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Series

SSRN

Columbia Law School

Bankruptcy Law

2008

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

Bargaining Around Bankruptcy: Small Business Workouts And State Law, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2008

Bargaining Around Bankruptcy: Small Business Workouts And State Law, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

In the United States, few failing businesses invoke the Bankruptcy Code to reorganize or liquidate. Most use non-bankruptcy procedures to accomplish the same purposes. These procedures include voluntary agreements between the debtor and its creditors (workouts) and formal devices such as friendly foreclosures, bulk sales, and assignments for the benefit of creditors. This paper documents the importance of non-bankruptcy procedures using firm-level data from Cook County, Illinois. I find that these procedures are used by eighty percent of distressed small businesses. The paper also identifies the conditions under which a business chooses federal bankruptcy law over non-bankruptcy procedures. I model ...


Creditor Control And Conflict In Chapter 11, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2008

Creditor Control And Conflict In Chapter 11, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze a sample of large privately and publicly held businesses that filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions during 2001. We find pervasive creditor control. In contrast to traditional views of Chapter 11, equityholders and managers exercise little or no leverage during the reorganization process: Seventy percent of CEOs are replaced in the two years before a bankruptcy filing; very few reorganization plans (at most eight percent) deviate from the absolute priority rule in order to distribute value to equityholders. Senior lenders exercise significant control through stringent covenants contained in DIP loans, such as line-item budgets. Unsecured creditors gain leverage through ...


Bankruptcy's Rarity: An Essay On Small Business Bankruptcy In The United States, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2008

Bankruptcy's Rarity: An Essay On Small Business Bankruptcy In The United States, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Most nations have enacted statutes governing business liquidation and reorganization. These statutes are the primary focus when policymakers and scholars discuss ways to improve laws governing business failure. This focus is misplaced, at least for distressed small businesses in the United States.

Evidence from a major credit bureau shows that over eighty percent of these businesses liquidate or reorganize without invoking the formal Bankruptcy Code.

The businesses instead invoke procedures derived from the laws of contracts, secured lending, and trusts. These procedures can be cheaper and speedier than a formal bankruptcy filing, but they typically require unanimous consent of senior ...


Who Needs Bankruptcy Law?, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2008

Who Needs Bankruptcy Law?, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

This essay summarizes four papers: “Bargaining Around Bankruptcy: Small Business Distress and State Law,” 38 Journal of Legal Studies 255 (2009); “Bankruptcy’s Rarity: An Essay on Small Business Bankruptcy in the United States,” 5 European Company & Financial Law Review 172 (2008); “Small Business Bankruptcy and the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005,” A Report to the United States Small Business Administration (2007); and Douglas G. Baird & Edward R. Morrison, “Serial Entrepreneurs and Small Business Bankruptcies,” 105 Columbia Law Review 2310 (2005).


Making Sense Of Nation-Level Bankruptcy Filing Rates, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2008

Making Sense Of Nation-Level Bankruptcy Filing Rates, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Increased rates of consumer bankruptcy filings are a policy concern around the world. It is not easy, however, to explain the variations in per capita filing rates from country to country. Some of the variation is attributable to different levels of indebtedness. Some is attributable to different cultural attitudes about financial failure. And some is attributable to the accessibility of the legal system as a remedy for irremediable financial distress.

This paper analyzes the differences in nation-level, per capita filing rates. I start with a model that uses economic variables to explain nation-level variations in filing rates. The economic and ...