By Purvi Shah and Michelle McMahon of Bryan Cave
In re C.W. Mining. Co., the United Stated Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the lower courts’ decisions holding that in a proceeding seeking to avoid and recover a payment made on account of a first time transaction between a debtor and creditor such payment can be defended under the ordinary course of business defense provided in 11 U.S.C. § 547(c)(2). In reaching its decision, the Tenth Circuit focused on the language of the statute and held that 11 U.S.C. § 547(c)(2) protects payments made in the ordinary course of business or financial affairs of the debtor and the transferee, not between the debtor and transferee. With this decision, the Tenth Circuit joined the Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits that have held first time transactions defensible under 11 U.S.C. § 547(c)(2). In this context, the Ninth Circuit previously explained that “[a] first-time debt must be ordinary in relation to this debtor’s and this creditor’s past practices when dealing with other, similarly situated parties.” Wood v. Stratos Prod. Dev., LLC (In re Ahaza Sys. Inc.), 482 F.3d 1118, 1126 (9th Cir. 2007).
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