Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Helps Creditors File Proofs of Claim
Reliable representation in Chapter 11 proceedings throughout California
When a business that owes you money files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, your first thought might be the possibility that the income you’ve been expecting won’t be realized. But there’s no reason to panic. Chapter 11 doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be paid at all or in full at a later date. However, you may be required to demonstrate to the bankruptcy court that you have a legitimate claim against the debtor. At the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger in downtown Beverly Hills, I help creditors file proofs of claim in Chapter 11 proceedings. With meticulous attention to detail, I help my clients resolve disputed claims to preserve their right to repayment.
When creditors must file a proof of claim
When a debtor files for Chapter 11, creditors receive notice of the proceeding, along with a blank proof of claim form. The notice provides basic instructions on how, where and by when to file the proof of claim.
You do not have to file a proof of claim if the debtor has acknowledged your debt and has accurately reported its nature and amount on the debtor’s schedule of assets and liabilities. However, you must file if:
- The category of debt on the schedule is incorrect.
- The amount listed is incorrect.
- You are not listed as a creditor.
- The debtor has designated your claim as disputed, unliquidated or contingent.
You should immediately consult a bankruptcy attorney to avoid any missteps that could jeopardize your claim.
Considerations and complexities when filing a proof of claim
The proof of claim form may seem straightforward enough and you may be tempted to save time and complete it yourself. However, you should be aware of these potential pitfalls:
- Identifying debtors — You may have done business with a company you knew by one name without knowing it is comprised of several entities. You might not know which entity actually holds your debt. Designating the wrong entity can severely handicap your claim.
- Guarantors — Creditors may make claims against any person or entity that has guaranteed payment. In the case of a business bankruptcy such as a Chapter 11, a corporation’s officers or director or a partnership’s general partners may be personally liable for certain debts. You must name these parties in your proof of claim.
- Consent to jurisdiction — Filing a proof of claim can have the effect of granting jurisdiction to the bankruptcy court to decide related matters that are normally outside its purview. A creditor might inadvertently waive the right to a jury trial on a related matter.
There are also considerations of litigation strategy that might come into play in more complex cases. In my experience, creditors generally don’t know about the intricacies of bankruptcy litigation. That’s why it’s always advisable to seek counsel from an experienced attorney with a track record of success in this complex area of the law.
Contact a proven creditors’ rights attorney to discuss proofs of claims in California
Located in downtown Beverly Hills, the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger represents creditors filing proofs of claim in Chapter 11 business bankruptcy cases. You have rights and I can help you assert them. To schedule a free consultation, call 310-271-6223 or contact me online today.