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Full-Text Articles in Law

Bankruptcy Fiduciary Duties In The World Of Claims Trading, John A.E. Pottow Oct 2018

Bankruptcy Fiduciary Duties In The World Of Claims Trading, John A.E. Pottow

Articles

In earlier work, I explored the role of fiduciary duties in the bankruptcy trustee's administration of a debtor's estate, noting the absence of any explicit demarcation of those duties in the Bankruptcy Code. In this piece, I report the highlights of that analysis and see to what extent (if any) fiduciary duties can inform policy prescriptions for the issue of bankruptcy claims trading, colorfully referred to by some as the world of "bankruptcy M&A." My initial take is pessimistic. Fiduciary duties, at least as traditionally conceived in bankruptcy, are unlikely to provide much help. But there is ...


What Bankruptcy Law Can And Cannot Do For Puerto Rico, John A. E. Pottow Jun 2016

What Bankruptcy Law Can And Cannot Do For Puerto Rico, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

This article is based on a February 2016 keynote address given at the University of Puerto Rico Law Review Symposium “Public Debt and the Future of Puerto Rico.” Thus, much of it remains written in the first person, and so the reader may imagine the joy of being in the audience. (Citations and footnotes have been inserted before publication ‒ sidebars that no reasonable person would ever have inflicted upon a live audience, even one interested in bankruptcy law. Rhetorical accuracy thus yields to scholarly pedantics.) The analysis explains how bankruptcy law not only can but will be required to remedy ...


Private Liability For Reckless Consumer Lending, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2007

Private Liability For Reckless Consumer Lending, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

Congress recently enacted amendments to the Bankruptcy Code that possess the overarching theme of cracking down on debtors due to the increasing rate at which individuals have been filing for bankruptcy. Taking into account the correlation between the overall rise in consumer credit card debt and the rate of individual bankruptcy filings, the author nevertheless hypothesizes that not all credit card debt is troubling. Instead, the author proposes that the catalyst driving individual bankruptcy rates higher than ever is the level of "bad credit"-or credit extended to individuals even though there is a reasonable likelihood that the individual will ...


The Nondischargeability Of Student Loans In Personal Bankruptcy Proceedings: The Search For A Theory, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2007

The Nondischargeability Of Student Loans In Personal Bankruptcy Proceedings: The Search For A Theory, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

In fiscal year 2002, approximately 5.8 million Americans borrowed $38 billion (USD) in federal student loans. This was more than triple the $11.7 billion borrowed in 1990. As a rule of thumb, tuition has been increasing at roughly double the rate of inflation in recent years. This troubling trend of accelerating tuition, coupled with the fact that real income has stagnated for men and increased only modestly for women over the past two decades, means that more and more students are going to need to turn to borrowed money to finance their degrees absent a radical restructuring of ...


Abuse Prevention 2005, James J. White Jan 2006

Abuse Prevention 2005, James J. White

Articles

Today I do not debate the empirical question (what is the cause of the increase in bankruptcy filings?) nor do I address the buried moral question (who deserves the protection of bankruptcy law?). Rather, I speculate about the consequences of 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code and about the reasons it will achieve or fail to achieve the goals of its sponsors. Along the way I hope to learn something about how law changes, or fails to change behavior.


The Totality Of The Circumstances Of The Debtor's Financial Situation In A Post-Means Test World: Trying To Bridge The Wedoff/Culhane & White Divide, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2006

The Totality Of The Circumstances Of The Debtor's Financial Situation In A Post-Means Test World: Trying To Bridge The Wedoff/Culhane & White Divide, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

Bankruptcy Judge Eugene Wedoff and Creighton Law School professors Marianne Culhane and Michaela White engage in a spirited debate over a series of law review articles about the proper scope of motions to dismiss a debtor's petition under section 707(b) of the freshly revised Bankruptcy Code. It is an interesting and provocative dialogue, with both sides advancing their respective positions persuasively. As a result, I find myself in the unfortunate position of wanting to agree with both. Since that is impossible, however, this brief article is my attempt to find a middle ground between their two positions. It ...


Procedural Incrementalism: A Model For International Bankruptcy, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2005

Procedural Incrementalism: A Model For International Bankruptcy, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

The headline-grabbing business failures of late have brought increased attention to the relatively unresolved area of multinational bankruptcies. Parmalat, Global Crossing, and United Airlines are among the few international juggernauts that have foundered. In the financial meltdowns of these cross-border institutions, assets and creditors are dispersed throughout commercial environments that rarely end neatly at national borders. There has been heated debate, both in scholarly literature and the practical battlefield, over how best to resolve these transnational insolvencies, and there is nothing yet approaching a consensus. Reform efforts of various stripes have almost uniformly failed to gain meaningful international support. At ...


Death And Resurrection Of Secured Credit, James J. White Jan 2004

Death And Resurrection Of Secured Credit, James J. White

Articles

The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 (the Code) posed palpable threats to secured creditors. It was drafted by a commission that was at least as concerned with the rights of debtors as with the rights of creditors. It was modified and adopted by a Congress that might have been the most liberal since World War II and signed into law by President Carter at the apogee of the left's power, two years before the Reagan election that marked the rise of the right and the beginning of the left's decline. The power of the left was exerted most ...


The Virtue Of Speed In Bankruptcy Proceedings, James J. White Jan 1997

The Virtue Of Speed In Bankruptcy Proceedings, James J. White

Articles

In my opinion the principal difficulty with Chapter 11 is that it gives strong incentives to various Chapter 11 players to distort the priorities that were intended by Congress.


Absolute Priority And New Value, James J. White Jan 1991

Absolute Priority And New Value, James J. White

Articles

This paper is based on a lecture given on December 6, 1990 ast the Second Annual Robert E. Krinock Lecture. The absolute priority rule is a specific application of the broader doctrine that reorganization plans must be "fair and equitable." Both have their origins in the railroad reorganization cases of the early 20th century. The general doctrine is now codified in section 1129(b)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code and the rule is codified in subsection 1129(b)(2)(B)(ii) which provides that the debtor must pay a nonconsenting class of unsecured creditors in full or "the holder of ...


Taking From Farm Lenders And Farm Debtors: Chapter 12 Of The Bankruptcy Code, James J. White Jan 1987

Taking From Farm Lenders And Farm Debtors: Chapter 12 Of The Bankruptcy Code, James J. White

Articles

In passing Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act, Congress has effectively invalidated certain important provisions of existing farm mortgages. Equally significant, Congress has disabled farmers from granting binding mortgages on the full, value of their property. Although no court is likely to find the Chapter to violate the fifth amendment, the Chapter constitutes a substantial and retroactive alteration of the rights of existing mortgagees and a restriction on the powers of prospective mortgagors to grant valid mortgages. The thesis of this paper is that Congress was both wrong and shortsighted in its enactment of Chapter 12. Congress was wrong ...


The Bildisco Case And The Congressional Response, James J. White Jan 1984

The Bildisco Case And The Congressional Response, James J. White

Articles

Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act authorizes one in bankruptcy to "assume or reject any executory contract ...of the debtor." The most frequent use of the section arises when a lessee goes into Chapter 11 and decides either to reject its real estate lease with its lessor or, if the lease is at a favorable rental rate, to assume it and assign it to another. A less frequent but more controversial use of section 365 is to reject one's collective bargaining agreement with his employees.


Efficiency Justifications For Personal Property Security, James J. White Jan 1984

Efficiency Justifications For Personal Property Security, James J. White

Articles

In February of 1983 Pan American World Airways issued 100 million dollars of convertible secured notes. As security for these notes it put up three Boeing 747 SP aircraft, two 747-100 aircraft, and one McDonnell Douglas DC10-30. The appraised value of these aircraft was 157 million dollars. To the extent possible under the law, Pan American made these aircraft subject to the claims of the owners of the new notes. On default, the note holders would have the first claim on these aircraft, would have the right to repossess them outside of bankruptcy, and would have the right to the ...


The Recent Erosion Of The Secured Creditor's Rights Through Cases, Rules And Statutory Changes In Bankruptcy Law, James J. White Jan 1983

The Recent Erosion Of The Secured Creditor's Rights Through Cases, Rules And Statutory Changes In Bankruptcy Law, James J. White

Articles

One can view the law of creditors' rights as a series of cyclesin which alternatively the rights of the creditor and then those of the debtor are in ascendancy. Looking back through Americanlegislative history, one sees both the state legislatures and the Congress intervening on behalf of debtors in a variety of ways onmany occasions. An early example of such intervention was the enactment, particularly in the Midwest and West, of generous exemption laws that removed a variety of property beyond the reach of general creditors. A second example is the enactment of usury laws, which continue to be a ...


When Is A Preferential Transfer 'Required' To Be Recorded? , Evans Holbrook Jan 1918

When Is A Preferential Transfer 'Required' To Be Recorded? , Evans Holbrook

Articles

The BANKRUPTCY ACT of 1898 (as amended in 1903 and 1910), after defining a preference, provides in § 60b that preferences made under certain circumstances may be recovered from the preferred creditor if the latter had "reasonable cause to believe" that a preference was to be effected "at the time of the transfer * * * or of the recording or registering of the transfer if by law recording or registering thereof is required," such time being within four months before bankruptcy. Bankrupcty courts have for years been vexed with the question: When is a transfer "required" to be recorded under this provision of ...


The Federal Bankruptcy Act And Its Effect On State Insolvency Laws, Evans Holbrook Jan 1918

The Federal Bankruptcy Act And Its Effect On State Insolvency Laws, Evans Holbrook

Articles

Since Sturgis v. Crowninshield, 4 Wheat. 122, it has been clear that State Insolvency Laws were valid (within certain well-defined limits) during the non-existence of a Federal Bankruptcy Act, and that upon the enactment of a Federal Bankruptcy Act the State laws were superseded and suspended so far as they were in conflict with the Federal legislation. The difficulty has been in determining when there was such conflict, and it has arisen in various ways. For instance, the Federal Bankruptcy Act permits any natural person to become a voluntary bankrupt, but provides that no involuntary proceedings shall be taken against ...


A Surety's Claim Against His Bankrupt Principal Under The Present Law, Evans Holbrook Jan 1912

A Surety's Claim Against His Bankrupt Principal Under The Present Law, Evans Holbrook

Articles

The peculiar three-sided relationship of principal, surety and creditor gives rise to many vexatious questions of law, and one of the most interesting of these vexatious questions is that of the relationship between surety and principal in the case of the latter's bankruptcy. Under such circumstances, the creditor's right is fairly simple; he may prove his debt against the principal, take such dividend as may be declared, and recover the balance of the debt from the surety, his remedy against the latter being expressly saved by Sec. 16 of the present Bankruptcy Act.1 But the position of ...