In conjunction with assuming the lease, the Bankruptcy Code allows the debtor-tenant to assign the lease to a third party. The party who is assigned the lease must provide the landlord with adequate assurance that it can meet the financial obligations of the lease. If the party who is assuming the lease cannot provide the landlord with adequate assurance, the landlord has cause to object to the assignment.
Bankruptcy courts often apply the “business judgment” standard when considering whether to allow a tenant to assume and assign a lease. Under this standard, debtor-tenants are permitted to assign a lease provided it can show the transfer of the lease is a reasonable business decision. Although courts provide debtor-tenants with broad discretion on the decision of whether to assume and assign a lease, the debtor-tenant must still demonstrate the assigned party’s ability to cure defaults under the lease and make future payments.
Carl D. Neff is a bankruptcy attorney with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP. Carl is admitted in Delaware and regularly practices before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. You can reach Carl at (302) 622-4272 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.