It looks like much of December will be spent sitting around the RUFO sickbed, waiting for the clause to expire of natural causes on December 31. The clause, recall, prevents Argentina from "voluntarily" giving holdout creditors a better deal than the one given to restructuring participants. When the RUFO clause expires, we will see whether country officials viewed it as a serious barrier to negotiation or, rather, as a convenient excuse to justify their refusal to negotiate.
In the interim, however, there are some potentially interesting developments on the horizon:

Credit Slips
(posted 1 week 22 hours ago)
Associated Press

People with unpaid medical bills are finding themselves in a “haphazard system” of debt collection, in which some consumers don’t realize they owe money or are still waiting for bills when their debt is sent to a collections agency, a U.S. regulator says.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday issued a study highlighting concerns about how consumers are treated when their medical bills are sent to collections.
It comes as CFPB officials are working on a proposal for new consumer protections for the debt-collection market.  Those rules, expected to be unveiled next year, are likely to target the kinds of practices criticized by the CFPB.

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 1 week 23 hours ago)
Associated Press

Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy case officially ended Wednesday, a day after the city’s emergency manager resigned, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The closed Revel Casino Hotel is asking a bankruptcy judge to terminate a $110 million deal to sell the boardwalk resort to a Canadian private-equity firm, putting a Florida-based real-estate developer in line to buy the Atlantic City property. WSJ has the Daily Bankruptcy Review article here.
(Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 1 week 23 hours ago)

More robust risk management frameworks and technology infrastructures are at least as important as higher capital standards in preventing another global financial crisis.

BankThink
(posted 1 week 1 day ago)

In the United States, the term “tax break” is often used pejoratively, as if to imply the inherent unfairness of any regulation that does not tax everyone in exactly the same manner. However, there are valid policy reasons that cause different people to be taxed accordingly. Still, due to the stigma associated with passing ‘tax breaks,’ legislatures do not often publicize them unless they will apply to a wide swath of people. Because of this, it is very likely that you are eligible for tax breaks you may not be aware of.
Credits, Deductions and Exemptions
Under the law, there are many categories of ‘tax break,’ and they all differ in terms of the procedure used to claim them.
A tax credit allows you to subtract a certain amount from the amount of tax you owe the government. New York has several tax credit options, most of which mirror those found on the federal return. The major credit that differs is called the Empire State child tax credit. Many states have tax credits for qualifying children, but the amount of the New York credit is specifically contingent on whether someone has claimed the federal child tax credit as well – if not, the amount of the credit will be significantly less.

(posted 1 week 1 day ago)

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Through the Back Door: Democrats are pushing back against the GOP's effort to repeal a Dodd-Frank derivatives rule by slipping the change into the government spending bill slated for a vote today. Analysis in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal suggests that getting rid of the rule would be a bad idea Â-- but not for the obvious reasons. The provision obliges banks to move a small percentage of derivatives...

BankThink
(posted 1 week 1 day ago)

Will we have an appropriations bill before a government shutdown? The fight over the 2015 Appropriations Bill is now focused on one of the non-appropriations measures stuck onto the bill by the House GOP. That provision would repeal section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which prohibits bailouts of swap entities and pushes certain types of particularly risky swaps out of insured depositories. Section 716 might be thought of as the "Banks Aren't Casinos" provision of Dodd-Frank. On the surface, the fight about section 716 looks like a partisan squabble. But the real issue is the internal Democratic Party struggle going on because if the Democratic leadership doesn't force party discipline in opposing the appropriations bill with this provision, the appropriations bill will likely pass. The outcome of the internal Democratic debate is frankly more important than whether section 716 gets rolled back. (I write that because I don't think the no-bailouts prohibition in section 716 is credible or that any prohibition on bailouts can be credible. When things get hairy, we'll bail, law be damned.) No, what matters here is how Democrats line up. The fight over section 716 is a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party.

Credit Slips
(posted 1 week 1 day ago)

Here are common holiday "deals" that look good on the surface -- but are financial time bombs waiting to go off. Thanks to USAA financial services for bringing them to my attention. I share them with you:

1) "90-days same as cash." Don't pay it in time and you could be hit with accumulated finance charges and double-digit interest rates. Now it's no longer such a good deal.

2) "5 years interest free." Don't believe it. They cannot stay in business if they don't put interest somewhere in the charge to pay for their own loans. The charge is probably hidden in the price. Or maybe enough borrowers fail to meet the terms and get hit with suspended accumulated interest to make the business practice a money-maker.

3) "Skip a payment." There's no free lunch (if I may coin a phrase). The interest may be folded into principal increasing the cost of your financing. They are not doing you favors.

(posted 1 week 1 day ago)
In this July 27, 2009 photo, Scott Rothstein is shown in his former office.
Associated Press

Some of Ponzi scheme-operator Scott Rothstein’s law firm creditors could soon be paid in full, more than five years after the exposure of Mr. Rothstein’s $1 billion-plus fraud brought on the firm’s collapse.
A bankruptcy judge has been asked to approve a final distribution to unsecured creditors of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, the now-defunct South Florida law firm that Mr. Rothstein used to conduct his massive fraud.
Trustee Michael Goldberg, responsible for getting checks out to creditors, on Tuesday filed court papers seeking the court’s permission to send out of millions of dollars to the holders of nearly 80 unsecured claims. Among those slated for final payment are the NBA’s Miami Heat, which would receive nearly $172,000, and the American Heart Association, which would receive more than $26,000.

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 1 week 1 day ago)

Diapers.com founder Marc Lore’s soon-to-be-launched shopping site, Jet, recently bought itself access to a bevy of prospective customers in a bankruptcy auction.
The fire sale of failed shopping website Hukkster’s customer lists, website code, and other remaining assets ended with Jet submitting a $65,000 winning bid.
The sale, approved Wednesday by a judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, will barely chip away at an estimated $1.6 million in debt that Hukkster left behind when it shut down operations and filed for Chapter 7 protection in August. Once touted by the Winklevoss twins as the next big thing in online deal sites, Hukkster burned through several million dollars in investments by the time of its bankruptcy.
Founded in 2012, Hukkster notified shoppers when retailers lowered prices on items they were watching. The company made money off referral fees from retailers. Its debts include the repayment of $1.5 million in unsecured loans that it borrowed between January and March, as well as payments to vendors and its former lawyers, court filings show.

WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat
(posted 1 week 1 day ago)