Experienced Charleston Bankruptcy Attorney Representing Creditors and Businesses:
A bankruptcy case presents a number of legal issues for creditors and businesses that are separate and adverse to the interests of debtors. If you’re on the creditor side of a case, you need a dedicated attorney with an extensive knowledge of bankruptcy law and procedures. Rosen Hagood represents secured and unsecured creditors from all South Carolina counties, and the firm can help protect your creditor rights and interests throughout the bankruptcy process.
Bankruptcy laws are designed to give the debtor a fresh start. These laws are often not as generous to creditors. Once a matter goes to bankruptcy court, creditors are restricted in the actions they may take to collect debts. Violating these restrictions can result in serious legal penalties and can prevent any meaningful recovery in the case. Fortunately, the creditor does have rights, and our firm is prepared to protect them.
The Automatic Stay:
Most creditors are familiar with the automatic stay that begins immediately at the filing of a bankruptcy petition. The automatic stay is an injunction that prevents creditors from beginning or continuing any collection efforts on debts, including enforcement of judgments, foreclosures, repossessions, or perfection of liens. If the creditor wishes to collect what is owed, or repossess assets, its efforts must be pursued in the bankruptcy court. Once a debtor has filed for bankruptcy, it’s important that you cease any collection work and reach out to an experienced Charleston bankruptcy attorney.
Secured Versus Unsecured Claims:
Secured creditors are those holding debt that is backed up, or secured, by the debtor’s property, or collateral. Although a secured creditor is still prevented from engaging in collection actions due to the automatic stay, having a secured interest places the creditor at a significant advantage. It allows the creditor to go to the head of the line and thereby increases the chances of recovery. Often, there are disputes as to whether a creditor is in fact secured, and a Charleston bankruptcy lawyer can help protect and advocate your position in the case.
Unsecured creditors may still collect some portion of their claim. A proof of claim must be timely filed. We will review the filing to determine if anything is inaccurate concerning the debts or assets, and then advise the creditors on their options.
How Can a Charleston Bankruptcy Attorney Help Me?
From the moment a bankruptcy petition is filed, a number of rights and obligations go into effect for both debtors and creditors. We represent creditors from start to finish, and assist with each step of the process, including:
Reviewing the Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules:
Knowing what’s in the bankruptcy paperwork is a critical first step to protecting your rights in court. Often, there is information in the filing that can be used to a creditor’s advantage. The debtor may have omitted certain claims or stated improper values of property.
Handling the Proof of Claim:
After the filing, the Bankruptcy Court will send out a notice concerning the date, time, and place for the first meeting of creditors, as well as the deadline for filing proofs of claim. This step is sometimes overlooked in the bankruptcy case but is absolutely essential to asserting your creditor interests. Understanding when and how to file the proof of claim, and amend it if necessary, is one reason to retain an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Disputing Asset Valuations:
As mentioned above, misstatements concerning the value of assets may be disputed. That could include the nature as well as the valuation of the assets. Getting the value of the assets correct is obviously important since it will affect whether, and how much, debt will be repaid. We may consult an expert witness to argue for a valuation that is more favorable to the creditor.
Obtaining an Advantageous Restructuring:
Chapter 11 bankruptcies allow petitioners to restructure their debt while preventing creditors from taking action until the restructuring is complete. We assist creditors during the court-supervised restructuring process to make sure their positions in the case are protected.
Lifting the Automatic Stay:
While the automatic stay under Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code affords significant protections to the debtor, it’s not an absolute defense against creditors. Secured creditors, often home or automobile lenders, may ask the court for relief from the stay if they show good cause or lack of adequate protection. This can allow the creditor to, for instance, foreclose on a home or repossess a vehicle.
Helping Creditors in Charleston and Throughout South Carolina:
Our aim is to protect creditors and help them recover as much as possible from the debtor. If you are a creditor in a bankruptcy, contact Rosen Hagood to evaluate your creditor position and represent you in large or small bankruptcy cases.