Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights

We represented numerous parties in multistate bankruptcy cases in the dairy sector of the agriculture industry.  Stinson has successfully represented debtors and committees of unsecured creditors in ensuring maximum recovery for creditors while preserving going concern business operations.  Stinson’s experience in this area has allowed it to counsel clients through the notoriously volatile ebbs and flows of  the dairy business sector.

We served as lead counsel for Gas-Mart USA. Inc. and four affiliates in Chapter 11 reorganization cases pending in the Kansas City, Missouri, area. Gas-Mart and its affiliates owned and operated over 40 convenience store gas stations in five states with more than 300 employees and more than 700 creditors, including five key secured creditors and several landlords. Working with John Tittle of Tittle Advisory Group as the chief executive officer, the companies obtained debtor in possession financing, successfully overcame significant opposition by various objecting parties during the pendency of the case and made substantial progress in operations, ultimately leading to an orderly sale of all operations as a going concern to over five buyers pursuant to an active auction with many bidders.

Since 2008, we have represented numerous innocent parties targeted in litigation arising from the unscrupulous conduct of widely known Ponzi- schemers such as Tom Petters and Bernie Madoff.  Stinson has protected its clients against claims in the hundreds of millions of dollars and has obtained favorable settlements on behalf of many of those clients.

We represented Canyon Portal LLC, the owner of  a large mixed-use retail/lodging property on scenic Route 89A in the “red rock” country of Sedona, Arizona. CP had a large loan that came due on December 31, 2015, and it was having difficulty getting anyone at the servicer to negotiate an extension or restructuring of the debt. A large default charge was set to accrue on January 1, 2016. Accordingly, we filed CP into a Chapter 11 on December 31, 2015, in order to restructure the debt. The restructuring through the Chapter 11 included a material extension of an underlying long-term land lease, thereby enhancing market value. A fully consensual Chapter 11 plan was confirmed in July 2016, becoming effective in August 2016.

We competed for and won representation of the Unsecured Creditor’s Committee in the International Technical Coatings Chapter 11 filed in Phoenix. ITC is a national steel fabrication business with facilities in Arizona and Ohio. The UCC was composed of trade vendors representing approximately 55 percent of the unsecured debt in the case. During 2016, the UCC (with the aid of its financial advisors and Stinson) negotiated a full pay plan based on resolution of contentious fraudulent transfer claims. The plan became effective February 2017.

This successful, collaborative effort was led by the following attorneys:

We represent the Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy cases of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Duluth.  These cases involve complex issues of insurance coverage, creditor claims and co-party liability.  Stinson has designed and implemented cutting edge strategies to protect the interests of its clients in this developing area of bankruptcy law.

Providing counsel in the areas of financial restructuring, insolvency and creditors’ rights, Marc Albert has delivered results to debtors, creditor committees, lenders and other creditors for more than 35 years. Here are a few recent examples of his work.

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Following previous involvement as trustee in a prior dismissed bankruptcy case, Marc was appointed as Chapter 7 trustee for a debtor possessing a one-third interest in a 34-unit apartment building in the District of Columbia. Although the apartment had significant value, sale had previously been constrained due to a large number of various liens and judgments recorded against the property and two other co-owners. Through utilization of Stinson Leonard Street as his trustee’s counsel, Marc was able to secure a contract for sale for the property for more than $3 million, as well as negotiate consent for sale with various lienholders and one of the other co-owners. Following a judgment in an adversary case filed by the trustee regarding sale of the third co-owner’s interest, the bankruptcy court recently approved sale of the property free and clear of liens following an auction conducted at trial, further increasing the sale price for the property to the benefit of the bankruptcy estate.

Through the course of a dispute between a divorced couple in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, the court ordered the sale of a certain large family home in the DC area used by the couple as a rental property to multiple tenants. Citing his more than 25 years of experience as a trustee in the United States Bankruptcy Court, the court appointed Marc Albert to serve as trustee to take possession and conduct a sale of the property. In addition to Marc’s role as trustee, the firm was employed as his counsel for the matter. Over the course of a three-and-a-half month period, Marc, with the aid of other Stinson attorneys as his counsel, was able to retain a realtor, market the property, negotiate various rights of existing tenants and fully close on a $1.6 million dollar sale while preserving one owner’s rights to include the sale as a tax deferred real estate exchange.

During the course of protracted litigation between a District of Columbia funeral home and the Department of Justice involving extensive unpaid tax debt, Marc Albert was brought into the case to serve as a receiver for the business and the firm employed as his counsel. After more than a year and a half of near daily work overseeing the operation of the funeral home’s business and ensuring all current tax obligations were being met, the receiver was able to work with the business, IRS and DC taxing authorities to reach a settlement. This settlement allowed for the release of tax liens on the funeral home property and a long delayed sale of the property to successfully close, resulting in payment to both taxing authorities and conclusion of the receivership.

For more information about Marc, visit his bio.
For more information about our Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights practice, go here.

Marc Albert, Partner in Washington, DC