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Recent Blog Posts

  • Bad Faith or Business Judgment? Brooks Brothers’ minority shareholders and unsecured creditors, TAL Apparel Ltd. (“TAL Apparel”) and its subsidiary Castle Apparel Ltd. (“Castle”), recently brought an action against the men’s retailer’s former owners, the Del Vecchio family. TAL Apparel and Castle allege bad faith and more than $100 million in damages for losses arising from the Brooks Brothers bankruptcy. TAL Apparel alleges that the Del Vecchio family did not engage “in good faith” with potential buyers in 2019, and “put their own financial interests... More
  • Voting Rights Provisions in Intercreditor Agreements May Not Be Enforceable As Expected In an anomalous decision by the Bankruptcy Court in the District of Kansas, the court declined to enforce the voting provisions in subordination agreements that allowed the senior creditor to vote on behalf of a group of subordinated creditors. Reversing a trend of enforcing express voting restrictions in intercreditor agreements, the court invalidated the voting provision at issue, yet ultimately barred the subordinated creditors from participating in the confirmation process entirely. The decision bucks the trend of enforcing intercreditor agreements... More
  • In and Out of Bankruptcy in One Day: Record-Setting Prepackaged Restructuring Plan Confirmed Within Hours of Chapter 11 Filing Belk Inc., a national privately-owned department store chain, just completed a $450 million debt restructuring in less than 24 hours! U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur confirmed the plan the morning of the First Day Hearing despite the U.S. Trustee’s concerns about adequate notice. The Debtors’ prepackaged plan became effective hours after it was confirmed by the Court. Belk argued that the plan must be confirmed quickly because the company had no cash reserves and no committed DIP financing. The Court agreed... More
  • Recent Supreme Court Ruling Provides Important Protection for Secured Creditors On January 15, 2021, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in City of Chicago v. Fulton that a secured party in possession of a debtor’s collateral does not violate the automatic stay by passively retaining possession after a debtor commences a bankruptcy case. When a debtor files a bankruptcy case, the Bankruptcy Code protects the debtor by imposing an automatic stay on efforts to collect prepetition debts or “any act . . . to exercise control over property” of the bankruptcy... More
  • Distress Buyer in UCC Foreclosure Sale Held Liable for Seller’s Debts Under De Facto Merger Doctrine The general rule is that when a corporation or other business entity buys the assets of another entity, it does not assume the liabilities of the seller. But in New Nello Operating Co., LLC v. CompressAir, 19A-CC-603 (Ind. Ct. App. March 2, 2020), the court applied the de facto merger exception and held the buyer company (“New Nello”), which had acquired the assets through a foreclosure under the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”), responsible for the seller’s (“Old Nello”) debt. The facts illustrate why... More
  • The Importance of Clear Tax Allocation Agreements In Rodriguez v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the United States Supreme Court ruled on February 25, 2020, that a $4.1 million tax refund belonged to the bankruptcy estate of a failed Colorado bank’s parent company, United Western Bancorp, Inc. (“UWBI”), rather than to its subsidiary, United Western Bank (the “Bank”). The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) is the receiver for the Bank. The issue was whether a tax refund should go to the Bank or to its corporate parent where UWBI had filed... More
  • New Ruling Lowers Standard for Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy In In re Rosenberg, Judge Cecelia Morris of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York permitted the debtor to discharge his student loan debt in a bankruptcy. The Rosenberg decision, which is on appeal, is noteworthy because under section 523(a)(8) of the Bankruptcy Code, student loan debt can only be discharged in cases of “undue hardship.” Rosenberg reinterprets – more leniently — the standard for discharging student loan debt established in Brunner v. N.Y. State Higher Educ. Servs. Corp. (In re... More