April 11, 2008
Senate Bill 185 and Bankruptcy
In response to a perception that existing residential mortgage regulations fell short of providing adequate protection to Ohio consumers, the Ohio legislature passed a new predatory lending law, known as Senate Bill 185, which took effect on January 1, 2007. Senate Bill 185 included revisions to Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act, the Ohio Mortgage Broker Act, and other provisions of Ohio's various consumer protection statutes.
One of the major components of SB 185 eliminated the mortgage lending exemption set forth in the CSPA, although state and federally-chartered depository institutions and their affiliates remain exempt. In addition, SB 185 granted expanded enforcement powers to the Ohio Attorney General, local county prosecutors, and the Department of Commerce. Armed with these new enforcement powers, the Ohio Attorney General has aggressively enforced the new obligations owed under SB 185 and appears to be planning action against everyone involved in residential lending, including individual brokers and appraisers all the way up to the Wall Street investment banks and the rating agencies that participated in the securitization and pooling of mortgage loans.
At the Bankruptcy Law Institute, Justin Ristau of Bricker & Eckler will discuss the provisions of SB 185 and the recent enforcement actions and related litigation that have recently been filed. Specifically, Mr. Ristau will discuss (among other cases) the New Century injunction entered in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas, various enforcement actions and initiatives brought by the Ohio Attorney General, the City of Cleveland lawsuit pending in the Northern District of Ohio, and the impact these actions may have on bankruptcy cases state-wide. Mr. Ristau will also discuss the recent ruling in the Countrywide bankruptcy to allow an in-depth probe of the Countrywide Financial Corp. mortgage processing systems by bankruptcy investigators hunting for evidence that the lender systematically abuses borrowers.
In addition to Mr. Ristau’s presentation on Day 1, the institute will include a case law and legislative update, discussions of avoidance actions in regards to real estate, changes to Ohio exemptions, and a presentation on the Bankruptcy Code, an in-depth explanation of preference actions, and instruction regarding changes required for electronic storage.
During Day 2, the institute will feature an interactive presentation by Judges Charles M. Caldwell, John E. Hoffman, Jr. and C. Kathryn Preston relating to trying matters before the Bankruptcy Court so that practitioners may discuss how things should be presented in court proceedings. In addition, a segment on professionalism will feature Judge Guy R. Humphrey, and consumer and commercial breakouts will allow practitioners to focus on their area of emphasis.
The 2008 Bankruptcy Law Institute is Thursday, May 1, and Friday, May 2, from 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. for 12.25 hours of CLE credit, including 1.0 professionalism and 0.5 substance abuse. Register online or telephone 221.4112 to reserve your space. Register for both days: member, $310 prepaid/$325 day of; non-member, $390 prepaid/$405 day of; paralegal, $255 prepaid/$270 day of. Or you may register for Thursday or Friday only at the following rate: member, $200 prepaid/$215 day of; non-member, $260 prepaid/$275 day of; paralegal, $170 prepaid/$185 day of. Lunch is provided both days.