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In In re Simply Essentials, LLC, 2023 WL 5341506, *1 (8th Cir. Aug. 21, 2023), the Eighth Circuit held that “avoidance actions [e.g., preferences, fraudulent transfers] can be sold as property of the [Chapter 7 debtor’s] estate.” On a direct appeal from the bankruptcy court, the court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s granting of the trustee’s motions to compromise and sell property under Bankruptcy Code §363(f). A creditor had objected, arguing unsuccessfully that “avoidance actions… are not part of the bankruptcy estate ….” Id. As shown below, the Eighth Circuit’s holding and reasoning are consistent with the reasoning of other circuits in the asset sale context. More important, the decision has practical significance for Chapter 11 debtor in possession (DIP) lenders. U.S. Trustees and unsecured creditors regularly object to the granting of liens on avoidance actions, but Simply Essentials and other appellate rulings should now eliminate the purported legal obstacle.
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By Jeffery Lula
In today’s volatile economic climate, companies need to be more creative to find ways to mitigate risk. Litigation finance is one of those out-of-the-box solutions that can provide benefits.
By Michael L. Cook
The Second Circuit, on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, further remanded to the district court the key issue of whether the Chapter 11 debtor gave “adequate assurance of future performance of” a commercial real property shopping center lease “as required by [Bankruptcy Code] §365(b)(3)(A),” after the debtor’s assignment of its lease.
By Lawrence J. Kotler and Ryan Spengler
While this case does not fully open the courthouse doors to cannabis-related businesses and seemingly grants the bankruptcy courts a great deal of discretion when ruling on similar cases in the future, cannabis-related businesses may now have a roadmap to pursue reorganization.
By Francis J. Lawall and Brenden S. Dahrouge
In upholding the bankruptcy court’s determination that the payment of insurance proceeds could be such a transfer, the Fifth Circuit underscored the complex interplay between state law, bankruptcy law and the rights of creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.