BCLP Global Restructuring & Insolvency Developments

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In a Case of First Impression, the Ninth Circuit Begins to Unravel the Mystery of When a Claim to Enforce a Rescission Request under TILA May be Time-Barred

Editor’s Note:  Our good colleagues at BankBCLP are always at the forefront of matters of concern to the banking and financial services community; this blog post first appeared on BankBCLP.  Consumer financial services remains a morass of challenging rulings and regulations.  Jim Goldberg from BCLP’s San Francisco office provides some guidance on a recent TILA decision on the right of rescission.

An action by a Washington state borrower to enforce a request for rescission of a loan under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) is analogous to an action to enforce a contract and must be brought within the Washington state statute of limitations for such a contract claim, given that TILA itself does not provide a limitations period.  Hoang v. Bank of America, N.A., 2018 WL 6367268 (9th Cir. December 6, 2018).

To effect rescission of a loan under TILA,

SDNY Joins the Rush Party, Rules for Trustee in Another Child Tuition Clawback Case

We at the BCLP Global Insolvency and Restructuring Developments (the GRID) continue to watch and cover the growing jurisprudence of trustees seeking to recover pre-petition tuition payments made by a debtor parent to support his or her child’s college education.  Our prior posts can be found here and here.  And in February, the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal’s annual symposium will have a panel on this topic (contact me or Lynne, below, in a couple months and we will send you our materials).  Well, the party (or hangover??) continues.

Earlier today, Judge Glenn ruled that a debtor parent does not receive reasonably equivalent value, under either the Bankruptcy Code’s fraudulent transfer provisions or New York’s Debtor and Creditor Law, by paying for a adult child’s college tuition.  The opinion is In re Sterman, and if you have not followed this fascinating effort to transfer

Florida Proves Safe Haven for Individuals Liable for Breach of the PACA Trust (bonus: form complaint attached)

Editors’ Note:  For those of you who like to get something you can use from blog posts, attached here is a Form PACA Nondischargeability Complaint for a PACA seller against a party that controlled a PACA buyer, where such controlling party later files for bankruptcy.  Although, in light of the case discussed below, there is an open legal question of whether violations of the PACA trust by an individual in control of a PACA buyer result in a non-dischargeable debt under Section 523(a)(4) of the Bankruptcy Code.  To see some of our other coverage of PACA issues, a personal favorite of Leah’s and Mark’s, see here and here.

In Coosemans Miami v. Arthur (In re Arthur), the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida held last week that individuals in control of a PACA trust may still receive a bankruptcy discharge of debts arising from their breach

The Primary Purpose Test and SRP Chameleon: How the Obamacare “Penalty” Became a “Tax” Only to Become a “Penalty” Again

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (a/k/a “Obamacare” or the “ACA”), with its infamous “individual mandate”[1] (and corresponding “shared responsibility payment” (which we’ll call the “SRP”)),[2] is no stranger to controversy.  Everyone is well aware of the legal challenges mounted against the individual mandate, and the seminal SCOTUS opinion upholding the mandate as a valid exercise of Congress’s taxing power – National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. 519 (2012). Don’t worry, we’re well aware that you, along with nearly every other American (including us here at the Bankruptcy Cave), are sick and tired of hearing about ACA squabbles.  But this post will explore one side of the ACA that you’ve almost certainly not considered, but which is interesting (to us at least).  It’s interesting because it provides the leading thought on which government exactions should and shouldn’t be

SCOTUS Reminds Us To Get It In Writing When Dealing with Someone that Owes You Money

The recent decision from the United States Supreme Court in Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling (“Lamar”), further restricts a creditor’s ability to pursue future recovery on its debt through a nondischargeability action in a debtor’s bankruptcy.  On June 4, 2018, the Court ruled in Lamar that a debtor’s false statement about a single asset must be in writing before the creditor’s debt can be excepted as nondischargeable in bankruptcy.

The Supreme Court’s full opinion can be viewed here: Lamar Opinion 2018 . The Court’s decision in Lamar resolved a circuit split and provides for consistent interpretation of the Bankruptcy Code which did not previously exist.  The issue before the Court was whether a false oral statement about a single asset can render a specific obligation nondischargeable,

State Court Default Judgment Estops Debtor from Contesting Former In-laws’ Action to Deny Discharge in Later Bankruptcy (with bonus practice pointers!)

Just last month, the Bankruptcy Cave reported upon a Southern District of Texas case in which a debtor was denied discharge of a debt owed to an old (and likely former!?!) friend from church who had been required to pay off a student loan made to the debtor which the friend had guaranteed.  Today we report another case involving friends and family and non-dischargeable student debt from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

The case, Ramani v. Romo (In Re Romo), Ad. Pro. No. 17-2107-dob (link for you here), was recently resolved by way of summary judgment for the plaintiffs, the debtor’s former in-laws.  As set forth in the May 14, 2018 opinion of Judge Daniel S. Opperman, the debtor entered her marriage

The Magic of Mt. Gox: How Bitcoin Is Confounding Insolvency Law

Arthur C. Clarke famously observed: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Our regulatory, legislative, and judicial systems illustrate this principle whenever new technology exceeds the limits of our existing legal framework and collective legal imagination.  Cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, has proven particularly “magical” in the existing framework of bankruptcy law, which has not yet determined quite what bitcoin is—a currency, an intangible asset, a commodity contract, or something else entirely.

The answer to that question matters, because capturing the value of highly-volatile cryptocurrency often determines winners and losers in bankruptcy cases where cryptocurrency is a significant asset.  The recently-publicized revelation that the bankruptcy trustee of failed bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox is holding more than $1.9 billion worth of previously lost or stolen bitcoins highlights the issue.

The Mt. Gox Case: Timing is Everything

In 2013, Mt. Gox[1] was the world’s largest bitcoin exchange.  By some

No Notice: How Unnotified Creditors Can Violate a Discharge Injunction

Here is the scenario: You are a creditor.  You hold clear evidence of a debt that is not disputed by the borrower, an individual.  That evidence of debt could be in the form of a note, credit agreement or simply an invoice.  You originated the debt, or perhaps instead it was transferred to you — it does not matter for this scenario.  At some point the borrower fails to pay on the debt when due.  For whatever reason, months or even years pass before you initiate collection efforts.

Finally, you seek to collect on the unpaid debt. Those collection efforts include letters and phone calls, and maybe even personal contact, all of which are ignored.  Then you employ an investigator and an attorney.  You eventually obtain a default judgment from a state court, which the borrower (unsurprisingly) refuses to pay.  You then garnish the borrower’s wages to pay the debt.  You

“Singular” Cases on Nondischarge and Dischargeability

March 27, 2017

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Liar businessman with crossed fingers at back .

Two recent cases analyzed the misrepresentations of a debtor regarding a single asset and held a written misrepresented value of a single scheduled estate asset would result in nondischargeability under Section 727, and that a verbal misrepresentation of a pre-petition asset to a creditor did not result in an exception to discharge under Section 523.

In Worley v. Robinson,[1]/ the Fourth Circuit affirmed nondischarge where a financially sophisticated debtor’s Schedules substantially undervalued his estate’s only substantial asset.  In Appling v. Lamar, Archer Cofrin LLP,[2]/ the Eleventh Circuit reversed a district decision and held that a false oral statements to a creditor regarding one pre-petition asset would not render the associated debt nondishargeable because they were statements of “financial

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