One of the requrements for qualification as a Subchapter V debtor is that the debtor be "engaged in commercial or business activities[.]" 11 U.S.C. § 1182(1)(A). In In re Port Arthur Steam Energy, L.P., 2021 Bankr. LEXIS 1793 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2021), the debtor had ceased operations, and the issue was whether the debtor was nevertheless "engaged in commercial or business activities." The court overruled objections to the debtor's Subchapter V election, holding that the debtor was engaged in commercial and business activities, including actively pursuing litigation against a third party, seeking to collect on outstanding accounts receivable, selling an asset, preserving asset value, and having managers oversee the company while an independent contractor maintained the debtor's pre-bankruptcy business facility. The court distinguished published cases dealing with individual debtors, and said its ruling was based on the plain meaning of the language of the statute.
The Small Business Reorganization Act took effect on February 19, 2020, and published decisions interpreting it are still primarily from bankruptcy court judges. The decision in the Port Arthur case, filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Victoria Division, under case number 21-60034, adds to the discussion regarding a debtor's qualification as a Subchapter V debtor.