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 …

December 2017 Continued

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. Link

October

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
H.R. 2266  » The Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act of 2017 (H.R. 2266) was presented to and signed by the President on October 26, 2017 becoming Public Law No: 115-72.♦

Thursday, October 26, 2017
House Concurrent Resolution 85  » On October 25, 2017, the Senate unanimously agreed to House Resolution 85 to change the title of H.R. 2266 from The Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017, to be titled, “Making additional supplemental appropriations for disaster relief requirements for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, and for other purposes”.

The message on the agreement by the Senate was sent to the House, and the House Clerk was directed to make the correction to the Bill. ♦

October 2017 Continued

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. ♦

September 2017 Continued

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.

August 2017 Continued

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. ♦

May

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
S.1237 Introduced » On May 25, 2017 Sen. Chuck Grassley introduced S. 1237, a bill to amend title 11 of the United States Code to clarify the rule allowing discharge as a nonpriority claim of governmental claims arising from the disposition of farm assets under chapter 12 bankruptcies.  The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a statement on the bill can be found here.

H.R. 2527 Introduced » On May 18, 2017 Rep. Steve Cohen introduced H.R. 2527, a bill to amend title 11 of the United Stated Code to modify the dischargeability of debts for certain educational payments and loans.  The bill was referred to House Judiciary Committee and the text of the bill can be found here.  

Friday, May 26, 2017
S. 1262 Introduced » On May 25, 2017 Sen. Richard Durbin introduced S.1262, a bill to amend title 11 of the United States Code with respect to certain exceptions to discharge in bankruptcy. The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a statement on the bill is here.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Education Department Reopens $2.8 Debt Collection Competition » Due to several prejudicial flaws, the Department of Education reopened the $2.8 billion debt collection competition. This means that the seven awardees of $417 million contracts will have to again compete for them.

The government’s notice of corrective action stated that it will involve minor amendments to its solicitation, requesting revised proposals and conducting a new evaluation.♦

Friday, May 12, 2017
H.R.2366 Introduced » On May 4, 2017 Rep. John Delaney (D-MD-6) introduced bill, H.R.2366, to amend title 11 of the United States Code to make student loans dischargeable. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and a copy of the bill can be found here.

Katherine Herrera
Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, LLP
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)785-9500×133  •  Fax: (202)835-0243  •  kherrera@wc-b.com

April

Friday, April 28, 2017
Downward Trend Continues in Bankruptcy Filings » The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts reported that filings for the 12-month period ending March 31 dropped 4.7 percent compared to 2016.

Filings for the annual period totaled 794,492, compared to 833,515 for the year ending in March 2016.
In December there was a decline of 5.9 percent, 6.3 percent in October and 6.9 percent in last June.

Breakdown by Chapter:
Chapter 7 – Filings totaled 488,417, down from 523,394 in 2016.
Chapter 11- Filings totaled 7,105, slightly down from 7,380 in the previous years.
Chapter 13 – Filings totaled 198,348, down from 302,193 in 2016. ♦

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Comment of the Commercial Law League of America Submitted to the United States Congress in Support of H.R. 1849 – Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2017 » Wauconda, IL, April 27, 2017 – The Commercial Law League of America (“League”), founded in 1895, is the nation’s oldest organization of attorneys and other experts in credit and finance actively engaged in the fields of commercial law, bankruptcy and reorganization. The League has long been associated with the representation of creditor interests, while seeking fair, equitable and efficient treatment of all parties in interest. League members can be found in every state across America and in many foreign countries. The League regularly submits policy papers to Congress and has testified on numerous occasions before Congress as experts in fields related to creditor interests.

Comment
The purpose of this comment is to confirm the League’s support for H. R. 1849, Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. David A. Trott [R-MI-11], co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Bishop [R-MI-8], and referred to the House Financial Services Committee on 4/3/2017. H. R. 1849 is consistent with long-standing League comments and position papers related to the regulation of attorneys. The League supports H.R. 1849, because it would amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to exclude law firms and licensed attorneys who are engaged in activities related to legal proceedings from the definition of a debt collector, and amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to prevent the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from exercising supervisory or enforcement authority with respect to attorneys when undertaking certain actions related to legal proceedings, and for other purposes.
For further information, please see prior League comments attached hereto or contact:
Lori J. Frank, Esquire
Legislative Liaison to the Board of Governors
Email: lori@ljfrankpc.com
Daniel C. Kerrick, Esquire
Creditors Rights Section, Legislative Committee
Email: dkerrick@cskdelaw.com
James Kozelek, Esquire
Creditors Rights Section, Legislative Committee
Email:jkozelek@weltman.com

Download the PDF version

Comments…

David E. Greenberg says…
Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2017: Well done and fully appreciated.

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. Continue

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

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. 

 

CLLA Newswire Archive 2016