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What is ‘Equitable Subordination’?

I recently discussed priority claims in New York bankruptcy in the context of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the future of “structured dismissals” in chapter 11. The case raises the issue of whether creditors can enter into an agreement, approved by the bankruptcy court, that repays some debtors ahead of others outside the . . . → Read More: What is ‘Equitable Subordination’?

Beware Wealthy Relatives Bearing Gifts

I’ve discussed the pitfalls associated with relatives dying in New York bankruptcy and why bankruptcy for elderly debtors might be preferable to planning for their property going through probate after they die. There’s another route of transferring wealth between generations that can cause bankruptcy-related problems: gifts. It’s somewhat salient because the federal estate tax recently . . . → Read More: Beware Wealthy Relatives Bearing Gifts

When Can a Creditor Initiate an Involuntary Bankruptcy?

Most of the time debtors are the ones who file New York bankruptcy. However, the Bankruptcy Code allows creditors to force debtors into bankruptcy under certain circumstances. Importantly, the debtor in question must be either a for-profit corporation or a person, but not an unincorporated farmer or family farmer. Creditors can initiate involuntary proceedings in . . . → Read More: When Can a Creditor Initiate an Involuntary Bankruptcy?

Filing Bankruptcy When a Trustee Seeks to Avoid a Preference

I while back, I wrote an article outlining the various defenses the Bankruptcy Code affords a party when a trustee in a bankruptcy case seeks to avoid a transfer made to that party. “Avoid,” here, means the trustee can recover the payment to the party for the bankruptcy estate. The goal is to prevent debtors . . . → Read More: Filing Bankruptcy When a Trustee Seeks to Avoid a Preference

6 Things Creditors Can Do When Their Debtors File Bankruptcy

My practice represents both debtors and creditors, and often the creditors (especially the smaller ones) are unclear on the process for their end when someone who owes them money files New York bankruptcy. It’s fairly straightforward, and there are definitely circumstances in which it helps to hire a lawyer.

(1) Usually the . . . → Read More: 6 Things Creditors Can Do When Their Debtors File Bankruptcy

What Happens Between Discharge and Closure?

It may come as a surprise but while a discharge is usually the goal of a New York bankruptcy, it’s not the end of the case. Fortunately, most of what happens between discharge and closure are actions performed by the trustee, but it’s still worth knowing what those steps are if you’re considering . . . → Read More: What Happens Between Discharge and Closure?

Six Situations in Which a Discharge Order Can Be Revoked

Although some people file New York bankruptcy to halt a foreclosure with the automatic stay or strip a lien, in nearly all cases debtors seek a discharge. However, there are six situations in which a bankruptcy court can revoke a discharge order that’s already been entered. They’re listed in Section 727(d) of the . . . → Read More: Six Situations in Which a Discharge Order Can Be Revoked

What Is a ‘Statutory Lien’ in New York Bankruptcy?

A lien is a legal claim by one person over the property of another. “Statutory liens” are a specific subset of liens; they arise by force of (you guessed it) statute when certain circumstances or conditions are met. One of the most common examples is a tax lien. Whenever people don’t pay their . . . → Read More: What Is a ‘Statutory Lien’ in New York Bankruptcy?

Defenses Against Preference Actions

If a debtor pays some creditors and not others prior to a New York bankruptcy, it can cause trouble for the creditors receiving such payments. You can read about the five elements the trustee must establish to avoid a debtor’s preference payment to a creditor here. However, even if the trustee can prove . . . → Read More: Defenses Against Preference Actions

Medical Care and Bankruptcy

Hopefully with millions of Americans now covered by health insurance, medical bankruptcies will decline. Not a moment too soon, but health care costs are still rising and high medical bills will still put people into deep, unmanageable debt. A problem that often arises, though, is that bankruptcy doesn’t discharge people’s medical problems, so . . . → Read More: Medical Care and Bankruptcy