On June 10, 2013, in the case of the Consolidated Entities of Edgar Reinoso, Case No. 2:12-bk-30218 RN, the bankruptcy court entered a landmark order substantively consolidating into individual debtor Edgar Reinoso’s chapter 7 bankruptcy case, 43 separate limited liability companies and the community property interest of Edgar’s wife.
SulmeyerKupetz (with partner Elissa D. Miller handling the matter) obtained the order on behalf of the bankruptcy trustee Sam S. Leslie. The substantive consolidation order was based on findings that the debtor did not treat the LLCs as separate entities, did not create separate bank accounts for each entity, used income from property owned by one entity to
support another, transferred title to the properties in and out of the various entities, and did not keep or maintain adequate accounting records.
As a result of the substantive consolidation order, all of the properties owned by the entities are now assets of the bankruptcy estate and available for the trustee to administer. Had the substantive consolidation request been denied, only the debtor’s membership interests in the LLCs would have been property of the bankruptcy estate and the trustee would not have been able to administer the assets in an economical or feasible
While substantive consolidation of related debtors in bankruptcy proceedings is not uncommon and a few cases report on consolidation of one or two non-bankrupt entities into a debtor, there are no reported cases where substantive consolidation was used consolidate dozens (43 in this case) of non-debtor entities with the debtor as was done in this case.