BANKRUPTCY LAW  Preferential Transfer: Can the Transfer Be Unwound?

BANKRUPTCY LAW Preferential Transfer: Can the Transfer Be Unwound?

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Preferential Transfer): A preferential transfer is a payment made within 90 days before the filing of bankruptcy, which is not made in the ordinary course of business. WHEN the trustee or Court finds that the debtor has made such a transfer, the transfer may be unwound, and the money ordered returned to the bankruptcy estate. The creditor who received the money will have to dig into its pockets and return the funds to the court.

In determining whether a payment is a preference, the court can conduct a hypothetical payment analysis to determine whether that payment would have been made had bankruptcy had not been filed. If the creditor received more via the questioned transaction than it would have received in the bankruptcy, then the payment is a preference (“preferential transfer”). In re Tenderloin Health 849 F 3rd 1231, 9th Circuit 2017

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Discharge):​ Relief From Pre-Petition Debts

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Discharge):​ Relief From Pre-Petition Debts

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Discharge):​ A Chapter 7 Petition, and accompanying discharge, provide relief from pre-petition debts. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeal has stated:

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for her pre-bankruptcy debts. . . . A discharge is the “legal embodiment of the idea of the fresh start; it is the barrier that keeps the creditors of old from reaching the wages and other income of the new . . .” If the debtor receives a discharge, the creditor will receive only its pro-rata share of the distribution of the property of the bankruptcy estate . . . . [Para.] Specifically, § 727 of the Bankruptcy Code  ;. . . “discharges the debtor from all debts that arose before the date of the order for relief.” 11 U.S.C. § 727(b). The Code defines “debt” as “liability on a claim.” § 101(12). “Claim” is defined as a “right to payment, whether or not such right is reduced to judgment, liquidated, unliquidated, fixed, contingent, matured, unmatured, disputed, undisputed, legal, equitable, secured, or unsecured.” § 101(5)(A). “This `broadest possible definition’ of `claim’ is designed to ensure that `all legal obligations of the debtor, no matter how remote or contingent, will be able to be dealt with in the bankruptcy case . . . .'” Boeing N. Am., Inc. v. Ybarra (In re Ybarra), 424 F.3d 1018, 1022 (2005).

 

BANKRUPTCY LAW: Relief From Pre-Petition Debts

BANKRUPTCY LAW: Relief From Pre-Petition Debts

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Discharge): A Chapter 7 Petition, and accompanying discharge, provide relief from pre-petition debts. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeal has stated: A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for her pre-bankruptcy debts. . . . A discharge is the “legal embodiment of the idea of the fresh start; it is the barrier that keeps the creditors of old from reaching the wages and other income of the new . . .” If the debtor receives a discharge, the creditor will receive only its pro-rata share of the distribution of the property of the bankruptcy estate . . . . [Para.] Specifically, § 727 of the Bankruptcy Code ;. . . “discharges the debtor from all debts that arose before the date of the order for relief.” 11 U.S.C. § 727(b). The Code defines “debt” as “liability on a claim.” § 101(12). “Claim” is defined as a “right to payment, whether or not such right is reduced to judgment, liquidated, unliquidated, fixed, contingent, matured, unmatured, disputed, undisputed, legal, equitable, secured, or unsecured.” § 101(5)(A). “This `broadest possible definition’ of `claim’ is designed to ensure that `all legal obligations of the debtor, no matter how remote or contingent, will be able to be dealt with in the bankruptcy case . . . .’” Boeing N. Am., Inc. v. Ybarra (In re Ybarra), 424 F.3d 1018, 1022 (2005).

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Attorney’s Fees)

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Attorney’s Fees)

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Attorney’s Fees): Where Trustee brought, and lost, a claim for fraudulent transfer against the debtor, the debtor could be reimbursed its attorney’s fees under state (Alaska) law. The Trustee would have to pay the fees out of the bankruptcy estate. The case was decided in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, but looked for guidance to the state law and the US Supreme Court. In re Good Taste, Inc., 317 B.R 112 (Bankr. D. Alaska 2004). This case apparently continues to reflect the law in the Ninth Circuit.​

 

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Fraudulent Transfer)

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Fraudulent Transfer)

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Fraudulent Transfer): ​​In the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, the court limited the US Trustee’s attempt to recover a pre-petition transfer. ​The ​Chapter 7 trustee ​tried to recover the full amount of the property as a fraudulent transfer, but the court limited the Trustee to the amount of the creditor’s claim. The court reasoned that the creditor ​would not receive a benefit by obtaining an amount in excess of its claim; that would instead be a windfall. The Trustee is therefore limited to the amount of the claim. Court construed 11 USC Sec. 550(a) and 11 USC Sec. 726(a)(1)–(5).​ ​Giuliano v. Schnabel (In re DSI Renal Holdings, LLC), No. 14-50356, 2020 WL 550987 (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 4, 2020) ​

 

Student Loans May Be Discharged In Full

Student Loans May Be Discharged In Full

BANKRUPTCY LAW (Student Loans): A former medical student was entitled to $440,000 in debt relief, because he was able to meet the following standards pursuant to Brunner v. New York State Higher Educ. Services Corp., 831 F.2d 395, 396 (2nd Cir. 1987).

“Under [11 U.S.C.] § 523(a)(8), [debtor]’s student loans may be discharged in full, in part, or not at all, based upon the extent to which the court finds the repayment of these loans would constitute an undue hardship. Craig, 579 F.3d at 1045-46. Both [debtor] and the [Department of Education] concede the court has authority to enter a partial discharge pursuant to its equitable authority under § 105(a). Saxman v. Educ. Credit Mgmt. BJR Corp. (In re Saxman), 325 F.3d 1168, 1174 (9th Cir. 2003) (holding that a debtor is entitled to a discharge of that portion of the student loan that meets the requirements of § 523(a)(8)); Educ. Credit. Mgmt. Corp. v. Jorgensen (In re Jorgensen), 479 B.R. 79, 86 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2012) (applying each element of the Brunner test to the partial discharge analysis).The Ninth Circuit in United Student Aid Funds v. Pena (In re Pena), 155 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 1998), adopted the three part test (“Brunner test”) for determining undue hardship articulated in Brunner v. New York State Higher Educ. Services Corp., 831 F.2d 395, 396 (2nd Cir. 1987):
>
(i) the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a “minimal” standard of living for himself and his dependents if forced to repay the loans;

(ii) additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and

(iii) the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans.”
> The debtor’s dire circumstances met this test.
>
> See the Court’s decision in In re Koeut, 622 B.R. 72 (2020)

 

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