The major purpose of Chapter 15 in regulating
international bankruptcy filings is to bring a semblance of
standardization. Without some form of all-encompassing law on cross-border
insolvency cases, bankruptcy filing would be needlessly complex. While
this doesn’t imply Chapter 15 bankruptcy filings are simple, the laws
surrounding them are perhaps surprisingly uncomplicated considering the level
of agreement needed between authorities of courts in separate jurisdictions.
Then again, most of these statutes of Chapter 15 bankruptcy filing contain
a tacit sense of agreement between countries.
Chapter 15 bankruptcy filings are
unique with respect to working on an international basis as opposed to the
other chapters in the Bankruptcy Code. However, in terms of the officers that populate courts in different
jurisdictions, they realistically are comparable. The role of the foreign
representative, meanwhile, brings Chapter 15 bankruptcy filing back
to the realm of distinction.
For bankruptcy proceedings in other countries
to be recognized by American courts, the first thing appointed foreign representatives must do is file the
aptly-named petition for recognition, including evidence that they were
specifically appointed for this purpose and a certificate from a foreign court
that such proceedings have indeed begun. The U.S. courts must also weigh in on
whether these are main or non-main proceedings (whether or not they are heard
in a place where the majority of debtors’ business is conducted).
Though not necessarily bound by paperwork as
“bankruptcy filings” might be expected to, the communication between
all courts involved is also part of the bankruptcy filing process. In some
instances, this might be as simple as appointing an individual as an examiner,
foreign representative, or trustee.
With regard to concurrent Chapter 15
bankruptcy filings, multiple court cases may only be realized for debtors who
have assets in the United States subject to liquidation or reorganization.
Regardless of whether this American case comes first or second, any Chapter
15 bankruptcy filing that follows these conditions must adhere to
U.S. standards on the issuance of debt relief. It should be noted, though, that
multiple foreign bankruptcy filings may be concurrently heard in
foreign courts under Chapter 15. In this case, application of relief must conform to the
standards of the main proceeding.