Introduction:

New York bankruptcy courts have long adhered to the 2007 ruling by the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Bankruptcy Court”) in In re Enron Corp., 379 B.R. 425 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) (“Enron”), which held that Section 502(d) “disallowance taint” – the possibility that a bankruptcy claim may be disallowed if the claimholder received an avoidable, yet unpaid transfer – would not follow a claim that was sold, rather than assigned. However, an April 22, 2020 ruling by Judge Sean H. Lane in the case In re Firestar Diamond, Inc., 615 B.R. 161 (“Firestar Diamond”) reverses course, holding that a debtor could assert defenses against buyers of claims to the same extent that it had claims or defenses against the original owner of the claim.[1] Holding that disallowance taint travels with the claim, Judge Lane’s opinion effectively puts the onus on a would-be buyer to conduct diligence into the potential for a claim’s reduction, compensate for the risk in negotiating the purchase price for the claim, prepare for a future indemnity claim against the original seller, or otherwise protect its purchase.
Continue Reading S.D.N.Y. Bankruptcy Court Pivots from Enron; Holds “Disallowance Taint” Transfers With Purchased Claim in Firestar Diamond Case

Introduction

Creditors of an insolvent debtor may avoid certain transfers as fraudulent conveyances under state or federal law. A fraudulent conveyance is a transfer made without the transferor receiving adequate consideration and which satisfies one of three insolvency conditions: 1) the transferor was insolvent when the transfer was made; 2) the transferor was rendered insolvent by the transfer; or 3) the transferor was left with unreasonably small capital to carry on his/her or its business.[1]
Continue Reading S.D.N.Y. Bankruptcy Court Holds that Allegedly Fraudulent Conveyances are Safe Harbored Under Section 546(e) and Provides a New Avenue of Defense

In Rodriguez v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.the United States Supreme Court ruled on February 25, 2020, that a $4.1 million tax refund belonged to the bankruptcy estate of a failed Colorado bank’s parent company, United Western Bancorp, Inc. (“UWBI”), rather than to its subsidiary, United Western Bank (the “Bank”). The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) is the receiver for the Bank.
Continue Reading The Importance of Clear Tax Allocation Agreements

On March 15, 2020, Ample Hills Holdings, Inc. and its affiliates (“Ample Hills”) commenced bankruptcy proceedings, seeking to sell substantially all of the company’s assets under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Ample Hills is a beloved Brooklyn-based ice cream company that currently operates 10 stores primarily in the metropolitan New York area and a state-of-the-art factory in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Ample Hills intends to find a purchaser, who will enhance the founders’ vision for the playful brand, preserve jobs, and maximize the value of the company’s assets.
Continue Reading Beloved Home-Grown Ice Cream Company, Ample Hills, Seeks a Buyer