Creditors often find they are unable to secure their collateral because a customer has filed for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws. Our firm has extensive experience representing secured creditors in obtaining relief from the Automatic Bankruptcy Stay, objecting to confirmation of unfavorable Chapter 13 Plans, protecting security interests and prosecuting non-dischargeability actions. The Bankruptcy Code requires strict compliance with its statutory and local rule requirements. We continuously work with our clients to ensure that their policies and procedures comply with the latest iterations and interpretations of the Bankruptcy Code. We bring the full breadth and depth of our experience to limit our clients’ exposure and liability in lien avoidance actions, Automatic Stay violations and motions for the turnover of property.
We represent creditors in
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the elimination of debts and can involve the removal of security interests in collateral. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case does not involve the filing of a plan of repayment as in Chapter 13.
Chapter 11 bankruptcies involve a corporation or partnership proposing a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive by extending the time period for the business to pay back its creditors. A creditor needs to verify that they are adequately protected in the Chapter 11 proceedings
Modeled after Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 12 provides reorganizational advantages specifically for family famers. A Chapter 12 bankruptcy plan may include a seasonal repayment schedule to accommodate the seasonal earnings inherent to the farming industry.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. Creditors are barred from starting or continuing collection efforts while the bankruptcy is active.
Federal bankruptcy cases and Wisconsin Chapter 128 proceedings in the following areas of representation:
An adversary proceeding in bankruptcy is a separate lawsuit filed within the bankruptcy case. A creditor may challenge the dischargeability of a particular debt, or the bankruptcy trustee may seek to regain property that was transferred or sold to someone prior to filing for bankruptcy. A debtor may move to hold a creditor accountable for violating the automatic stay in an adversary proceeding. We assist creditors in protecting their security interests and preventing fraudulent misrepresentations to obtain credit.
The meeting of creditors (also called the 341 hearing) is a mandatory hearing that all bankruptcy debtors must attend. At the 341 meeting, creditors have the right to attend and ask questions of the debtor under oath regarding the bankruptcy filings, schedules, and information under the penalty of perjury.
Generally, a secured creditor is entitled to adequate protection of its security interest. For a debtor, to maintain possession of collateral on a secured debt, they must provide the creditor with “adequate protection” in the form of payment or maintaining insurance on the collateral.
Whenever a debtor files for protection under the bankruptcy code, an automatic stay puts a halt to all collection, repossession and foreclosure efforts by a creditor. A motion for relief from the automatic stay is a creditor motion requesting the court for permission to foreclose on its security interest. A creditor who violates the automatic stay may be subject to harsh penalties.
When both a buyer and co-buyer sign a Retail Installment Contract, they are both responsible for paying the loan. However, if either one of the parties subsequently files for bankruptcy, the automatic stay extends to a non-filing party who is jointly responsible for the debt. Relief would be required from the co-debtor stay before a creditor can collect as to a non-filing party.
Within a Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, a debtor is required to file a proposed repayment plan. The creditor can object to the confirmation of the plan if their security interest in collateral is not adequately protected in the proposed plan. Adequate protection would include valuation of collateral, equal monthly payments, adequate insurance, allowable interest rate, and pre-confirmation monthly payments.
A creditor is required to file a proof of claim in a bankruptcy case before they can get paid from that case. A proof claim will inform the bankruptcy trustee the amount of unsecured and/or secured debt at the time of the bankruptcy filing in order for the trustee to accurately disburse payments.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor may choose to retain a debt that is owed by reaffirming the debt. A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement made between a creditor and the debtor that waives discharge of a debt that would otherwise be discharged. The debtor is reaffirming the contract and agreeing to make payments to the creditor outside of the bankruptcy case.