Len Weiser-Varon

Len Weiser-Varon

Mintz Levin

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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 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 Recovery Laws

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 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 Insurers 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

Legal Highlights in Puerto Rico’s “Draft POS” for Upcoming General Obligation Bond Issue

Although Puerto Rico’s much-discussed sub-investment grade general obligation bond issue is not yet being marketed via an official preliminary official statement, it appears that a draft POS has been making the rounds. The...more

3/6/2014 - Bonds Foreign Investment

Puerto Rico Senate Not in a New York State of Mind

As reported by the Wall Street Journal today and by other sources, the authorizing legislation for Puerto Rico’s much anticipated $3.5 billion non investment grade general obligation issue has become hung up in Puerto Rico’s...more

2/28/2014 - Bonds

SEC Approves Revised Semi-Annual Data Reporting Requirements for Section 529 Plan Underwriters

After initially putting the brakes on the MSRB’s attempt to use underwriters of Section 529 college savings plans as its data-gathering team, the SEC has pressed the accelerator and approved an amended MSRB Rule G-45 ...more

2/27/2014 - Compliance MSRB Reporting Requirements SEC Underwriting

Puerto Rico Bondholders Await Contract Impairment Ruling in Teacher Pension Reform Litigation

We previously discussed the Puerto Rico Supreme Court’s decision in the Hernandez case, in which by a 5-4 vote the court upheld the constitutionality under federal and Puerto Rico law of pension reform legislation affecting...more

2/10/2014 - Bonds Education Reform Employee Benefits Pensions

Could Bondholders Bring Claims Against Puerto Rico Bond Issuers in Courts Outside Puerto Rico?

As Puerto Rico prepares to access the public markets with a new bond issue, the Wall Street Journal reports that the list of demands from some potential investors include, in addition to a high interest rate and as much...more

2/4/2014 - Bonds Investors

Puerto Rico Supreme Court’s Deference to Legislature’s Determinations: A Double-Edged Sword for Puerto Rico Bondholders?

The Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico (GDB) hosted an unusual public conference call on October 31 to respond to legal questions raised by investors in bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing...more

11/14/2013 - Banks Bonds Foreign Investment Investors Sales & Use Tax

Second Circuit Rules Against Make-Whole Premium for Refinancing of Accelerated Debt

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has upheld a bankruptcy court’s decision enforcing indenture language providing for the automatic acceleration, without make-whole premium, of secured American Airline, Inc....more

9/16/2013 - American Airlines Aviation Industry Commercial Bankruptcy Debt Make-Whole Premium Refinancing

New Swap Business Conduct and Record-Keeping Regulations Kick in for Municipal Bond Issuers and Borrowers

Beginning May 1, 2013, many new business conduct regulations adopted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) will begin to...more

4/18/2013 - Borrowers CFTC Dodd-Frank End-Users ISDA Municipal Bonds Recordkeeping Requirements Swap Dealers Swaps

Reminder Regarding April 10 Deadline for Identifying Number Registration by Some Swap End-Users

This is a reminder that tomorrow, April 10, 2013, is the deadline for parties to certain swap agreements to obtain a CICI identifying number. The April 10 deadline applies to any party who entered into a swap after April 25,...more

4/10/2013 - CFTC CICIs Deadlines Dodd-Frank End-Users Swap Agreements Swaps

IRS Ruling Treats Certain 529 Account Incentive Payments as Reportable Income

The IRS recently issued a private letter ruling, PLR 201310043 (released on March 8, 2013), of interest to Section 529 plans and their program managers. The ruling relates to the tax treatment of incentive contributions to...more

3/13/2013 - 529 Plans Incentive Compensation Income Taxes IRS Reporting Requirements

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