These tasks may not justify the salaries being paid to the management team, which may wish to move on to new challenges.
These considerations may tip the scales in favor of setting up a liquidation vehicle and bringing in an administrator experienced with winding down operations.
For an entity with a complicated asset portfolio, it may make sense to transfer all assets, rights, and causes in action to a liquidating trust that can liquidate assets and investments over time, avoiding market dips and other timing concerns.
Moreover, to the extent that entities like partnerships and limited liability companies are not permitted to engage in business once they are dissolved, the liquidating trust may be authorized to operate or hold certain assets to take advantage of economic factors (but subject to tax considerations).
In conjunction with the other provisions of the Bankruptcy Code that require a disclosure statement and plan to provide “adequate information” for a claim or interest holder to make an informed judgment about the plan, Section 1123(b)(3) effectively provides notice to creditors of retention and prospective enforcement of claims that may enlarge the estate’s assets for distribution.
A plan must expressly retain claims to preserve a liquidating trust’s standing to pursue them after plan confirmation.
Liquidating trusts can be effective tools to wind down any business enterprise, including debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and entities that dissolve outside of bankruptcy. To that end, in a Chapter 11 case, a debtor’s exclusive right to file a plan is limited to 120 days (subject to extensions for cause), but once a plan is confirmed, the bankruptcy estate ceases to exist and the debtor loses its status as debtor in possession, including its authority to act as a bankruptcy trustee and pursue estate claims.
Norton Liquidating trusts are organized for the primary purpose of liquidating assets transferred to them for distribution to trust beneficiaries. The US Bankruptcy Code seeks to promote the effective administration and settlement of a debtor’s assets and liabilities within a limited frame of time.
As reflected on the below chart, Delaware corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies must make reasonable reserve for all pending litigation, and for claims and obligations that have not yet accrued but, based upon facts known to management, are likely to accrue within ten years following the dissolution.
The appointment is generally done in the plan, confirmation order and trust agreement. 94-45, the plan and disclosure statement must explain how the bankruptcy estate will treat the transfer of its assets to the trust for federal income tax purposes.
The liquidating trustee must also demonstrate that he or she qualifies as a representative of the estate. 94-45 notes that it does not define as a matter of law the circumstances under which an organization will be classified as a liquidating trust for income tax purposes, the conditions are commonly incorporated into plans and liquidating trust agreements whether or not an advance ruling is sought. A transfer to a liquidating trust for the benefit of creditors must be treated for all purposes of the Revenue Code as a transfer to creditors to the extent that the creditors are beneficiaries of the trust.
Business organizations that are dissolving may wish to use a liquidating trust in order to delegate the administration of the winding up process.
While the managers of a business may be well-suited for the tasks of running a going concern, their talents may not be optimal for the winding down process, which consists of marshaling and selling assets, making distributions to and communicating with creditors and estimating reserves.