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Bankruptcy Litigation

Bankruptcy Court Provides Clarity on Unwritten Elements of Avoidance Actions under the Bankruptcy Code

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Mexico recently ruled that any attempt to avoid preferential or fraudulent transfers must be supported by evidence that the avoidance will benefit the debtor’s estate and the debtor’s creditors — not just the debtor itself.

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The Bankruptcy Code confers upon debtors or trustees, as the case may be, the power to avoid certain preferential or fraudulent transfers made to creditors within prescribed guidelines and limitations. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Mexico recently addressed the contours of these powers through a recent decision in U.S. Glove v. Jacobs, Adv. No. 21-1009, (Bankr. D.N.M. June 11, 2021), holding that any attempt to avoid such transfers must be supported by evidence that the avoidance will benefit the debtor’s estate and the debtor’s creditors — not just the debtor itself. Debtors, the court reasoned, should not be permitted to manipulate the Bankruptcy Code’s avoidance powers merely to create a windfall for themselves.

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