Press Releases Archive
September 24, 2019
Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) Introduce H.R. 4421, the Bankruptcy Venue Reform Act of 2019
Rolling Meadows, IL, September 24, 2019 – Last week, two of the Commercial Law League of America’s (“CLLA”) friends in Congress, Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), introduced H.R. 4421, bipartisan, common-sense legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to reform and strengthen the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Reps. Charlie Christ (D-FL), and Greg Steube (R-FL) have also signed on as original cosponsors. Simply put, our country’s Bankruptcy Code allows companies to flee their communities, employees, and local creditors to reorganize their finances in another state that might be more sympathetic to their interests.
August 29, 2019
Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 Signed Into Law
Rolling Meadows, IL, August 2, 2019 – The Commercial Law League of America (“CLLA”) is pleased to announce that on August 23, 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (“SBRA”) (H.R. 3311), HAVEN Act (H.R. 2938), The National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act of 2019 (H.R. 3304), and the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2336). The CLLA is active in bankruptcy reform efforts and recently lobbied the Senate in support of the SBRA. The CLLA believes that the SBRA will enable small businesses, defined as having a total of noncontingent liquidated secured and unsecured debt of less than $2,725,625, to obtain Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief more quickly and cheaply. Among the features of the SBRA are (1) an automatically appointed, standing trustee whose authority and duties are similar to those of a standing Chapter 13 trustee; (2) creditors’ committees will not be appointed absent a showing of cause; (3) no disclosure statement will be required; (4) only the debtor may file a plan; and, perhaps most importantly, (5) provided the debtor contributes all of its disposal income over a three to five year period, and its proposed plan is “fair and equitable” and feasible, the bankruptcy court may confirm a Chapter 11 plan under the SBRA even without an assenting class of creditors, and even without paying unsecured claims in full. The statute will take effect on February 1, 2020 and will provide a significant opportunity for more small businesses to reorganize through Chapter 11. READ MORE
August 2, 2019
Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 Passed by US Senate
Rolling Meadows, IL, August 2, 2019 – The Commercial Law League of America (“CLLA”) is pleased to announce that yesterday the United States Senate passed the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (“SBRA”) (H.R. 3311), HAVEN Act (H.R. 2938), the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2336), and the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act (H.R.3304). All four bills were passed by a voice vote. The bills will now be sent to President Trump for his consideration. The CLLA is active in bankruptcy reform efforts and has recently lobbied the Senate in support of the SBRA. The SBRA (S. 1091) was a bipartisan bill sponsored in the Senate by Senators Grassley, Whitehouse, Tillis, Klobuchar, Ernst, and Blumenthal. The CLLA believes that the SBRA will enable small businesses, defined as having a total of noncontingent, liquidated, secured, and unsecured debt of less than $2,725,625, to obtain Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief more quickly and cheaply. Small businesses make up the vast majority of Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, and it is expected that this will provide a cost effective and predictable remedy for small businesses seeking to reorganize, while at the same time providing the creditors’ legitimate right to be paid in the bankruptcy case. READ MORE
July 29, 2019
Commercial Law League of America Announces Premier Certification Renewal Agreement with the IACC
Rolling Meadows, IL, July 29, 2019 – The Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) is pleased to announce their renewed agreement with the International Association of Commercial Collectors (IACC) to jointly continue providing certification for the CLLA Commercial Collection Agency Certification Program. READ MORE
June 25, 2019
Commercial Law League Announces 2019 Lawrence P. King Award Winner
Rolling Meadows, IL 6/25/19 — The Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) and its Bankruptcy Section are pleased to announce that they will present the Lawrence P. King Award to G. Eric Brunstad, Jr. at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ) in Washington, D.C. in October 2019.
The CLLA events at NCBJ will take place on October 31, 2019. They include the CLLA Luncheon, featuring the Lawrence P. King Award presentation, and the Keynote presentation “How Ronald Reagan Turned Around a Failing Economy and Ended the Cold War.” Following the luncheon will be the Honorable Frank W. Koger Memorial Education Program. READ MORE
May 16, 2019
Commercial Law League 125th National Convention a Success. Robert Ingold Awarded 2019 CLLA President’s Cup
Rolling Meadows, IL 5/16/19 — The Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) held its 125th National Convention on May 2-5, 2019 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. Attendees explored the multi-tracked, educational event covering topics in bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, complex litigation, legislation and collections. Attendees were awarded continuing legal education (CLE), and offered opportunities for networking through planned social events, and witnessed the Passing of the Gavel, the President’s Cup Award presentation, and the induction ceremonies of leadership roles at the Annual Awards Luncheon.
Timothy Wan, Smith Carroad Levy Wan & Parikh, PC Sworn in as President of CLLA
During the convention, the third-ever female President, Lorna Walker, Sweet & Walker, PC, San Francisco, California, “passed the gavel” to Timothy Wan, Senior Partner at Smith Carroad Levy Wan & Parikh, PC of Commack, New York. READ MORE
March 8, 2019
Commercial Law League Sixth Annual Hill Day A Success
Rolling Meadows, IL 3/8/19 — On February 25, 2019, the Commercial Law League of America returned to Capitol Hill for its Sixth Annual Hill Day. This year’s delegation numbered 24, making it the largest group to date. Collectively the commercial law activists had over one hundred meetings with Congressional members and staff. The group was broken into three teams: bankruptcy venue reform, bankruptcy preference reform and creditors’ rights.
The bankruptcy venue reform team, which included retired Bankruptcy Judges Russell Nelms and Steven Rhodes, sought support for a new version of the Bankruptcy Venue Reform Act of 2018. This legislation, which was co-sponsored by U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Elizabeth Warren, would eliminate the ability of companies to file for bankruptcy in distant forums based on their state of incorporation or the location of an affiliate. The bill was drafted with assistance from Prof. Jay Westbrook of the University of Texas School of Law (who was also the 2018 recipient of the King Award).
The preference reform team advocated for an end to abusive practices related to recovery of preferential transfers, such as trustees suing everyone who received payments during the 90 days before bankruptcy and filing suit on small claims in distant forums. The CLLA’s package of reforms included a meet and confer requirement prior to filing a preference suit, requiring that preference suits seeking to recover $50,000 or less be filed in the defendant’s home district and including payments made under settlement agreements within the ordinary course of business defense.
The creditor’s rights contingent focused on H.R. 5082, a House Bill from the 115th Congress that made it out of the Financial Services Committee but did not make it to the floor for a full House of Representatives vote. 5082 sought to exempt attorneys actively engaged in litigation from the definition of a debt collector under the FDCPA. In addition, 5082 sought to remove attorneys engaged in litigation from CFPB authority unless the attorney was not a debt collector and is providing a financial product or service. Although it is unlikely that 5082 will be re-introduced in the 116th Congress, much positive feedback was provided, and the creditor’s rights team will continue to focus on drafting potential legislation addressing this critical area as well as reaching out to elected officials to build bi-partisan support.
March 8, 2019
Commercial Law League Celebrates Diversity by “Passing the Presidential Gavel”
Rolling Meadows, IL 3/8/19 — The Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) is pleased to announce that at the upcoming 125th National Convention on May 2-4, 2019, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida, the third-ever female President, Lorna Walker, Sweet & Walker, of San Francisco, California, will be “passing the gavel” to Timothy Wan, Senior Partner at Smith Carroad Levy Wan & Parikh, PC of Commack, New York.
“As the third madam president, I am honored that I will be the one to swear in Mr. Wan. I have worked closely with him over the past few years and know he will do an excellent job. I am confident that our league will benefit greatly from his leadership and enthusiasm,” stated Ms. Walker.
Mr. Wan enthusiastically remarked, “As the first-ever non-white President, and one of the youngest, I am honored to be receiving this heavy mantle. I am ready to roll up my sleeves, and make change happen – more than just because of finally breaking the diversity wall!”
Attendance at the convention is open to members and non-members.
March 7, 2019
Commercial Law League Names Robert Ingold as 2019 President’s Cup Award Winner
Rolling Meadows, IL 3/7/19 — The Commercial Law League of America has named Robert Ingold, Chief Executive Officer of the Commercial Collection Corp. of NY, as the 2019 President’s Cup award recipient.
Mr. Ingold has held several key positions in The Commercial Law League. He has served on the Board of Governors of the CLLA, as a former chair of the Commercial Collection Agency Section of the CLLA, and as a former chair of the Eastern District of CLLA – the first agency member to hold this office in over 100 years. He is a past recipient of the CLLA Robert E. Caine Leadership Award. Mr. Ingold also served as a past President of IACC, and was a recipient of the IACC Leadership Award. Currently, Mr. Ingold is a member of the IACC Board of Directors.
Mr. Ingold joined Commercial Collection Corp of NY in 1979 from Chase Manhattan as an installment banking officer. Since then, the company has evolved from a third party collection agency to a multi-service company in the accounts receivable arena – First Party collections, Lien Services, Credit/Collection Training and Seminars, Credit Reporting services and Letter Writing programs – with offices in Buffalo, Ohio, Louisville, Ft. Lauderdale, Saratoga Springs, Minneapolis, NYC and Montreal, Canada. Mr. Ingold is a frequent lecturer on the Art of Commercial Collections as well as other subjects relating to the industry. Mr. Ingold is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
CLLA will present the award to Ingold at its 125th National Convention, held from May 2 – May 5, 2019 in Orlando at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort.
“Thank you for notifying me as well as being your selection,” Ingold said upon hearing of his nomination. “It is indeed a privilege to share with so many terrific winners.”
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 on Ingold and Commercial Collection Corp. of NY, visit www.commercialcollection.com.
February 12, 2019
Commercial Law League Finalizing Preparations for Its 6th Annual Capitol Hill Day
Rolling Meadows, IL 2/12/19 — The Commercial Law League of America is finalizing preparations for its 6th Annual Capitol Hill Day where important policy issues will be discussed and promoted on behalf of its members, constituents and in the interest of the credit and finance industry. This year, the following issues will be pursued.
Bankruptcy Venue Reform
The League supports a rebalancing of where commercial Chapter 11 cases are filed and distributed throughout the country. Thus, it proposes legislation reform that limits venue to only where the debtor is headquartered or where its principal assets are located. Link
June 28, 2016
CLLA Forms Government Affairs Committee Link
May 18, 2016
Press Release – For Immediate Release
CLLA and The Venue Group Publish Data on Bankruptcy Forum Shopping
Wauconda, IL May 18, 2016 – The Commercial Law League of America, a long-time leader in the push for national bankruptcy venue reform and The Venue Group, an ad hoc group of lawyers located throughout the country, have developed and recently published a list of bankruptcy cases that were filed in Delaware or the Southern District of New York instead of their home states. The results are astonishing.
For the eleven-year period between 2004 and 2014, a total of 745 cases (630 to Delaware and 115 to the SDNY) were filed outside their home jurisdictions involving approximately $909 billion in assets, $1.88 trillion in liabilities affecting 5.3 million creditors and nearly 2 million employees. As a consequence of forum shopping, bankruptcy courts located in remote cities decide the fate of hundreds of companies located in other states, likely with limited input from the home base of those most directly impacted by the bankruptcy such as employees, trade creditors and retirees holding pensions. This trend is not limited to large publicly held companies, almost half of the listed Delaware cases involved smaller businesses with less than $15 million in assets at the time of filing. The CLLA has been a long supporter of bankruptcy venue reform, that in its present form eliminates the state of incorporation as a proper forum for reorganizing a business and limits gamesmanship with affiliate-based filings to achieve forum shopping goals. To review the case data or for further information about the CLLA’s and The Venue Group’s efforts, please log onto The Venue Reform Workroom at the CLLA’s website located at www.clla.org/venue.
April 27, 2016
Press Release – For Immediate Release
CLLA Referral Translates Into Big Win for CLLA Member and Victims’ Families
Wauconda, IL April 27, 2016 – The United States Supreme Court in a 6-2 ruling on April 20, 2016, upheld the rights of victims of terrorism and their families to collect nearly $2 billion dollars from the Republic of Iran in the case Peterson v. Markazi. The landmark decision is a win for the victims’ families and the CLLA Member attorney representing them.
In 2012, Congress passed the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012. In 2013, the plaintiffs were successful in obtaining a United States District Court order requiring Citibank, N.A., Clearstream Banking SA and Banca UBAE SpA to turn over to the Plaintiffs approximately 2 billion in funds those banks held for the benefit of the Central Bank of Iran. Lead counsel for the Plaintiffs in the action was Liviu Vogel, of the law firm of Salon Marrow Dyckman Newman & Broudy LLP of New York City. The Plaintiffs were the families of the United Marines injured or killed in the 1983 terrorist bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Attorney Vogel was retained in 2008 after judgment had been obtained by the Plaintiffs and over the next 8 years he undertook the lead in seeking out avenues to attach, seize and collect the funds. The firm successfully obtained an order in 2013 directing the turnover of close to Two Billion Dollars in post judgment enforcement proceedings against the government of Iran and its central bank under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities act of 1976 and anti-terrorism statutes, including The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. The order was affirmed by the Second Circuit of Appeal which was then appealed to the United States Supreme Court. This marks the largest successful enforcement of a judgment held by victims of terrorism against any foreign sovereign to date.
The matter was referred to Liviu Vogel based in part on his membership in the Commercial Law League of America. Vogel stated, “. . . my membership and active participation in the League was instrumental in having this matter referred to my firm through contacts [made] in the League.” The League congratulates Attorney Vogel, his firm and especially his clients on this ruling in bringing some relief to the victims.
The issue before the Supreme Court was whether Congress had exceeded its authority when it passed the 2012 law aimed at specifically securing restitution as outlined herein. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority stated, “Applying laws implementing Congress’ policy judgments, with fidelity to those judgments, is commonplace for the Judiciary.”
The case was argued before the Supreme Court in January prior to Justice Antonia Scalia’s passing. The Plaintiffs did not know whether the court would choose to render a decision or elect to hear the case again when a 9th Justice is appointed.
The two Justices who voted against affirmation of the lower court ruling were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor who questioned whether Congress had the right to interfere with the role of judiciary in passing the 2012 law when the case was still pending before the courts.
April 25, 2016
Press Release – For Immediate Release
The Commercial Law League of America Announces New Agency Member Section
Wauconda, IL 4/25/2016 — Individual members of collection agencies have a new home within the Commercial Law League of America.
At the 122nd National Convention of the CLLA, the Board of Governors approved the formation of a new section for collection agency members. Triadic business (forwarded between collection agencies, law lists, and attorneys) has long been and continues to be an important part of the CLLA and this section will further emphasize the value of that business to its members. CLLA members that are agency owners or employees will be eligible to join the Agency Members Section (AMS). While participation in the joint CLLA/IACC certification program will be encouraged, it will not be a pre-requisite for membership.
April 21, 2016
Press Release – For Immediate Release
The Commercial Law League of America Responds to the Passing of HR 2947 Bankruptcy Bill by Voice Vote
Wauconda, IL 4/19/2016 — Peter Califano, Commercial Law League of America’s (CLLA) president states, “The CLLA supports the use of the bankruptcy system to address the financial ills of large financial institutions, as opposed to the non-bankruptcy resolution process provided under the Dodd-Frank Act. We believe that a process overseen by an experienced bankruptcy judge and guided by time-tested bankruptcy principles is invaluable.”
The House passed HR 2947 on April 12 2016. The bill would overhaul the bankruptcy process for failing financial institutions. The measure passed in a voice vote, after the House Judiciary Committee moved it in a 25-0 vote.
The bill is designed to set up a specialized form of bankruptcy for large financial institutions that would be less disruptive to the economy than the process available under current law. House Financial Services Committee Jeb Hensarling said the bill “is the first step to ending ‘too big to fail’ once and for all.”
Hensarling said the next step is the Financial Services Committee passing a bill later this week that would repeal part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that gives the government the power to unwind a failing financial firm outside of bankruptcy in a process known as orderly liquidation authority. To view bill HR 2947, click here.
February 24, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU ORDERS CITIBANK TO PROVIDE RELIEF TO CONSUMERS FOR ILLEGAL DEBT SALES AND COLLECTION PRACTICES Link
February 22, 2016
Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) to Host 3rd Annual Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C.
Wauconda, IL 2/15/2016 — The Commercial Law League of America is scheduled to host its third Legislative event in Washington D.C., February 28 – March 1, 2016. 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. Historically, the League has focused on certain bankruptcy issues such as Venue and Preference Reform. This year, CLLA will expand the focus to include limiting FDCPA expansion. 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 2016 from the calendar.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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”. 2016 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 www.clla.org/events
February 18, 2016
FTC Reports on 2015 Activities to Combat Illegal Debt Collection Practices
Summary Provided to CFPB for Annual Report to Congress Link
January 25, 2016
Deborah K. Ebner, FactorLaw Join Forces Link
January 14, 2016
Andersen, Randall & Richards and The Bessenbacher Co. Announce Merger Creating BARR Credit Services, Inc. Link
January 11, 2016
FTC and State Law Enforcement Partners Announce More Actions and Results in Continuing Crackdown Against Abusive Debt Collectors
In four separate actions, the Federal Trade Commission is announcing that it has stopped illegal debt collection tactics of several debt collection operations. In addition, other federal and state law enforcement officials have taken 12 more actions as part of a federal-state-local law enforcement initiative against deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. The cases announced today bring to 130 the number of actions taken over the past year by more than 70 law enforcement partners in Operation Collection Protection.
The continuing nationwide crackdown targets collectors whose illegal tactics include harassing phone calls, false threats of lawsuits and arrest, attempts to collect phony debts, not providing consumers with legally required disclosures, and noncompliance with state licensing requirements. Click here to read the full press release