Thomas E. Plank

Thomas E. Plank
  • Joel A. Katz Distinguished Professor of Law

  • A.B., 1968, Princeton University
    J.D., 1974, University of Maryland

  • Location: Room 391
  • Phone Number: 865-974-6849
  • Email:
  • Courses Taught: Debtor-Creditor, Commercial Law, Property, Representing Enterprises (Securitization), Comparative Business Transactions
  • Additional Information: Curriculum Vitae (pdf)


Publications of Thomas E. Plank

Professor Plank joined the UT faculty in 1994 and became the Joel A. Katz Distinguished Professor of Law in 2004. His scholarly interests include the nature of property, the relationship between bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy law, and the historical development and comparison of commercial law and property law systems. He is a nationally recognized expert on mortgage backed and asset backed securities. Before joining the UT faculty, he was a partner with Kutak Rock LLP specializing in real estate finance, commercial finance, bankruptcy, and securities, in particular serving as issuer’s counsel and bankruptcy counsel in securitization transactions. Since joining the UT faculty he has served as an expert witness on securitization and other bankruptcy and commercial law matters, and as a consultant for securitization law firms, providing advice on bankruptcy, commercial law, and real estate issues in connection with securitizations and other transactions. During the 2002-2003 academic year, Professor Plank was a visiting Professor of Law at the Notre Dame Law School.

Professor Plank graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in history and a Certificate of Proficiency in Russian Area Studies and then served three years in the United States Marine Corps, including eight months in Vietnam as an infantry platoon commander. He graduated 5th in his class from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Maryland Law Review. He was a law clerk for the Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, an associate with Piper & Marbury in Baltimore, MD, and an assistant attorney general for the State of Maryland. Initially, his practice included a wide variety of transactions and litigation, including a four month trial on the constitutionality of the Maryland public school finance system and oral arguments in the United States Supreme Court and federal and state appellate courts. He then concentrated his practice in real estate, commercial finance, public finance and securities transactions.


Biography of Thomas E. Plank


The Securitization of Aberrant Contract Receivables, 89 [smallcap]Chi.-Kent L. Rev.[/smallcap] 171-193 (2013) (part of the Symposium on Fringe Economy Lending and Other Aberrant Contracts).

Article 9 of the UCC: Reconciling Fundamental Property Principles and Plain Language, 68 [smallcap]Bus. Law.[/smallcap] 439-506 (2013).

Security Interest Issues in the Merger of Multinational Enterprises, a chapter in Making the Pieces Fit: An Analysis of the Daimler-Chrysler Merger (Maurice E. Stucke, ed., Carolina Academic Press forthcoming). 

The Key to Securitization:  Isolating the Assets to Be Securitized from the Risk of An Insolvency Proceeding (ch. 8, pages 1-1 through 1-128), in John Arnholz and Edward E. Gainor, eds., Offerings of Asset Backed Securities (Aspen Pub. 2d ed. 2013).

Crisis in the Mortgage Finance Market: The Nature of the Mortgage Loan and Regulatory Reform, 12 [smallcap]Transactions: The Tennessee J. of Bus. Law[/smallcap] 135 (2011), as part of the Multidisciplinary Event: The Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law Behavior and Business Law Conference.

Regulation and Reform of the Mortgage Market and the Nature of Mortgage Loans: Lessons from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 60 So. Car. L. Rev. 779 (2009), part of a Symposium, “1.9 Kids and a Foreclosure: Subprime Mortgages, the Credit Crisis, and Restoring the American Dream.”

Sense and Sensibility in Securitization: A Prudent Legal Structure and a Fanciful Critique, 30 Cardozo L. Rev. 617 (2008), responding to Kenneth Kettering’s fanciful criticism of securitization in Securitization and Its Discontents: The Dynamics of Financial Product Development 29 Cardozo L. Rev. 1553 (2008).

Toward a More Efficient Bankruptcy Law: Mortgage Financing Under the 2005 Bankruptcy Amendments, 31 S. Ill. U. L.J. 641 (2007) (part of the Symposium on Shredding the Safety Net: A Critical Examination of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005) (solicited article).

State Sovereignty in Bankruptcy after Katz, 15 Amer. Bankr. Inst. L. Rev. 59 (2007) (part of the Symposium on Federalism and Bankruptcy).

Assignment of Receivables Under Article 9: Structural Incoherence and Wasteful Filing, 68 Ohio St. L.J. 231-271 (2007) (part of symposium on Commercial Calamities).

The Key to Securitization: Isolating the Assets to Be Securitized from the Risk of An Insolvency Proceeding, in John Arnholz and Edward E. Gainor, eds., Offerings of Asset Backed Securities (2005, plus annual updates).

The Security of Securitization and the Future of Security, 25 Cardozo L. Rev. 1655-1741 (2004) (part of the Symposium on Threats to Secured Lending and Asset Securitization).

The Erie Doctrine and Bankruptcy, 79 Notre Dame L. Rev. 633-92 (2004), reprinted in 13 J. Bankr. L. & Prac. 55-113 (2004).

Bankruptcy and Federalism, 71 Fordham L. Rev. 1063-1131 (2002).

Bankruptcy Professionals, Debtor Dominance and the Future of Bankruptcy: A Review and a Rhapsody on a Theme, 18 Bankr. Dev. J. 337-71 (2002) (reviewing David A. Skeel, Jr., Debt Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (2001)).

The Limited Security Interest in Non-Assignable Collateral Under Revised Article 9, 9 A.B.I. L. Rev. 323-49 (2001).

The Bankruptcy Trust as a Legal Person, 35 Wake Forest L. Rev. 251-293 (2000).

The Creditor in Possession Under the Bankruptcy Code: History, Text, and Policy, 59 Md. L. Rev. 253-351 (2000).

Why Bankruptcy Judges Need Not and Should Not Be Article III Judges, 72 Am. Bankr. L.J. 567-639 (1998).

The Outer Boundaries of the Bankruptcy Estate, 47 Emory L. J. 1193-1287 (1998).

The Essential Elements of Judicial Independence and the Experience of Pre-Soviet Russia, 5 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rights J. 1-74 (1996).

Peter M. Pantaleo, et. al, Rethinking the Role of Recourse in the Sale of Financial Assets, 52 Bus. Law. 159-98 (1996) (one of ten co-authors).

The Constitutional Limits of Bankruptcy, 63 Tenn. L. Rev. 487-584 (1996).

Sacred Cows and Workhorses: The Sale of Accounts and Chattel Paper Under Article 9 of the U.C.C. and the Effects of Violating a Fundamental Drafting Principle, 26 Conn. L. Rev. 397-520 (1994).

When a Sale of Accounts Is Not a Sale: A Critique of Octagon Gas, 48 Consumer Fin. L. Q. Rep. 45-53 (1994).

The True Sale of Loans and the Role of Recourse, 14 George Mason U. L. Rev. 287-359 (1991).

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