The Year In Bankruptcy: 2020 – Insolvency/Bankruptcy/Re-structuring

One year ago, we wrote that the large business bankruptcy
landscape in 2019 was generally shaped by economic, market, and
leverage factors, with notable exceptions for disastrous wildfires,
liabilities arising from the opioid crisis, price-fixing fallout,
and corporate restructuring shenanigans.

The year 2020 was a different story altogether. The headline was
COVID-19.

The pandemic may not have been responsible for every reversal of
corporate fortune in 2020, but it weighed heavily on the scale,
particularly for companies in the energy, retail, restaurant,
entertainment, health care, travel, and hospitality industries.
Mandatory shutdowns beginning in the spring of 2020 wreaked havoc
on the bottom lines of thousands of companies confronting a
precipitous drop in demand for their products and services. Some
were able to weather the worst of the storm with packages of
government assistance or by adapting their business models to meet
the unique challenges of the pandemic. Others could not and either
closed their doors or sought bankruptcy protection to attempt to
restructure their balance sheets or sell their assets.

Business Bankruptcy Filings

According to data provided by Epiq AACER, there were 32,506
commercial bankruptcy filings in 2020, compared to 39,050 in 2019-a
26% decrease. By contrast, commercial chapter 11 filings increased
by 29% in 2020 to 7,128, compared to 5,519 in 2019. The 2020
commercial chapter 11 filing total was the highest since the 7,789
filings registered in 2012. Recognition of a foreign bankruptcy
proceeding under chapter 15 was sought on behalf of 221 commercial
debtors in 2020, compared to 113 in 2019.

S&P Global Market Intelligence reported that U.S. corporate
bankruptcies reached their highest levels in a decade in 2020 as
the pandemic upended global industries and struggling companies
faced their breaking points. A total of 630 public companies with
either assets or liabilities valued at $2 million, or private
companies with public debt and at least $10 million in assets or
liabilities, declared bankruptcy in 2020, compared to 578 in 2019.
This surpassed the number of such filings in every year since 2010,
when there were 800. The top five sectors represented by the
filings were consumer discretionary, industrials, energy, health
care, and consumer staples.

Public Company Bankruptcies

According to New Generation Research, Inc.’s
BankruptcyData.com, bankruptcy filings for “public
companies” (defined as companies with publicly traded stock or
debt) reached the highest level in more than a decade in 2020. The
number of public company bankruptcy filings in 202 was 110,
compared to 64 in 2019. At the height of the Great Recession, 138
public companies filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and 211 in 2009.

The combined asset value of the 110 public companies that filed
for bankruptcy in 2020 was $292.7 billion, compared to $150 billion
in 2019. By contrast, the 138 public companies that filed for
bankruptcy in 2008 had prepetition assets valued at $1.2 trillion
in aggregate.

Companies in the oil and gas sector led the charge in public
company bankruptcy filings in 2020, with 26% (29 cases) of the
year’s 110 public company bankruptcies. Thirteen of the 30
largest public company bankruptcy filings in 2020 came from the oil
and gas sector. Other sectors with a significant number of public
company filings in 2020 included retail (14 cases), health care
(seven cases), pharmaceuticals (six cases), and entertainment,
software, and airlines (four cases each).

The year 2020 added 51 public company names to the
billion-dollar bankruptcy club (measured by value of assets),
compared to 21 in 2019.

The largest public company bankruptcy filing of 2020-car rental
company The Hertz Corporation, with $25.8 billion in assets-was the
24th largest public company bankruptcy case of all time. By asset
value, the largest public company bankruptcy filings in 2020 also
included air carrier LATAM Airlines Group S.A. ($21 billion in
assets); specialty finance company Emergent Capital, Inc. ($17.5
billion in assets); telecommunications provider Frontier
Communications Corporation ($17.4 billion in assets); natural gas
production company Chesapeake Energy Corporation ($16.2 billion in
assets); offshore drilling services company Valaris plc ($13
billion in assets); satellite services provider Intelsat S.A.
($11.6 billion in assets); pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt plc
($9.6 billion in assets); and oilfield service company McDermott
International, Inc. ($8.8 billion in assets).

Twenty-five public companies with assets valued at more than $1
billion obtained confirmation of chapter 11 plans or exited from
bankruptcy in 2020. Continuing a trend begun in 2012, many more of
those companies reorganized than were liquidated or sold.

More than half of the chapter 11 plans confirmed in 2020 by
billion-dollar public companies were in prepackaged or
prenegotiated bankruptcy cases. As in 2019, the “rapid-fire
prepack” was in vogue in 2020. In 2019, women’s plus-size
retailer Fullbeauty Brands Inc. and information technology company
Sungard Availability Services Capital Inc. established new records
when they obtained bankruptcy court approval of prepackaged chapter
11 plans in 24 and 19 hours, respectively. In 2020, in-store music
and interactive mobile marketing services provider Mood Media Corp.
set a new record when it not only obtained confirmation of a plan
in less than a day but emerged from bankruptcy in just 31
hours.

Notable Bankruptcy Rulings

Notable court rulings in 2020 examined: (i) the bankruptcy
“safe harbor” protecting payments made as part of certain
securities transactions from avoidance as fraudulent transfers;
(ii) the payment of claims for “make-whole” premiums
under a chapter 11 plan; (iii) the enforcement of contractual
subordination agreements under a plan; (iv) debtor-in-possession
financing; (v) rent relief during bankruptcy for commercial tenants
due to the pandemic; and (vi) the rejection in bankruptcy of
executory contracts regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (“FERC”).

Securities Transactions Safe Harbor. In 2019,
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit made headlines
when it ruled in In re Tribune Co. Fraudulent Conveyance
Litig.
, 946 F.3d 66 (2d Cir. 2019), petition for cert.
filed
, 2020 WL 3891501 (U.S. July 6, 2020), that
creditors’ state law fraudulent transfer claims arising from
the 2007 leveraged buyout of Tribune Co. were preempted by the safe
harbor for certain securities, commodity, or forward contract
payments set forth in section 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code. The
Second Circuit concluded that a debtor may itself qualify as a
“financial institution” covered by the safe harbor, and
thus avoid the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s
decision in Merit Mgmt. Grp., LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc.,
138 S. Ct. 883 (2018), by retaining a bank or trust company as an
agent to handle LBO payments, redemptions, and cancellations.

Picking up where the Second Circuit left off, the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York held in
Holliday v. K Road Power Management, LLC (In re Boston
Generating LLC)
, 617 B.R. 442 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2020), that:
(i) section 546(e) preempts intentional fraudulent transfer claims
under state law because the intentional fraud exception expressly
included in section 546(e) applies only to intentional fraudulent
transfer claims under federal law; and (ii) payments made to the
members of limited liability company debtors as part of a
pre-bankruptcy recapitalization transaction were protected from
avoidance under section 546(e) because, for that section’s
purposes, the debtors were “financial institutions,” as
customers of banks that acted as their depositories and agents in
connection with the transaction.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
joined the Tribune bandwagon in In re Nine W. LBO Sec.
Litig.
, 2020 WL 5049621 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 27, 2020), appeal
filed
, No. 20-3290 (2d Cir. Sept. 25, 2020). The court
dismissed $1.1 billion in fraudulent transfer and unjust enrichment
claims brought by a chapter 11 plan litigation trustee and an
indenture trustee against the debtor’s shareholders, officers,
and directors. Citing Tribune, the district court ruled
that the payments were protected by the section 546(e) safe harbor
because they were made by a bank acting as Nine West’s agent.
According to the court, “[w]hen, as here, a bank is acting as
an agent in connection with a securities contract, the customer
qualifies as a financial institution with respect to that contract,
and all payments in connection with that contract are therefore
safe harbored under Section 546(e).”

In SunEdison Litigation Trust v. Seller Note, LLC (In re
SunEdison, Inc.)
, 2020 WL 6395497 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Nov. 2,
2020), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New
York invoked section 546(e) to dismiss a chapter 11 plan litigation
trustee’s complaint seeking to avoid and recover alleged
constructive fraudulent transfers made by a subsidiary of
renewable-energy development company SunEdison, Inc., in connection
with the acquisition of a wind and solar power generation project.
According to the court, even though the trustee sought to avoid
part of a two-step transaction that did not involve an agent
financial institution, the “overarching transfer” was
made as part of an “integrated transaction” insulated
from avoidance under the safe harbor.

In Fairfield Sentry Limited (In Liquidation) v. Theodoor GGC
Amsterdam (In re Fairfield Sentry Ltd.)
, 2020 WL 7345988
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Dec. 14, 2020), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York applied the Tribune
rationale in a chapter 15 case to dismiss claims under British
Virgin Islands (“BVI”) law to recover “unfair
preferences” and “undervalue transactions” asserted
by the liquidators of foreign feeder funds that invested in Bernard
L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. According to the court,
redemption payments made to investors in the funds were safe
harbored under section 546(e) in accordance with Merit and
Tribune because, among other things, the BVI law claims
were constructive, rather than intentional, fraudulent transfer
claims, and the funds were “financial institutions,” as
the customers of the banks that made the redemption payments as the
funds’ agent.

In In re Greektown Holdings, LLC, 2020 WL 6218655
(Bankr. E.D. Mich. Oct. 21, 2020), reh’g denied, 2020
WL 6701347 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. Nov. 13, 2020), the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that a
pre-bankruptcy recapitalization transaction involving the issuance
of notes underwritten by a financial institution and payment of a
portion of the proceeds to parties later sued in avoidance
litigation fell outside the section 546(e) safe harbor because: (i)
neither the transferor nor the transferees were financial
institutions in their own right; (ii) the defendants failed to
establish that the transaction was “for the benefit” of
the underwriter financial institution by showing that it
“received a direct, ascertainable, and quantifiable benefit
corresponding in value to the payments”; and (iii) the
evidence did not show that the underwriter was acting as either the
transferor’s agent or custodian in connection with the
transaction, such that the transferor itself could be deemed a
financial institution.

In In re Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc., 2020 WL 4590247
(2d Cir. Aug. 11, 2020), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit held that section 560 of the Bankruptcy Code, which creates
a safe harbor for the liquidation of swap agreements, prevented a
debtor from recovering payments made to certain noteholders in
accordance with a priority-altering “flip clause” in
agreements governing a collateralized debt obligation transaction.
According to the court, even if the provisions were “ipso
facto
” clauses that are generally invalid in bankruptcy
in other contexts, section 560 creates an exception to this rule in
connection with the liquidation of swap agreements.

Make-Whole Premiums and Postpetition Interest.
In In re Ultra Petroleum Corp., 2020 WL 6276712 (Bankr.
S.D. Tex. Oct. 26, 2020), direct appeal certified, No.
16-32202 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. Dec. 1, 2020) [Docket No. 1897], the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a
long-awaited ruling on whether Ultra Petroleum Corp. must pay a
make-whole premium to noteholders under its confirmed chapter 11
plan and whether the noteholders were entitled to postpetition
interest on their claims. The bankruptcy court held that: (i) the
make-whole premium was not disallowed under section 502(b)(2) of
the Bankruptcy Code as “unmatured interest” or its
“economic equivalent” but represented liquidated damages
enforceable under New York law; and (ii) the noteholders were
entitled to postpetition interest on their claims at the
contractual default rate, rather than the federal judgment rate, in
accordance with the “solvent-debtor exception.”

Enforcement of Subordination Agreements in a Chapter 11
Plan
. In In re Tribune Co., 972 F.3d 228 (3d Cir.
2020), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that a
debtor’s confirmed chapter 11 plan did not unfairly
discriminate against senior noteholders who contended that their
distributions were reduced because the plan improperly failed to
strictly enforce pre-bankruptcy subordination agreements. The court
held that a nonconsensual chapter 11 plan that does not enforce a
subordination agreement does not necessarily discriminate unfairly
against a class of creditors that would otherwise benefit from
subordination. The Third Circuit agreed with the lower courts that
the “immaterial” reduction in the senior noteholders’
recovery did not rise to the level of unfair discrimination.

Bankruptcy Financing. In In re LATAM
Airlines Grp. S.A.
, 2020 WL 5506407 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Sept. 10,
2020), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New
York initially refused to approve a proposed debtor-in-possession
financing agreement involving insider shareholders, finding that
the agreement was a prohibited “sub rosa
chapter 11 plan because it provided that the debtor could elect to
repay the shareholder loan with discounted stock in lieu of cash
and effectively prevented confirmation of any plan other than the
debtor’s. However, after the parties modified the financing
agreement to remove the equity election feature, the bankruptcy
court approved it.

In GPIF Aspen Club LLC v. Aspen Club Spa LLC (In re Aspen
Club Spa LLC)
, 2020 WL 4251761 (B.A.P. 10th Cir. July 24,
2020), a Tenth Circuit bankruptcy appellate panel ruled that
section 364(d)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code could not be used to
approve chapter 11 plan exit financing that primed the liens of an
existing secured lender, and it remanded the case to the bankruptcy
court to determine whether the cram-down plan provided the primed
lender with the “indubitable equivalent” of its secured
claim.

Commercial Rent Relief During the Pandemic. In
response to the devastating impact of the pandemic on restaurants,
retailers, and other “nonessential” businesses forced to
shutter or severely curtail their operations, many bankruptcy
courts deployed their statutory and equitable powers during 2020 to
defer or suspend timely payment of rent and other expenses that
would otherwise be obligatory under the Bankruptcy Code. See,
e.g., In re Hitz Restaurant Group
, 616 B.R. 374, 379 (Bankr.
N.D. Ill. June 3, 2020) (due to a force majeure clause in
a lease, abating the debtor’s rent payments “in proportion
to its reduced ability to generate revenue due to the executive
order”); In re Bread & Butter Concepts, LLC, No.
19-22400 (DLS) [Docket 219] (Bankr. D. Kan. May 15, 2020) (holding
that “these unprecedented circumstances require flexible
application of the Bankruptcy Code and exercise of the Court’s
equitable powers . to grant further relief” such as deferring
rent payments); In re True Religion Apparel, Inc., No.
20-10941 (CSS) (Bankr. D. Del. May 12, June 22, and Aug. 7, 2020)
[Docket Nos. 221; 367; 465] (extending time to perform rent
obligations for four months by order extending for 60 days and two
additional orders, each extending for additional 30-day
increments); In re Pier 1 Imports, Inc., 2020 WL 2374539
(Bankr. E.D. Va. May 10, 2020) (delaying debtors’ payment of
certain accrued but unpaid rent during a “limited operations
period” when their stores were closed due to stay-at-home
orders entered in connection with the pandemic); In re
CraftWorks Parent, LLC
, No. 20-10475 (BLS) (Bankr. D. Del.
Mar. 30, 2020) [Docket No. 217] (temporarily suspending certain
aspects of a chapter 11 case under section 105(a)); In re
Modell’s Sporting Goods, Inc.
, No. 20-14179 (VFP) [Docket
Nos. 166, 294, and 371] (Bankr. D.N.J. Mar. 27, Apr. 30 and June 5,
2020) (suspending a bankruptcy case under sections 105 and 305 and
deferring payment of nonessential expenses, including rent
obligations).

However, some courts concluded that their equitable powers could
not be used to circumvent the express language of the Bankruptcy
Code mandating the payment of rent. See, e.g., In re
CEC Entertainment Inc.
, 2020 WL 7356380 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. Dec.
14, 2020) (denying a chapter 11 debtor’s motion for a further
abatement of rent and holding that: (i) a court cannot use its
equitable powers to override section 365(d)(3)’s unequivocal
rent payment requirement; and (ii) force majeure clauses
in the leases did not excuse timely payment of rent due to the
pandemic or government shutdown orders).

Rejection of Natural Gas Agreements in
Bankruptcy
. In a leading precedent-Sabine Oil &
Gas Corp. v. Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering, LLC (In re Sabine Oil
& Gas Corp.)
, 734 Fed. Appx. 64 (2d Cir. May 25, 2018)-the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld rulings
authorizing a chapter 11 debtor to reject certain natural gas
gathering and handling agreements under section 365 of the
Bankruptcy Code. According to the Second Circuit, the agreements
could be rejected because, under Texas law, they contained neither
real covenants “running with the land” nor equitable
servitudes that would continue to burden the affected property even
if the agreements were rejected.

In 2020, bankruptcy courts in Delaware and Texas joined the fray
in the ongoing debate on this issue.

In Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc. v. Platte River Midstream,
LLC and DJ South Gathering, LLC (In re Extraction Oil & Gas,
Inc.)
, 2020 WL 6694354 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 14, 2020), Chief
Judge Christopher S. Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware entered a declaratory judgment that certain
gas transportation service agreements did not create covenants
running with the land under Colorado law and could therefore be
rejected in bankruptcy, because the agreements did not “touch
and concern” the land but merely dealt with hydrocarbons after
they were produced from the debtor’s real property.

In In re Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc., 2020 WL
6389252 (Bankr. D. Del. Nov. 2, 2020), stay pending appeal
denied
, No. 20-01532 (D. Del. Dec. 7, 2020), Judge Sontchi
authorized the debtor to reject the gas transportation service
agreements, ruling that: (i) even if the agreements created
covenants that run with the land, the agreements could still be
rejected, after which any covenants would be unenforceable against
the debtor and its assigns; (ii) the “business judgment”
test rather than “heightened scrutiny” should be applied
to the debtor’s request to reject the agreements; and (iii)
there is “no prohibition on or limitation against rejecting a
[FERC] approved contract” under section 365(a) of the
Bankruptcy Code.

In In re Chesapeake Energy Corp., 2020 WL 6325535
(Bankr. S.D. Tex. Oct. 28, 2020), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of Texas authorized the debtor to reject a
natural gas production agreement after concluding that the
agreement did not create a covenant running with the land or an
equitable servitude under Texas law because it expressly indicated
that the debtor did not intend to create any such encumbrances or
to convey a real property interest but merely conveyed an interest
in produced gas.

In Southland Royalty Company LLC, v. Wamsutter LLC (In re
Southland Royalty Company LLC)
, 2020 WL 6685502 (Bankr. D.
Del. Nov. 13, 2020), Judge Karen B. Owens of the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the District of Delaware ruled that gas gathering
agreements did not contain covenants running with the land or
equitable servitudes under Wyoming law but were merely service
contracts relating to the debtor’s personal property (produced
gas), and that, even if they did, the debtor could either reject
the agreements or sell its assets free and clear of any associated
covenants. Following rejection, the court noted, the contract
counterparty would have a prepetition claim against the estate for
damages resulting from the debtor’s nonperformance.

In In re Ultra Petroleum Corp., 2020 WL 4940240 (Bankr.
S.D. Tex. Aug. 21, 2020), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of Texas granted the debtors’ motion to
reject a FERC-regulated gas transportation agreement. Addressing
the standard for rejection, the court held that a bankruptcy court
should engage in a fact-intensive analysis of whether the rejection
of the agreement would lead to direct harm to the public interest
through an “interruption of supply to consumers” or a
“readily identifiable threat to health and welfare,” none
of which was shown to exist in this case. The court wrote that it
“is not authorized to graft a wholesale exception to §
365(a) of the Bankruptcy Code . preventing rejection of FERC
approved contracts.” It further noted that, whether the
rejection of such a contract is “good or bad public
policy” must be decided by Congress and not by the court or
FERC.

Legislative Developments

Much of the bankruptcy legislative activity during 2020 was
understandably focused on alleviating the impact of the pandemic.
Enacted legislation and executive orders included:

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security
(“CARES”) Act
. Signed into law on March 27,
2020, as an initial response to the economic fallout of the
pandemic, the CARES Act created a $600 unemployment bonus that
lasted until July 31, 2020, for those who lost their jobs as a
result of the shutdowns due to COVID-19. The law also set up the
Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) to provide up to $659
billion to small businesses to pay up to eight weeks of payroll
costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. Originally set to
expire on June 30, 2020, the PPP was extended to August 8, 2020,
after which it lapsed. The CARES Act also provided temporary relief
for federal student loan borrowers by deferring student loan
payments for six months without penalty.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021
(“CAA”)
. Signed into law on December 27, 2020,
the CAA was a $2.3 trillion spending bill that combined $900
billion in stimulus relief for the pandemic with a $1.4 trillion
omnibus spending bill for the 2021 federal fiscal year. The CAA was
one of the largest spending measures ever passed by Congress. It
provided for $600 in direct payments to millions of Americans, as
well as $300 per week in supplemental federal unemployment benefits
for 11 weeks. It also included: (i) $284 billion to revive the
lapsed PPP, along with additional small-business aid; (ii) $15
billion in payroll support to airlines; (iii) $25 billion in rental
assistance and eviction moratoriums; and (iv) a ban on most
surprise medical bills.

The CAA also included various bankruptcy-related provisions for
both consumer and business debtors. The business bankruptcy
provisions included:

  • Amendment of sections 501 and 502 of the Bankruptcy Code, which
    govern the filing and allowance of claims, to implement a procedure
    for creditors to file proofs of claim for amounts lost due to
    forbearance periods mandated by the CARES Act.

  • Amendment of section 365(d)(3), which obligates a debtor to
    continue performing its obligations under an unexpired lease of
    nonresidential real property, to provide that debtors in subchapter
    V small business chapter 11 bankruptcy cases may ask the court to
    provide an additional 60-day delay (120 days total) to pay rent if
    the debtor is experiencing a material financial hardship due to the
    pandemic. Landlord claims arising from an extension will be treated
    as administrative expenses for purposes of confirming a subchapter
    V small business plan.

  • Amendment of section 365(d)(4), which provides that an
    unexpired lease of nonresidential real property is deemed rejected
    unless assumed by the trustee or the chapter 11
    debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) within 120 days following
    the filing of the bankruptcy case, to increase the period to 210
    days. Under the pre-amendment provision, the court already had the
    power to increase this period by 90 days. Thus, under the
    amendment, a trustee or DIP can have up to 300 days to decide
    whether to assume or reject a lease.

  • Amendment of section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code, which governs
    the avoidance of pre-bankruptcy preferential transfers, to protect
    from avoidance certain deferred payments made by a debtor after
    March 13, 2020, to nonresidential real property landlords and
    suppliers of goods and services.

Amendments to the Small Business Reorganization Act of
2019 (“SBRA”)
. Even though the SBRA, which
created a new subchapter V of chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code for
small businesses, became effective on February 19, 2020, Congress
amended the law shortly afterward to increase the eligibility
threshold for businesses filing under the new subchapter so that it
could be available to a greater number of small business
debtors.

Other Bankruptcy Code Amendments Benefitting Individual
Debtors
. These included amendments to the Bankruptcy Code:
(i) excluding coronavirus-related payments from the federal
government from the definition of “income” for the
purposes of determining eligibility to file for chapters 7 and 13;
(ii) clarifying that the calculation of disposable income for the
purpose of confirming a chapter 13 plan does not include
coronavirus-related payments; and (iii) permitting chapter 13
debtors to seek payment plan modifications if they are experiencing
a material financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Executive Orders. President Trump issued
executive orders on August 8, 2020, to address some of the concerns
related to the pandemic financial crisis. They included measures
providing an additional $400 ($300 in federal funds, $100
contingent on state participation) in weekly unemployment benefits
to replace the expired $600-per-week unemployment bonus, suspending
certain student loan payments, protecting some renters from
eviction, and deferring payroll taxes.

Several other pieces of bankruptcy legislation were introduced
in the 116th Congress but were never enacted, although
many of them are likely to be reintroduced in 2021. These included
bills that would implement the most significant consumer bankruptcy
reforms since 2005, make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy,
significantly increase the federal-scheme homestead exemption, and
protect employees and retirees in business bankruptcy cases.

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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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