Justia Agriculture Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Bankruptcy
In re: MS Livestock, Inc.
Beginning in 2007, Mississippi Valley agreed to sell cattle to Swift, planning to fulfill that agreement in part with cattle it had received from J&R. Mississippi Valley was merely the holder of J&R’s cattle, not the purchaser or owner. Because the relationship between Swift and J&R had soured, Mississippi Valley did not inform Swift that some of the cattle were actually J&R’s. Swift paid for the purchases with checks made out to Mississippi Valley, which deposited the checks in its general operating account and periodically sent J&R checks for sales of J&R cattle. Mississippi Valley stopped making timely payments. As the debt mounted, J&R sent increasingly frantic demands for payment. Mississippi Valley sent seven checks to J&R totaling $862,747.31. Less than 90 days later, creditors filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition against Mississippi Valley. The bankruptcy trustee sought to avoid the seven payments as preferential transfers, 11 U.S.C. 547(b), but J&R argued that Mississippi Valley never had a property interest in the funds but only held the sale proceeds for J&R’s benefit. The bankruptcy court granted J&R summary judgment. The district court affirmed. The Seventh Circuit remanded, stating that it is unclear how much money could properly be traced to a constructive trust in favor of J&R.View "In re: MS Livestock, Inc." on Justia Law
Oyens Feed & Supply, Inc. v. Primebank
A hog producer with outstanding loans to Primebank went deeper into debt by purchasing feed on credit from Oyens Feed & Supply to fatten the hogs to market weight. The hog producer subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Primebank had a perfected security interest in the hogs to secure two promissory notes predating Oyen Feed's perfected agricultural supply dealer lien on the hogs. The hog producer filed an adversary proceeding to determine the priority of the liens. The bankruptcy court granted Primebank partial summary judgment on grounds that Oyens Feed failed to provide Primebank a certified request under Iowa Code 570A.2. Oyens Feed appealed the bankruptcy court's ruling to the U.S. district court, which then certified a question of law to the Supreme Court. The Court answered by holding that Primebank's prior perfected security interest in the hogs is trumped by Oyen Feed's agricultural supply dealer lien under Iowa Code 570A.5(3) to the extent of the enhanced value of the livestock presumptively attributable to the feed, even though the bank received no certified request before the feed was sold on credit. View "Oyens Feed & Supply, Inc. v. Primebank" on Justia Law
Allred v. Vilhauer, et al.
Debtors, owners and operators of a farm and ranch, appealed from the judgment of the bankruptcy court denying their discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727(a)(5). The court held that the bankruptcy court did not clearly err in finding that debtors failed to adequately explain the loss of cattle. Accordingly, the judgment denying debtors' discharge was affirmed. View "Allred v. Vilhauer, et al." on Justia Law