This post is about a junkyard, hogs getting slaughtered, and a bankruptcy judge poised to sanction a creditor and her counsel. The message from the case to would-be claimants in other cases is simple: do not “overreach.”In re U Lock, Inc., Case No. 22-20823, 2023 WL 308210, at *1 (Bankr. W.D. Pa. Jan. 17, 2023).

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The concept of “property of the estate” is important in bankruptcy because it determines what property can be used or distributed for the benefit of the debtor’s creditors. Defined by section 541 of the Bankruptcy Code, “property of the estate” broadly encompasses the debtor’s interests in property, with certain additions and exceptions provided for in the Code. See 11 U.S.C. § 541. Difficult questions can arise in a contractual relationship between a debtor and a counterparty about whether an entity actually owns a particular asset or merely has some contractual right.

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In 2022, there were several high-profile crypto bankruptcy filings. A big question in these cases is whether there will be any money to satisfy unsecured creditor claims. If there are funds to distribute, then the creditors’ claims will become more valuable, and the cases will become even more interesting.

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It’s often hard to persuade a bankruptcy court to grant a motion for substantial contribution. Any attorney thinking about making a motion should first ask herself two questions. First, has my work benefitted both my client and other creditors? Second, did my work result in more than an incidental benefit to the bankruptcy estate? If the answer to either question is no, then the attorney should forget about making the motion. The time spent on it will be wasted, and the motion will be denied.

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We have previously blogged about Siegel v. Fitzgerald, the Supreme Court decision last June that invalidated the 2018 difference in fees between bankruptcy cases filed in Bankruptcy Administrator judicial districts and U.S. Trustee judicial districts.

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Another domino has fallen. Earlier this year, we wrote about the challenges facing the crypto industry that resulted in the bankruptcy filings of Three Arrows Capital, Celsius Network, and Voyager Digital. We noted that other crypto entities could also end up in chapter 11, and that prediction has proven correct.

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A U.S. bankruptcy court recently denied chapter 15 recognition to a case in the Isle of Man (IOM). The court ruled that the foreign case was neither a foreign main proceeding nor a foreign non-main proceeding. Although the court found that the IOM proceeding was a “foreign proceeding,” it also held that the debtor’s center of main interests wasn’t in the IOM and the debtor didn't have an establishment there. In re Shimmin, No.

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To encourage parties to transact with debtors in bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Code in corporate bankruptcies provides highest priority to “administrative expenses,” which include “the actual, necessary costs and expenses of preserving the estate.” 11 U.S.C. § 503(b); id. § 507(a)(2).

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On September 15, President Biden announced a tentative deal with unions representing tens of thousands of railroad workers that helped narrowly avoid a strike that threatened to devastate the country’s delicate supply chains that have been strained since the beginning of the pandemic. Now the country awaits the outcome of the union member votes (which we may not know until mid-November), but even if the members approve the deal, the retail sector will still face empty shelves, job vacancies and surging inflation.

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