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Creditors often need representation in bankruptcy. The need for representation is often not against the debtor but against an independent bankruptcy trustee. The needs of the creditor can vary substantially depending on the type of case. Creditors may be secured or unsecured. A landlord may become a creditor in a bankruptcy. The creditor may have to deal with the debtor, the Chapter 7 trustee, a Chapter 13 trustee, or a Chapter 11 debtor who is still operating its business. It might not be cost effective to take any action other than filing a Proof of Claim in an asset case, or substantial litigation may be necessary in the bankruptcy court to protect the creditor’s interest.
Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, a creditor may not take any action against the debtor or property of the debtor without first seeking permission from the bankruptcy court. Though case law may differ, in this jurisdiction, even if a creditor takes action without knowledge of the bankruptcy, the creditor has a duty to undue or correct its action once it is advised of the bankruptcy. A creditor may need to file a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay to protect its interests, especially if it is a secured creditor or landlord.
One of the big surprises for creditors is that though they are owed money, they may find themselves a defendant being sued for money in a preference action. See preference defenses.
Whether you are an individual or business creditor, please contact us if you need assistance.