Subchapter V: Eligibility And Mortgage Impairment For A Residence/Bed & Breakfast (In re Ventura)

A Bed & Breakfast (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Chapter 11 Debtor owns her home and uses it as a Bed & Breakfast. The mortgage on Debtor's B&B/residence is her primary debt. This raises Subchapter V issues like: Eligibility—is her primary debt a consumer debt or a business debt?Eligibility—is her bankruptcy a "single... Continue Reading →

The First-Ever Formal Mediation in Federal Court?

Judge Irving Kaufman By: Donald L. Swanson Judge Irving Kaufman is famous for many things, such as presiding over the Rosenberg espionage trial and rejecting the U.S. government’s attempt to deport John Lennon to the United Kingdom. But Judge Kaufman’s greatest legacy may be for his role in developing mediation as a primary dispute resolution... Continue Reading →

Subchapter V: To Be Construed Openhandedly For Debtor (In re Wright)

By: Donald L Swanson Subchapter V exists "to improve the reorganization process for small business chapter 11 debtors." In re Wright, Case No. 20-01035 (Bankry.S.Car., Order dated 4/27/2020, Doc. 37 at 5). Charles Wright (“Debtor”) files a Chapter 11 case on February 28, 2020, designating himself a small business debtor and electing to proceed under Subchapter... Continue Reading →

ADR Act of 1998: A Reflection on Its Effectiveness and Shortfalls

By: Donald L Swanson October 31, 2018, was the 20th anniversary of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998 (the “ADR Act”). [Fn. 1] The ADR Act has had a profound impact on the practice of law throughout the federal court system. However, it also has shortfalls that are yet to be rectified. A Mediation Model:... Continue Reading →

A Survey of Professionals on Mediation of International Commercial Disputes

By Donald L. Swanson On December 20, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, and 52 countries have signed that Convention.  It deals with enforcing mediated settlements of international commercial disputes. A Survey Leading up to adopting the Convention, studies were made to determine the... Continue Reading →

The “Honest But Unfortunate Debtor”: An Old And Still-Evolving Concept

By: Donald L Swanson The phrase, “honest but unfortunate debtor," has been a part of bankruptcy laws for centuries. A bankruptcy treatise published in 1801, for example, says that bankruptcy laws in England and the U.S. "are meant to protect an honest but unfortunate trader." [Fn. 1] No one knows when or how the phrase began.... Continue Reading →

Zoom Mediation Works!

By: Donald L Swanson “All your assumptions on this are wrong.” --A visionary, back in 1999, on why video communications will work. Change It was nearly a decade ago, when I suggested participating in a mandated and far-away mediation by Skype. The Judge said, “No, because face-to-face communication is essential to mediation.” It was nearly a... Continue Reading →

Available Cash: Crucial Element for Reorganizing a Family Business in Chapter 11

By: Donald L Swanson Cash in a business is like blood in a body: without it, you die! A Huge Challenge Cash availability is a huge challenge for family businesses in bankruptcy. Here’s why: Running out of cash is a common symptom of financial stress that leads to bankruptcy; and A bankruptcy filing will magnify that... Continue Reading →

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