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The Fresh Start Canon, Jonathon S. Byington 2018 University of Florida Levin College of Law

The Fresh Start Canon, Jonathon S. Byington

Florida Law Review

A primary policy of bankruptcy law is to give consumer debtors a “fresh start” by discharging their debt. A rival policy is that the discharge of debt is a selectively conferred privilege that is not granted in some situations. For example, society is unwilling to pardon debt related to embezzlement or a domestic-support obligation. This “discharge restrictions” policy is manifested in part by the Bankruptcy Code’s exceptions to discharge. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the tension between the fresh start and discharge restriction policies. It has sought to achieve a fair balance between these policies by ...


Dawn Of The Debt: The Increasing Problem Of Creditors Infecting The Discharge Injunction With Zombie Debt, Micah A. Smart 2018 University of Maine School of Law

Dawn Of The Debt: The Increasing Problem Of Creditors Infecting The Discharge Injunction With Zombie Debt, Micah A. Smart

Maine Law Review

The discharge injunction is an integral aspect of the “fresh start” that bankruptcy affords to many debtors. But there has been a growing threat to the viability of the bankruptcy discharge: zombie debt! Just when honest but unfortunate debtors think they have finally laid their overdue financial obligations to rest and moved on with their lives, zombie debt comes back to life in form of outdated and misleading credit reports that some debt collectors have been using to coerce payment on debts that should have died years prior. This Article discusses the motivation behind these questionable collection tactics and potential ...


The Scope Of Section 316(B) After Marblegate, Marcel Kahan 2018 New York University

The Scope Of Section 316(B) After Marblegate, Marcel Kahan

New York University Law and Economics Working Papers

Section 316(b) of the Trust Indenture Act provides that right of any to receive payment of the principal and interest may not be impaired or affected without the holder’s consent. This article analyzes the recent case law on whether corporate restructurings that impair the practical ability of bondholders to obtain payment on their bonds violate Section 316(b) of the Trust Indenture Act. After concluding that the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was correct in confining the scope of Section 316(b) to formal amendments to core payment terms, the article turns to an issue left ...


Drilling When The Well Goes Dry: The Oklahoma Corporation Commission & The Police Power Exception To The Automatic Stay, Connor R. Bourland 2018 University of Oklahoma College of Law

Drilling When The Well Goes Dry: The Oklahoma Corporation Commission & The Police Power Exception To The Automatic Stay, Connor R. Bourland

Oklahoma Law Review

No abstract provided.


A Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Resolving Bank Financial Distress In Canada, Janis P. Sarra 2018 Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia

A Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Resolving Bank Financial Distress In Canada, Janis P. Sarra

Faculty Publications

Effective June 2017, Canada formalized its new resolution regime for “domestic systemically important banks”. This article examines the new resolution regime in the context of the early intervention program by the financial services regulator. The system offers a complex but integrated set of mechanisms to monitor the financial health of financial institutions, to intervene at an early stage of financial distress, and to resolve the financially distressed bank in a timely manner. Resolution is the restructuring of a financially distressed or insolvent bank by a designated authority. To “resolve” a bank is to use a series of tools under banking ...


The Empty Idea Of “Equality Of Creditors”, David A. Skeel Jr. 2018 University of Pennsylvania Law School

The Empty Idea Of “Equality Of Creditors”, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

For two hundred years, the equality of creditors norm—the idea that similarly situated creditors should be treated similarly—has been widely viewed as the most important principle in American bankruptcy law, rivaled only by our commitment to a fresh start for honest but unfortunate debtors. I argue in this Article that the accolades are misplaced. Although the equality norm once was a rough proxy for legitimate concerns, such as curbing self-dealing, it no longer plays this role. Nor does it serve any other beneficial purpose.

Part I of this Article traces the historical emergence and evolution of the equality ...


Beyond Bankruptcy: Resolution As A Macroprudential Regulatory Tool, Steven L. Schwarcz 2018 Duke Law School

Beyond Bankruptcy: Resolution As A Macroprudential Regulatory Tool, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

To try to protect the stability of the financial system, regulators and policymakers have been extending bankruptcy-resolution techniques beyond their normal boundaries. To date, however, their efforts have been insufficient, in part because bankruptcy law traditionally has microprudential goals (to protect individual firms) whereas protecting financial stability is a “macroprudential” goal.

This Article seeks to derive a logical and consistent theory of how and why resolution-based regulation can help to stabilize the financial system. To that end, the Article identifies three possible regulatory approaches: reactive resolution-based regulation, which comprises variations on traditional bankruptcy; proactive resolution-based regulation, which consists of pre-planned ...


On Dictas Trail: Espinosa's Messy Repercussions, Amir Shachmurove 2017 Selected Works

On Dictas Trail: Espinosa's Messy Repercussions, Amir Shachmurove

Amir Shachmurove

United States Aid Funds, Inc. v. Espinosa is not an unusual case in at least one particular: it combined an uncontroversial holding with rather portentous dicta. Writing for his every colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas first penned a simple holding endorsed by the decided majority of lower courts: once a debtor has won confirmation of a multi-year repayment plan pursuant to Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code (“Code”), any creditor who received actual notice of the plan may not challenge a single provision, even those inconsistent of the Code, as void pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b ...


Decision-Making And The Shaky Property Foundations Of Municipal Bankruptcy Law, Juliet M. Moringiello 2017 Brooklyn Law School

Decision-Making And The Shaky Property Foundations Of Municipal Bankruptcy Law, Juliet M. Moringiello

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

Municipal bankruptcies are unpredictable. There are several reasons for this statement— municipal bankruptcies are rare, involvement of the state itself in the process varies according to the governing state law, and chapter 9, the Bankruptcy Code chapter governing the municipal bankruptcy process, has many gaps. Congress constructed the modern chapter 9 on a foundation of corporate bankruptcy law, a foundation whose roots—corporate finance—are significantly different from the rules governing municipal finance. In this Article, Professor Moringiello aims a spotlight on the property roots of private bankruptcy law and compares them to the promissory and statutory roots of municipal ...


Towards A Jurisprudence Of Public Law Bankruptcy Judging, Edward J. Janger 2017 Brooklyn Law School

Towards A Jurisprudence Of Public Law Bankruptcy Judging, Edward J. Janger

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

In this essay Professor Janger considers the role of bankruptcy judges in Chapter 9 cases in light of the scholarly literature on public law judging. He explores the extent to which bankruptcy judges engaged in the fiscal restructuring of a municipality use tools, and face constraints, similar to those utilized by federal district court judges in structural reform cases, where constitutional norms are at issue.


Promesa And The Bankruptcy Clause: A Reminder About Uniformity, Stephen J. Lubben 2017 Brooklyn Law School

Promesa And The Bankruptcy Clause: A Reminder About Uniformity, Stephen J. Lubben

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

The Bankruptcy Clause—Article I, Section 8, Clause 4—provides that “The Congress shall have power . . . [t]o establish . . . uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States . . . .”[1] But Congress has just enacted a bankruptcy law that applies to a single American territory. In early May 2017, Puerto Rico and one affiliated entity filed a petition under this new law. In late May, the Employees Retirement System commenced a case, along with the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority. Other Puerto Rican sub-entities are expected to follow. I use this short paper to examine the Puerto Rico ...


Sovereign Debt Restructuring And English Governing Law, Steven L. Schwarcz 2017 Brooklyn Law School

Sovereign Debt Restructuring And English Governing Law, Steven L. Schwarcz

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

The problem of sovereign indebtedness is becoming a worldwide crisis because nations, unlike individuals and corporations, lack access to bankruptcy laws to restructure unsustainable debt. Decades of international efforts to solve this problem through contracting and attempted treaty-making have failed to provide an adequate debt-restructuring framework. A significant amount of outstanding sovereign debt is governed, however, by English law. This Article argues that the U.K. Parliament has the extraordinary power to help solve the problem of unsustainable country debt by changing English law to facilitate fair and consensual debt restructuring. This Article also proposes modifications to English law that ...


Consent, Coercion, And Bankruptcy Administration, S. Todd Brown 2017 Selected Works

Consent, Coercion, And Bankruptcy Administration, S. Todd Brown

S. Todd Brown

No abstract provided.


Cybergenics Ii: Precedent And Policy Vs. Plain Meaning, Nancy A. Haller 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Cybergenics Ii: Precedent And Policy Vs. Plain Meaning, Nancy A. Haller

Maine Law Review

On September 20, 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a panel opinion concluding that a court may not authorize a creditors' committee to commence an avoidance action in the trustee's name, on behalf of a bankruptcy estate. The decision shocked the bankruptcy bar and raised such a stir that many commentators raised it to the status of one of the “top cases of the year.” Furthermore, within two months, the Second Circuit came down with a squarely contrary decision, reaffirming the validity of the practice within the Second Circuit and failing to even ...


Justice Scalia’S Bankruptcy Jurisprudence: The Right Judicial Philosophy For The Modern Bankruptcy Code?, Megan McDermott 2017 University of Wisconsin School of Law

Justice Scalia’S Bankruptcy Jurisprudence: The Right Judicial Philosophy For The Modern Bankruptcy Code?, Megan Mcdermott

Utah Law Review

This Article surveys an area of Justice Scalia’s legacy that is often overlooked by scholars who write broadly about the Supreme Court: his many contributions to the field of bankruptcy law. The Bankruptcy Code is rife with statutory interpretation questions that demand clear and predictable answers, due to the efficiency interests at stake and the absence of any intermediate interpretive forces, such as administrative agencies. Justice Scalia arrived on the high court at the outset of the modern bankruptcy era and this Article argues that his brand of rulebased textualism is a particularly good fit for bankruptcy law.

Specifically ...


Bankruptcy On The Side, Kenneth Ayotte, Anthony J. Casey, David A. Skeel Jr. 2017 U.C. Berkeley School of Law

Bankruptcy On The Side, Kenneth Ayotte, Anthony J. Casey, David A. Skeel Jr.

Northwestern University Law Review

This Article provides a framework for analyzing side agreements among stakeholders in corporate bankruptcy, such as intercreditor and “bad boy” agreements. These agreements are controversial because they commonly include a promise by a stakeholder to remain silent—to waive some procedural right they would otherwise have under the Bankruptcy Code—at potentially crucial points in the reorganization process.

Using simplified examples, we show that side agreements create benefits in some instances. But, in other cases, parties to a side agreement may attempt to extract value from nonparties to the agreement by contracting for specific performance or excessive stipulated damages that ...


Bankruptcy - The Last Resort: Protecting The Diocesan Client From Potential Liability Judgments, John B. Jarboe 2017 St. John's University School of Law

Bankruptcy - The Last Resort: Protecting The Diocesan Client From Potential Liability Judgments, John B. Jarboe

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


Credit Cards, Attorney's Fees, And The Putative Debtor: A Pyrrhic Victory? Putative Debtors May Win The Battle But Nevertheless Lose The War, Jennifer M. Smith 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Credit Cards, Attorney's Fees, And The Putative Debtor: A Pyrrhic Victory? Putative Debtors May Win The Battle But Nevertheless Lose The War, Jennifer M. Smith

Maine Law Review

For decades, scholars have written about credit cards and attorney’s fees, but rarely together. This Article addresses the current financial crises of Americans, the credit card industry (including the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act) and attorney’s fees—perhaps a unique combination. It is based upon an actual case that left the putative debtor in a worse financial crisis than before the lawsuit was filed. This Article addresses the current credit card industry and its detrimental impact on society, and it discusses the history and purpose of attorney’s fees, as well as the pitfalls in attorney ...


Tipping The Scales: Balancing The Weight Of Equity With Loan Rescissions In Bankruptcy, Corey Scott Hadley 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Tipping The Scales: Balancing The Weight Of Equity With Loan Rescissions In Bankruptcy, Corey Scott Hadley

Maine Law Review

Prior to the passage of the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) in 1968, consumers were vulnerable to many deceptive practices employed by creditors when participating in loan transactions. Following the passage of TILA, it was the hope of Congress that consumers would now have the tools necessary to fend off predatory or deceptive credit terms buried within the fine print of a loan agreement. One of the options afforded to consumers facing a suspect loan agreement is the right to rescission. When lenders, creditors, and other parties in the credit transaction “fail to provide the consumer with proper disclosures about the loan ...


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