From April 22 – 24, 2014, Jeoffrey L. Burtch, Chapter 7 Trustee of the Capitol Infrastructure, LLC bankruptcy estates, filed approximately 71 complaints seeking to avoid and recover alleged preferential transfers pursuant to Sections 547 and 550 of the Bankruptcy Code, and to disallow claims of the defendants pursuant to Section 502(d).

Capitol Infrastructure, LLC

Summary

In an opinion issued January 4, 2012, Judge Sontchi of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court provided an easy to follow primer in preference law in the course of granting in part and denying in part a preference defendant’s motion for summary judgment. Judge Sontchi’s opinion is available here (the “Opinion”).  The Opinion provides an

Introduction

On October 31, 2008, VeraSun Energy Corporation (“VeraSun”), and 24 of its affiliates or subsidiaries filed petitions for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  Nine months after VeraSun filed for bankruptcy, the company filed its Joint Plan of Liquidation.  Thereafter, in October of 2009, VeraSun filed a

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.


Continue Reading

When considering defenses to avoidance actions, ordinary course, new value and contemporaneous exchange often come to mind. A less common defense arises under 11 U.S.C. § 546(e), excluding from avoidance actions "settlement payments" as defined under the Bankruptcy Code. A recent decision in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Elway Company, LLP v.