General Business Commercial Real Estate Bankruptcy

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Transferee Liability: The Lottery Ticket/Uranium Contract Rule

Mano-Y&M Ltd. v. Field (In re Mortgage Store, Inc.), 773 F.3d 990 (9th Cir. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a transfer by the debtor as a fraudulent conveyance and then to recover funds disbursed by the...more

Challenges for the US retail sector, inside and outside bankruptcy

In recent months, the US has seen a staggering increase in the number of retailers, both large and small, filing for bankruptcy. Among others, Dots, Alco Stores, Radio Shack, Deb Shops, Wet Seal, and Delia’s have each filed...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Single Asset Real Estate Debtor Could Not Show That Plan with Substantial Balloon Payment had a Realistic Chance...

At issue in GRG Acquisitions, LLC v. MDM Golf of Gillette Ridge, LLC (In re MDM Golf of Gillette Ridge, LLC), Case No. 14-21565 (ASD) (December 23, 2014), was whether relief from the automatic stay should be granted to a...more

Does Non-Recourse Liability Still Exist?

Several years ago, the real estate financing market took an unexpected turn. In 2011, a court in Michigan rendered a decision which called into question whether a non-recourse loan was truly “non-recourse” (liability limited...more

Third Circuit refuses to permit Debtor Lessor to Reject an Oil and Gas Lease

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit confirmed that the Pennsylvania Landlord and Tenant Act is inapplicable to an agreement by a landowner authorizing the “lessee” to extract oil and gas lying beneath the property's...more

Terminating a Lease Prior to Bankruptcy: Tricks and Traps

As many commercial landlords can attest based on experience, a tenant that files bankruptcy receives the benefit of rights and protections under the Bankruptcy Code that it would not have outside of bankruptcy. Among other...more

Lease Claims: You Snooze, You Lose

In re Sky Ventures, LLC, 523 B.R. 163 (Bankr. D. Minn. 2014) – After a debtor obtained court approval to retroactively reject a lease as of the bankruptcy filing date, the landlord moved to reset the rejection date and for...more

Women’s Clothing Retailer, Cache Inc., Seeks Protection Inside Chapter 11

On February 4, 2015, women’s clothing retailer, Cache Inc., filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy case in Delaware. The petition lists the top 30 unsecured creditors. Two of the largest creditors are landlords Simon Property Group...more

Blog: The Ninth Circuit Rejects the “Dominion and Control Test” for Determining the Initial Transferee in Fraudulent Conveyance...

Under section 550(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, a trustee or debtor in possession may recover property (or its value) that has been fraudulently transferred “from the initial transferee or the entity for whose benefit the...more

Client Alert: Oil & Gas Bankruptcies on the Horizon: Beware of Statutory Liens

The recent drop in crude oil prices has been a boon to consumers and businesses alike. However, sustained lower crude prices will invariably have a negative impact on drilling activity in those states where oil and gas...more

Leases and Bankruptcy

WHEN THE TENANT FILES BANKRUPTCY I. Before the Bankruptcy is Filed. The Bankruptcy Code, found at 11 U.S.C. §§ 101, et seq., creates a category of rights known as “executory contracts.” An executory contract, in...more

Proof of Claim: Foreign Qualification Requirements May Be More Important Than You Thought

In re Flex Fin. Holding Co., 518 B.R. 891 (Bankr. D. Kan. 2014) – A landlord filed a proof of claim for ~$1.34 million for a debtor’s prepetition breach of its lease. The debtor objected based on the landlord’s...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Connecticut Bankruptcy Court Approves Settlement In Two Related Cases with a Torturous Twelve Year History

The Chapter 7 case of First Connecticut Consulting Group, Inc. and James J. Licata (the “Cases”) began as Chapter 11 cases over twelve years ago. The cases were consolidated and remained in Chapter 11 for four years as...more

Determining “Value” Given By Good Faith Transferee In Fraudulent Transfer Action

The Bankruptcy Code allows a trustee to recover fraudulent transfers made by the debtor prior to bankruptcy. 11 U.S.C. § 548(a). An innocent recipient of a fraudulent transfer is not without a defense, however. The Code...more

Williams v. FDIC (In re Positive Health Management) - Lender Forced to Return Payments Made by Non-Borrower

On October 16, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit entered an order requiring a real estate lender, First National Bank (the “Lender”), to refund certain mortgage payments it received from...more

Bankruptcy Court Finds Tenant Cannot Assume Commercial Lease After Waiving Rights to Seek Relief From Forfeiture Under California...

The US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (the "Court") recently upheld the validity of a commercial lease provision by which a debtor/tenant waived its rights to seek relief from forfeiture (i.e.,...more

Business Finance & Restructuring Q&A Series

The following discussion examines a number of factors that have complicated the bankruptcy process. It also offers a look at how out-of-court restructurings might be a more viable course for distressed business owners to...more

Lease Termination: Do You Really Mean It?

A commercial landlord sought relief from the automatic stay so that it could complete prepetition eviction proceedings against the debtor. The debtor objected, arguing that it had a right to assume the lease. The case turned...more

Who Will Think of the Tenants: Split in Authority Regarding the Interplay Between Bankruptcy Code Sections 363(f) and 365(h)(1)(A)

A useful tool granted to trustees (and debtors-in-possession) in bankruptcy is the ability to assume or reject leases.1 The trustee can exploit this power to the estate's economic advantage, either assuming or rejecting the...more

How Remote is Bankruptcy Remote? Is an Operating Agreement Restriction Against a Bankruptcy Filing Without the Unanimous Consent...

Nonrecourse financing is common in today's commercial real estate lending market. So too are the use of special purpose entities ("SPEs") and limited guaranties from SPE members of all or a portion of the debt, the latter of...more

Environmental Claims: Twenty Years Later

A Chapter 11 debtor moved to reopen its bankruptcy case more than 15 years after it was closed in order to enforce the plan confirmation order to prevent claims by a state environmental agency and other potentially...more

Some Days, A Stay Is Easier to Obtain Than Others

In A&F Enterprises v. IHOP Franchising LLC, 742 F.3d 764 (Seventh Cir. 2014), Chapter 11 debtors appealed a determination that their building leases were deemed rejected because they were not timely assumed. Both the...more

Keeping the Benefit of Your Bargain: Strengthening Your Right to Prepayment Premiums

Anyone involved in commercial lending transactions is familiar with provisions of loan agreements that provide for compensation to the lender in the event the indebtedness is paid in advance of the contemplated due date....more

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Faces Split Among the Courts Concerning Scope of a Landlord’s Claim Against a Tenant in Bankruptcy

The Delaware bankruptcy court will soon be forced to rule on the scope of a landlord's claim in bankruptcy, an issue on which courts around the country have been split for many years. In the case of In re Masonite Corp. (Case...more

The Meridian Sunrise Village Opinion Redux

In my last post I discussed the Meridian Sunrise Village v. NB Distressed Debt Investment Fund Ltd. opinion handed down by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington in March of this year. The...more

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