News & Analysis as of

Protecting Your Business: Payment Plans Are Not Necessarily Bankruptcy Proof

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be . . . .” Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, line 75 With all due respect to the great Bard, that simply isn’t possible in today’s business world. Even businesses that are not directly involved...more

Clear Contractual Terms Prevail Over Equitable Principles in Bankruptcy Cases (Again)

Bankruptcy courts in the U.S. are widely viewed as favorable fora for debtors, trustees and creditors’ committees to pursue creative and difficult causes of actions against deep-pockets lenders and others in an attempt to...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

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36390 - Folsom v. Zoning Board of Appeals - Trial court properly granted a motion to strike a direct lawsuit by a disgruntled neighbor against the Town Zoning Enforcement...more

Return to Sender: The Boomerang of Garnishment Checks Back to Georgia Employers

Across Georgia, employers are opening their mailboxes to discover that courts have returned checks that employers previously submitted to satisfy garnishment actions. This is the result of decisions by many courts across...more

Accidentally On Purpose: Washington Court Finds Coverage For Contempt Of Court Based On “Misunderstanding”

Professional liability policies cover claims based on the insured’s alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions, and not claims for “sanctions or penalties” for “willful” professional misconduct. But the insurer’s duty to...more

Brokers: Rely on Broker Statements at Your Peril

Alamo Group, LLC v. A & G Realty Partners, LLC (In re OSC 1 Liquidating Corp.), 529 B.R. 825 (Bankr. D. Del. 2015) – A purchaser of debtors’ lease designation rights filed a complaint in bankruptcy court against the debtors’...more

Florida District Court Affirms Bankruptcy Court Bar Order In Favor Of Former Ds & Os

On September 24, Southern District of Florida District Court Judge James I. Cohn issued an opinion affirming an order approving the settlement of a debtor’s breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, and mismanagement claims...more

Nuovo Regolamento UE sulle procedure d’insolvenza

Il Regolamento si pone l’obiettivo di rendere più efficienti le regole sulle insolvenze transfrontaliere, trovare il giusto equilibrio nella protezione sia dei debitori che dei creditori e privilegiare il risanamento delle...more

CFPB Sues World Law Group Over Illegal Fees and False Promises in Debt-Relief Scheme

On September 15, the CFPB announced a preliminary injunction obtained against World Law Group and its senior leaders for allegedly running a debt-relief scheme that charged consumers costly and illegal upfront fees. According...more

Sixth Circuit Weighs In On Prior Express Consent

Under what circumstances does a person give his “prior express consent” to be contacted on his cellphone by a creditor? The Sixth Circuit recently examined that very question in Hill v. Homeward Residential, Inc., where it...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

Broker Commissions: Technical Requirements Trump Equitable Considerations

In re Oak Knoll Assocs., L.P., 525 B.R. 175 (Bankr. D. Me. 2015) – A real estate broker sought allowance of an administrative expense claim for his commission in connection with a sale of real estate.  The debtor and...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

California’s New Voidable Transactions Act

California’s recently enacted Uniform Voidable Transactions Act (UVTA), makes it easier for creditors to recover assets that are transferred to third parties when a debtor is insolvent, even when there is no improper intent...more

Energy Future Holdings – Another Major Success for Chapter 11 Mediation?

Mediation has become an invaluable tool in large chapter 11 cases. Traditionally viewed as a means for resolving discrete disputes between a debtor’s estate and an adversary party, in recent years mediation in certain complex...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

NLRB Imposes New "Indirect Control" Joint Employer Standard in Browning-Ferris

On August 27, 2015, the last day of Harry Johnson, III's term as a Board member, the National Labor Relations Board issued its long-awaited decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. The Board voted 3-2 to...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

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

When a debt is legitimately owed I have found that most people simply want to negotiate a settlement with the creditor and get it behind them. And while creditors will usually agree to settle a debt, if a court case has...more

Sixth Circuit Rules on New TCPA Limitations

On Friday, the Sixth Circuit declared that a debtor who provides a cellphone number to a creditor has consented to receiving calls, and the creditor does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. §...more

Good News for Secured Creditors and Commercial Lessors in Chapter 13 Cases

A new administrative order was entered by Chief Judge Jennemann in the Middle District of Florida on August 10. The Middle District of Florida stretches from Jacksonville on the east coast, through Central Florida and down...more

Southern District of New York Recognizes Bondholders’ Rights Under Section 316(b) of the Trust Indenture Act

In lieu of proceeding through a chapter 11 bankruptcy, borrowers and their creditors usually prefer to restructure their debt agreements outside of court. Although they avoid the costs and delays of bankruptcy, out-of-court...more

Tenth Circuit Confirms That a Single Payment on New Purchase Contract May Satisfy Ordinary Course Defense Under 11 U.S.C. §...

In Jubber v. SMC Electrical Products, Inc. et al. (In re C.W. Mining Co.), Case No. 13-4175 (Aug. 10, 2015), the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that a single payment made by a debtor within the 90-day preference...more

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