In an Alert published on Wednesday, Audrey Noll examines the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois’ recent ruling in In re Lake Mich. Beach Pottawattamie Resort LLC:
Lenders beware: An Illinois bankruptcy court recently ruled that a lender went too far in its efforts to stop a debtor from filing for bankruptcy. The court invalidated the lender’s “blocking director” provision for explicitly excusing the lender from considering any interests other than its own. See In re Lake Mich. Beach Pottawattamie Resort LLC, 2016 WL 1359697 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. April 5, 2016).
The LLC debtor owned and operated a vacation resort. After the debtor defaulted on its secured loan, it entered into a forbearance agreement that required the debtor to amend its operating agreement to establish the lender as an additional “special” member with the right to disapprove of any “material action,” including the filing for bankruptcy relief.
The amended operating agreement also provided that the special member was “entitled to consider only such interests and factors as it desires, including its own interests,” and “to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, ha[d] no duty or obligation to give any consideration to any interests of or factors affecting the Company or the Members.”
Soon after the forbearance agreement was signed, the debtor defaulted again and the lender filed for foreclosure. The debtor filed a bankruptcy petition on the eve of foreclosure, authorized by the four non-special members. The lender’s special member did not consent.
As of the petition date, the property was worth in excess of $6 million and the secured loan was roughly half of that.
To read Audrey’s full discussion of the court’s ruling, please visit the Fox Rothschild website.
Audrey Noll is counsel in the firm’s Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy Department, in its Las Vegas office.