Bankruptcy is the legal process, based on federal law, whereby businesses, individuals, and farmers are allowed as debtors in bankruptcy to restructure their debts in order to more effectively manage repayment, and in some instances, to discharge certain debt repayment obligations altogether. The bankruptcy debtor’s discharge eliminates the debt.
Generally, entities and individuals may choose to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, by which they seek to eliminate their debt; and entities and an individual that has a business may also file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, by which they seek to restructure the business affairs and repay the business debt. In addition to Chapter 7 and 11 bankruptcy, an individual may also choose to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The debtor in a Chapter 13 case – referred to as a “wage earner” bankruptcy – must generally have a reliable source of income and seeks to restructure and repay at least a part of their debt. Farmers generally have the ability to file bankruptcy under Chapters 7, 11, or 13, and are also able to file Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Chapter 12 bankruptcies are specifically tailored for agricultural debtors and involve a reorganization bankruptcy that incorporates aspects of both Chapter 11 and 13 bankruptcy.
Our office does litigation represents lenders in each kind of bankruptcy case, whether the lender has a secured or an unsecured claim, or both. The issues that arise in bankruptcy involve virtually every area of law, ranging from secured lending enforcement issues to those involving landlord and tenant law, domestic law, and probate law. Through application of knowledge and experience, we assist the lender with assertion of its rights within the context of the applicable bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy law. Our goal in each case is to maximize the lender’s recovery, expediently and economically, while keeping our clients informed and involved at each stage of the bankruptcy case.