The Problem

What are Vulture Funds?

“Vulture funds” are predatory Wall Street investors who purchase debts owed by struggling countries, sometimes for pennies on the dollar.

The Vulture Fund Playbook

Vulture Funds swoop in when they know debt is no longer sustainable, purchase it at a discounted price, demand full repayment and then sue countries through New York courts.

Vulture funds often secure billion dollar debt payments when places like Ecuador, Venezuela, Nigeria, Argentina, and the Republic of Congo experience debt crises.

Countries in Financial Distress

Nations affected by the Vulture Funds predatory practices have to implement austerity measures to further enrich wealthy vultures.

For the people of these nations, this has meant job losses, school closings, hospital closings, the deterioration of labor rights and pension funds, crumbling infrastructure, and sometimes even famine.

Why New York must take action?

Because around half the world’s sovereign debt is governed by New York law, vulture funds rely heavily on favorable legal judgments from federal courts in New York.

New York State is home to over 4 million immigrants, many who are from the very countries facing this vulture fund greed.

New Yorkers and their families have experienced this destabilization first hand and stand to benefit from vulture funds being held accountable.


What New York Can Do

Around half of sovereign debt contracts are governed by New York law, our state is uniquely positioned to disrupt the vulture fund playbook, making debt markets operate more fairly and sustainably, while improving both financial and political stability for affected nations.

Lawmakers in New York state must take action to end predatory financial behavior by passing the following bills:

Champerty Doctrine

(S5623 Krueger/A5290 González-Rojas)
The Champerty Doctrine prohibits the purchase of securities or other financial instruments solely for the purpose of litigation. As the law currently stands, vulture funds are able to grind down debtor countries in extended cycles of litigation. The bill would strengthen Champerty by making clear that it is unlawful for vulture funds to use New York law to profiteer from the distressed debt of struggling countries. Additionally, it would eliminate a current loophole that exempts transactions over $500,000.

Sovereign Debt Stability Act

(S5542 Rivera/A2970 Fahy)
This bill would create a bankruptcy-like process that allows countries to negotiate down their debt without being blocked by a predatory minority of debt-holders. The bill would allow debtors to select one of two mechanisms to ensure a fair and efficient restructuring of distressed debt. Like bankruptcy, it would create an orderly, sovereign bankruptcy regime that would ensure that if a supermajority of lenders agreed to renegotiate the terms of a contract, the dissenting minority would not be able to sabotage the process.  For countries participating in the second mechanism, debt will only be recoverable for creditors if they meet burden-sharing and disclosure standards, and the amount of money private creditors could recover would be capped to the same level that has been agreed to by sovereign lenders.

About Us