Vanderbilt Law Review


Vern Countryman

First Page



A bankruptcy trustee is armed by statute with a number of powers to avoid prebankruptcy transfers made by the now bankrupt debtor. Probably none of these powers is of more concern to prebankruptcy transferees than the trustee's power to avoid preferential transfers. This Article examines the content of and the reasons for the concept of a preferential transfer as it has evolved over the centuries.We inherited the notion of the preferential transfer from Eng-land; but, as elsewhere, we frequently have concluded that we could improve on the English model. Substantial differences exist,therefore, between the English law of voidable preferences and the American approach. Taking a brief look at English antecedents will contribute to an understanding of our own concept.