When an insolvent entity files for bankruptcy, it can be tough to be a creditor. But holding equity — stock in a corporation or a membership interest in an LLC, a limited liability company — can be even worse. Under bankruptcy’s “absolute priority rule,” creditors generally must be paid in full before equity gets anything.

In bankruptcy, prepetition loans made by insiders are often investigated, and sometimes challenged, by debtors, creditors’ committees, or trustees. The two most frequent challenges brought are that (1) the loans in question are not really debt and should be recharacterized as equity, and (2) the debt should be equitably subordinated below the claims of all or some other

The Summer 2012 edition of the Absolute Priority newsletter, published by the Bankruptcy & Restructuring group at Cooley LLP, of which I am a member, has now been released. The newsletter gives updates on current developments and trends in the bankruptcy and workout area. Follow the links in this sentence to access a copy of the

In many Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, unsecured creditors investigate whether a basis exists to recharacterize existing secured debt as equity. The reason? A successful challenge can turn first or second lien secured debt into "back-of-the-line" capital contributions, enabling unsecured creditors to realize a much greater recovery. A recent article by two of my Bankruptcy & Restructuring Group colleagues at Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, Ronald R.