Experienced Representation of Creditors in Bankruptcy Court
For more than 45 years, our attorneys at the office of Stokes Carmichael & Ernst LLP have represented financial institutions, lenders, and creditors in complex bankruptcy matters.
From our office in Atlanta, Georgia, our lawyers work across the state to bring the highest quality of legal guidance to our clients. Our office and our professionals have received Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating, AV® Preeminent®, for excellence in legal ability and ethical standards and we are proud to be recognized by independent institutions as well as former clients for providing reliable service, aggressive representation and knowledgeable guidance.
We understand the needs of financial institutions, lenders, and creditors. We can employ decades of proven success to help your company recover payment under the unique structure of the federal bankruptcy courts.
Has a debtor of your company or bank filed or threatened to file for bankruptcy protection? Individuals and businesses in financial difficulties often resort to the federal bankruptcy court for protection. It is imperative for a creditor to seek the guidance of an experienced law firm such as Stokes Carmichael & Ernst LLP to avoid the pitfalls and pratfalls that exist for the unwary creditor in bankruptcy court.
Automatic Stay. Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, the law imposes an automatic stay of all debt collection activities. This automatic stay acts as an injunction against creditors, preventing even state court actions already in progress from going forward. An unrepresented creditor may find itself in violation of the automatic stay because of its seemingly innocent acts.
Adequate Protection. If a creditor is secured, the creditor can ask the court for adequate protection, to order the debtor to adequately protect the value of the collateral. Creditors should demand that collateral be insured against loss or damage and be properly maintained. The creditor can also seek for the debtor to make payments to the bankruptcy trustee or the creditor to protect against depreciation while the stay is in effect. If the debtor does not adequately protect the collateral, the creditor can ask the court to lift the stay and allow the creditor to take possession of the collateral.
Failure to Disclose. A party filing bankruptcy must disclose all information relevant to their financial condition to the court, which is provided to their creditors. Failure to disclose relevant information may result in serious penalties, including dismissal of the bankruptcy. In extreme cases of actively hiding assets, debtors may be charged with a federal crime. Our diligent work, together with our creditor clients, often enables the court to ferret out hidden assets and to uncover fraud and abuse of the bankruptcy process.
Non-Dischargeable Debts. A debtor in bankruptcy may not be entitled to a discharge of certain debts, or, in some cases, a discharge at all. Non-dischargeable debts may include:
- those incurred by fraud, embezzlement, or theft;
- defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity such as a trustee, partner, guardian, or similar capacity;
- domestic support obligations; and
- willful or malicious injury.
These exceptions to discharge are not automatic and are very fact-intensive. To object to discharge, a creditor must file a complaint in bankruptcy court within certain time limitations and has the burden of proof. When an action is pending in another (non-bankruptcy) court involves possible issues as to whether the debt sued upon may be non-dischargeable, experienced bankruptcy counsel can take action to expedite the procedure in bankruptcy court.
Schedule a Consultation
To meet with our attorneys in person at our Atlanta office or to schedule a phone consultation and case review, call 404-352-1465 extension 441 or reach us online.