Chapter 9

News & Analysis as of

Puerto Rico: Congress and Supreme Court Shape a Path Towards Financial Recovery

Puerto Rico’s financial woes have recently been front and center in financial news. Although a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court curtailed Puerto Rico’s ability to enact its own legislation to address its debt...more

PROMESA Shields Puerto Rico Behind a New Automatic Stay

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) into law. The most significant portions of PROMESA are found in titles I and II, which establish an...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Puerto Rico’s Local Restructuring Law

In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States in Commonwealth of Puerto Rico et al. v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust et al., 579 U.S. ___ (2016), rejected the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement...more

Supreme Court Considers Preemption of Puerto Rico's Recovery Act

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust and Acosta-Febo v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust, which address the constitutionality of Puerto...more

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can’t Call it an Airplane: Supreme Court Oral Arguments Suggest Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act...

A few thoughts on Tuesday’s oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the litigation over whether Puerto Rico’s Public Corporations Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act, an insolvency statute for certain of its government...more

Statutory Liens vs. Consensual Liens: Why it Matters and When it may Not

While secured creditors are entitled to special rights in bankruptcy, those rights may differ depending on whether creditors have a statutory or consensual lien on their collateral. This is primarily because section 552(a)...more

Draft Treasury Legislation Would Give Puerto Rico Access to “Super Chapter 9” and Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

A draft of the U.S. Treasury’s proposed debt restructuring legislation began circulating earlier today. The draft legislation would give Puerto Rico, as well as other U.S. territories, and their municipalities access to U.S....more

Public Hospital Bankruptcy Under Chapter 9: A Success Story and a Powerful Tool

To the extent authorized by a State, Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code allows municipalities (defined as a “political subdivision or public agency or instrumentality”) of that State – including public hospitals – to reorganize...more

Que Certa, Certa: Supreme Court Creates Uncertainty with “Cert” Review of Puerto Rico Recovery Act

It is said that muddy water is best cleared by leaving it be. The Supreme Court’s December 4 decision to review the legality of Puerto Rico’s local bankruptcy law, the Recovery Act, despite a well-reasoned First Circuit...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Barclays and Wachovia Settle with NCUA - On October 19, 2015, Barclays PLC and Wachovia Capital Markets LLC agreed to pay $325 million and $53 million, respectively, to settle claims brought by the National Credit Union...more

Obama Administration’s Legislative Proposal to Address Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Crisis

On October 21, 2015, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients, and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell unveiled a legislative proposal, a copy of which is...more

Illinois Court Strikes Down Chicago Pension Reforms, Deepening City's Financial Crisis

On July 24, 2015, Judge Rita M. Novak of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois struck down recently enacted legislation designed to shore up two of the City of Chicago’s severely underfunded pension plans by, among other...more

Should Bond Lawyers Care About Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code?

I have been practicing public finance law for almost thirteen years, and during the first half of that period, I never gave Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code much thought, as prior to the financial crisis, municipal...more

Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy News - May 2015, Issue 2

In This Issue: - How Safe are the Bankruptcy Code Safe Harbors? - Stockton’s Chapter 9 Plan Approval - Delaware Chancery Court Clarifies Fiduciary Duties of Insolvent Corporation Directors in Derivative...more

Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy Alert - May 2015

In this issue: - How Safe are the Bankruptcy Code Safe Harbors? - Stockton’s Chapter 9 Plan Approval - Delaware Chancery Court Clarifies Fiduciary Duties of Insolvent Corporation Directors in Derivative...more

First Circuit Hears Oral Arguments on Validity of Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act

A few reactions to today’s oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit regarding the validity of Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act...more

Distressed Download - March 2015

What Happens in Delaware Does Not Always Stay in Delaware: Caesars Victorious in Venue Battle - On Wednesday, January 28, the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware transferred venue for the involuntary bankruptcy...more

Puerto Rico Debt Recovery Act Ruled Unconstitutional1

On Friday February 6, the Puerto Rico Federal District Court ruled the Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act (the “Recovery Act”) unconstitutional. Franklin Calif. Tax-Free Trust, et al. v. Comm. Of Puerto Rico et al., (D.P.R.,...more

Bankruptcy Court Decides That The Bankruptcy Code Preempts California State Pension Laws

In a February 4, 2015 opinion, the bankruptcy judge presiding over Stockton, California's Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy case approved Stockton's bankruptcy plan of adjustment. In re City of Stockton, 2015 Bankr....more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Council of EU Agrees General Approach on Proposed Regulation on Securities Financing Transactions - On November 20, the Council of the EU published a press release reporting that its Permanent Representatives Committee...more

Detroit Confirms Chapter 9 Plan of Adjustment

Approximately 16 months after filing the largest chapter 9 bankruptcy in history, Detroit received approval November 7 of its chapter 9 plan of adjustment. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes of the Eastern District of Michigan...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Settle RMBS Lawsuit with FDIC - On November 17, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch settled securities claims brought by the FDIC related to RMBS sold to United Western Bank. The FDIC,...more

Blog: California Bankruptcy Judge Rules that State Law Does Not Protect Pension Fund from Municipal Bankruptcies

On October 1, a bankruptcy judge ruled that the pension agreement between Stockton, California and Calpers, California’s massive state-run pension fund for public employees, is an executory contract that can be rejected in...more

Why Aren’t There More Chapter 9 Bankruptcies?

After the housing market collapse, many cities and towns fell on hard times and have yet to recover. In quite a few communities, housing prices remain low, municipal debt levels are unsustainable, and attempts to raise...more

Legislative Trial Balloon for Puerto Rico Public Corporation Insolvency Process Attracts Bondholder Attention

Last Tuesday, Puerto Rico sold its much ballyhooed $3.5 billion in non-investment grade general obligation bonds. Two days later, two legislators in Puerto Rico’s Senate filed a bill which, if enacted, would permit...more

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