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“[A] secured creditor [has no] affirmative obligation under the automatic stay to return a debtor’s [repossessed] collateral to the bankruptcy estate immediately upon notice of the debtor’s bankruptcy,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held on Oct. 28, 2019. In re Denby-Peterson, 2019 WL 5538570, 1 (3d Cir. Oct. 28, 2019). Affirming the lower courts, the Third Circuit joined “the minority of our sister courts — the Tenth and D.C. Circuits” with its holding. According to the court, it was “[g]uided by the plain language of the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay and turnover provisions, the legislative purpose and policy goals of the automatic stay, and the reasoning of the Supreme Court and our two sister circuits ….” Id. at 13. In sum, because “a secured creditor [need not] return the [repossessed] collateral to the debtor until the debtor obtains a [bankruptcy] court order … requiring the creditor to do so,” it does “not violate the automatic stay” of Bankruptcy Code (Code) §362(a)(3) (creditors stayed from “any act to obtain possession of property of the debtor … or to exercise control over property of the estate.”). Id. at 5-6. The court essentially allowed lenders with statutory defenses to a debtor’s turnover claim to retain possession pending a bankruptcy court order resolving the issue.
By Carl E. Black and Jonathan Noble Edel
Recognizing the potential consequences, companies in Chapter 11 bankruptcy often try to reduce employee uncertainty by seeking authority from the bankruptcy court. The Bankruptcy Code, however, imposes a variety of limitations on the ability of a debtor-employer to provide certain types of compensation and benefits to “insiders,” a term that is broadly defined in the Bankruptcy Code.
By Rudolph J. Di Massa Jr. and Jarret P. Hitchings
The assumption that bankruptcy can’t relieve a borrower of student loan obligations is incorrect, however a debtor must provide compelling evidence that an undue hardship will result if the debtor is required to repay the loan.
By Peter Janovsky
A debtor’s goal in a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is to confirm a “plan of reorganization.” Creditors usually have the right to vote for or against a plan, and in some cases, a plan can be confirmed over the objection of one or more classes of creditors. This is called a “cram-down.” The Bankruptcy Code’s rules governing cram-down are complex and differ for secured and unsecured classes of creditors. This article shows how bankruptcy courts have ruled on a particular method of cram-down known as a “dirt-for-debt” plan.
By Aaron R. Cahn
Any Cannabis-Related Business or Any Business In a Relationship With One Will Likely Find Itself Barred from the Door of the Federal Bankruptcy Courts
The ability to file a federal bankruptcy case is an important resource for struggling businesses. It is particularly important to start-up businesses in an emerging field, such as the production and marketing of cannabis-related products. It is precisely this resource, however, that is currently being denied to cannabis-related businesses.