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Full-Text Articles in Law

Cancellation Of Debt And Related Transactions, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn Jan 2015

Cancellation Of Debt And Related Transactions, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Articles

If a taxpayer borrows money, the borrowed funds are not included in the taxpayer's gross income. That treatment is proper even though the taxpayer has increased his assets by the amount he borrowed because he also has created a corresponding liability to pay back the loan. The taxpayer's net: wealth has not increased. 'The more difficult and interesting questions arise when the taxpayer fails to repay the loan. At first blush, it would appear that upon cancellation of a loan, the taxpayer should have income for the amount that was cancelled. However, the current tax treatment is not ...


The Rise In Elder Bankruptcy Filings And The Failure Of U.S. Bankruptcy Law, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2011

The Rise In Elder Bankruptcy Filings And The Failure Of U.S. Bankruptcy Law, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

Recent empirical legal scholarship on the consumer bankruptcy system has uncovered a marked rise in the proportion of elder Americans filing for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. But these studies have not probed the reasons behind that rise, an omission this Article seeks to address. Professor John Pottow and colleagues recently assembled the new dataset of the Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP), the largest national sample of consumer debtors in this country, which he uses to explore the sources of elder bankruptcy. The findings are both striking and ominous. While multiple factors, such as health problems and medical debts, contribute to ...


A New Role For Secondary Proceedings In International Bankruptcies, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2011

A New Role For Secondary Proceedings In International Bankruptcies, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

Secondary proceedings-the ugly stepsisters to main proceedings-get short shrift in international bankruptcy scholarship. This article seeks to remedy that deficiency. First, it describes what it argues are the traditional conceptions-both stated and implicit-of secondary proceedings in international bankruptcies. Second, it offers a revised way of thinking about secondary proceedings, proposing to restrict their scope through the use of "synthetic" hearings. Third, it addresses some problems with the proposed new role of secondary proceedings and sketches a possible solution involving the creation of an international priorities registry.


Government Involvement In Chrysler Bankruptcy: The Least-Worst Alternative?, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2010

Government Involvement In Chrysler Bankruptcy: The Least-Worst Alternative?, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

As usual, my colleague Jim White has hit many nails on many heads. Also as usual, however, I’m going to be a pain and part ways with him a bit. First, was Chrysler’s bankruptcy “suspicious” in its use of section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code? You bet. Leaving aside the proliferation of 363 sales to swallow Chapter 11 as we once knew it, Chrysler was out in left field. Not only was it a “sale” of everything meaningful in the company, it was to a seller—Fiat—that put in no money. (To be fair, Fiat agreed to ...


Interpreting Data: A Reply To Professor Pardo, Robert M. Lawless, Angela K. Littwin, Katherine M. Porter, John A. E. Pottow, Deborah K. Thorne, Elizabeth Warren Jan 2009

Interpreting Data: A Reply To Professor Pardo, Robert M. Lawless, Angela K. Littwin, Katherine M. Porter, John A. E. Pottow, Deborah K. Thorne, Elizabeth Warren

Articles

Professor Pardo has published a pointed critique to our Report, raising three major complaints. First, he claims that we make two predicating assumptions in our study that are flawed. Second, he contends that we misunderstand the means test and fail to appreciate with sufficient "nuance" its "operative effect." Third, he maintains that our Report suffers from methodological problems. We can address the two impugned assumptions quickly. The first one - that BAPCPA's means test is the sole causal agent driving 800,000 putative filers from the bankruptcy courts - is not one we make. The second - regarding the income profiles of ...


Bankruptcy Noir, James J. White Jan 2008

Bankruptcy Noir, James J. White

Articles

In Bankruptcy Fire Sales, Professor LoPucki and Dr. Doherty do two things. First, they present provocative data about the relative payoff to be had in Chapter 11 by a full reorganization compared with the payoff from a section 363 sale without a full reorganization. Second, they give a yet more provocative explanation for their data. Taking a page from Professor LoPucki's recent book, they blame the meager return that they observe on 363 sales on the unprincipled behavior of the lawyers, managers, creditors, investment bankers, and even judges involved in the sales. Messrs. LoPucki and Doherty's data appear ...


Did Bankruptcy Reform Fail? An Empirical Study Of Consumer Debtors, Robert M. Lawless, Angela K. Littwin, Katherine M. Porter, John A. E. Pottow, Deborah K. Thorne, Elizabeth Warren Jan 2008

Did Bankruptcy Reform Fail? An Empirical Study Of Consumer Debtors, Robert M. Lawless, Angela K. Littwin, Katherine M. Porter, John A. E. Pottow, Deborah K. Thorne, Elizabeth Warren

Articles

Before 2005, many people went broke and many filed for bankruptcy. After 2005, many people still go broke, but not so many file for bankruptcy. Why has the number of bankruptcies declined? Surely it is not the economy. All throughout the 2000s, families have been under increasing economic pressure. Median family incomes have declined, basic expenses have risen, and families are shouldering unprecedented debt loads. Defaults remain high for credit cards and car loans, while mortgage foreclosures have soared. By 2008, over half of all Americans reported that their incomes were falling behind their cost of living. These data all ...


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 Myth (And Realities) Of Forum Shopping In Transnational Insolvency, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2007

The Myth (And Realities) Of Forum Shopping In Transnational Insolvency, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

A decade ago, in 1996, the landscape of transnational insolvencies was vastly different from today. The UNCITRAL Model Law had not been finished, the efforts at the E.U. Insolvency Treaty were jeopardized by mad cows, and no one had heard of Chapter 15. Now, all three universalist projects are up and running, putting universalism in a comfortable state of ascendancy. The paradigm has not been without critics, however, the most persistent and eloquent of which has been Professor Lynn LoPucki. LoPucki has periodically attacked universalism on a number of grounds. These grievances include a sovereigntist complaint of universalism's ...


Greed And Pride In International Bankruptcy: The Problems Of And Proposed Solutions To 'Local Interests', John A. E. Pottow Jan 2006

Greed And Pride In International Bankruptcy: The Problems Of And Proposed Solutions To 'Local Interests', John A. E. Pottow

Articles

The collapses of Yukos, Parmalat, and other international juggernauts have focused scholarly attention on the failure of multinational enterprises. Even what one might consider "American" companies, such as Chicago-based United Airlines, have made clear in their restructuring plans that their operations have profound effects on the dozens of nations around the globe where they transact business. Government and quasi-government reform efforts to regulate these cross-border insolvencies have abounded, including among others, the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency. UNCITRAL is also building on World Bank and INSOL efforts at promulgating a Legislative Guide for "best practices" bankruptcy codes. Scholars vary ...


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 ...


The Usury Trompe L'Oeil, James J. White Jan 2000

The Usury Trompe L'Oeil, James J. White

Articles

This Article demonstrates how the interaction of a federal statute passed in 1864,1 a case decided by the Supreme Court in 1978,2 and modem technology has legally debarred every state legislature from controlling consumer interest rates in its state-but not from passing laws that appear to do so-and has politically debarred the Congress from setting federal rates to replace the state rates. As a consequence, the elaborate usury laws on the books of most states are only a trompe l'oeil, a "visual deception... rendered in extremely fine detail ... ." The presence of these finely detailed laws gives the ...


Corporate Judgement Proofing: A Response To Lynn Lopucki's 'The Death Of Liability', James J. White Jan 1998

Corporate Judgement Proofing: A Response To Lynn Lopucki's 'The Death Of Liability', James J. White

Articles

In "The Death of Liability" Professor Lynn M. LoPucki argues that American businesses are rendering themselves judgment proof.- Using the metaphor of a poker game, Professor LoPucki claims American businesses are increasingly able to participate in the poker game without putting "chips in the pot." He argues that it has become easier for American companies to play the game without having chips in the pot because of the ease with which a modern debtor can grant secured credit, because of the growth of the peculiar form of sale known as asset securitization, because foreign havens for secreting assets are now ...


Security Interests On Exempt Property After The 1994 Amendments To The Bankruptcy Code, David Gray Carlson Jan 1996

Security Interests On Exempt Property After The 1994 Amendments To The Bankruptcy Code, David Gray Carlson

Articles

No abstract provided.


Rights Of Subrogation In Letters Of Credit Transactions, James J. White Jan 1996

Rights Of Subrogation In Letters Of Credit Transactions, James J. White

Articles

The past twenty years have seen more than a dozen cases, in which parties to letter of credit transactions have sought subrogation to the rights of the person they have paid or to the rights of the persons on behalf of whom, they have acted.' The most obvious case arises when the issuer of a standby letter of credit pays a beneficiary on a debt that is owed to the beneficiary by a bankrupt applicant. Having failed to take 'collateral from the applicant, the issuer seeks to be subrogated to the security interest of the beneficiary. Failing subrogation, the issuer ...


Reforming Article 9 Priorities In Light Of Old Ignorance And New Filing Rules (Symposium: 'Managing The Paper Trail': Evaluating And Reforming The Article 9 Filing System), James J. White Jan 1995

Reforming Article 9 Priorities In Light Of Old Ignorance And New Filing Rules (Symposium: 'Managing The Paper Trail': Evaluating And Reforming The Article 9 Filing System), James J. White

Articles

The other papers in this Symposium demonstrate that we have the technical capacity to build a filing system that will exceed the expectations of Grant Gilmore in every dimension.1 With more thought about what is put into the system and more clever software to get it out, the most sophisticated system possible under current technology will store and produce enough information about a debtor to give the ACLU a fright. All of the issues on improving the filing system are important, but I do not concern myself with any of them directly. I am here discuss a different question ...


Work And Play In Revising Article 9 (Symposium On The Revision Of Article 9 Of The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White Jan 1994

Work And Play In Revising Article 9 (Symposium On The Revision Of Article 9 Of The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White

Articles

For Professors Harris and Mooney the time has come to distinguish between work and play. Debating whether security is efficient is play. Revising Article 9 is work. Even Professor Schwartz does not argue for the abolition of Article 9; he merely reiterates the "puzzle" of secured credit and argues in his playful fashion that security might not be efficient.' Were it not for the fact that this debate might give us some insights about certain priority rules (such as those having to do with purchase money), it would be pure intellectual masturbation, a game with no purpose other than to ...


Preference Conundrums, James J. White, Daniel Israel Jan 1993

Preference Conundrums, James J. White, Daniel Israel

Articles

Every law teacher and many law students and practitioners understand the intellectual sport to be found in Section 547 on preference law. Because the preference rules are so intricate, rigorously logical-but really not logical-they command more than their fair attention, not only in law school but also in continuing legal education and even in the courts. Our purpose in this article is not to answer any of the difficult questions or to give a global explanation of preference law. Rather it is to confront a few of the conundrums in Section 547 and to follow the paths of those conundrums ...


Revising Article 9 To Reduce Wasteful Litigation, James J. White Jan 1993

Revising Article 9 To Reduce Wasteful Litigation, James J. White

Articles

For reasons that are unclear to me, the committees reviewing the articles of the Uniform Commercial Code and drafting revisions are congenitally conservative. Perhaps these committees take their charge too seriously, namely, to revise, not to revolutionize. Perhaps their intimate knowledge of the subject matter exaggerates the importance of each section and consequently magnifies the apparent size of every change. In any case, my own experience with two such committees tells me that the members quickly become focused on revisions and amendments that any outsider would describe as modest. To the extent that the revision of any of the articles ...


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 ...


Dancing On The Edge Of Article 9, James J. White Jan 1986

Dancing On The Edge Of Article 9, James J. White

Articles

Despite the fact that Article 9 is a much more comprehensive personal property security statute than was ever found in American law prior to its enactment, cases continue to present issues on the scope of the Article. Gone are the cases in which a court was called upon to determine whether a "conditional sales contract" could be dealt with under the "factor's lien" law; it is now clear that all such personal property security devices are governed by Article 9. Yet many problems remain for the unwary lawyer. I will identify several and deal in detail with three of ...


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 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.


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 ...


Allocation Of Scarce Goods Under Section 2-615 Of The Uniform Commercial Code: A Comparison Of Some Rival Models, James J. White Jan 1979

Allocation Of Scarce Goods Under Section 2-615 Of The Uniform Commercial Code: A Comparison Of Some Rival Models, James J. White

Articles

Section 2-615 of the Uniform Commercial Code authorizes a contract seller to allocate goods in short supply when full performance has become commercially impracticable. Most of the cases under and commentary on that section have focused on the issue of commercial impracticability. The allocation aspects of the section have attracted much more modest attention in the cases and in the scholarly journals. The purpose of this article is to examine critically the allocation rule set out in section 2-615(b). That subsection authorizes a seller, upon a finding of commercial impracticability, to allocate "in any manner which is fair and ...


The Abolition Of Self-Help Repossession: The Poor Pay Even More, James J. White Jan 1973

The Abolition Of Self-Help Repossession: The Poor Pay Even More, James J. White

Articles

In this paper I propose to identify possible ways in which a court could uphold the constitutionality of section 9-503 without an explicit rejection of Fuentes v. Shevin. It is my thesis that Fuentes v. Shevin is probably an undesirable outcome, and that the application of the same doctrine to self-help repossession is certainly undesirable and would constitute due process gone berserk. My arguments will not be novel; each has been suggested by the courts that have considered this matter, or by the briefs of the lawyers who have argued these cases. I cannot even claim to have collected the ...


Representing The Low Income Consumer In Repossessions, Resales And Deficiency Judgment Cases, James J. White Jan 1970

Representing The Low Income Consumer In Repossessions, Resales And Deficiency Judgment Cases, James J. White

Articles

The goal of this article is to lend a helping hand to the debtor's lawyer in his job of defending deficiency judgment suits brought following the repossession and resale of a debtor's encumbered personal property. Although some of the following discussion is relevant to the defense of any creditor's suit, and some applies to representation of the debtor prior to repossession or resale, the focal point of the discussion is the low-income consumer who has lost his automobile, television or some other "hard good" and has become a defendant in a suit brought by his secured creditor ...