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ABTJ Volume 36 Issue 2

In This Issue

SPRING 2020 | Volume 36 | Issue 2

Trustees and Joint Administration

Bankruptcy Rule 1015(b) permits the joint administration of two or more related bankruptcy estates if the debtors are affiliates, spouses, or general partners of one another. While typically a consideration in chapter 11 cases, joint administration is no stranger to chapter 7. Bankruptcy Rule 2009 specifically provides for the appointment and election1 of chapter 7 trustees in jointly-administered estates. But what happens when estates hold claims against one another (“inter-estate claims”)? Unfortunately, the Bankruptcy Code does not provide a conclusive solution. Nevertheless, after conducting an analysis of the relevant authorities, there appears to be a framework under which trustees may jointly-administer estates with inter-estate claims. Read Full Article

Lien Validity and the Statute of Limitations Under 11 U.S.C. §546(a): It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

A number of years ago, before I became a chapter 7 trustee, I was hired by a colleague, who himself was a chapter 7 trustee, to challenge the lien of a purported secured creditor. In that case, approximately two and one-half years after the case had been filed, the trustee filed a motion to sell certain real property for less than the payoff amount of the “secured” creditor’s deed of trust. The creditor objected to the sale motion on the grounds that the proposed sale price would not be sufficient to satisfy its liens. The trustee in turn argued that §363(f)(4) of the Bankruptcy Code authorized the sale inasmuch as the purported lien interest of the secured creditor was subject to bona fide dispute–more specifically that the property description in the creditor’s deed of trust described property that the debtor did not own. The bankruptcy court sustained the creditor’s objection and denied the sale motion. Read Full Article

Administration of a Trustee Practice During a Crisis: Time to Update that DRP

Every trustee office is required to have a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) in place. Most of those plans revolve around natural disasters like floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, or issues like theft, fire or computer failures. The COVID-19 crisis has certainly changed the landscape on how to operate a trustee practice and caused us all to put into place new protocols. Below are some ways Trustee Administrators Steven Bridgett, Wilmington, DE (SB), Darlene Anderson, Boca Raton, FL (DA), Joy Martin, Miami, FL (JM), Porsche Barnes, Washington, D.C. (PB) and Lori Grahl, Nashville TN (LG) are handling their offices during these trying times. Now is a good time to consider these issues and incorporate them into your DRP. Read Full Article

Will the Coronavirus Spur a Wave of Bankruptcy Filings?

Bankruptcy Trustees, whether serving under Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 11 Subchapter V, play a critical role in the United States bankruptcy system. The volume and types of cases handled by Trustees can vary greatly from year to year as the number of overall bankruptcy filings and the mix of debtors changes. Read Full Article

Principals of Office Organization: A New Trustee's Playbook

Welcome new Trustees to a brother and sisterhood unlike any other. There are about 1000 Chapter 7 Trustees in the United States and we “Old Timers” care about what new trustees do and how you do it. The Trustee business is a rewarding profession and one in which you can make a respectable living and tackle some of the most challenging legal issues of your career. You will grow as a person and a professional, simply by tackling what you have to tackle as a trustee. Read Full Article

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American Bankruptcy Trustee Journal

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