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Bankruptcy — cramdowns

U.S. Supreme Court


Bankruptcy — cramdowns

Debtors may not obtain confirmation of a Chapter 11 cramdown plan that provides for the sale of collateral free and clear of the Bank’s lien, but does not permit the Bank to credit-bid at the sale.

The debtors’ reading of §1129(b)(2)(A), under which clause (iii) permits precisely what clause (ii) proscribes, is hyperliteral and contrary to common sense. “[I]t is a commonplace of statutory construction that the specific governs the general.” Morales v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 504 U. S. 374. Here, where general and specific authorizations exist side-by-side, the general/specific canon avoids rendering superfluous a specific provision that is swallowed by the general one. See D. Ginsberg & Sons, Inc. v. Popkin, 285 U. S. 204. As applied to §1129(b)(2)(A), the canon provides that the “general language” of clause (iii), “although broad enough to include it, will not be held to apply to a matter specifically dealt with” in clause (ii). 285 U. S., at 208. Although the canon can be overcome by other textual indications of statutory meaning, the debtors point to none here.

651 F. 3d 642, affirmed.

11-166 Radlax Gateway Hotel, LLC, v. Amalgamated Bank

Scalia, J.

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