Over three years ago, in September 2013, Pirinate Consulting Group LLC, in its capacity as Litigation Trustee (the “Trustee”) of the NewPage Creditor Litigation Trust, began filing complaints in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court seeking the avoidance and recovery of what the Trustee alleges are preferential transfers.  You can read our summary of the initial preference

On August 4, 2016, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court considered cross-motions for summary judgment in a preference action case styled as Pirinate Consulting Group, LLC v. Maryland Department of the Environment (In re NewPage Corp.), Adv. Pro. No. 13-52206 (KG).  This gem of an opinion is noteworthy in that it analyzes various defenses raised by

Introduction

In January, Mortgage Lenders Network commenced over 65 adversary actions against various defendants, seeking the avoidance and recovery of preferential transfers (read one of the preference complaints here).  As reflected in its complaints,  Mortgage Lenders filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court on February 5, 2007. During the ten years prior to its bankruptcy, Mortgage Lenders grew from a small mortgage company with seven employees, to a residential mortgage provider serving 47 states with over 1,700 employees. 

Given the commencement of Mortgage Lenders’ preference program, this post provides a brief summary of the elements and common defenses to preference claims.

Elements to a Preference Claim

In order to establish that a party received a preferential transfer, the plaintiff must prove that payments were received by a creditor on account of an “antecedent debt.” Further, the preferential payments must be made (i.) while the debtor was “insolvent”, (ii.) made within 90 days before the debtor filed for bankruptcy, and (iii.) the payments provide the creditor with more payments than it would receive if the debtor had liquidated under a chapter 7 liquidation.


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