New York Court of Appeals Holds No Bankruptcy Preemption of Lender Tort Claims Against Related Third Parties

The State of New York Court of Appeals has held that claims against non-debtor related parties, based on their actions to aid or induce Chapter 11 debtors to breach contractual loan covenants, were not subject to preemption under federal bankruptcy law.

CFPB Adopts Strict Liability Standard for Debt Collectors Who Sue or Threaten Suit Over Time-Barred Debt

On January 19, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its final debt collection rules in the Federal Register, including 12 C.F.R. § 1006.26(b), which prohibits collections of time-barred debt. Under the new rules, collectors who sue or threaten to sue consumers for time-barred or “zombie” debts ‒ debts for which the statute of limitations already expired ‒ violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Dismissal of Chapter 11 Case Calls Into Question Bankruptcy Protections for Cannabis Companies

Despite a company’s claim that it deals only in legal hemp products, in January, a federal court denied the company’s access to relief under the Bankruptcy Code. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Joseph Rosania, Jr., of the District of Colorado, dismissed United Cannabis Corporation’s (UCANN) Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, a move that could cause concerns for cannabis companies that may be seeking bankruptcy relief, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic.

Court Addresses Arbitration Provision in Connection With Post-Petition Debtor Contracts

In Woodbridge Wind-Down Entity v. Monsoon Blockchain Storage, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (the “Court”) addressed the enforceability of an arbitration provision in connection with a post-petition contract entered into by the debtors and a non-debtor counterparty. The Court first concluded that Paragraph 22(B) did provide for the arbitration of disputes under the APA. However, the Court then found that the Addendum represented the parties’ actual intent and that its language controlled. In light of the Addendum’s unambiguous language, the Court concluded that the parties did not agree to arbitrate claims under the APA.

Professor Jonathan Lipson: 2020 Friel-Scanlan Lecture

On November 10, 2020, Temple Law Professor and 10-Q Faculty Editor Jonathan Lipson delivered the 2020 Friel-Scanlan lecture titled “Sex, Drugs, and Bankruptcy: Due Process and Social Debt.” The lecture was delivered against the backdrop of the American opioid crisis and recent events surrounding the well-publicized bankruptcies of Purdue Pharma, Boy Scouts of America, and other debtors with liability for egregious misconduct. Professor Lipson argued that a bankruptcy system which offers sweeping releases from civil and criminal liability for those involved in this wrongdoing upsets the basic tenets of Due Process.