Trustee’s Role Includes Financial Adviser & Mediation: Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019

By Donald L. Swanson The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 became law on August 23, 2019.  But the date it takes effect is "180 days" later: on February 19, 2020. This new law helps small business reorganize under Chapter 11 in much the same way that farmers reorganize under Chapter 12 and consumers reorganize under... Continue Reading →

When “Small” is Still Too Big: The Small Business Reorganization Act

By Donald L. Swanson The Small Business Reorganization Act is now law! The House of Representatives passed it on July 25, 2019; The Senate passed it on August 1, 2019; and The President signed it on August 23, 2019. This Act is much-needed and long overdue. It provides Chapter 12-type relief for small businesses within Chapter... Continue Reading →

ABI Webinar: Three New Bankruptcy Laws Explained

By: Donald L. Swanson Three bankruptcy bills recently navigated the political morass in Washington D.C. and became law on August 23, 2019.  The three new laws are: Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3311) Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2336) HAVEN Act (H.R. 2938). On August 29, 2019, the American Bankruptcy Institute ("ABI")... Continue Reading →

Chapter 12: In re Knudsen Revisited, After a U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

By: Donald L. Swanson Congress adopted Chapter 12 in 1986. Then, in 2005, Congress added special tax provisions to Chapter 12 at § 1222(a)(2)(A). Those provisions made taxes arising from sales of farm assets dischargeable as general unsecured claims. In re Knudsen The IRS didn’t like this new law and worked to limit its effect. That... Continue Reading →

Student Loan Crisis: High-Price Colleges Support Beautiful Campuses (and Other Luxuries) on the Backs of their Students

By:  Donald L. Swanson “Back when I was in school . . .” This is a tired-old phrase, usually followed by tales of hardship. The Olden Days But here’s an opposite twist: Back when I was in college (during the 1970s), you could actually pay your way through, with little-to-no debt, by working part-time jobs... Continue Reading →

Financial Impairment On The Farm: What’s A Farmer To Do?

On July 30, 2019, Kristine Tidgren of Iowa State University and I presented a webinar for farmers titled, "Financial Impairment on the Farm." My portion of the webinar focuses on, "What's a farmer to do when the bank wants out?"  Kristine's portion focuses on related tax issues.  Here's a link to the webinar: Link:  YouTube audio... Continue Reading →

How the Bankruptcy Stay Passed Constitutional Muster — A Depression-Era Opinion that’s a Model for Today

By: Donald L Swanson The automatic stay is one of the basics of our bankruptcy laws. It’s a foundational rule for the entire bankruptcy system. But that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a Depression-era case, had to decide whether a bankruptcy stay is constitutionally permissible. And, fortunately, the Supreme... Continue Reading →

Merchant Cash Advance Loans as Preferences: Contrasting Judgments

By: Donald L Swanson Merchant cash advance loans provide ready-cash for businesses in desperate need of cash. Because of the desperation, terms of merchant cash advance loans can be oppressive. For example: Repayments are made daily—by automatic cash withdrawals from debtor’s bank account; Rates of return, if repaid as scheduled, often range from 50% per annum... Continue Reading →

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bi-Partisan Bankruptcy Bill — It’s True!

By Donald L. Swanson On July 25, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passes on voice vote H.R. 2336, which raises the debt limit for Chapter 12 eligibility from $4.4 million to $10 million.  And both parties voted, "Aye"! Who would've thunk it: bi-partisan action by a partisan political body, in today's political environment?! The subject... Continue Reading →

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