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Section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code provides for the potential recovery of transfers of a debtor’s property occurring within 90 days of bankruptcy. Typically, preference actions involve payments to vendors who previously did business with the debtor on credit. However, vendors are not the only ones who can be tangled up in preference litigation. In a recent case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the question of whether a payout of insurance proceeds to a tort claimant, made pre-petition pursuant to Texas state insurance law, should be classified as a “transfer of an interest of the debtor in property” under 11 U.S.C. Section 547. See, Law Office of Rogelio Solis v. Curtis, No. 23-40125, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 26621, at *2 (5th Cir. Oct. 6, 2023). 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.
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By Michael L. Cook
By enforcing deadlines strictly, refusing to hear appeals from interlocutory orders, and rarely bypassing the district court for direct appeals, appellate courts have generally avoided what they view as unnecessary work and delay. But a few courts have made important exceptions in the past year.
By Mark E. Felger and Simon E. Fraser
An opinion from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware provides a reminder of the potentially severe punishment that a party can suffer as a result of its violation of the automatic stay of Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code, even if the debtor does not suffer any actual damages as a result of the violation.
By Amanda Bronstad
Mass tort bankruptcies took some big hits in 2023, with two of them dismissed outright, and two more potentially hanging in the balance.
By Jimmy Hoover
The U.S. Supreme Court on January 9 debated the proper remedy for its 2022 ruling that Congress violated the Constitution when it imposed steep bankruptcy fee hikes on large debtors in some districts but not others.