"Stub Rent" Considered Administrative Expense Obligation by Delaware District Court

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The United States District Court for the District of Delaware, in Goody’s Family Clothing, Inc. et al. v. Mountaineer Prop. Co. II, LLC, et al. (In re Goody’s Family Clothing, Inc. et al.), 2009 WL 903370 (D. Del. March 31, 2009), held that “stub” rent owed to commercial landlords should be accorded administrative expense priority under Section 503(b)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code. “Stub” rent is a bankruptcy term of art that means rent due for the period from the date the bankruptcy case is commenced through the end of the month in which the case was filed. In so ruling, the District Court swiftly distinguished the Third Circuit’s decision in In re Montgomery Ward Holding Corp., 268 F.3d 205, 209 (3d Cir. 2001), and ruled that Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code is not the exclusive remedy for commercial landlords to obtain payment of “stub” rent. The Goody’s Court ruled, however, that while the “stub” rent obligation constituted an administrative expense claim, payment did not have to be made immediately. That is, payment could be made pursuant to a confirmed Chapter 11 plan.

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