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Is an insolvent debtor’s pre-bankruptcy termination of a commercial lease a fraudulent transfer? The Third Circuit said no when it held that a lessor’s pre-bankruptcy termination of the debtors’ lease and purchase option “was not a transfer under Bankruptcy Code §548(a)(1)(B).” In re Pazzo Pazzo Inc., 2022 WL 17690158 (3d Cir. Dec. 15, 2022). But the Seventh Circuit held that a Chapter 11 debtor’s pre-bankruptcy “surrender of [two] … leases to [its landlord] could be regarded as a preferential [or fraudulent] transfer.” In re Great Lakes Quick Lube L.P., 816 F.3d 482 (7th Cir. 2016). Reversing the bankruptcy court’s holding that “the terminations were [not] transfers, … preferential or fraudulent,” the Seventh Circuit stressed that the debtor’s termination of its “interest in property — … the leaseholds — which it parted with by transferring that interest to [the landlord],” fell within the broad definition of “transfer” in the Bankruptcy Code (Code). Id. at 485. A close reading of both Pazzo and Great Lakes, however, shows that the circuits are not split, and that the reasoning of both courts can be reconciled on their facts.
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By Sandra D. Buchko
A hybrid workforce has meant that office and retail space is in plentiful supply. These high vacancy rates have caused landlord defaults to be on the rise, making it a tenant-friendly environment for leasing space and obtaining tenant-favorable lease terms. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to negotiate the best lease terms and navigate the leasing process while saving money on rent, tenant buildout and operating expenses.
By Adrienne B. Koch
Parties to real estate transactions may be tempted to conclude that a notice of pendency will be available in most instances to protect their rights if things go awry. But while the CPLR’s description of actions in which a notice of pendency is permitted sounds both clear-cut and extremely broad, in practice it is neither of those things.
By Christine G. Barlow
Water issues are often confusing and involve multiple undefined terms such as plumbing, sewer, drain, overflow, or discharge. This article reviews how the terms are applied in the commercial property policy.
By Brian Peykar
The legalization of cannabis in New Jersey has created tremendous economic opportunities for commercial and industrial property owners. Aside from the potential financial benefits, property owners should approach this newer market in a cautious manner before embarking on leasing to cannabis retailers and/or growers given the multitude of issues and concerns surrounding the cannabis industry.