11 U.S. Code § 723. Rights of partnership trustee against general partners
Section 723(c) of the House amendment is a compromise between similar provisions contained in the House bill and Senate amendment. The section makes clear that the trustee of a partnership has a claim against each general partner for the full amount of all claims of creditors allowed in the case concerning the partnership. By restricting the trustee’s rights to claims of “creditors,” the trustee of the partnership will not have a claim against the general partners for administrative expenses or claims allowed in the case concerning the partnership. As under present law, sections of the Bankruptcy Act [former title 11] applying to codebtors and sureties apply to the relationship of a partner with respect to a partnership debtor. See sections 501(b), 502(e), 506(d)(2), 509, 524(d), and 1301 of title 11.
This section is a significant departure from present law. It repeals the jingle rule, which, for ease of administration, denied partnership creditors their rights against general partners by permitting general partners’ individual creditors to share in their estates first to the exclusion of partnership creditors. The result under this section more closely tracks generally applicable partnership law, without a significant administrative burden.
Subsection (a) specifies that each general partner in a partnership debtor is liable to the partnership’s trustee for any deficiency of partnership property to pay in full all administrative expenses and all claims against the partnership.
Subsection (b) requires the trustee to seek recovery of the deficiency from any general partner that is not a debtor in a bankruptcy case. The court is empowered to order that partner to indemnify the estate or not to dispose of property pending a determination of the deficiency. The language of the subsection is directed to cases under the bankruptcy code. However, if, during the early stages of the transition period, a partner in a partnership is proceeding under the Bankruptcy Act [former title 11] while the partnership is proceeding under the bankruptcy code, the trustee should not first seek recovery against the Bankruptcy Act partner. Rather, the Bankruptcy Act partner should be deemed for the purposes of this section and the rights of the trustee to be proceeding under title 11.
Subsection (c) requires the partnership trustee to seek recovery of the full amount of the deficiency from the estate of each general partner that is a debtor in a bankruptcy case. The trustee will share equally with the partners’ individual creditors in the assets of the partners’ estates. Claims of partnership creditors who may have filed against the partner will be disallowed to avoid double counting.
Subsection (d) provides for the case where the total recovery from all of the bankrupt general partners is greater than the deficiency of which the trustee sought recovery. This case would most likely occur for a partnership with a large number of general partners. If the situation arises, the court is required to determine an equitable redistribution of the surplus to the estate of the general partners. The determination will be based on factors such as the relative liability of each of the general partners under the partnership agreement and the relative rights of each of the general partners in the profits of the enterprise under the partnership agreement.
1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–394 substituted “to the extent that under applicable nonbankruptcy law such general partner is personally liable for such deficiency” for “for the full amount of the deficiency”.
1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–353, § 476, substituted provisions that the trustee shall have a claim for the full amount of the deficiency against a general partner who is personally liable with respect to claims concerning partnerships which are allowed in a case under this chapter, for provisions that each general partner in the partnership would be liable to the trustee for the full amount of such deficiency.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–353, § 476(b), substituted “such partner’s case” for “such case” in two places, “by property of such partnership” for “be property of such partnership”, and “a kind specified in such section” for “the kind specified in such section”.
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.