Miss Yesterday’s Webinar Examining New Bankruptcy Laws? Replay Available!

Miss Yesterday’s Webinar Examining New Bankruptcy Laws? Replay Available!

ABI Bankruptcy Brief

August 29, 2019

ABI Bankruptcy Brief

Miss Yesterday’s Webinar Examining New Bankruptcy Laws to Help Distressed Small Businesses, Disabled Veterans and Family Farmers? Replay Available!

Experts participated on an ABI Media Webinar yesterday that provided an overview of the recently enacted “Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019” (H.R. 3311), “HAVEN Act” (H.R. 2938) and “Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019” (H.R. 2336). President Donald J. Trump on Aug. 23 signed the bipartisan bills into law. The webinar features:

Robert J. Keach of Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson (Portland, Maine) discussing SBRA. Keach testified on ABI’s behalf in support of H.R. 3311, H.R. 2938 and H.R. 2336 before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on June 25.

Kristina Stanger of Nyemaster Goode, P.C. (Des Moines, Iowa) and Jessica Hopton Youngberg of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at the New England Center & Home for Veterans in Boston, both members of ABI's Veterans' Affairs Task Force, discussing the HAVEN Act.

Joseph A. Peiffer of Ag & Business Legal Strategies (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Donald L. Swanson of Koley Jessen (Omaha, Neb.), both with more than 30 years of experience in bankruptcy and agricultural law, discussing the Family Farmer Relief Act.

ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano moderated the webinar. To watch the replay, please click here.

Commentary: Private Equity's Abuse of Limited Liability*

One of the central features of the Stop Wall Street Looting Act that was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a number of co-sponsors is a targeted rollback of limited liability, according to a CreditSlips blog post by Prof. Adam Levitin of Georgetown University Law. This provision, more than any other, has gotten some commentators’ hackles up, even those who are willing to admit that there are real problems in the private-equity industry and who welcome some of the other reforms in the bill. The idea that limited liability is a sine qua non of the modern economy is practically Gospel to most business commentators. These commentators assume that without limited liability, no one will ever assume risks, such that any curtailment of limited liability is a death sentence for the private-equity industry, but they're wrong, according to Levitin. Limited liability is a substantial, regressive cross-subsidy to capital at the expense of tort creditors, tax authorities and small businesses. Limited liability is a relic of the underdeveloped financial markets of the Gilded Age and operates as an implicit form of leverage provided by law, according to Levitin. But it’s hardly either economically efficient or necessary for modern business activity.

*The views expressed in this commentary are from the author/publication cited, are meant for informative purposes only, and are not an official position of ABI.

Latest ABI Podcast Features Experts Discussing Consumer Commission's Recommendations on Discharge Violations, Attorney Competency and Lawyer Misconduct

ABI's latest podcast features members of ABI's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy discussing recommendations from the Final Report looking at remedies for discharge violations, attorney competency and remedying lawyer misconduct. Commissioner Rudy Cerone of McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC, (New Orleans) moderates the discussion with fellow Commissioners Tara Twomey of the National Consumer Law Center (San Jose, Calif.) and Richardo Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Associates, P.C. (Auburn Hills, Mich.), and Karen Cordry of the National Association of Attorneys General (Washington, D.C.), who was a member of the Chapter 7 Advisory Committee.

White Paper: Retailers Face Tough Decisions as China Tariff Pressures Mount

To date, many consumer goods such as toys, shoes and electronics have been strategically exempted from the tariffs, which has to a great extent spared U.S. shoppers from feeling the pain at the point of sale. But based on the Trump administration’s position, if the most recent round of talks on the issue between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping do not end well, the pain could become very real for both U.S. consumers and the businesses they frequent sooner rather than later, according to a research paper by Hilco Global. New tariffs could impact 100 percent of the toys and sports equipment imported from China to the United States, as well as 93 percent of the footwear and 91 percent of textiles and clothing, according to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Moving ahead, many retailers may experience shortages of supply as they seek non-Chinese vendors and ramp up those new and intricate relationships. Additionally, because most are not in a position to raise pricing enough to nullify the impact of the increased tariffs on their businesses, it can also be expected that we will see continued compression of retail gross margins.

Banks Fire Up Their Mortgage Machines for a Refinancing Boom

With rates for home loans sinking to their lowest levels since late 2016, Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest mortgage lender in the U.S., has boosted staffing for the business by about 10 percent this year and plans to keep hiring. Bank of America Corp. is hiring in areas including sales, processing and underwriting. The mortgage industry has added almost 5,000 employees since March, a 1.5 percent gain, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The volume of applications for refinancing mortgages has more than tripled since December, according to a barometer from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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New on ABI’s Bankruptcy Blog Exchange: Small Business Reorganization Act Signed into Law — A New Frontier for Small Business Bankruptcies

President Trump on Aug. 23 signed the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) into law. The SBRA is scheduled to take effect on February 22, 2020, and offers small businesses with aggregate liabilities that do not exceed $2,725,625 the opportunity to resolve their outstanding debts through a condensed and price conscious chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, according to a recent blog post. This new proceeding is to be governed under subchapter V to chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

To read more on this blog and all others on the ABI Blog Exchange, please click here.

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