11 U.S. Code § 363. Use, sale, or lease of property
Section 363(a) of the House amendment defines “cash collateral” as defined in the Senate amendment. The broader definition of “soft collateral” contained in H.R. 8200 as passed by the House is deleted to remove limitations that were placed on the use, lease, or sale of inventory, accounts, contract rights, general intangibles, and chattel paper by the trustee or debtor in possession.
Section 363(c)(2) of the House amendment is derived from the Senate amendment. Similarly, sections 363(c)(3) and (4) are derived from comparable provisions in the Senate amendment in lieu of the contrary procedure contained in section 363(c) as passed by the House. The policy of the House amendment will generally require the court to schedule a preliminary hearing in accordance with the needs of the debtor to authorize the trustee or debtor in possession to use, sell, or lease cash collateral. The trustee or debtor in possession may use, sell, or lease cash collateral in the ordinary course of business only “after notice and a hearing.”
Section 363(f) of the House amendment adopts an identical provision contained in the House bill, as opposed to an alternative provision contained in the Senate amendment.
Section 363(h) of the House amendment adopts a new paragraph (4) representing a compromise between the House bill and Senate amendment. The provision adds a limitation indicating that a trustee or debtor in possession sell jointly owned property only if the property is not used in the production, transmission, or distribution for sale, of electric energy or of natural or synthetic gas for heat, light, or power. This limitation is intended to protect public utilities from being deprived of power sources because of the bankruptcy of a joint owner.
Section 363(k) of the House amendment is derived from the third sentence of section 363(e) of the Senate amendment. The provision indicates that a secured creditor may bid in the full amount of the creditor’s allowed claim, including the secured portion and any unsecured portion thereof in the event the creditor is undersecured, with respect to property that is subject to a lien that secures the allowed claim of the sale of the property.
This section defines the right and powers of the trustee with respect to the use, sale or lease of property and the rights of other parties that have interests in the property involved. It applies in both liquidation and reorganization cases.
Subsection (a) defines “cash collateral” as cash, negotiable instruments, documents of title, securities, deposit accounts, or other cash equivalents in which the estate and an entity other than the estate have an interest, such as a lien or a co-ownership interest. The definition is not restricted to property of the estate that is cash collateral on the date of the filing of the petition. Thus, if “non-cash” collateral is disposed of and the proceeds come within the definition of “cash collateral” as set forth in this subsection, the proceeds would be cash collateral as long as they remain subject to the original lien on the “non-cash” collateral under section 552(b). To illustrate, rents received from real property before or after the commencement of the case would be cash collateral to the extent that they are subject to a lien.
Subsection (b) permits the trustees to use, sell, or lease, other than in the ordinary course of business, property of the estate upon notice and opportunity for objections and hearing thereon.
Subsection (c) governs use, sale, or lease in the ordinary course of business. If the business of the debtor is authorized to be operated under § 721, 1108, or 1304 of the bankruptcy code, then the trustee may use, sell, or lease property in the ordinary course of business or enter into ordinary course transactions without need for notice and hearing. This power is subject to several limitations. First, the court may restrict the trustee’s powers in the order authorizing operation of the business. Second, with respect to cash collateral, the trustee may not use, sell, or lease cash collateral except upon court authorization after notice and a hearing, or with the consent of each entity that has an interest in such cash collateral. The same preliminary hearing procedure in the automatic stay section applies to a hearing under this subsection. In addition, the trustee is required to segregate and account for any cash collateral in the trustee’s possession, custody, or control.
Under subsections (d) and (e), the use, sale, or lease of property is further limited by the concept of adequate protection. Sale, use, or lease of property in which an entity other than the estate has an interest may be effected only to the extent not inconsistent with any relief from the stay granted to that interest’s holder. Moreover, the court may prohibit or condition the use, sale, or lease as is necessary to provide adequate protection of that interest. Again, the trustee has the burden of proof on the issue of adequate protection. Subsection (e) also provides that where a sale of the property is proposed, an entity that has an interest in such property may bid at the sale thereof and set off against the purchase price up to the amount of such entity’s claim. No prior valuation under section 506(a) would limit this bidding right, since the bid at the sale would be determinative of value.
Subsection (f) permits sale of property free and clear of any interest in the property of an entity other than the estate. The trustee may sell free and clear if applicable nonbankruptcy law permits it, if the other entity consents, if the interest is a lien and the sale price of the property is greater than the amount secured by the lien, if the interest is in bona fide dispute, or if the other entity could be compelled to accept a money satisfaction of the interest in a legal or equitable proceeding. Sale under this subsection is subject to the adequate protection requirement. Most often, adequate protection in connection with a sale free and clear of other interests will be to have those interests attach to the proceeds of the sale.
At a sale free and clear of other interests, any holder of any interest in the property being sold will be permitted to bid. If that holder is the high bidder, he will be permitted to offset the value of his interest against the purchase price of the property. Thus, in the most common situation, a holder of a lien on property being sold may bid at the sale and, if successful, may offset the amount owed to him that is secured by the lien on the property (but may not offset other amounts owed to him) against the purchase price, and be liable to the trustee for the balance of the sale price, if any.
Subsection (g) permits the trustee to sell free and clear of any vested or contingent right in the nature of dower or curtesy.
Subsection (h) permits sale of a co-owner’s interest in property in which the debtor had an undivided ownership interest such as a joint tenancy, a tenancy in common, or a tenancy by the entirety. Such a sale is permissible only if partition is impracticable, if sale of the estate’s interest would realize significantly less for the estate that sale of the property free of the interests of the co-owners, and if the benefit to the estate of such a sale outweighs any detriment to the co-owners. This subsection does not apply to a co-owner’s interest in a public utility when a disruption of the utilities services could result.
Subsection (i) provides protections for co-owners and spouses with dower, curtesy, or community property rights. It gives a right of first refusal to the co-owner or spouse at the price at which the sale is to be consummated.
Subsection (j) requires the trustee to distribute to the spouse or co-owner the appropriate portion of the proceeds of the sale, less certain administrative expenses.
Subsection (k) [enacted as (l)] permits the trustee to use, sell, or lease property notwithstanding certain bankruptcy or ipso facto clauses that terminate the debtor’s interest in the property or that work a forfeiture or modification of that interest. This subsection is not as broad as the anti-ipso facto provision in proposed 11 U.S.C. 541(c)(1).
Subsection (l) [enacted as (m)] protects good faith purchasers of property sold under this section from a reversal on appeal of the sale authorization, unless the authorization for the sale and the sale itself were stayed pending appeal. The purchaser’s knowledge of the appeal is irrelevant to the issue of good faith.
Subsection (m) [enacted as (n)] is directed at collusive bidding on property sold under this section. It permits the trustee to void a sale if the price of the sale was controlled by an agreement among potential bidders. The trustees may also recover the excess of the value of the property over the purchase price, and may recover any costs, attorney’s fees, or expenses incurred in voiding the sale or recovering the difference. In addition, the court is authorized to grant judgment in favor of the estate and against the collusive bidder if the agreement controlling the sale price was entered into in willful disregard of this subsection. The subsection does not specify the precise measure of damages, but simply provides for punitive damages, to be fixed in light of the circumstances.
Section 7A of the Clayton Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), is classified to section 18a of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.
The Truth in Lending Act, referred to in subsec. (o), is title I of Pub. L. 90–321, May 29, 1968, 82 Stat. 146, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§ 1601 et seq.) of chapter 41 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1601 of Title 15 and Tables.
2019—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 116–54 inserted “1183, 1184,” after “1108,”.
2010—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 111–327, § 2(a)(13)(A), struck out “only” before dash at end of introductory provisions.
Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 111–327, § 2(a)(13)(B), amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “in accordance with applicable nonbankruptcy law that governs the transfer of property by a corporation or trust that is not a moneyed, business, or commercial corporation or trust; and”.
Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 111–327, § 2(a)(13)(C), inserted “only” before “to the extent”.
2005—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 109–8, § 231(a), substituted “, except that if the debtor in connection with offering a product or a service discloses to an individual a policy prohibiting the transfer of personally identifiable information about individuals to persons that are not affiliated with the debtor and if such policy is in effect on the date of the commencement of the case, then the trustee may not sell or lease personally identifiable information to any person unless—” and subpars. (A) and (B) for period at end.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–8, § 1221(a), substituted “only—” and pars. (1) and (2) for “only to the extent not inconsistent with any relief granted under section 362(c), 362(d), 362(e), or 362(f) of this title.”
Subsecs. (o), (p). Pub. L. 109–8, § 204, added subsec. (o) and redesignated former subsec. (o) as (p).
1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–394, § 214(b), inserted “and the fees, charges, accounts or other payments for the use or occupancy of rooms and other public facilities in hotels, motels, or other lodging properties” after “property”.
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 103–394, §§ 109, 501(d)(8)(A), struck out “(15 U.S.C. 18a)” after “Clayton Act” and amended subpars. (A) and (B) generally. Prior to amendment, subpars. (A) and (B) read as follows:
“(A) notwithstanding subsection (a) of such section, such notification shall be given by the trustee; and
“(B) notwithstanding subsection (b) of such section, the required waiting period shall end on the tenth day after the date of the receipt of such notification, unless the court, after notice and hearing, orders otherwise.”
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 103–394, § 501(d)(8)(B), substituted “1203, 1204, or 1304” for “1304, 1203, or 1204”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 103–394, § 219(c), inserted at end “This subsection also applies to property that is subject to any unexpired lease of personal property (to the exclusion of such property being subject to an order to grant relief from the stay under section 362).”
1986—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 99–554, § 257(k)(1), inserted reference to sections 1203 and 1204 of this title.
Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 99–554, § 257(k)(2), inserted reference to chapter 12.
1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–353, § 442(a), inserted “whenever acquired” after “equivalents” and “and includes the proceeds, products, offspring, rents, or profits of property subject to a security interest as provided in section 552(b) of this title, whether existing before or after the commencement of a case under this title” after “interest”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–353, § 442(b), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–353, § 442(c), inserted “, with or without a hearing,” after “court” and struck out “In any hearing under this section, the trustee has the burden of proof on the issue of adequate protection”.
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 98–353, § 442(e), substituted “at the time of” for “immediately before”.
Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 98–353, § 442(f), substituted “compensation” for “compenation”.
Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 98–353, § 442(h), substituted “Subject to the provisions of section 365, the trustee” for “The trustee”, “condition” for “conditions”, “or the taking” for “a taking”, and “interest” for “interests”.
Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 98–353, § 442(i), substituted “avoid” for “void”, “avoiding” for “voiding”, and “In addition to any recovery under the preceding sentence, the court may grant judgment for punitive damages in favor of the estate and against any such party that entered into such an agreement in willful disregard of this subsection” for “The court may grant judgment in favor of the estate and against any such party that entered into such agreement in willful disregard of this subsection for punitive damages in addition to any recovery under the preceding sentence”.
Subsec. (o). Pub. L. 98–353, § 442(j), added subsec. (o).
Amendment by sections 204 and 231(a) of Pub. L. 109–8 effective 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 of Pub. L. 109–8, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 103–394 effective Oct. 22, 1994, and not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before Oct. 22, 1994, see section 702 of Pub. L. 103–394, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 99–554 effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1986, but not applicable to cases commenced under this title before that date, see section 302(a), (c)(1) of Pub. L. 99–554, set out as a note under section 581 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.