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Examiners are Carefully Scrutinizing Financial Institutions’ Compensation Arrangements

Posted on December 13, 2017 by

It has come to our attention that some examiners have recently been carefully scrutinizing financial institutions’ employee compensation arrangements. Although it now appears unlikely that the proposed Dodd-Frank rules on financial-institution incentive compensation (which only apply to institutions with at least $1 billion in total assets) will ever take effect, examiners still do take compensation, […]

OCC Updates Guidance on Business Combinations

Posted on December 1, 2017 by

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) has recently updated its “Business Combinations” booklet, which is part of the Comptroller’s Licensing Manual.  The revised booklet replaces the prior version, which was issued by the OCC in December 2006.   The booklet incorporates a variety of updated procedures and requirements for national banks and federal […]

To Arbitrate or Not Arbitrate? House Weighs In on CFPB Arbitration Rule

Posted on August 2, 2017 by

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Joint Resolution 111 which would rescind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Arbitration Rule”. Finalized on July 17, 2017, the Arbitration Rule places significant limitations on financial institutions’ ability to designate arbitration as the dispute resolution mechanism in its contracts with depositors and borrowers; additionally, the Rule […]

Recent Bankruptcy Decision from the Western District of Wisconsin Discusses Negative Equity, Car Loans, and the Chapter 13 Cram Down

Posted on July 19, 2017 by

A quick introduction for those of you who are not bankruptcy nerds.  For certain types of collateral, Chapter 13 allows a Debtor to reduce a secured creditor’s claim down to the value of the collateral.  This is called “cram down.”  But, there are certain limits on the Debtor’s “cram down” powers.  For example, the Debtor […]

Condominium Issue with Long-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Financing

Posted on July 5, 2017 by

We recently helped a client complete long-term tax-exempt bond financing of a portion of a mixed-use condominium. These projects raise interesting issues. Long story short, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you need to be very careful as to how you document costs and how you define each condominium element. Quick, simplified background: […]

Banks and Credit Unions Agree to a (Temporary) Cease Fire

Posted on April 27, 2017 by

It’s not every day that community bankers and credit unions agree. Whether it is over tax-exempt status or capital requirements, we have become accustomed to the battle between community banks and credit unions.  For example, an entire section of the Independent Community Bank Association’s website is dedicated to advocating against the “expansionist agenda” of credit […]

Are Too Many Eggs in One Basket?

Posted on April 19, 2017 by

In the last two weeks, 75 Wisconsin dairy farmers were notified by their dairy that it could not accept their milk.  The dairy and its farmer suppliers are caught in a U.S.-Canada trade dispute over “ultra-filtered” milk.  Almost overnight, a market disappeared. The net result is a million pounds of milk per day in Wisconsin […]

2016 Bankruptcy Statistics for the Western District of Wisconsin: Overall Filings Decreased 5.5%, but Chapter 12 Farm Bankruptcies Increased 31%

Posted on March 15, 2017 by

The 2016 bankruptcy statistics tell an interesting story.  While the total number of bankruptcy cases filed in 2016 in the Western District of Wisconsin (“WDW”) fell 5.5% to its lowest level in ten years, Chapter 12 farm bankruptcy cases actually increased 31% from 2015.    Total Filings.  There were 4,362 total bankruptcy cases filed in […]

Faster Pace of Interest Rate Hikes

Posted on March 3, 2017 by

As we indicated on February 16, 2017 the Federal Reserve is looking at interest rate hikes for 2017.  At a speech in Chicago today Chairwoman Janet Yellen said it is likely the Federal Reserve will increase the federal funds rate in March, which was most recently increased in December from 0.50% to 0.75%.  The stock […]

Autodialing and Pre-Recorded Messages: the TCPA’s Trap for Unwary Lenders and Debt Collectors

Posted on February 23, 2017 by

In February 2015, a federal judge approved a $75 million Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class settlement involving Capital One and three debt collectors.[1] The plaintiffs (debtors) alleged that Capital One and debt collectors called their phones to collect credit card debts using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or pre-recorded voice without […]