Since 2004, thirteen Catholic dioceses have filed for bankruptcy protection. Although several dioceses filed before 2004, filings since then have been driven by mounting sexual abuse claims against the dioceses. In response to these filings, claimants are assembling formidable unsecured creditors’ committees. For the most part, these diocesan bankruptcies have resulted in settlements. However, adversary proceedings have drawn out several of these bankruptcies. The ownership of church assets has led to many disputes over what belongs to the entities being sued and what belongs to other separate organizations. Therefore, while the bankruptcy process has helped these religious organizations with protection from impending liabilities, it has also provided sexual abuse claimants with a venue to build substantial creditors’ committees and challenge the availability of assets.
In Czyzewski v.
Is bankruptcy the new “black” in the retail industry? With the rise in retail bankruptcies, some commentators believe repeat chapter 11 bankruptcy filings are the “hottest 2017 retail trend.” “Chapter 22” is the designation given to these repeat filings.
In July 2016, the Seventh Circuit issued its decision in FTI Consulting v. Merit Mgmt. Grp. LP (FTI). There, the appellant asked the court to review the application of 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) (the safe harbor), which protects settlement payments made “by or to (or on the behalf of)” a broad range of financial institutions, intermediaries and brokers (collectively, financial actors) from many types of avoidance actions.
2016 was a busy year for the Business Reorganization Committee. We have an active and involved membership base, and took part in multiple panels, newsletters, publications and networking. We have terrific plans for 2017 and beyond in support of you, our members, in the arena of business reorganizations.
On June 30, 2016, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York issued yet another decision around the Johns-Manville asbestos litigation. Before the court was Graphic Packaging International’s emergency motion to enforce the confirmation and channeling orders in the Johns-Manville Corp. (“Manville”) and the Manville Forest Products Corp. (“MFP”) chapter 11 cases.
The “safe harbor” under § 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code continues to be a “hot topic.” The safe harbor is often invoked by shareholders to protect their “settlement payments” in a leveraged buyout (LBO).
In 2009, General Motors (“Old GM”) commenced an historic chapter 11 case. With federal government backing, Old GM sold the bulk of its business and assets “free and clear” of liabilities to the new entity (“New GM”) predominantly owned by the U.S. Treasury, emerging from chapter 11 in just 40 days.
The basic elements and defenses for fraudulent-transfer claims have a certain elegant balance when combined (see the attached table below). For constructively fraudulent transfers by an insolvent transferor, a defendant who provides reasonably equivalent value will not be held liable.
A debtor’s bankruptcy schedules of assets and liabilities (Schedules) and statement of financial affairs (SOFA) are filed early in a chapter 11 case and are supposed to contain an accurate and complete listing of all assets and liabilities, signed by a responsible party under oath.
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