Len Weiser-Varon

Len Weiser-Varon

Mintz Levin

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Federal Appellate Court Rules That Post-Acceleration Payment in Bankruptcy Constitutes Optional Redemption

The linked Mintz Levin client advisory discusses a recent Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that held a “make-whole” optional redemption premium to be due upon a refinancing of corporate debt following its automatic...more

12/7/2016 - Accelerated Payments Appeals Debtors Energy Futures Holdings Make-Whole Premium

Three Strikes and Recovery Act is Out

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust puts an end to one of Puerto Rico’s multi-pronged efforts to deleverage itself. Given the comprehensiveness of the...more

6/13/2016 - Bankruptcy Code Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v Franklin California Tax-Free Trust Contracts Clause Debt Enforcement & Recovery Act (DERA) Preemption Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) SCOTUS

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can’t Call it an Airplane: Supreme Court Oral Arguments Suggest Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act...

A few thoughts on Tuesday’s oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the litigation over whether Puerto Rico’s Public Corporations Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act, an insolvency statute for certain of its government...more

3/25/2016 - Bankruptcy Code Chapter 9 Congressional Intent Debt Enforcement & Recovery Act (DERA) Debt Relief Impairment of Contracts Insolvency Municipal Bankruptcy Puerto Rico SCOTUS Tenth Amendment

Draft Treasury Legislation Would Give Puerto Rico Access to “Super Chapter 9” and Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

A draft of the U.S. Treasury’s proposed debt restructuring legislation began circulating earlier today. The draft legislation would give Puerto Rico, as well as other U.S. territories, and their municipalities access to U.S....more

2/26/2016 - Bonds Chapter 9 Commercial Bankruptcy Debt Restructuring Municipal Bankruptcy Pending Legislation Public Finance Puerto Rico U.S. Treasury

Que Certa, Certa: Supreme Court Creates Uncertainty with “Cert” Review of Puerto Rico Recovery Act

It is said that muddy water is best cleared by leaving it be. The Supreme Court’s December 4 decision to review the legality of Puerto Rico’s local bankruptcy law, the Recovery Act, despite a well-reasoned First Circuit...more

12/9/2015 - Certiorari Chapter 9 Creditors Debt Restructuring Municipal Bankruptcy Puerto Rico SCOTUS

ABLE Programs and Beneficiaries Boosted by Helpful Guidance from IRS and Social Security Administration

The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE Act), one of the few recent examples of bipartisan cooperation on a new category of tax and budget expenditure, is both well-intentioned in its...more

11/24/2015 - ABLE Act Disability IRS New Guidance Social Security Administration (SSA) Social Security Numbers U.S. Treasury

Can Alphabet Soup Fix Puerto Rico’s Debt Service Issues?

Last week, the Working Group for the Fiscal and Economic Recovery of Puerto Rico gave the broadest hint yet of the next tactic in Puerto Rico’s ongoing quest to deleverage itself. Although the details have not yet been...more

9/28/2015 - Creditors Debt Relief Debt Restructuring Municipal Bonds Municipal Securities Issuers Puerto Rico Sales Tax Tax Revenues

The IRS’s Proposed ABLE Regulations: Obstacles for Launching State Programs, and Potential Solutions

The IRS’s recently-published proposed regulations for Section 529A qualified ABLE programs have taken some wind out of the sails of state program administrators and potential program managers who had hoped for regulations...more

6/30/2015 - Disability IRS Section 529A

IRS’s Proposed Section 529A Regulations for ABLE Programs: A Mixed Bag

The IRS today published, right on deadline, its proposed regulations relating to Section 529A state-sponsored “qualified ABLE programs,” under which tax-advantaged investment accounts may be established to fund future...more

6/22/2015 - Disability IRS Medicaid Proposed Regulation Section 529A

First Circuit Hears Oral Arguments on Validity of Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act

A few reactions to today’s oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit regarding the validity of Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act...more

5/7/2015 - Appeals Bankruptcy Code Chapter 9 Oral Argument Puerto Rico

IRS Green Lights Section 529A ABLE Disability Programs

Pi Day comes but once a century, on 3/14/15. The Internal Revenue Service receives praise approximately as frequently. But the IRS deserves applause for its Notice 2015-18, released March 10, 2015, giving the green light to...more

3/17/2015 - ABLE Act Disabilities Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Investment Funds IRS Section 529A Tax-Free Transfers U.S. Treasury

What to Make of a Diminished Thing: Tobacco Bond Defaults and Restructurings

There is little poetry in tobacco bonds these days. Cigarette consumption has declined beyond projections, and the advent of e-cigarettes may exacerbate the decline. Payments under the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) are...more

3/12/2015 - Bond Financing Bonds Default Manufacturers Tobacco

Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act Ruled Preempted: What Now?

At the end of “The Candidate”, Robert Redford’s title character, having won, famously asks, “What do we do now?” A similar question can be asked now that the federal district court in Puerto Rico has struck down the...more

2/9/2015 - Bankruptcy Code Preemption Puerto Rico

Who is “Disabled” under ABLE?

The recently-enacted federal ABLE statute provides a long-awaited vehicle for tax-exempt investing to meet future disability-related expenses of disabled individuals. Although new Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code is...more

1/20/2015 - ABLE Act Disability Disability Benefits Eligibility Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Social Security Act Social Security Disability Tax Exemptions

Off-Key BABs: IRS Hits Wrong Note in Reissuance Analysis

The IRS recently published a December 9, 2014 Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum to the effect that the defeasance of taxable Build America Bonds (BABs) causes a tax reissuance of the bonds, with the consequence that the...more

12/31/2014 - Bonds Build America Investment Initiative IRS Municipal Securities Issuers

Municipal Bond Interest Paid By a Bond Insurer After an Issuer’s Bankruptcy Discharge Can Remain Tax-Exempt

In the aftermath of recent municipal bankruptcies in which issuers proposed and/or implemented bankruptcy plans involving partial discharges of the issuer’s payment obligation on insured bonds, there has been increased focus...more

12/22/2014 - Commercial Insurance Policies Financial Guarantee Requirements Interest Payments Municipal Bankruptcy Municipal Bonds Municipalities Tax-Exempt Bonds

Enactment Imminent for Section 529A Tax-Exempt Savings Programs for Disabled Beneficiaries

On December 16, 2014 the U.S. Senate approved the Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) legislation previously approved by the House, authorizing state-sponsored tax-exempt savings programs for disability-related...more

12/17/2014 - Disability Savings Plans Tax Exemptions

SEC Introduces “Control Person” Liability as Enforcement Action Weapon in Claim Against Municipal Officer for Misleading Bond...

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently settled the first securities fraud charges brought against a municipal official alleging “control person” status under the federal securities laws. The SEC’s settlement...more

11/11/2014 - Bonds Compliance Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Enforcement Actions Fraud Municipal Bonds SEC Securities Fraud

Court Rules on Applicability of Make-Whole Premiums Upon Debt Acceleration

In the context of make-whole premiums, court decisions suggest that the applicability of the premium upon a refinancing in bankruptcy will be governed by the wording of the debt documents, and that if an automatic...more

9/19/2014 - Commercial Bankruptcy Debt Restructuring Insurance Industry Make-Whole Premium Prepayment Penalties

PREPA Bondholders Seek Summary Judgment Invalidating Puerto Rico’s Public Corporation Bankruptcy Legislation

On August 11, Franklin Funds and Oppenheimer Rochester Funds filed a second amended complaint, opposition to motion to dismiss and cross-motion for summary judgment in the litigation they previously filed in the United States...more

8/13/2014 - Bonds Commercial Bankruptcy PREPA Summary Judgment

Puerto Rico and PREPA Seek Dismissal of Bondholder Challenge to Territory’s Bankruptcy Statute

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) yesterday filed separate motions to dismiss the federal court complaint filed last month by some PREPA bondholders seeking to invalidate the...more

7/23/2014 - Electricity Motion to Dismiss Municipal Bonds Municipalities Utilities Sector

Be PREPAred: PREPA Bondholders Greet Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy Legislation With Federal Lawsuit

On Saturday, June 28, Puerto Rico’s Governor Padilla signed into effect Puerto Rico’s new bankruptcy law for certain revenue bond issuers. Within 24 hours of the statute’s enactment, two mutual fund complexes owning...more

7/1/2014 - Bankruptcy Reform Bonds New Legislation Utilities Sector

Puerto Rico Poised to Enact Bankruptcy-Like Legislation for Certain Revenue Bond Issuers

Puerto Rico’s Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla today introduced debt restructuring legislation which, upon enactment, would provide a judicial debt relief process in Puerto Rico’s courts for certain public corporations,...more

6/26/2014 - Bonds Commercial Bankruptcy Restructuring

Municipal Bond Market Absorbs Puerto Rico Supreme Court’s Decision that Teacher Pension Reform Legislation is Unconstitutional...

The latest swerve in the rollercoaster that is Puerto Rico public finance occurred on April 11 with the release of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court’s ruling striking down as unconstitutional the bulk of the territory’s teacher...more

4/16/2014 - Contract Formation Education Reform Pensions Public Schools Teachers

Legislative Trial Balloon for Puerto Rico Public Corporation Insolvency Process Attracts Bondholder Attention

Last Tuesday, Puerto Rico sold its much ballyhooed $3.5 billion in non-investment grade general obligation bonds. Two days later, two legislators in Puerto Rico’s Senate filed a bill which, if enacted, would permit...more

3/18/2014 - Bonds Chapter 9 Municipal Bankruptcy

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