United States v. Whiting Pools, Inc. case brief summary (U.S. 1983)
The IRS seized the debtor’s property on which it had placed a tax lien. Liquidation value of property was much less than going concern value. Debtor filed Chapter 11. Debtor requested turnover of property under § 542(a).
1. The IRS is required to turn over property, because (1) § 542(a) requires turnover of all property of the estate that may be leased, sold, or used by trustee under § 363, and (2) seized property, in which debtor still had interest, counted as such property
2. Even though Code defines “property of the estate” as “all interests of the debtor in property,” not “all property in which the debtor has an interest,” Court does not take definition to limit what can count as “property of the estate”.
3. IRS had the right to seize and sell property under non-bankruptcy law, but those rights were merely procedural, and meant to protect its substantive property interest – the lien – which is now protected by different bankruptcy procedures.