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7th Circuit orders proposed plan of reorganization open to competitive bidding

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Southern District Bankruptcy judge Thursday, finding the judge incorrectly ruled that competition was unnecessary in a plan of reorganization involving a shopping center.

George Broadbent owns 98 percent direct equity of Castleton Plaza, the debtor, and the other 2 percent indirectly. EL-SNPR is Castleton Plaza’s only secured lender. When Castleton Plaza’s note matured with EL-SNPR, it did not pay and instead commenced bankruptcy. About a year later it proposed a plan of reorganization, under which $300,000 of EL-SNPR’s $10 million secured debt would be paid now with the balance written down to around $8.2 million and treated as unsecured. One-hundred percent of equity in the reorganized Castleton Plaza would go to Mary Clare Broadbent, George’s wife, who would invest $375,000.

George Broadbent is CEO of the Broadbent Company Inc., in which Mary Clare Broadbent owns all of the equity, and he receives a salary from the company. Broadbent and Castleton Plaza would keep their management contract.

EL-SNPR, thinking Castleton Plaza’s assets have been undervalued, asked the bankruptcy judge to condition Mary Clare Broadbent’s plan acceptance on her making the highest bid in open competition. Judge Basil Lorch III held that competition is unnecessary and confirmed the plan as proposed.

“Competition helps prevent the funneling of value from lenders to insiders, no matter who proposes the plan or when. An impaired lender who objects to any plan that leaves insiders holding equity is entitled to the benefit of competition,” Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote. “If, as Castleton and the Broadbents insist, their plan offers creditors the best deal, then they will prevail in the auction. But if, as EL-SNPR believes, the bankruptcy judge has underestimated the value of Castleton’s real estate, wiped out too much of the secured claim, and set the remaining loan’s terms at below-market rates, then someone will pay more than $375,000 (perhaps a lot more) for the equity in the reorganized firm.”

The case, In the matter of: Castleton Plaza LP; Appeal of: El-SNPR Notes Holdings LLC, 12-2639, is remanded with directions to open the proposed plan of reorganization to competitive bidding.

 

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  1. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  5. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

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