Liquidating trusts can be effective tools to wind down any business enterprise, including debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and entities that dissolve outside of bankruptcy. To that end, in a Chapter 11 case, a debtor’s exclusive right to file a plan is limited to 120 days (subject to extensions for cause), but once a plan is confirmed, the bankruptcy estate ceases to exist and the debtor loses its status as debtor in possession, including its authority to act as a bankruptcy trustee and pursue estate claims.
Norton Liquidating trusts are organized for the primary purpose of liquidating assets transferred to them for distribution to trust beneficiaries. The US Bankruptcy Code seeks to promote the effective administration and settlement of a debtor’s assets and liabilities within a limited frame of time.
By establishing a liquidating trust pursuant to section 1123(b)(3) in a confirmed plan of reorganization or liquidation, a debtor can transfer causes of action and other assets to a trust, for future liquidation and distribution to the debtor’s creditors, and avoid delaying plan confirmation.
The creditors become the trust beneficiaries and their claims are paid from trust assets by a waterfall established pursuant to the plan.
Our attorneys can fulfill the legal and practical responsibilities related to the two main tasks associated with Chapter 11 liquidation: asset sales and asset recovery, including preference litigation.
In conjunction with the other provisions of the Bankruptcy Code that require a disclosure statement and plan to provide “adequate information” for a claim or interest holder to make an informed judgment about the plan, Section 1123(b)(3) effectively provides notice to creditors of retention and prospective enforcement of claims that may enlarge the estate’s assets for distribution.
A plan must expressly retain claims to preserve a liquidating trust’s standing to pursue them after plan confirmation.
A case filed under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is frequently referred to as a "reorganization" bankruptcy.
An individual cannot file under chapter 11 or any other chapter if, during the preceding 180 days, a prior bankruptcy petition was dismissed due to the debtor's willful failure to appear before the court or comply with orders of the court, or was voluntarily dismissed after creditors sought relief from the bankruptcy court to recover property upon which they hold liens.