Stephanie Ben-Ishai & Stephen J Lubben, “Involuntary Creditors and Corporate Bankruptcy”

Working Abstract

In this paper we focus on the concern that a preference for quick sales over traditional reorganization cases – which we see in both the United States and Canada – might allow the debtor’s management to work with secured lenders to extract assets from the debtor in a way that would not be possible in a “normal” bankruptcy case. In particular, we examine how a quick sale can be used to cleanse assets of their association with environmental claims.

We also consider how the insolvency systems in our respective countries might adapt to address this problem. Ultimately, the best protection for involuntary creditors, including environmental creditors, is to maximize the value of the debtor’s assets. That counsels for improving stakeholders’ ability to monitor the sale process and ensure that the sale process in not rushed for the sole benefit of senior creditors.

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