3 posts from September 2020

Bankruptcy, Credit, and Finance Panels at Upcoming AALS Meeting

posted by Pamela Foohey

As with (almost) all events now, the 2021 AALS Annual Meeting is going forward as a virtual conference at the beginning of January. Deadlines for calls for papers are approaching soon. For our professor readers, the Section on Financial Institutions and Consumer Financial Protection and the Section on Commercial & Consumer Law have calls that may interest you. Details about each below the break.

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Congressional testimony on Small Business Lending regulation

posted by Adam Levitin

I am testifying later today (virtually) before the House Small Business Committee on "Transparency in Small Business Lending."  My written testimony is here.

Here's the background: consumer credit is governed by an extensive regulatory regime, starting with disclosure regulation, but extending to some substantive term regulation, and regular supervision (inspections) of lenders. There is no equivalent system for business lending.

The lack of protections for businesses is because they are presumed to be more sophisticated entities, but the range of financial and legal sophistication among businesses varies considerably. In particular, small businesses are often much more similar to consumers, and in fact their borrowing is often based on the owner's personal credit and guarantied by the owner and collateralized by the owner's personal property.

This leaves small businesses vulnerable to abusive practices that were prohibited in the consumer credit markets in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s:  disclosure of credit costs in non-standardized and misleading terms (e.g., quoting daily interest rates, rather than annual percentage rates, as required for consumer credit by the Truth in Lending Act), and confessions of judgment (prohibited for consumers by the FTC Credit Practices Rule). 

The Committee's chairwoman, Rep. Nydia Velázquez, has proposed a bill that would extend some consumer credit protections to loans for under $2.5 million made to small businesses, as well as create a system for regulating brokers of small business loans. The bill is an important step forward. While there are some tweaks I'd like to see to it, I very much hope it advances and becomes law. 

 

D-DebtCon 2020 Starts in Pretoria Labor Day Monday 9 AM EDT

posted by Anna Gelpern

DebtCon4 (aka the 4th Interdisciplinary Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference) was all set to meet at the European University Institute tomorrow ... then #2020 tried to one-up snowzilla. But DebtCon does not quit--certainly not when exports crater, inflows turn into outflows, and debt levels go through the roof around the world--DebtCon doubles down, marches on, and smites the plague with a truly humbling show of global cooperation.

When DebtCon4 in Florence had to be postponed to 2021, ten host committees around the world miraculously reconstituted as the first-ever virtual Distributed DebtCon (#DDebtCon), a two-week sovereign debt-a-thon spanning nine countries,* five time zones, and every continent save for Australia and Antarctica. 

*We counted - (1) Argentina, (2) Barbados, (3) China, (4) Italy, (5) Singapore, (6) South Africa, (7) Switzerland, (8) UK, (9) US - plus global and regional host organizations, including III (also co-sponsoring the event), CEPR, and ABFER.

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.

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