The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently rejected a bankruptcy trustee’s avoidance and fraudulent transfer claims, holding that a debt purchase and sale agreement between a bankrupt debtor, its original creditor, and its new creditor was not avoidable because it did not qualify as a transfer of “an interest of the debtor in property.”
Specifically, the Seventh Circuit determined that the transaction had no effect on the bankruptcy estate and the Bankruptcy Code’s avoidance provisions played no role.
On April 19, 2023, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in MOAC Mall Holdings LLC, ruled Bankruptcy Code section 363(m) to be non-jurisdictional, i.e. just a “mere restriction on the effects of a valid exercise” of judicial power “when a party successfully appeals a covered authorization.” Before MOAC, the Third, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits held section 363(m) to be non-jurisdictional, but the Fifth and Second Circuits had diverged.
In a bankruptcy trustee’s adversary action to recover money paid to a collection agency within 90 days prior to the filing of the debtor’s bankruptcy petition, and pursuant to a previous garnishment order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reversed the ruling of a trial court denying the trustee’s application.
The courts have long struggled with the question of whether particular orders entered by a bankruptcy court are final, and therefore appealable as a matter of right. It is generally recognized that a bankruptcy case is distinctly different from the usual civil case in that it is a framework within which a variety of disputes arise and are resolved. That distinction is recognized in 28 U.S.C. §158(d)(1), which provides that appeals as of right maybe taken not only from final judgments in cases but from “final judgments, orders, and decrees…in cases and proceedings….”
When can a bank be at risk of unknowingly receiving a fraudulent transfer? How much information does a bank need to have before it is on “inquiry notice”? A recent decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the risks that a bank takes when it ignores red flags and fails to investigate. This decision should be required reading for all lenders since, in the matter before the Seventh Circuit, the banks’ failure to investigate their borrower’s questionable activity caused the banks to lose their security and have their secured loans reduced to unsecured claims.
Two days before Christmas, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that is likely to have a dramatic impact in the highly-contested Caesars Entertainment bankruptcy case. The decision may also give a green light to other debtors seeking to enjoin lawsuits brought against non-debtor affiliates.
Insiders who loot their corporate entities often dispose of the cash proceeds in transactions with third parties. A recent Seventh Circuit opinion, In re Equipment Acquisition Resources, Inc., 14-2174 (7th Cir. October 13, 2015) (the “EAR Opinion”)addresses a common risk faced by a third party who receives cash from the defrauding insider.
In a decision released on March 29, 2011, CDX Liquidating Trust v. Venrock Assocs., et al., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 6390 (7th Cir. March 29, 2011), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, reversing the district court’s ruling, held that a director’s disclosure of a conflict, in and of itself, is insufficient to protect that director from liability for breach of fiduciary duty or disloyalty arising from that conflict.
It is relatively rare when a Circuit Court issues an opinion on the preference defenses under section 547(c) of the Bankruptcy Code. It is even more unusual when a decision examines the fact-focused “ordinary course” defense under section 547(c)(2). The ordinary course defense shields payments determined to have been made in the “ordinary course of business” of both the debtor and the creditor.