Quote of the Day - Beggars can never be bankrupt.
MIPTC went the United States Supreme Court today and had the opportunity to hear oral arguments in a bankruptcy matter, Robert Louis Marrama v. Citizens Bank of Massachusetts and Mark G. DeGiacomo, Chapter 7 Trustee. The case involved the issue of whether a debtor had the absolute right to convert from a Chapter 7 (liquidation) to a Chapter 13 (reorganization) proceeding, even if the debtor acted in bad faith. The debtor obviously claimed yes, arguing that the statute said that the conversion could occur "at any time," and had no other restrictions.
The Trustee, on the other hand, pointed to section 105 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, arguing that the Bankruptcy Court has always had the inherent authority to deny motions that are part of an abusive scheme. That point was Justice Bryer's hypothetical: "What if the conversion is part of a scheme to defraud millions of people in a foreign country because it will be viewed as a signal that they should mail their life savings into a particular account in Switzerland? Can he convert then? No matter what? Even if he’s dead, even if he’s insane?”
None of the Justices were sympathetic to the debtor's side, and MIPTC predicts the decision will favor the Trustee.
The most interesting part of the oral arguments for MIPTC, however, was how poor the sound system is inside the Supreme Court. Even sitting just behind the counsel table, it was very difficult to hear the attorneys and for the matter, the justices. Of all places where you'd expect to be able to hear….