The Death of Chapter 11 Plans: Are Confirmed Chapter 11 Plans Subject to Statutory Renewal?

Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law: Volume 7 – Number 1 – January 2011

By David J. Cook

Are confirmed Chapter 11 plans of reorganization immortal or do they have an expiration date like any other federal district court judgment? This article will answer this question and will conclude that a Chapter 11 confirmed plan — the order confirming the plan — is not immortal. A confirmed plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 requiring the payment of money is a federal money judgment and therefore subject to the requirements of state statutory renewal similar to any federal or state money judgment based on the law of the domicile where the district or bankruptcy court is sited. Confirmed plans expire like any other federal or state money judgment. Upon expiration of the confirmed plan and depending upon the renewal statutory scheme of the domicile state statute, the debtor is discharged of all continuing obligations under the plan including obligations to pay creditors directly or a trust established by a the plan for benefit of creditors.

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