Category Archives: Bankruptcy

Subscribe to Bankruptcy RSS Feed

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy — Liquidation

Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are straight liquidations sought by debtors who wish to have most or all of their debts discharged. In Chapter 7 cases, the Chapter 7 trustee obtains control over the debtor’s assets and evaluates whether any equity exists that would offset the costs of selling those assets. If the bankruptcy estate will … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: The 6 Key “Players” in Bankruptcy Cases

Bankruptcy cases differ from typical lawsuits in a variety of ways, including the parties involved. Whereas standard lawsuits generally involve a plaintiff and a defendant, bankruptcy cases have a different cast of “players,” including the debtor or debtor in possession, creditors, the bankruptcy trustee (i.e., Chapter 7 trustee, Chapter 13 trustee, etc.), committees, and the … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: A Multimedia Series

Bankruptcy. The arrival of that notice stating a customer has filed for bankruptcy can evoke less-than-ideal responses: forwarding the notice to someone else who might know what to do with it (resulting in the notice ending up in a forever loop of being forwarded along); immediately writing off the account and cutting your losses; or, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds Mere Retention of Bankruptcy Debtor’s Property Is Not a Violation of the Automatic Stay but More Questions Remain

For the past few years, the federal circuit courts have struggled with the issue of whether a creditor retaining possession of bankruptcy estate property violates the automatic stay. For example, is a creditor required to automatically turn over a vehicle as soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed, or can the creditor retain possession of … Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Court Upholds Foreclosure Sale That Occurred Between Bankruptcy Case Dismissal and Subsequent Reinstatement

Frequently, borrowers file for bankruptcy at the 11th hour to halt foreclosure sales. Once a petition for bankruptcy relief has been filed, secured creditors must cease their collection efforts to avoid violating the automatic stay. However, the automatic stay terminates upon a debtor’s dismissal and closure of the bankruptcy case. A Pennsylvania bankruptcy court recently … Continue Reading

Four Significant Changes to Consumer Bankruptcy Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021). Similar to the March 2020 CARES Act, several temporary changes to the Bankruptcy Code are included in Title X of the CAA 2021. Below, we examine four of the CAA 2021’s most significant changes to consumer bankruptcy laws. These changes are temporary … Continue Reading

Top 10 Changes to Consumer Bankruptcy Proposed in the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2020

On December 9, 2020, Congressional Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), proposed sweeping legislation that would overhaul consumer bankruptcy law. The proposed changes generally make it easier for consumers to access the bankruptcy system and discharge their debts. Below is a discussion of 10 critical changes proposed in the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform … Continue Reading

In the Strangest Year Ever, We’re Very Thankful and Wish You a Happy Thanksgiving

As everyone steps away from their (home) office to celebrate Thanksgiving, we wanted to count our blessings as we review this truly remarkable and unusual year. In addition to frontline healthcare workers, good WI-FI, food delivery services, and finally finding a mask that is comfortable, we are also thankful for the following: 1. The CARES … Continue Reading

Pre-Pandemic Chapter 13 Defaults Received CARES Act Modification Protection in the Middle District of Alabama

In a notable decision interpreting the March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama held that Chapter 13 debtors behind on their payments before March 2020 may seek modification of their plan if they suffered from COVID-19 related financial distress. In In re Fowler, … Continue Reading

Certain “Nunc Pro Tunc” Relief May Still be Available in Bankruptcy

Translating to “now for then,” nunc pro tunc orders grant backdated relief. Such orders are common in bankruptcy cases. For instance, bankruptcy courts often enter orders retroactively approving retention of professionals, and in certain cases even granting retroactive relief from the automatic stay. In February 2020, the Supreme Court held in Roman Catholic Archdiocese of … Continue Reading

Tenth Circuit Agrees with the Fifth Circuit – Private Student Loans May be Dischargeable in Bankruptcy

The 10th Circuit has joined several circuit courts holding that private student loans are dischargeable in bankruptcy. In McDaniel v. Navient Solutions, a case of first impression in the 10th Circuit, the court concluded that an educational loan does not constitute “an obligation to repay funds received as an educational benefit” under Section 523(a)(8)(A)(ii) of … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Holds Bankruptcy Trustee May Relinquish Derivative “Asset Plundering” Causes of Action for Creditors to Pursue

Recently, in Artesanias Hacienda Real S.A. De C.V. v. North Mill Capital, LLC; Leisawitz Heller, the Third Circuit held that creditors can pursue claims of the bankruptcy estate that have been abandoned by the trustee. Although the plaintiff, Artesanias, had Article III standing to pursue certain claims, because these claims were derivative of harm to … Continue Reading

Individuals Can Restructure Personal Guaranties of Defunct Business’s Debt in New Bankruptcy Subchapter V

Earlier this year, Chapter 11’s new Subchapter V became a part of the Bankruptcy Code when the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA) became effective. Very shortly thereafter, the CARES Act expanded the debt limits for a business or individual to qualify as a debtor under the SBRA. In the wake of these new … Continue Reading

Alabama Bankruptcy Court Substantially Reduces Award of Attorney’s Fees

In practice, it is not uncommon for bankruptcy debtors to file suit against creditors or debt collectors for stay and discharge injunction violations. Often, they will do so before making any meaningful attempt to communicate with the creditor or debt collector to request that they stop their improper collection efforts. The Bankruptcy Court for the … Continue Reading

Pre-Bankruptcy Automatic Stay Waivers – More Valuable Than Ever These Days?

In the very unusual period in which we find ourselves today, it seems to be common wisdom that an avalanche of commercial loan defaults is coming. As such, it is a good time to take a fresh look at the terms and provisions used in commercial workout documents, whether in a simple agreement that extends … Continue Reading

Individual Employs New Small Business Bankruptcy Law to Modify Mortgage

Small businesses often struggle to reorganize in bankruptcy. To address this issue, Congress passed the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (the SBRA). The SBRA took effect in February 2020 and makes small business bankruptcies faster and less expensive. The recent case of In re Ventura, 2020 WL 1867898 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 10, 2020) addresses many … Continue Reading

Southern District of Texas Enters Temporary Restraining Order Extending PPP Loan Benefits to Debtor in Bankruptcy

In a potentially ground-breaking decision, Judge David R. Jones of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas temporarily enjoined the Small Business Administration (SBA) from denying a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to Hidalgo County Emergency Service Foundation due solely to its status as a Chapter 11 debtor in bankruptcy. While … Continue Reading

Having Trouble with CARES Act Forbearances in Ch. 13 Bankruptcy? You’re Not Alone!

Guest Author: Karlene A. Archer of Karlene A. Archer Law P.L.L.C. Consumers that have pending Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases undoubtedly suffered from financial hardship prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of those consumers, the pandemic may have exacerbated that hardship. The CARES Act’s mortgage forbearance provisions allow some breathing room for consumers that anticipate … Continue Reading

Congress’ Third Major Coronavirus Legislation Makes Bankruptcy Relief for Potential and Current Individual Debtors Easier

On Friday March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the third major piece of coronavirus-related legislation in the last several weeks – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). The new law contains several amendments to the Bankruptcy Code. One of these amendments increases the maximum indebtedness for a “small business debtor” … Continue Reading

Federal Regulatory Agencies Offer Interagency Statement Regarding COVID-19-Related Loan Modifications and Status Reporting

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors issued an Interagency Statement on March 22 urging regulated financial institutions to work with borrowers affected … Continue Reading

Bankruptcy, Coronavirus (COVID-19), and How Retailers Can Brace for the Impact

The brick-and-mortar retail industry has been in a state of flux since online retailers such as Amazon started business in the mid-‘90s. Recent years have been particularly difficult for retailers: in 2018, retailers represented 5 of the 10 largest Chapter 11 bankruptcies. The pace of retail bankruptcies showed no signs of slowing in 2019, with … Continue Reading

HUD, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac Suspend Foreclosures and Evictions for 60 Days

During a COVID-19 press briefing at the White House on March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will temporarily suspend “all foreclosures and evictions.” The president made this announcement to provide “immediate relief” to homeowners and renters struggling to make rent and mortgage payments. The president’s … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Ripple Effects Are Coming – Lenders Must Get Ready

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting businesses large and small. Now is the time for lenders to prepare for its effect on business borrowers. Industries Already in Distress In February, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report identified five industry sectors likely to see the greatest restructuring activity in 2020: Energy Retail Dining and food service Auto suppliers Specialty … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds That an Order on a Motion for Relief from Stay Is a Final, Appealable Order

In a unanimous opinion released last week, the Supreme Court provided guidance as to how to determine the finality of an order in a bankruptcy case for purposes of an appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 158(a). The Court held that the adjudication of a creditor’s motion for relief from stay is properly considered a discrete … Continue Reading
LexBlog