Modern economies are built on debt, starting with the formation of the Bank of England and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the Eighteenth Century. Yet at the heart of economics lies the "debt paradox:" Debt must be paid and debt must not be paid.
This course covers the basics of U.S. bankruptcy law, with a focus on chapter 11 business reorganizations. In addition, the course will cover some state law collection remedies, state exemption laws, and the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. Using problem sets, students will learn essential bankruptcy concepts, applicable in all forms of bankruptcy (liquidation cases, consumer bankruptcy cases, and business reorganization cases), including the scope of property of the bankruptcy estate, the operation of the automatic stay, mechanisms for liquidating assets and selling businesses, the operation of avoidance actions for the recovery of preferential transfers and fraudulent conveyances, the discharge of debt, and the Bankruptcy Code's specialized handling of executory contracts.
The consumer section will discuss the interaction of the "fresh start" with modern consumer credit practices and the choice between liquidation and payment plans. In the business section, students will learn the how chapter 11 functions as a tool for reorganization, covering the law and practice relating to confirmation of chapter 11 reorganization plans (permissible plan content, voting, classification of claims, solicitation of votes, and confirmation standards) and relating to post-confirmation issues (including enforcement of confirmation provisions). Bankruptcy is a federal law, with a unique jurisdictional structure that will be explored in this course. In addition, the course will touch on special provisions used to coordinate bankruptcy proceedings taking place in more than one country.
Completion of the course on secured transactions under Article 9 of the UCC is a prerequisite, although the two courses may be taken at the same time. The course will be graded by means of an in-school final examination at the end of the course.