The Court of Appeal has recently considered the status of contingent assets within the balance sheet test for insolvency in the context of a company’s inability to pay its debts. Under Section 123 Insolvency Act 1986, a company is deemed unable to pay its debts if its assets are less than its liabilities including contingent liabilities but nothing is said about the status of contingent assets.
Preservation of favorable tax attributes, such as net operating losses that might otherwise be forfeited under applicable nonbankruptcy law, is an important component of a business debtor's chapter 11 strategy. However, if the principal purpose of a chapter 11 plan is to avoid paying taxes, rather than to effect a reorganization or the orderly liquidation of the debtor, the Bankruptcy Code contains a number of tools that can be wielded to thwart confirmation of the plan.
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued two bankruptcy rulings so far in 2007. On February 21, 2007, the Court ruled in Marrama v. Citizens Bank of Massachusetts that a debtor who acts in bad faith in connection with filing a chapter 7 petition may forfeit the right to convert his case to a chapter 13 case. On March 20, 2007, the Court ruled in Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
The Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington has now joined other states in invalidating transfers to a self-settled trust on a variety of grounds in the latest asset protection self settled trust case, In re Huber, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 2038 (May 17, 2013).
Whether post-death creditor protection is available to inherited IRAs under the 2005 Bankruptcy Act has been the subject of a number of cases decided in the last several years. The argument made by bankruptcy trustees is that, on the death of the IRA owner, the IRA ceases to be “retirement funds” as it is not the retirement funds of the beneficiary. Consequently, the bankruptcy trustees argue that the inherited IRA ceases to have the protection afforded to IRAs under the Bankruptcy Code.
Remember Sabena, the ill-fated Belgian airline that declared bankruptcy in 2001? Well, to quote Ford Madox Ford, this is the saddest story I have ever heard.
A recent decision out of a New Jersey Bankruptcy Court highlights a loophole in the Bankruptcy Code which may allow Chapter 7 debtors to keep significant assets out of the hands of trustees and creditors.
 NZCA 122
Decision of The Court Of Appeal of New Zealand on Sham and Alter Ego Trusts
Facts and Decision
The decision in In the matter of Independent Contractor Services (Aust) could mean more reliance upon fair entitlements guarantee funding provided by the Commonwealth in relation to the liquidation of trading trusts.
Pensions and insolvency legislation uses the test in the Insolvency Act 1986 for assessing whether a person is ‘connected’ or ‘associated’ with another. This test is important because various statutory provisions use it, especially in limiting the persons whom the Pensions Regulator can make responsible for pension scheme deficits under the ‘moral hazard’ powers in the Pensions Act 2004. This briefing gives an outline of the statutory provisions and points to some difficult areas.
Why is this relevant?