Chapter 7

News & Analysis as of

Bankruptcy Court Order Compelling Surrender of Property Upheld on Appeal

On November 23, 2015, in the first appellate decision of its kind, the District Court for the Southern District of Florida affirmed a bankruptcy court order to compel chapter 7 debtors to surrender real property by directing...more

Corporate E-Note - October 2015

By now, everyone has heard of the Department of Labor’s ("DOL's") proposed rule requiring a weekly salary of at least $970.00, or $50,440.00 annually, for employees to be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's ("FLSA's")...more

How Long Is Too Long To Reopen A Bankruptcy Case?

In a per curiam opinion that is not precedential but of interest to lenders who take mortgages as security, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided that the Debtor’s effort to reopen her bankruptcy case was too...more

Nevada Supreme Court Opines On Scope Of Debtor’s Exemption For Stock

NRS 78.746 provides that, with several qualifications, the exclusive remedy of judgment creditors with respect to the stock in a relatively closely held corporation is to charge a stockholder’s shares.  To the extent so...more

New Case Poses Threat to Mortgage Servicers in Bankruptcies

A new decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit poses a serious threat to mortgage companies that service mortgages of chapter 13 debtors. Mortgage servicers should be aware of the case's implications and...more

Mortgage Acknowledgements: Can A Boo-Boo Be Fixed?

Bank of America, N.A. v. Casey, 517 B.R. 1 (D. Mass. 2015) – A Chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a mortgage using “strong-arm” powers based on a defect in the acknowledgement. The mortgagee contended that the defect was...more

Third Circuit Affirms Bad Faith Involuntary Bankruptcy Dismissal, Increasing Risk of Punitive Damages

Last week’s decision by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in In re: Forever Green Athletic Fields, Inc., No. 14-3906 (3d Cir. Oct. 16, 2015) held that an involuntary bankruptcy petition filed under 11 U.S.C. §...more

CR&B Alert: Commercial Restructuring & Bankrtupcy News - October 2015, No. 3

Welcome to the October 2015 issue of the CR&B Alert, the newsletter produced by Reed Smith's Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy Group. Readers who wish to print and read the newsletter in its entirety may do so by...more

A WARNing to Directors and Officers — Failure to give proper WARN Act notice may breach your fiduciary duty

At first glance, Stanziale v. MILK072011, looks like someone suing over a bad expiration date and conjures up images of Ron Burgundy proclaiming “milk was a bad choice.” But in actuality Stanziale is much more interesting: it...more

Global Private Equity Newsletter - Fall 2015 Edition: Buyer Beware – Court Lowers Hurdle to Make Claim for Withdrawal Liability...

In Tsareff v. ManWeb Services, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an asset purchaser’s pre-closing knowledge of a seller’s potential multiemployer plan withdrawal liability could be sufficient...more

Joint Tenancy: What Happens When a Joint Tenant’s Interest Becomes Part of the Bankruptcy Estate?

Peet v. Checkett (In re Peet), 529 B.R. 718 (8th Cir. BAP 2015) – A chapter 7 trustee proposed to sell real and personal property that was owned by the chapter 7 debtors as joint tenants with parents of one of the...more

Banking & Financial Services E-Note - September 2015

On September 8, 2015, United States District Judge Marvin H. Shoob declared Georgia’s statutory garnishment process unconstitutional in Strickland v. Alexander. In what is sure to be the first of many county-level responses,...more

Property Surrender: Surrender Means Surrender – Really

In re Failla, 529 B.R. 786 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2014) – Individual chapter 7 debtors filed a statement of intention electing to surrender their real estate. The mortgagee contended that they had failed to do so and filed a...more

Life After Death for Chapter 7 Corporate Debtors? What Remains After a Corporate Liquidation

Individuals filing for bankruptcy pursuant to Chapter 7 of Title 11 of the United States Code (the "Bankruptcy Code") generally do so to have their debts discharged and receive the proverbial "fresh start." The same, however,...more

A Debtor May Forfeit Right to a Chapter 7 Discharge By Refusing to Lower Standard Of Living

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined that a chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be dismissed if the debtor “avoids repayment of debt without an adequate reason.” In re Schwartz, No. 15-1416 (7th Cir. August 24,...more

Bankruptcy Basics – “Will I Lose My House in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”

Almost daily I meet with families that have avoided filing for bankruptcy because they fear they will lose their home as part of the process. In this article I will discuss how you can know if your house will be put at risk...more

New Administrative Orders Amend Procedures for Creditors in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases Pending in the Middle District of Florida

Prior to September 1, 2015, procedures in consumer chapter 13 bankruptcy cases varied greatly across the divisions of the Middle District of Florida, creating vastly different workflows for creditors and attorneys with cases...more

Strong Arm Powers: Does Sovereign Immunity Trump a Claim Based on State Law?

Kohut v. Wayne County Treasurer (In re Lewiston), 528 B.R. 387 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2015) – The debtor made property tax payments on behalf of several real estate projects.  The chapter 7 trustee sought to recover those...more

Settlement Proceeds: When Does Cash Become Quasi Real Estate?

Farmer v. Citizens Nat’l Bank of Athens (In re Davis), 528 B.R. 757 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2015) – A chapter 7 trustee sought a court determination that the trustee had a superior claim to settlement proceeds arising from...more

Growing Medical Marijuana, Problematic in Bankruptcy, and Out

Frank Arenas is licensed in Colorado to grow and dispense medical marijuana. He and his wife own a building, half of which is used for the cultivation and the other half of which is leased to a marijuana dispensary. These...more

Debtors May Want To Take It All Off, But The Supreme Court Says Junior Liens Can’t Be Stripped

It’s not an uncommon sight, especially in light of the burst of the housing bubble in recent years: a debtor in bankruptcy has two mortgages on a property with a fair market value of less than the amount of the senior...more

Chapter 11 Sales: Believe It Or Not, There Really Are Limits

In re P.D.M. Co., 523 B.R. 558 (Bankr. W.D. Mich. 2015) – Two affiliated chapter 11 debtors sought court approval of a sale of all of their assets out of the ordinary course of business free and clear of claims.  The...more

The ABI Commission on Business Bankruptcy Reform: The Sale of All or Substantially All of the Debtor's Assets and Proposed...

This is the fifth in a series of Alerts regarding the proposals made by the American Bankruptcy Institute Commission to Reform Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcies. This alert covers the Commission’s recommendations regarding the...more

Bankruptcy Avoidance Litigation Part I — Do I Really Have to Give That Payment Back?

(Part one in a two-part series on avoidance litigation in bankruptcy cases) While initial consumer and commercial bankruptcy filings have, in recent years, ebbed in the wake of the historic highs of the Great Recession,...more

What General Counsel Should Know When a Company's Tenant Files for Bankruptcy

Your tenant files for bankruptcy-what’s your move? Debtors who are lessees under real property leases have certain rights regarding their lease under § 365 of the Bankruptcy Code. Essentially, the debtor has two options: 1)...more

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