While bankruptcy laws are quite compassionate towards individuals who’ve fallen on hard times, they can be harsh on creditors who are forced to absorb a loss that helps finance the debtor’s fresh start. However, if you’ve received a notice of bankruptcy from someone who owes you money, don’t assume that you have no rights. Magruder & Sumner has been helping creditors assert their rights toward debtors in bankruptcy for more than 18 years. The firm’s attorneys know the bankruptcy code inside and out and can advise you on the steps to take to improve your chances of being repaid. They are available to assist you in cases related to:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy
What an “automatic stay” means to a creditor
An automatic stay is an injunction by the bankruptcy court that immediately prohibits creditors from seeking repayment of debts from the debtor. It doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, but it does mean any efforts to recover what you are owed must be directed towards the court. Magruder & Sumner assists creditors in reviewing a debtor’s bankruptcy petition to see precisely where opportunities exist for the creditor to advance his claim. They are aggressive in meeting the court deadlines, which come quickly and require detailed responses. They take the stress off our clients’ shoulders.
Secured versus unsecured debt
A loan that is secured by collateral gives the creditor a lien against a debtor’s asset. This is a huge advantage in bankruptcy court, where secured creditors go to the head of the line. Often the issue is cut and dried, but where there is ambiguity about whether a debt is secured, a skilled attorney can make the difference to a creditor’s chances of recovery.
The honesty requirement
The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that the Bankruptcy Code “gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor…a new opportunity in life….” If the debtor took on the debt in bad faith or through some kind of dishonest manipulation, he can’t discharge that debt. Likewise, if you believe there is misrepresentation or fraud in the debtor’s bankruptcy petition, such as attempting to hide assets, you must bring those objections to the court. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can present a clear and convincing argument to help your cause.
Bankruptcy proceedings move quickly — contact an attorney today.
Especially today, when bankruptcy filings are so numerous, the court is eager to decide cases fast. If you delay asserting your rights, you can easily lose them.