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The business law resource for Latin America
Select specific jurisdictions to filter on. Alternatively select no jurisdictions and select questions below to see all jurisdiction answers for them.
Select specific questions to filter on. Alternatively select no questions and select jurisdictions above to see all question answers for them.
What duties do directors, officers or controlling shareholders of a company owe creditors or other third parties if the company is insolvent or in financial difficulties, or has negative net worth? Is there a standard of care towards third parties? In what circumstances can directors, officers or controlling shareholders be found civilly or criminally liable for continuing to operate a company in financial difficulties? In practice, are such liabilities commonly enforced?
What actions are available to creditors (secured or unsecured) prior to a formal insolvency proceeding to recover on a defaulted loan or obligation of a debtor? Are there any expedited formal proceedings?
Can a creditor that has secured debt foreclose on the collateral or sell collateral in a private sale? If so, what rules exist to ensure the sale or foreclosure generates the maximum amount of sales proceeds possible? Can lenders take possession or control of the underlying collateral? Do insolvency proceedings stay the ability of secured creditors to foreclose on collateral of the debtor? Are there any accelerated procedures available for secured creditors, and if so, under what circumstances can they be used?
Can creditors that have equity as collateral take control of a debtor by exercising voting rights attached to pledged shares?
Can secured creditors credit-bid their debt in a sale of a debtor’s assets, outside or within a formal insolvency proceeding? If so, what procedures or limitations apply?
Are there legal or regulatory concerns that secured creditors should consider in connection with a sale or foreclosure?
What types of insolvency proceedings are available in your jurisdiction? Are different insolvency proceedings available for individuals and companies? Is there any distinction made between "preventive" insolvency proceedings and "actual" insolvency proceedings?
May government-owned entities, states or municipalities file for an insolvency proceeding in your jurisdiction? If so, are there special rules or a separate regime that applies to such entities?
On what grounds may or must a debtor be placed into an insolvency proceeding? Who may do this? What are the grounds for a voluntary proceeding? If an involuntary proceeding is filed, must a bond be posted or is there any risk of liability to the creditor or creditors who filed the action?
What effect, if any, does a filing have on a subsidiary or affiliate of the debtor? Are there any grounds for procedurally and substantively consolidating insolvency proceedings involving related parties? If a debtor organised under the laws of your jurisdiction entered into local insolvency proceedings, could the debtor’s foreign affiliates be included in the local filing?
What notifications and meetings are required after a debtor has been placed in an insolvency proceeding? Do the insolvency laws recognise bondholders under an indenture? What must they show to prove their ownership interest in the underlying debt?
How are contingent creditors dealt with? Are inter-company or affiliate claims treated differently from other creditor claims in terms of recovery or voting? If so, has this been challenged and with what result? Are there special rules for certain contracts?
What effect does the commencement of an insolvency proceeding have on the debtor and its operations? Is there an automatic stay that prevents third parties from acting against the debtor? Can a debtor terminate or reject contracts to which it is a party?
In what circumstances could transactions entered into before an insolvency proceeding be challenged? How far does the claw-back period extend? Who can bring such challenges and who bears the burden of proof? How frequently are such challenges made and upheld?
How are secured creditors treated in an insolvency proceeding? How do they protect their collateral, particularly liquid assets? Can they seek remedies? Must their approval be obtained to use or dispose of their collateral? Do liens on receivables, revenues or cash flow continue with respect to such collateral after a debtor’s insolvency filing has been accepted by a court, or are they cut off as of the date of the filing or acceptance? If they are not cut off, may the debtor use that cash collateral and, if so, must it provide any protection to the secured creditors?
How are unsecured creditors treated? How are equity holders treated? May an equity holder recover prior to creditors being paid in full?
What is the effect of an insolvency proceeding on current and retired employees?
Do directors or officers of companies in insolvency proceedings suffer any consequences?
How do the various types of claims rank in an insolvency proceeding? Do some claims automatically have higher priority? May claimants with lower priority receive consideration under a reorganisation plan even though claimants with higher priority are not paid in full?
Are local creditors treated differently from foreign creditors in practice? What laws exist to prevent such disparate treatment? What factors contribute to how effectively those laws are applied?
What level of creditor support is needed to approve a reorganisation plan? Can secured creditors and other priority claim holders that do not approve a reorganisation proposal be "crammed down"? Are there any substantive criteria that a plan must satisfy? Must hearings take place or documents be distributed?
May creditors trade their claims during the course of a reorganisation? What impact, if any, will it have on voting for a plan?
What kind of court supervision is there in each type of insolvency proceeding? Is a trustee or receiver (or other court-appointed officer) appointed to supervise the debtor or can the debtor continue to control operations during the insolvency proceeding? Can creditors form creditors’ committees? What formal role do creditors (or creditors’ committees) play in the process? Do insolvency proceedings permit competing reorganisation plans? Are the judges that supervise and administer the process specialised? Does a debtor company or its creditors have any power to select or influence the selection of the trustee, receiver or other court-appointed officer?
May a debtor obtain financing while in insolvency? Will the lender enjoy special rights or preferences for providing DIP financing? Can a DIP lender ‘prime’ or come ahead of an existing lien? What difficulties typically arise in obtaining such funding or any required approval thereof?
If a debtor company has issued debt securities, does your jurisdiction’s insolvency or securities law provide for any exemptions from registration of those securities under applicable securities law?
May creditors offset debts owed to them by the debtor in an insolvency proceeding? Does this require court approval? Can creditors recover the expense of participating in the process? How?
If a debtor company has tax losses prior to a reorganisation, will it retain and be able to use such losses after it emerges from the reorganisation?
What happens at the end of an insolvency proceeding? If there is a discharge of prior claims, is it permanent or subject to any conditions subsequent?
How long do restructurings last? Is there a formal deadline?
Is there an expedited or summary proceeding available to obtain court approval of an out-of-court restructuring plan? If so, what types of claims and creditors may participate and how does the process work? Are out-of-court proceedings commonly used and what are the primary benefits and drawbacks?
Does the government tend to play an active role in insolvency proceedings? What factors determine this?
How are extraterritorial bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings recognised? Could a bankruptcy or insolvency judgment abroad substantially delay an insolvency proceeding in your jurisdiction? Does your jurisdiction contemplate ancillary or parallel insolvency proceedings with respect to a foreign proceeding? If a company organised under the laws of your jurisdiction entered into extraterritorial bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, would those proceedings be recognised in your jurisdiction?
How frequently do debtor companies reorganise and emerge from bankruptcy as opposed to liquidation? What factors determine this?
What is the appeal process for an insolvency proceeding in your jurisdiction and what effect do appeals have on approved plans? How long do appeals take to resolve?
Are there any common techniques that debtors use to manipulate or control insolvency proceedings? Have any of these techniques been challenged, and if so, what was the result?
What impact, if any, has the ongoing volatility in the global credit markets and rise in corporate restructurings had on your jurisdiction’s insolvency regime? Are any amendments to your jurisdiction’s insolvency laws envisaged? If so, which problems are such amendments intended to address and how?
and Richard Cooper
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
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