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Full-Text Articles in Law

Liquidity, Systemic Risk, And The Bankruptcy Treatment Of Financial Contracts, Riz Mokal Dec 2014

Liquidity, Systemic Risk, And The Bankruptcy Treatment Of Financial Contracts, Riz Mokal

Riz Mokal

Parties to repos, and to swaps and other derivatives are accorded privileged treatment under the bankruptcy laws of several dozen countries. Several key international “best practice” standards urge legislators in other jurisdictions to provide likewise. The beneficiaries of these privileges are solvent counterparties enabled, unimpeded by bankruptcy moratoria, to implement close-out netting arrangements and to dispose of collateral. The purported rationale is mitigation of systemic risk.
Taking a broad international perspective, this Article explores the “domino” contagion view of distress that motivates the privileges. This view derives from the outdated “microprudential” understanding of systemic risk, and is theoretically flawed and ...


Comment On The Fhfa's Small Multifamily Subgoal, David J. Reiss, Jeffrey Lederman Oct 2014

Comment On The Fhfa's Small Multifamily Subgoal, David J. Reiss, Jeffrey Lederman

David J Reiss

As the FHFA sets the housing goals for 2015-2017, it should focus on maximizing the creation and preservation of affordable housing. Less efficient proposed subgoals should be rejected unless the FHFA has explicitly identified a compelling rationale to adopt them. The FHFA has not identified one in the case of the proposed small multifamily subgoal. Thus, it should be withdrawn.


The Future Of The Private Label Securities Market, David J. Reiss Aug 2014

The Future Of The Private Label Securities Market, David J. Reiss

David J Reiss

The PLS market, like all markets, cycles from greed to fear, from boom to bust. The mortgage market is still in the fear part of the cycle and recent government interventions in it have, undoubtedly, added to that fear. In recent days, there has been a lot of industry pushback against the government’s approach, including threats to pull out of various sectors. But the government should not chart its course based on today’s news reports. Rather, it should identify fundamentals and stick to them. In particular, its regulatory approach should reflect an attempt to align incentives of market ...


Armed, Unarmed Or Harmed By Knowledge? A Comment On The Fha's Housing Counseling Pilot Program, David J. Reiss Jul 2014

Armed, Unarmed Or Harmed By Knowledge? A Comment On The Fha's Housing Counseling Pilot Program, David J. Reiss

David J Reiss

The FHA has requested input on its Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) for New Homebuyers pilot program. This comment letter argues that housing counseling is not a proven solution to the problem it is meant to solve, excessive defaults by FHA borrowers. HAWK is a traditional housing counseling program but the scholarly literature casts into doubt the efficacy of such programs. It would be better to take time to research which counseling strategies, if any, are proven to be effective. This is true for the FHA but also for other government agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that ...


Remic Tax Enforcement As Financial-Market Regulator, Bradley T. Borden, David J. Reiss Dec 2013

Remic Tax Enforcement As Financial-Market Regulator, Bradley T. Borden, David J. Reiss

David J Reiss

Lawmakers, prosecutors, homeowners, policymakers, investors, news media, scholars and other commentators have examined, litigated, and reported on numerous aspects of the 2008 Financial Crisis and the role that residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) played in that crisis. Big banks create RMBS by pooling mortgage notes into trusts and selling interests in those trusts as RMBS. Absent from prior work related to RMBS securitization is the tax treatment of RMBS mortgage-note pools and the critical role tax enforcement should play in ensuring the integrity of mortgage-note securitization.

This Article is the first to examine federal tax aspects of RMBS mortgage-note pools formed ...


Goliath Versus Goliath In High-Stakes Mbs Litigation, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden Sep 2013

Goliath Versus Goliath In High-Stakes Mbs Litigation, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden

David J Reiss

The loan-origination and mortgage-securitization practices between 2000 and 2007 created the housing and mortgage-backed securities bubble that precipitated the 2008 economic crisis and ensuing recession. The mess that the loan-origination and mortgage-securitization practices caused is now playing out in courts around the world. MBS investors are suing banks, MBS sponsors and underwriters for misrepresenting the quality of loans purportedly held in MBS pools and failing to properly transfer loan documents and mortgages to the pools, as required by the MBS pooling and servicing agreements. State and federal prosecutors have also filed claims against banks, underwriters and sponsors for the roles ...


Show Me The Note Q&A, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden Aug 2013

Show Me The Note Q&A, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden

David J Reiss

This is a Q&A relating to an article, Show Me The Note, available at http://works.bepress.com/david_reiss/63/.

"Show Me The Note" refers to a defense that seeks to forestall or prevent foreclosure by requiring the foreclosing party to produce the mortgage and the associated promissory note as proof of its right to initiate foreclosure.


Show Me The Note!, William K. Akina, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden Jun 2013

Show Me The Note!, William K. Akina, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden

David J Reiss

News outlets and foreclosure defense blogs have focused attention on the defense commonly referred to as "show me the note." This defense seeks to forestall or prevent foreclosure by requiring the foreclosing party to produce the mortgage and the associated promissory note as proof of its right to initiate foreclosure.

The defense arose in two recent state supreme-court cases and is also being raised in lower courts throughout the country. It is not only important to individuals facing foreclosure but also for the mortgage industry and investors in mortgage-backed securities. In the aggregate, the body of law that develops as ...


Dirty Remics, Revisited, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden Jan 2013

Dirty Remics, Revisited, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden

David J Reiss

We review the differences between two visions for the residential mortgage markets, one driven by the goal of efficiency and the other driven by the goals of efficiency and consumer protection. Both visions advocate for structural reform, but one advocates for industry-led change and the other advocates for input from a wider array of stakeholders. Broader input is not only important to ensure that a broad range of interests are represented but also to ensure the long-term legitimacy of the new system. This is a response to Joshua Stein, Dirt Lawyers Versus Wall Street: A Different View, PROBATE AND PROPERTY ...


Dirt Lawyers And Dirty Remics: A Debate, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden, Joshua Stein Jan 2013

Dirt Lawyers And Dirty Remics: A Debate, David J. Reiss, Bradley T. Borden, Joshua Stein

David J Reiss

In mid-2013, Professors Bradley T. Borden and David J. Reiss published an article in the American Bar Association’s PROBATE & PROPERTY journal (May/June 2013, at 13), about the disconnect between the securitization process and the mechanics of mortgage assignments. The Borden/Reiss article discussed potential legal and tax issues caused by sloppiness in mortgage assignments.

Joshua Stein responded to the Borden/Reiss article, arguing that the technicalities of mortgage assignments serve no real purpose and should be eliminated. That article appeared in the November/December 2013 issue of the same publication, at 6.

Stein’s response was accompanied by ...


Deposit Accounts Under The New World Order, Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger, David Line Batty, Richard K. Brown Jan 2012

Deposit Accounts Under The New World Order, Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger, David Line Batty, Richard K. Brown

Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger

The new world is upon us. Repent. Revised Article 9 is the law in every state. Commercial deposit accounts are now available as original collateral. Bringing commercial deposit accounts into the Article 9 fold significantly complicates the planning of an Article 9 secured transaction. Attorneys for banks, non-bank creditors and debtors need to understand the new world order and the risks it poses to their clients. They need to develop strategies to minimize those risks so as to protect their clients' positions. Part II of this article describes the new legal framework and some of the risks it creates. Part ...


Regulation Not Prohibition: The Comparative Case Against The Insurable Interest Doctrine, Sharo Michael Atmeh Jan 2012

Regulation Not Prohibition: The Comparative Case Against The Insurable Interest Doctrine, Sharo Michael Atmeh

Sharo M Atmeh

American law requires an insurable interest—a pecuniary or affective stake in the subject of an insurance policy—as a predi-cate to properly obtaining insurance. In theory, the rule prevents both wagering on individual lives and moral hazard. In practice, the doctrine is avoided by complex insurance transaction structuring to effectuate both origination and transfers of insurance by individuals without an insurable interest. This paper argues that it is time to ab-andon the insurable interest doctrine. As both the English and Aus-tralian experiences indicate, elimination of the insurable interest doctrine will have little detrimental pecuniary effect on the insurance industry ...


Comment On Enterprise Duty To Serve Underserved Markets, David J. Reiss Jul 2010

Comment On Enterprise Duty To Serve Underserved Markets, David J. Reiss

David J Reiss

FHFA invited further comment on the merit of considering properties without affordable use restrictions as part of the Enterprises’ duty to serve, noting that affordable housing preservation “encompasses efforts to keep unsubsidized properties in good condition while maintaining affordability for low- and moderate-income households.” (Page 32102)

FHFA should be certain that any aid given to buildings without affordable use restrictions will actually be passed on in large part to their tenants, whether through lower rents or improved conditions. I question whether that is in fact the case.

There are two main rationales for subsidizing multifamily buildings without affordable use restrictions ...


Making Debtor Remedies More Effective, Melissa B. Jacoby Apr 2010

Making Debtor Remedies More Effective, Melissa B. Jacoby

Melissa B. Jacoby

Commissioned for a conference on credit markets at Harvard Business School in February 2010, this paper explores functional system design and the role of lawyers and intermediaries in providing debtor remedies in a complex legal system. The thesis of this paper, which proceeds in the “law and society” tradition, is that the location of a remedial right within the debtor-creditor system substantially affects the costs and benefits of the remedy for debtors, creditors, the system, and society. In other words, merely adding specific substantive provisions does not directly translate into actual protection. Relatedly, policymakers must recognize that lawyers and other ...


Learning From Our History: Evaluating The Modern Housing Finance Market In Light Of Ancient Principles Of Justice, Brian M. Mccall Dec 2008

Learning From Our History: Evaluating The Modern Housing Finance Market In Light Of Ancient Principles Of Justice, Brian M. Mccall

Brian M McCall

Since I first accepted an invitation to join this symposium, the subprime mortgage crisis has exploded into a systemic financial crisis. Analysis and pundits alike seem on a quest to outdo each other in using dramatic phrases to describe its historic proportions. The causes of a crisis so large must have a multiplicity of causes lying in the realms of bank regulation and supervision, the operation and regulation of the securitization market and the derivatives and insurance markets. Yet, the root and spark of the various financial reverberations initiated in the home mortgage finance market. My presentation will focus on ...


It's Just Secured Credit: The Natural Law Case In Defense Of Some Forms Of Secured Credit, Brian M. Mccall Dec 2008

It's Just Secured Credit: The Natural Law Case In Defense Of Some Forms Of Secured Credit, Brian M. Mccall

Brian M McCall

For decades scholars have been debating whether of not the institution of security can be explained and justified. After much discussion from varying points of view and hermeneutics, although some insights have been gained, the answer to the original question remains unresolved. This article attempts to bring new life to this debate by building on Professors Mooney and Harris’ idea of security interest as property right while taking account of the valid concerns of scholars such as Elizabeth Warren and Lyn Lopucki that certain results produced by the current system seem unjust. This reconciliation of these two strands of secured ...


The Duty To Creditors Reconsidered - Filling A Much Needed Gap In Corporation Law, Richard A. Booth Dec 2006

The Duty To Creditors Reconsidered - Filling A Much Needed Gap In Corporation Law, Richard A. Booth

Working Paper Series

The most fundamental question of corporation law is to whom does the board of directors of a corporation owe its fiduciary duty. Recently, the question has tended to be whether and under what circumstances the board of directors has the duty to maximize stockholder wealth. But if a corporation is insolvent (or close to it), business decisions designed to maximize stockholder wealth may result in a reduction of creditor wealth. Although the conventional wisdom is that creditors must protect themselves by contractual means, there is a substantial body of case law that says that creditors can assert claims sounding in ...


Contractarianism, Contractualism, And The Law Of Corporate Insolvency, Riz Mokal Nov 2006

Contractarianism, Contractualism, And The Law Of Corporate Insolvency, Riz Mokal

ExpressO

What is the appropriate way of theorising about corporate bankruptcy law? That lies, argues this paper, in rejecting Pareto and Kaldor-Hicks efficiency in favour of a particular conception of transaction cost efficiency, and in rejecting the ‘contractarian’ Creditors’ Bargain Model in favour of the ‘contractualist’ Authentic Consent Model. The paper vindicates these arguments with an analysis of the automatic stay which characterises the collective liquidation regime, of the pari passu principle often said to be at the heart of this regime, and of the liability imposed in some jurisdictions on the managers of terminally distressed companies for failing to take ...


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Predatory Structured Finance, Christopher L. Peterson Sep 2006

Predatory Structured Finance, Christopher L. Peterson

ExpressO

Predatory lending is a real, pervasive, and destructive problem as demonstrated by record settlements, jury awards, media exposes, and a large body of empirical scholarship. Currently the national debate over predatory mortgage lending is shifting to the controversial question of who should bear liability for predatory lending practices. In today’s subprime mortgage market, originators and brokers quickly assign home loans through a complex and opaque series of transactions involving as many as a dozen different strategically organized companies. Loans are typically transferred into large pools, and then income from those loans is “structured” to appeal to different types of ...


Explaining The Value Of Transactional Lawyering, Steven L. Schwarcz Aug 2006

Explaining The Value Of Transactional Lawyering, Steven L. Schwarcz

ExpressO

This article attempts, empirically, to explain the value that lawyers add when acting as counsel to parties in business transactions. Contrary to existing scholarship, which is based mostly on theory, this article shows that transactional lawyers add value primarily by reducing regulatory costs, thereby challenging the reigning models of transactional lawyers as “transaction cost engineers” and “reputational intermediaries.” This new model not only helps inform contract theory but also reveals a profoundly different vision than existing models for the future of legal education and the profession.


Finding Nemo: Rediscovering The Virtues Of Negotiability In The Wake Of Enron, Adam J. Levitin Aug 2006

Finding Nemo: Rediscovering The Virtues Of Negotiability In The Wake Of Enron, Adam J. Levitin

ExpressO

Creditors have long understood that any claims they submit for repayment in a bankruptcy might be valid, but subject to subordination in the order of payment of the bankruptcy estate’s limited funds if the creditor behaved inequitably as the debtor failed. A groundbreaking opinion in Enron’s on-going bankruptcy has expanded the practice of equitable subordination far beyond its traditional reach. According to the court, buyers of bankruptcy claims are now subject to subordination, not just for their own conduct, but also for conduct of previous owners of the claims, regardless of whether the conduct related to the claims ...


Human Worth As Collateral, Rashmi Dyal-Chand Aug 2006

Human Worth As Collateral, Rashmi Dyal-Chand

ExpressO

Human worth has taken on a surprising new role: that of market asset. Specifically, lenders in radically different contexts are using their borrowers’ human worth as collateral in loan transactions. The two examples of this new collateralization that I examine are credit card lending in the United States and microlending programs in the Third World. I conclude that the use of human worth in these two contexts is too similar to be coincidental. Rather, this new collateralization is a product of globalization. For those interested in the effect of law on globalization, this convergence in the market for credit teaches ...


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.


Priority As Pathology: The Pari Passu Myth, Riz Mokal Jun 2006

Priority As Pathology: The Pari Passu Myth, Riz Mokal

ExpressO

This paper aims to analyse the pari passu principle of insolvency law (which provides that the creditors of a company in liquidation are to be paid rateably), and to ask how it relates to other principles available for the treatment of claims in corporate liquidation. The discussion reveals that the principle has rather limited effect in governing distributions of the insolvent's estate. Not only do various types of secured claim fall beyond its ambit, even unsecured claims are often exempt from its application. Nevertheless, the principle thrives both in judicial rhetoric and in academic arguments. For example, many a ...


The Search For Someone To Save: A Defensive Case For The Priority Of Secured Credit, Riz Mokal Jun 2006

The Search For Someone To Save: A Defensive Case For The Priority Of Secured Credit, Riz Mokal

ExpressO

The priority of secured credit has repeatedly and famously been attacked for allowing the exploitation of certain types of unsecured creditor. It has also been blamed for creating inefficiencies. This paper examines these arguments specifically as applied to this jurisdiction, and using both theoretical analysis and recent empirical data, suggests none of them can be sustained. It is argued that security is unlikely to lead to the exploitation of involuntary, ‘uninformed’, or ‘unsophisticated’ creditors, since the perverse incentives it allegedly creates for the debtor’s management are likely to be outweighed by the managers’ liquidation-related costs. It is then pointed ...


The Floating Charge – An Elegy, Riz Mokal May 2006

The Floating Charge – An Elegy, Riz Mokal

ExpressO

This paper argues that the usual way of conflating floating with fixed charges as small variations on a single theme – as priority-based devices differing only in degree – fundamentally misunderstands its true nature. The floating charge plays a distinctive role as a residual management displacement device which can only be effective if coupled with an appropriate set of fixed security that enables its holder to gather information about the competence of the debtor’s managers and to control their incentives to misbehave. The floating charge allows the debtor free use of its circulating assets while its management is doing well, and ...


On Fairness And Efficiency, Riz Mokal May 2006

On Fairness And Efficiency, Riz Mokal

ExpressO

What is the relationship between fairness, efficiency, accountability, and expertise? What role, if any at all, do these values play in answering the question whether a part of the law is legitimate? This paper provides an answer by introducing a distinction between the substantive and the procedural goals of any part of the legal system. Substantive goals are the ultimate ends of some part of the law, some values or objectives whose pursuit by that part of the law shows why it is desirable to have that law in the first place. Procedural goals are concerned with the methods the ...


Administrative Receivership And Administration - An Analysis, Riz Mokal May 2006

Administrative Receivership And Administration - An Analysis, Riz Mokal

ExpressO

This paper argues that the Enterprise Act 2002 has changed the way those dealing with distressed companies are required to behave much more significantly than most commentators realise. The motivation for this change lies in the ways in which administrative receivership is destructive of social value (in terms of unnecessary job losses and other resource misallocations). The paper identifies three such ways, all linked with the fact that receivership ties the office-holder’s duties to the interests of the debtor’s main bank. This is undesirable because the bank (a) is usually oversecured and thus has little incentive, once receivership ...


Charges Over Chattels – Issues In The Fixed/Floating Jurisprudence, Stephen Atherton, Riz Mokal May 2006

Charges Over Chattels – Issues In The Fixed/Floating Jurisprudence, Stephen Atherton, Riz Mokal

ExpressO

Much of the recent debate as to the criteria which determine whether a charge is properly characterised as fixed or floating has revolved around charges over book debts or other receivables. Charges over chattels have received somewhat less attention, even though an attempt to create a fixed charge over chattels gives rise to interesting questions, some of which do not arise when the collateral consists simply of receivables. While some of these questions have received judicial attention in recent years, others are only now starting to be considered. In this paper, we provide an overview of some of the most ...