11 U.S. Code § 546 - Limitations on avoiding powers

(a) An action or proceeding under section 544, 545, 547, 548, or 553 of this title may not be commenced after the earlier of—
(1) the later of—
(A) 2 years after the entry of the order for relief; or
(B) 1 year after the appointment or election of the first trustee under section 702, 1104, 1163, 1202, or 1302 of this title if such appointment or such election occurs before the expiration of the period specified in subparagraph (A); or
(2) the time the case is closed or dismissed.
(b)
(1) The rights and powers of a trustee under sections 544, 545, and 549 of this title are subject to any generally applicable law that—
(A) permits perfection of an interest in property to be effective against an entity that acquires rights in such property before the date of perfection; or
(B) provides for the maintenance or continuation of perfection of an interest in property to be effective against an entity that acquires rights in such property before the date on which action is taken to effect such maintenance or continuation.
(2) If—
(A) a law described in paragraph (1) requires seizure of such property or commencement of an action to accomplish such perfection, or maintenance or continuation of perfection of an interest in property; and
(B) such property has not been seized or such an action has not been commenced before the date of the filing of the petition;
such interest in such property shall be perfected, or perfection of such interest shall be maintained or continued, by giving notice within the time fixed by such law for such seizure or such commencement.
(c)
(1) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section and in section 507 (c), and subject to the prior rights of a holder of a security interest in such goods or the proceeds thereof, the rights and powers of the trustee under sections 544 (a), 545, 547, and 549 are subject to the right of a seller of goods that has sold goods to the debtor, in the ordinary course of such seller’s business, to reclaim such goods if the debtor has received such goods while insolvent, within 45 days before the date of the commencement of a case under this title, but such seller may not reclaim such goods unless such seller demands in writing reclamation of such goods—
(A) not later than 45 days after the date of receipt of such goods by the debtor; or
(B) not later than 20 days after the date of commencement of the case, if the 45-day period expires after the commencement of the case.
(2) If a seller of goods fails to provide notice in the manner described in paragraph (1), the seller still may assert the rights contained in section 503 (b)(9).
(d) In the case of a seller who is a producer of grain sold to a grain storage facility, owned or operated by the debtor, in the ordinary course of such seller’s business (as such terms are defined in section 557 of this title) or in the case of a United States fisherman who has caught fish sold to a fish processing facility owned or operated by the debtor in the ordinary course of such fisherman’s business, the rights and powers of the trustee under sections 544 (a), 545, 547, and 549 of this title are subject to any statutory or common law right of such producer or fisherman to reclaim such grain or fish if the debtor has received such grain or fish while insolvent, but—
(1) such producer or fisherman may not reclaim any grain or fish unless such producer or fisherman demands, in writing, reclamation of such grain or fish before ten days after receipt thereof by the debtor; and
(2) the court may deny reclamation to such a producer or fisherman with a right of reclamation that has made such a demand only if the court secures such claim by a lien.
(e) Notwithstanding sections 544, 545, 547, 548 (a)(1)(B), and 548 (b) of this title, the trustee may not avoid a transfer that is a margin payment, as defined in section 101, 741, or 761 of this title, or settlement payment, as defined in section 101 or 741 of this title, made by or to (or for the benefit of) a commodity broker, forward contract merchant, stockbroker, financial institution, financial participant, or securities clearing agency, or that is a transfer made by or to (or for the benefit of) a commodity broker, forward contract merchant, stockbroker, financial institution, financial participant, or securities clearing agency, in connection with a securities contract, as defined in section 741 (7), commodity contract, as defined in section 761 (4), or forward contract, that is made before the commencement of the case, except under section 548 (a)(1)(A) of this title.
(f) Notwithstanding sections 544, 545, 547, 548 (a)(1)(B), and 548 (b) of this title, the trustee may not avoid a transfer made by or to (or for the benefit of) a repo participant or financial participant, in connection with a repurchase agreement and that is made before the commencement of the case, except under section 548 (a)(1)(A) of this title.
(g) Notwithstanding sections 544, 545, 547, 548 (a)(1)(B) and 548 (b) of this title, the trustee may not avoid a transfer, made by or to (or for the benefit of) a swap participant or financial participant, under or in connection with any swap agreement and that is made before the commencement of the case, except under section 548 (a)(1)(A) of this title.
(h) Notwithstanding the rights and powers of a trustee under sections 544 (a), 545, 547, 549, and 553, if the court determines on a motion by the trustee made not later than 120 days after the date of the order for relief in a case under chapter 11 of this title and after notice and a hearing, that a return is in the best interests of the estate, the debtor, with the consent of a creditor and subject to the prior rights of holders of security interests in such goods or the proceeds of such goods, may return goods shipped to the debtor by the creditor before the commencement of the case, and the creditor may offset the purchase price of such goods against any claim of the creditor against the debtor that arose before the commencement of the case.
(i)
(1) Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 545, the trustee may not avoid a warehouseman’s lien for storage, transportation, or other costs incidental to the storage and handling of goods.
(2) The prohibition under paragraph (1) shall be applied in a manner consistent with any State statute applicable to such lien that is similar to section 7–209 of the Uniform Commercial Code, as in effect on the date of enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, or any successor to such section 7–209.
(j) Notwithstanding sections 544, 545, 547, 548 (a)(1)(B), and 548 (b) the trustee may not avoid a transfer made by or to (or for the benefit of) a master netting agreement participant under or in connection with any master netting agreement or any individual contract covered thereby that is made before the commencement of the case, except under section 548 (a)(1)(A) and except to the extent that the trustee could otherwise avoid such a transfer made under an individual contract covered by such master netting agreement.

Source

(Pub. L. 95–598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2597; Pub. L. 97–222, § 4,July 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 236; Pub. L. 98–353, title III, §§ 351, 393, 461,July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 358, 365, 377; Pub. L. 99–554, title II, §§ 257(d), 283(l),Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3114, 3117; Pub. L. 101–311, title I, § 103, title II, § 203,June 25, 1990, 104 Stat. 268, 269; Pub. L. 103–394, title II, §§ 204(b), 209, 216, 222(a), title V, § 501(b)(4),Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4122, 4125, 4126, 4129, 4142; Pub. L. 105–183, § 3(c),June 19, 1998, 112 Stat. 518; Pub. L. 109–8, title IV, § 406, title IX, § 907(e), (o)(2), (3), title XII, § 1227(a),Apr. 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 105, 177, 182, 199; Pub. L. 109–390, § 5(b),Dec. 12, 2006, 120 Stat. 2697.)
Historical and Revision Notes

legislative statements

Section 546(a) of the House amendment is derived from section 546(c) of the Senate amendment. Section 546(c) of the House amendment is derived from section 546(b) of the Senate amendment. It applies to receipt of goods on credit as well as by cash sales. The section clarifies that a demand for reclamation must be made in writing anytime before 10 days after receipt of the goods by the debtor. The section also permits the court to grant the reclaiming creditor a lien or an administrative expense in lieu of turning over the property.
senate report no. 95–989

The trustee’s rights and powers under certain of the avoiding powers are limited by section 546. First, if an interest holder against whom the trustee would have rights still has, under applicable nonbankruptcy law, and as of the date of the petition, the opportunity to perfect his lien against an intervening interest holder, then he may perfect his interest against the trustee. If applicable law requires seizure for perfection, then perfection is by notice to the trustee instead. The rights granted to a creditor under this subsection prevail over the trustee only if the transferee has perfected the transfer in accordance with applicable law, and that perfection relates back to a date that is before the commencement of the case.
The phrase “generally applicable law” relates to those provisions of applicable law that apply both in bankruptcy cases and outside of bankruptcy cases. For example, many State laws, under the Uniform Commercial Code, permit perfection of a purchase-money security interest to relate back to defeat an earlier levy by another creditor if the former was perfected within ten days of delivery of the property. U.C.C. § 9–301(2). Such perfection would then be able to defeat an intervening hypothetical judicial lien creditor on the date of the filing of the petition. The purpose of the subsection is to protect, in spite of the surprise intervention of a bankruptcy petition, those whom State law protects by allowing them to perfect their liens or interests as of an effective date that is earlier than the date of perfection. It is not designed to give the States an opportunity to enact disguised priorities in the form of liens that apply only in bankruptcy cases.
Subsection (b) [enacted as (c)] specifies that the trustee’s rights and powers under the strong arm clause, the successor to creditors provision, the preference section, and the postpetition transaction section are all subject to any statutory or common-law right of a seller, in the ordinary course of business, of goods to the debtor to reclaim the goods if the debtor received the goods on credit while insolvent. The seller must demand reclamation within ten days after receipt of the goods by the debtor. As under nonbankruptcy law, the right is subject to any superior rights of secured creditors. The purpose of the provision is to recognize, in part, the validity of section 2–702 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which has generated much litigation, confusion, and divergent decisions in different circuits. The right is subject, however, to the power of the court to deny reclamation and protect the seller by granting him a priority as an administrative expense for his claim arising out of the sale of the goods.
Subsection (c) [enacted as (a)] adds a statute of limitations to the use by the trustee of the avoiding powers. The limitation is two years after his appointment, or the time the case is closed or dismissed, whichever occurs later.
References in Text

The date of enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, referred to in subsec. (i)(2), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–8, which was approved Apr. 20 2005.
Amendments

2006—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–390, § 5(b)(1), inserted “(or for the benefit of)” before “a commodity broker” and “or that is a transfer made by or to (or for the benefit of) a commodity broker, forward contract merchant, stockbroker, financial institution, financial participant, or securities clearing agency, in connection with a securities contract, as defined in section 741 (7), commodity contract, as defined in section 761 (4), or forward contract,” after “securities clearing agency,”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 109–390, § 5(b)(2), struck out “that is a margin payment, as defined in section 741 or 761 of this title, or settlement payment, as defined in section 741 of this title,” after “avoid a transfer” and inserted “(or for the benefit of)” before “a repo participant”.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 109–390, § 5(b)(3), inserted “(or for the benefit of)” before “a swap participant”.
Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 109–390, § 5(b)(4), inserted “(or for the benefit of)” before “a master netting agreement participant”.
2005—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–8, § 1227(a), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) consisted of pars. (1) and (2) relating to reclamation of goods sold to an insolvent debtor.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–8, § 907(o)(3), inserted “financial participant,” after “financial institution,”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 109–8, § 907(o)(2), inserted “or financial participant” after “repo participant”.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 109–8, § 907(e)(1), struck out “under a swap agreement” after “avoid a transfer”, substituted “under or in connection with any swap agreement” for “in connection with a swap agreement”, and inserted “or financial participant” after “swap participant”.
Pub. L. 109–8, § 406(1), redesignatedsubsec. (g) relating to return of goods as (h).
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 109–8, § 406(2), inserted “and subject to the prior rights of holders of security interests in such goods or the proceeds of such goods” after “consent of a creditor”.
Pub. L. 109–8, § 406(1), redesignatedsubsec. (g) relating to return of goods as (h).
Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 109–8, § 406(3), added subsec. (i).
Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 109–8, § 907(e)(2), added subsec. (j).
1998—Subsecs. (e) to (g). Pub. L. 105–183substituted “548(a)(1)(B)” for “548(a)(2)” and “548(a)(1)(A)” for “548(a)(1)”.
1994—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 103–394, § 216, amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “two years after the appointment of a trustee under section 702, 1104, 1163, 1302, or 1202 of this title; or”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–394, § 204(b), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “The rights and powers of a trustee under sections 544, 545, and 549 of this title are subject to any generally applicable law that permits perfection of an interest in property to be effective against an entity that acquires rights in such property before the date of such perfection. If such law requires seizure of such property or commencement of an action to accomplish such perfection, and such property has not been seized or such action has not been commenced before the date of the filing of the petition, such interest in such property shall be perfected by notice within the time fixed by such law for such seizure or commencement.”
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 103–394, § 209, amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “such a seller may not reclaim any such goods unless such seller demands in writing reclamation of such goods before ten days after receipt of such goods by the debtor; and”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 103–394, § 501(b)(4)(A), substituted “section 101, 741, or 761” for “section 101 (34), 741 (5), or 761 (15)” and “section 101 or 741” for “section 101 (35) or 741 (8)”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 103–394, § 501(b)(4)(B), substituted “section 741 or 761” for “section 741 (5) or 761 (15)” and “section 741” for “section 741 (8)”.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 103–394, § 222(a), added subsec. (g) relating to return of goods.
1990—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–311, § 203, inserted reference to sections 101 (34) and 101 (35) of this title.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 101–311, § 103, added subsec. (g) relating to trustee’s authority to avoid transfer involving swap agreement.
1986—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 99–554, § 257(d), inserted reference to section 1202 of this title.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–554, § 283(l), inserted a comma after “stockbroker”.
1984—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 98–353, § 461(a), substituted “; or” for “; and”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–353, § 461(b), substituted “a trustee under sections 544, 545, and” for “the trustee under sections 544, 545, or”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–353, §§ 351(1), 461(c)(1)–(4), substituted “Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, the” for “The”, substituted “a trustee” for “the trustee”, struck out “right” before “or common-law”, inserted “of goods that has sold goods to the debtor” after “seller”, and struck out “of goods to the debtor” after “business,”.
Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 98–353, § 461(c)(5)(A), inserted “the” after “if” in provisions preceding subpar. (A).
Subsec. (c)(2)(A). Pub. L. 98–353, § 461(c)(5)(B), substituted “a claim of a kind specified in section 503 (b) of this title” for “an administrative expense”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–353, § 351(3), added subsec. (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–353, §§ 351(2), 461(d), redesignated former subsec. (d) as (e) and inserted “financial institution” after “stockbroker”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 98–353, § 393, added subsec. (f).
1982—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–222added subsec. (d).
Effective Date of 2006 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–390not applicable to any cases commenced under this title or to appointments made under any Federal or State law, before Dec. 12, 2006, see section 7 ofPub. L. 109–390, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–8effective 180 days after Apr. 20, 2005, and not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before such effective date, except as otherwise provided, see section 1501 ofPub. L. 109–8, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–183applicable to any case brought under an applicable provision of this title that is pending or commenced on or after June 19, 1998, see section 5 ofPub. L. 105–183, set out as a note under section 544 of this title.
Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–394effective Oct. 22, 1994, and not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before Oct. 22, 1994, see section 702 ofPub. L. 103–394, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by section 257 ofPub. L. 99–554effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1986, but not applicable to cases commenced under this title before that date, see section 302(a), (c)(1) ofPub. L. 99–554, set out as a note under section 581 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Amendment by section 283 ofPub. L. 99–554effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1986, see section 302(a) ofPub. L. 99–554.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–353effective with respect to cases filed 90 days after July 10, 1984, see section 552(a) ofPub. L. 98–353, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

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17 CFR Part 190 - BANKRUPTCY

 

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