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Vancouver Business Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Restructuring Law Blog

Trustee's disallowance of claim a reminder to creditors to take proofs of claims seriously

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of BC took issue with a bankruptcy trustee's investigation of a proof of claim, but also serves as a reminder that creditors need to take the proof of claim process seriously, particularly where there is any complexity to their claim, or else they risk unneeded cost and inconvenience.

Prepayment penalties in loan agreements

Loan agreements will often have fixed repayment terms. In some cases, it is in the lender's interest to delay the repayment of the loan, usually in order to take advantage of a high interest rate. In order to guarantee the payment of interest at the high rate for the whole of the projected term, the loan agreement may contain a prepayment provision. Under such provision, even though early payment may be allowed, the lender will be entitled to recover the amount of interest that would have otherwise been payable over the term of the loan.

Passive Participation in a Fraud can Still Result in Criminal Sanctions

One doesn't have to be the master mind of a fraud in order to face criminal charges and sanctions for it later. In the case of R. v Roberts, 2019 BCSC 338, Mr. Roberts was charged with fraud over $5,000 for participating in a fraud on Scotiabank, wherein Scotiabank lost approximately $6M. Mr. Roberts was the office manager of Aggressive Road Builders ("ARB") and he knowingly provided documents to Scotiabank that contained false information so that Scotiabank would approve a $7M operating line of credit for ARB that would pay out ARB's then operating line of credit with the Royal Bank.

Third major tobacco company takes creditor protection

On March 22, 2019, Rothman, Benson & Hedges was granted protection from its creditors in Ontario proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). These proceedings will give RBH an opportunity to propose some plan of arrangement which its creditors will then vote on.

Landlord rights in bankruptcy: Trustee's disclaimer of lease eliminates claim for unsecured damages

Where a tenant is in breach of a commercial lease, a landlord generally has the option to sue the breaching tenant for the unexpired portion of the lease (subject to the landlord's duty to mitigate). However, where a tenant goes bankrupt, the bankruptcy trustee has the power to disclaim the lease under section 30(1)(k) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act ("BIA"). To the surprise of some landlords, this disclaimer will extinguish any right of the landlord to the unexpired term of the lease, save for a preferred three months' accelerated rent claim pursuant to section 136(1)(f).

Home renovations down again last quarter

As another sign of Canada's cooling real estate market, home renovations are in a significant decline. Recent Bank of Canada data show total renovation debt held by banks is down again for the last quarter of 2018. The most recent high for total renovation debt, $3,610,000, came in the second quarter of 2016, and the figures have declined almost 18% since then. 

Supreme Court of Canada finds bankrupt energy company cannot ignore environmental obligations

In a long-awaited decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has overturned the Alberta Court of Appeal, and determined that a bankrupt company does not have carte blanche to ignore its environmental obligations.

Fonts prove forgery

Mark Twain said, "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." That wisdom was driven home in the recent Ontario case McGoey (re), in which a bankrupt tried to prove that two properties registered in his name were actually held by him in trust for someone else, and therefore were not available to his creditors. He produced two trust deeds showing this.

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