Fifth Circuit Finds that an Electricity Requirements Contract Is a “Forward Contract” Exempt from Bankruptcy Code’s Avoidance Powers

On August 2, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a requirements contract for electricity is a forward contract for purposes of section 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code and, therefore, settlement payments made under the contract are exempt from avoidance as preferences. Claude Lightfoot v. MXEnergy Electric, Inc. (MBS Management Services, Incorporated), 690 F.3d 352 (5th Cir. 2012). The Fifth Circuit’s ruling is a boon to electricity providers that receive payments from counterparties that are insolvent at the time of payment and file for bankruptcy protection shortly thereafter.  read more

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