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Lessors who repossess property immediately prior to a lessee bankruptcy filing may be required to return such property or face sanctions by the bankruptcy court. Federal courts are currently split on the issue of whether the lessor must voluntary surrender property seized pre-petition or may hold such property until such time as the debtor seeks, and obtains, an order of turnover.
Lessors who repossess property immediately prior to a lessee bankruptcy filing may be required to return such property or face sanctions by the bankruptcy court. Federal courts are currently split on the issue of whether the lessor must voluntary surrender property seized pre-petition or may hold such property until such time as the debtor seeks, and obtains, an order of turnover. In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit weighed in and decided four appeals involving Chapter 13 debtor filings following the City of Chicago’s seizure of vehicles based on unpaid fines. See, In re Fulton, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18393 (7th Cir. 2019). In Fulton, the Seventh Circuit ruled that the City of Chicago must comply with the automatic stay by returning impounded cars immediately after being notified of a Chapter 13 filing. (The Fulton decision is not the first time the Seventh Circuit decided the issues presented. In 2009, the court held that a creditor must comply with the automatic stay and return a debtor’s vehicle upon her filing of a bankruptcy petition. See, Thompson v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 566 F.3d 699 (7th Cir. 2009).)
By Michael L. Cook
“… [P]ayments owed to a shareholder by a bankrupt debtor, which are not quite dividends but which certainly look a lot like dividends, should be treated like the equity interests of a shareholder and subordinated to claims by creditors of the debtor,” held the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
By Andrew C. Kassner and Joseph N. Argentina Jr.
Sales of substantially all of a debtor’s assets are commonplace in corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcies. The sale is supervised and approved by the Bankruptcy Court. Purchasers desire to know that if the sale is consummated, they will be protected from subsequent attacks on the sale and the sale process and presumably more bidders will participate, resulting in greater returns for the estates and creditors. Issues surrounding the finality of a bankruptcy sale were recently reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
By Christopher T. Greco, Spencer A. Winters and Derek I. Hunter
In the face of increasing pressure from online retailers, and declining foot-traffic in malls and other brick-and-mortar locations, distressed retailers like Things Remembered need to act expeditiously to execute going-concern transactions if they are going to survive the market disruption.
By Arthur Steinberg and Michael R. Handler
Lenders must carefully analyze the full ramifications of how best to approach the constructive fraudulent transfer issue when it emerges in their bankruptcy case.