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Following the advent of Build America Bonds (BABs) in 2009 and securities law rulemaking that has resulted in the posting of virtually instantaneous trading data on the EMMA website (msrb.emma.org) hosted by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB)

Court Rules City of Harrisburg Can Pay Pre-Petition Amounts to Ordinary Course Vendors

November 3, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon, William Kannel

The bankruptcy court in the City of Harrisburg's Chapter 9 proceeding held a hearing on Tuesday, November 1 on the Mayor’s motion for an order clarifying that the City had the ability to pay its debts in the ordinary course. 

Objections Filed in Harrisburg Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

October 30, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon, William Kannel

As expected a number of objections to the Chapter 9 bankruptcy petition filed by the Harrisburg city council were filed on Friday October 28, the deadline set by the Bankruptcy Court for such objections. As expected both the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Harrisburg Mayor’s Office filed objections.

Tax Alert: Schedule K and Post Issuance Compliance

October 19, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon

Several recent developments have underscored the importance for Section 501(c)(3) organizations with outstanding tax exempt bonds of adopting and implementing procedures for monitoring their post issuance compliance with federal tax requirements.

Harrisburg Chapter 9 Status Conference Highlights Eligibility Issues

October 17, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon, William Kannel

The Bankruptcy Court held a status conference in the Harrisburg Chapter 9 earlier today. The principal purpose of the hearing was for the court to set a schedule for objections to Harrisburg’s chapter 9 eligibility. 

Harrisburg, PA Files for Bankruptcy under Chapter 9

October 12, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon, William Kannel

As many are already aware, the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania filed a Chapter 9 bankruptcy late Tuesday evening, October 11 in advance of a Pennsylvania state senate vote that may have put the city on the path to a receivership. 

Holders of "Dirt Bonds" May Lack Plan Voting Rights in Developer Bankruptcies

September 21, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon, William Kannel

In a decision that may have implications for holders of community development district bonds and other similar “dirt bonds,” a Florida bankruptcy court has ruled that holders of community development district bonds do not always have plan voting rights when the underlying developer — as opposed to the development district itself — is the bankruptcy debtor.
A case of interest to holders of bonds issued by Indian tribes to finance gaming facilities continues to wend its way through the courts.  On September 6, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion in Wells Fargo Bank, National Association v. Lake of the Torches Economic Development Corporation.

Supreme Court "Makes" Securities Fraud Recovery More Difficult

June 16, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon

Legislatures legislate, and courts decide what they meant. The principal federal law recourse for investors in municipal bonds and other unregistered securities for investment losses caused by fraudulent disclosure arises from a judicial reading of SEC Rule 10b-5 as creating an “implied” private cause of action.

Amended IRS Regulation Facilitates Tax-Exempt Bond Restructurings

May 9, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon

Restructurings of tax-exempt bonds payable by an entity experiencing financial difficulties typically feature the yin of an obligor seeking debt relief that will permit it to operate without the stigma of potential insolvency and the yang of creditors who may wish to accommodate but do not want to leave money on the table.
As reported in the April 21, 2011 Bond Buyer, Assured Guaranty has announced its willingness to  insure directly bonds originally insured by CIFG bond insurance, provided the existing CIFG bond insurance is extinguished. 

IRS Audit of CCRC Bonds' Tax-Exemption Resolved

February 16, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon

The much-publicized IRS audit of the Mission Ridge project in Montana has been resolved favorably, with the IRS concluding that the bonds are not “arbitrage bonds” and remain tax-exempt.

A Surge in Cross-Border Municipal Bond Financings?

February 10, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon

It is not just Green Bay that is feeling super in Wisconsin these days.  The Public Finance Authority, a conduit bond issuer established under Wisconsin law that began operations in 2010, has the statutory authority to provide tax-exempt financing in all 50 states.

Unelected Board Members as Municipal Advisors: What is "Advice"?

January 27, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon

Various comment letters have been filed, and more are being prepared, on the can of worms opened up by the SEC’s December 20, 2010 interpretation that the term “municipal advisor” includes unelected board members of municipal entities who provide “advice” to the entity they serve regarding the issuance of municipal securities, swap transactions and/or investments.

Disclosure of Municipal Bond Ratings Required

January 21, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon

FINRA has fined three broker-dealers that failed to disclose underlying ratings on insured bonds to customers.  FINRA considered this a violation of the broker-dealers’ fair dealing obligations under MSRB Rule G-17, which requires the broker to disclose to a muni bond purchaser all material information that is publicly available.

Municipal Advisor Registration "Hysteria"

January 13, 2011 | Blog | By Leonard Weiser-Varon

Per today's Bond Buyer, an "attorney who asked not to be named" dismissed as "hysteria"  concerns about whether unelected board members of municipal entities that issue bonds or invest public funds are currently, or will be, required to register with the SEC and MSRB as municipal advisors.
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