection agencies, judges, accountants, trustees, turnaround managers and other credit and finance experts. For more information on the CLLA, please visit www.CLLA.org.  Download the PDF Version Here. 

Please contact info@clla.org for archived Newswire information dating 2016 and before.