11 U.S. Code § 544 - Trustee as lien creditor and as successor to certain creditors and purchasers
Section 544(a)(3) modifies similar provisions contained in the House bill and Senate amendment so as not to require a creditor to perform the impossible in order to perfect his interest. Both the lien creditor test in section 544(a)(1), and the bona fide purchaser test in section 544(a)(3) should not require a transferee to perfect a transfer against an entity with respect to which applicable law does not permit perfection. The avoiding powers under section 544(a)(1), (2), and (3) are new. In particular, section 544(a)(1) overrules Pacific Finance Corp. v. Edwards, 309 F.2d 224 (9th Cir. 1962), and In re Federals, Inc., 553 F.2d 509 (6th Cir. 1977), insofar as those cases held that the trustee did not have the status of a creditor who extended credit immediately prior to the commencement of the case.
The House amendment deletes section 544(c) of the House bill.
Subsection (a) is the “strong arm clause” of current law, now found in Bankruptcy Act § 70c [section 110(c) of former title 11]. It gives the trustee the rights of a creditor on a simple contract with a judicial lien on the property of the debtor as of the date of the petition; of a creditor with a writ of execution against the property of the debtor unsatisfied as of the date of the petition; and a bona fide purchaser of the real property of the debtor as of the date of the petition. “Simple contract” as used here is derived from Bankruptcy Act § 60a(4) [section 96(a)(4) of former title 11]. The third status, that of a bona fide purchaser of real property, is new.
Subsection (b) is derived from current section 70e [section 110(e) of former title 11]. It gives the trustee the rights of actual unsecured creditors under applicable law to void transfers. It follows Moore v. Bay, 284 U.S. 4 (1931), and overrules those cases that hold section 70e gives the trustee the rights of secured creditors.
1998—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 105–183 designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted “Except as provided in paragraph (2), the trustee” for “The trustee”, and added par. (2).
1984—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 98–353, § 459(1), inserted “such” after “obtained”.
Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 98–353, § 459(2), substituted “; or” for “; and”.
Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 98–353, § 459(3), inserted “, other than fixtures,” after “property”, and “and has perfected such transfer” after “purchaser” the second place it appeared.
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