Words can sometimes be deceiving. This is one of the lessons learned by the debtor in the recent Tayfur decision. Although the case ultimately applied a different subsection of § 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, the Third Circuit underscored an important fact in oil and gas law: A mineral lease is not always a true lease. Thus, a mineral lease will not always fall within the ambit of § 365, and therefore it may not always be rejected in bankruptcy.
Having just lost a state court suit to the tune of $1.5 million with the winner about to collect on the $1.5 million, a debtor with a substantial income files a skeletal chapter 11 petition. One creditor, the state court victor, holds more than 65 percent of the total debt, and the initial list of exempt assets is long and their value considerable. Within 69 days of the petition’s filing and with 51 days left for the debtor to propose a reorganization plan, even these verities are apparent from the skimpy record.
Multiple bills have been introduced by Congress recently to address the student debt crisis, which has been consuming headlines for several years. One bill receiving significant attention, H.R. 449, proposes to reverse a 2005 law that prevents debtors from discharging private student loans in bankruptcy cases. In seeming support of the bill, the President recently requested that federal agencies explore this possibility as well. The goal of H.R. 449 is to provide many in need with the intended benefits of bankruptcy: a fresh start. But the relief will likely come to the detriment of many for-profit universities.
The Bankruptcy Code generally restricts the trustee’s employment of professionals to those “that do not hold or represent an interest adverse to the estate, and that are disinterested.” Broadly speaking, “disinterested” persons are those who do not have a pre-petition interest in or relationship with the debtor.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) can be the largest unsecured creditor in chapter 11 cases and is usually a very influential member of creditors’ committees, which can lead to feuds with other creditors.
Football season is upon us, and in locker rooms across the country, coaches will be telling their teams, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” Unfortunately for plaintiffs suing debtors in bankruptcy adversary proceedings, winning isn’t the only thing that matters. In fact, winning a judgment can be less than half of the battle.
Debtors, whether a corporation or an individual, often need to divest of real estate holdings while under bankruptcy protection. Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code provides an avenue (and often the only avenue) by which a trustee or debtor in possession (DIP) may sell property of the estate. Specifically, § 363(b)(1) provides that a trustee or DIP may sell property of the estate “other than in the ordinary course of business” after “notice and a hearing.”
The Great Recession renewed widespread use of receiverships, one of the oldest pre-judgment remedies available to creditors. What was once old has become new again, portrayed by the fact that one of the leading treatises on receiverships remains Ralph Ewing Clark’s Treatise on the Law and Practice of Receivers 3d, originally published in 1918 and last updated with a 1968-69 supplement.
When many bankruptcy practitioners think of § 546 of the Bankruptcy Code, it is in connection with the statute of limitations for avoidance actions. While these provisions may be widely known, § 546 contains several other provisions that can have a substantial impact on a party’s substantive rights in a bankruptcy case.
Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP
Membership Relations Director
Siri & Glimstad LLP
Membership Relations Director
Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia
Special Projects Leader
Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP