Chesapeake Considers Unusual 1.5 Lien Debt Exchange

If you can help us figure this one out–please do! Reuters is reporting that Chesapeake Energy is considering swapping out some existing debt for “new 1.5 lien debt.” We know a first lien means you have “first dibs”–you’re first in line to receive something/anything if a company goes bankrupt. A second lien means you’re second in line, behind the first guy. But a one and a half lien? Apparently its possible to create a legal situation where someone is behind the first guy but ahead of the second guy in line–the 1.5 guy. Boggles the mind. What it says to us is that Chesapeake is engaged in some dramatic financial contortions in order to avoid bankruptcy court…

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