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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently issued an opinion concluding that trustees can pursue recovery from foreign subsequent transferees who received property in transactions that occurred entirely outside the United States. The opinion reversed two lower court rulings and arguably conflicts with Supreme Court precedent on extraterritoriality of U.S. legislation.
The fraudulent transfer provisions of the Bankruptcy Code give trustees broad power to avoid transfers of property that were made by the debtor before the bankruptcy case if either: 1) the debtor transferred the property with actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud creditors; or 2) the debtor received less than reasonably equivalent value in exchange for the transferred property. 11 U.S.C. §548(a)(1). If the transfer is avoidable, then a separate provision of the Bankruptcy Code gives trustees power to recover the property from the initial transferee or any subsequent transferee who received the property directly or indirectly from the initial transferee. 11 U.S.C. §550(a). In cases where trustees seek to recover property from subsequent transferees located outside the United States who received the property from transferors also located outside the United States, the question arises whether the Bankruptcy Code’s fraudulent transfer recovery provision reaches that transaction — in other words, whether §550(a) applies extraterritorially to allow trustees to recover property from foreign subsequent transferees.
By Mark Page
Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC
The question is whether a debtor’s rejection of its agreement granting a license “terminates rights of the licensee that would survive the licensor’s breach under applicable nonbankruptcy law.”
By Theresa A. Driscoll
With increasing frequency, Chapter 7 trustees are looking to insolvent parents as well as colleges and universities to avoid and recover for estate creditors payments made by insolvent debtors for the benefit of the debtors’ dependents. These cases are premised on the theory that the tuition payments being made by insolvent parents for the benefit of their children are avoidable as constructively fraudulent transfers because the parents do not receive reasonably equivalent value in exchange for the payment of such tuition. Courts are divided as to whether the payment of a child’s tuition provides reasonably equivalent value to the insolvent parents.
By Stephanie Lieb and Dana Robbins
In its recent opinion in Taggart v. Lorenzen, the Supreme Court decided that “[a] court may hold a creditor in civil contempt for violating a discharge order if there is no fair ground of doubt as to whether the order barred the creditor’s conduct.” Although this standard appears to be new, it is more than a century old and “brings the old soil” from civil contempt with it.
By Michael L. Cook
A bankruptcy court decision recently detailed how courts applying Bankruptcy Code §303(i) can sanction creditors who “abuse … the power given to [them] … to file an involuntary bankruptcy petition.” The decision shows why the filing of an involuntary bankruptcy requires careful pre-filing legal judgment.