Third Circuit Affirms Bankruptcy Court’s Authority to Set and Enforce Bar Dates for Administrative Expenses
As a matter of practice, chapter 11 plans and confirmation orders routinely discharge administrative expense claims, including those that arise after confirmation of a plan but before its effective date. The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (the “Third Circuit”) recently affirmed the bankruptcy court’s statutory authority to do so in Ellis v. Westinghouse Electric Co., LLC, 2021 WL 3852612 (3d Cir. Aug. 30, 2021). Addressing an issue of apparent first impression at the circuit appellate court level, the Third Circuit held that a post-confirmation administrative expense claim faces discharge like any other claim if it is not timely filed by the applicable bar date.
Bankruptcy courts have the power to set bar dates for prepetition claims. A creditor which does not file a claim by the bar date typically has its claim discharged (i.e., the claimant cannot recover from the debtor or the reorganized debtor). The bankruptcy court also has the power to set and enforce bar dates for postpetition administrative expense claims (i.e., those liabilities that arise after the petition date but before the debtor emerges from bankruptcy). Like prepetition claims, administrative expenses are subject to discharge if not timely filed.
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Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP by Jacob A. Adlerstein, Paul M. Basta, Brian Bolin, Robert A. Britton, Kelley A. Cornish, Alice Belisle Eaton, Brian S. Hermann, Kyle J. Kimpler, Alan W. Kornberg, Elizabeth R. McColm, Andrew M. Parlen, Andrew N. Rosenberg, Jeffrey D. Saferstein, John Weber, and Jorge Gonzalez-Corona. Published September 29, 2021.