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A number of legislative modifications were made to the Bankruptcy Code to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on distressed debtors, particularly small business and individual debtors. While a few of these changes expanded protections previously granted to small business debtors pre-pandemic, a major pandemic relief program, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was not made available to debtors in bankruptcy proceedings. After Congress established the PPP in The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), enacted on March 27, 2020, a number of debtors in pending bankruptcy cases applied for PPP loans. The Small Business Administration (SBA) opposed PPP loans for debtors, and courts were split as to whether the SBA could block debtors from qualifying for and receiving PPP loans. Two circuit courts, the Eleventh and the Fifth Circuits, ultimately ruled against the debtors. USF Federal Credit Union v. Gateway Radiology Consultants, P.A., No. 20-13462 at 43 (11th Cir. 2020) (holding that the SBA did not exceed its authority in adopting the non-bankruptcy rule for PPP eligibility).
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By Eva D. Gadzheva, Jeremy M. Downs and David E. Morrison
This article reminds us of the conflict-of-laws analysis at the heart of such retention of title disputes, and then discuss the multi-step UCC analysis that is also required.
By Michael L. Cook
The Second Circuit applied federal bankruptcy law when holding that good faith is an affirmative defense.
By Thomas R. Califano and Anna Gumport
Members of Congress recently introduced the Nondebtor Release Prohibition Act, which proposes to amend the Bankruptcy Code to, among other things, restrict courts’ ability to approve third-party releases of nondebtors and related injunctions under plans of reorganization or otherwise in Chapter 11 cases.
By Steven B. Smith and Rachel Ginzburg
If you think public policy favoring the freedom to file a Chapter 11 trumps the freedom to negotiate specific restrictions to such a filing, think again.