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Full-Text Articles in Law

Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Pamela Foohey, Dalie Jimenez, Christopher K. Odinet Jan 2022

Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Pamela Foohey, Dalie Jimenez, Christopher K. Odinet

Faculty Articles

As part of federal and state relief programs created during the COVID-19 pandemic, many American households received pauses on their largest debts, particularly on mortgages and student loans. Others may have come to agreements with their lenders, likewise pausing or altering payment on other debts, such as auto loans and credit cards. This relief allowed households to allocate their savings and income to necessary expenses, like groceries, utilities, and medicine. But forbearance does not equal forgiveness. At the end of the various relief periods and moratoria, people will have to resume paying all their debts, the amounts of which may …


When Social Enterprises Fail, Jonathan Brown Jan 2017

When Social Enterprises Fail, Jonathan Brown

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This Article identifies the conflicts between social enterprise legislation and bankruptcy law and presents a normative argument for a legal regime that would harmonize the two. Focusing on benefit corporations, the most widely adopted social enterprise form, this Article observes that existing law leaves uncertainty as to the role of directors at a time of financial distress and will produce outcomes that are at odds with the core goals of social enterprise legislation. Then, drawing on academic proposals for contract-based systems of bankruptcy, this Article argues that just as a firm may opt out of a corporate governance norm of …


When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions Of Churches, Pamela Foohey Jan 2015

When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions Of Churches, Pamela Foohey

Scholarly Works

What does a church do when it is about to go bust? Religious organizations, like any business, can experience financial distress. Leaders could try to solve their churches’ financial problems on their own. Perhaps leaders do not view the problems as addressable with law. Or perhaps they do not think, as a moral or spiritual matter, that they should resort to the legal system, such as bankruptcy, to deal with their churches’ inability to pay its debts. Yet about ninety religious organizations seek to reorganize under the Bankruptcy Code every year. This Article relies on interviews with forty-five of these …


When Churches Reorganize, Pamela Foohey Jan 2014

When Churches Reorganize, Pamela Foohey

Scholarly Works

This Article combines an analysis of documents submitted in connection with Chapter 11 cases filed by religious organizations with the results of in-depth interviews with these organizations’ leaders and their bankruptcy attorneys to assess whether reorganization has the potential to offer an effective solution to these debtors’ financial distress. In doing, it makes three contributions. First, it identifies a subset of organizations that seemed more likely to turn to bankruptcy: small congregationalist and non-denominational churches, often with predominately African-American membership. The Article pinpoints salient questions about these churches’ access to credit and use of bankruptcy for future study. Second, it …


Bankrupting The Faith, Pamela Foohey Jan 2013

Bankrupting The Faith, Pamela Foohey

Scholarly Works

This Article presents the results of a comprehensive empirical study of religious organizations that filed bankruptcy under Chapter 11 from the beginning of 2006 to the end of 2011. It examines the institutions’ characteristics, reasons for filing, and case outcomes to investigate whether Chapter 11 is an effective solution to their financial problems. In investigating the religious organizations’ cases, the Article also assesses the role of bankruptcy courts in adjudicating Chapter 11 cases and places the cases within theories about the larger purposes of Chapter 11.

The study finds that the vast majority of debtors are small organizations that operate …


Chapter 11 Reorganization And The Fair And Equitable Standard: How The Absolute Priority Rule Applies To All Nonprofit Entities, Pamela Foohey Jan 2012

Chapter 11 Reorganization And The Fair And Equitable Standard: How The Absolute Priority Rule Applies To All Nonprofit Entities, Pamela Foohey

Scholarly Works

In recent years, nonprofit entities increasingly have sought bankruptcy protection. Though the Bankruptcy Code does not prevent nonprofits from reorganizing, Chapter 11 was designed for and applies best to for-profit businesses. This creates challenges for courts evaluating a nonprofit’s reorganization plan. This Article focuses on one crucial aspect of a court’s evaluation — the fair and equitable standard, a necessary, but not sufficient condition of which is satisfaction of the absolute priority rule.

The few courts addressing absolute priority claims in nonprofit reorganizations have held that the rule is categorically inapplicable to nonprofit entities except in limited circumstances. These courts …