Commercial Real Estate Bankruptcy

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December 2014 - Real Estate FOUNDATION

In this issue - The CERCLA Divisibilty Defense: Back from the Dead? - Springing Recourse for Breach of Solvency and Debt Payment Covenants? Does New York Need Cherryland Legislation? - Mid-Construction...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

Sale Proceeds: Better Get the Carve-Out Right the First Time

In re Stacy’s, Inc., 508 B.R. 370 (Bankr. D. S.C. 2014) – A debtor sold substantially all of its assets after negotiating with its primary secured creditor for carve-outs from the sale proceeds for administrative...more

Loan to Own Variation: Bankruptcy May Not Provide The Answers

In re SR Real Estate Holdings, LLC, 506 B.R. 121 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. 2014) – A group of lenders moved to dismiss the debtor’s bankruptcy case on the basis that it was filed in bad faith, or in the alternative asked the...more

Neither the non-charitable corporation, itself, nor its directors hold the corporate assets in trust, absent special facts.

A charitable corporation is more a trust than a corporation, a topic that is taken up in an earlier posting on this site. See http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-charitable-corporation-a-trust-in-d-90654/. In the case of a...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 by the Developer/Owner: Mechanics Lien Rights May Still Prevail!

The rate of bankruptcies among construction industry participants is higher than some think. The bankruptcy of a developer creates an “automatic stay” under federal law preventing almost all collection activities, including...more

Stay Relief: What Happens to “Unreasonable” Fees?

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. 804 Congress, L.L.C. (In re 804 Congress, L.L.C.), 756 F.3d 358 (5th Cir. 2014) – After an oversecured creditor obtained relief from the automatic stay and foreclosed on some property, the...more

Just When You Thought You Were Out, They Pull You Back In

It is a rare occasion for a secured lender to foreclose on collateral with a value in excess of the entire debt owed, particularly following a bankruptcy filing by the borrower, but on that rare occasion the lender should...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

Credit Bid (Round 2): What Does It Take to Show “Cause”?

In re Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church of Boston, 510 B.R. 453 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2014) – In connection with a proposed sale of real property, a chapter 11 debtor sought to prohibit the mortgagee from...more

It Wasn’t Wirth It: Nonresident Limited Partners Liable for Personal Income Tax on Discharge of Nonrecourse Debt

In June 17, 2014, in Wirth v. Commonwealth, 82-85 MAP 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (the “Court”) affirmed the Commonwealth Court’s holding that nonresident limited partners were liable for Pennsylvania Personal Income...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

Post-Petition Interest: Not Very Predictable

A senior mortgagee battled the debtor and a junior mortgagee over its entitlement to post-petition interest: If and when did it become oversecured and thus entitled to interest? Was it entitled to interest at the default...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

BROKEn Promises: 3 Signs your Tenant may be Going Bankrupt

The bankruptcy of a tenant is disruptive and may be confusing to a landlord; however, arming yourself with knowledge of some warning signs of financial distress and an understanding of your basic rights will, along with your...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

Tenants Beware: Your Landlord’s Bankruptcy Could Result in a Lost Lease

It is unfortunate, but true: a commercial tenant may someday be required to deal with a bankrupt landlord. Any bankruptcy filing can be complicated and chaotic. But, a tenant faced with a landlord’s is more than just a...more

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