The work of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 continues, and will continue until its final report is issued later this year. Attendees of NACM's 2014 Credit Congress, currently underway at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, FL, got a look behind the curtain however, as an elite group of Commissioners and Commission Committee leaders gathered to provide the trade credit community with a status report rich with insight.
Moderated largely by Professor Michelle Harner, the Commission's reporter, the session illustrated the depth and breadth of the Commission's work, as well as the value of the commercial credit industry's input and the seriousness with which it's being treated by the Commission. Despite not actually being a Commission hearing like the one hosted at last year's NACM Credit Congress in Las Vegas, the Commission received even more insight into the trade credit world's opinions on the Chapter 11 systems extant flaws. Harner played the role of both moderator and recorder as she took down copious notes during the lively discussion between the panel and the credit professionals in attendance and also gave attendees her contact information so that they can share their thoughts with her regarding the Commission's work that will eventually yield a set of policy recommendations to reform Chapter 11 in a way that makes it more effective for all parties involved.
Panelists included Co-Chairs of the Commission's Avoiding Powers Committee Bruce Nathan, Esq. and Ronald Peterson, as well as Commissioner Geoffrey Berman, who joined the program via Skype. Despite carefully avoiding any specific policy recommendations that the Commission might eventually make, the session was a highlight of Credit Congress' Tuesday afternoon educational program, featuring lively back-and-forth dialogue and deep, eye-opening discussions of the greater issues that surround the trade credit community's biggest gripes with the Chapter 11 process, and the interconnectedness of these issues that makes revising the Bankruptcy Code such an enormous, worthy task.
Credit Congress continues in Orlando. Stay tuned to NACM's publications now and throughout the year for more on the fascinating issues raised during the session and more on how the Commission eventually shapes its policy suggestions.
- Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer