Creditors' Rights Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale
Attorneys Skilled in Bankruptcy Matters
As a creditor, understanding your legal rights can make all the difference in your case. The experienced lawyers at Stok Kon + Braverman assist clients in a variety of complicated matters. We represent secured and unsecured creditors, including lenders, banks, guarantors, shareholders, and other entities. With our thorough knowledge of how businesses function, we understand their financial needs as well as the strengths and weaknesses of legal strategies. Our lawyers can assess the economic pros and cons of each approach to protecting creditors' rights, to help you decide what makes sense for you.
Preserving Rights as a Creditor
Creditors do not lose all their rights when a debtor files for bankruptcy. Depending on the type of creditor you are, you may have options to preserve your rights or at least mitigate your losses. We handle a variety of matters for creditors, such as collections actions, relief from automatic stays, lien priority litigation, suits on bank notes, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and more.
In Chapter 7 cases, once a debtor files for bankruptcy, creditors have the right to be notified about the time and location of the “meeting of the creditors.” Once this event concludes, they have a 60-day time frame from the date of the initial meeting to object to a discharge in a bankruptcy. If a creditor objects, the court will examine a number of factors when assessing whether to grant or deny the discharge.
These may include investigating whether the debtor:
- Made misrepresentations or false statements in the bankruptcy petition;
- Fraudulently transferred or destroyed property of the bankruptcy estate;
- Failed to provide adequate financial documents; or
- Acted improperly in any way under the bankruptcy laws.
In Chapter 11 cases, creditors' rights include inspecting the contents of the bankruptcy petition and schedules. They are not required by law to file claims if they are explicitly listed on the schedule. When this is the case, they are eligible to receive a distribution without having to file any claim. In other words, if a creditor sees its name on the petition, it can assume that it qualifies for a distribution. If a creditor is not explicitly listed, it must file a claim to assert why it should be on the schedule.
In Florida, a secured creditor will take priority over an unsecured creditor. A secured creditor refers to an entity that loans funds and takes a “security interest” in the property being financed. In other words, a secured creditor has access to collateral. For example, if you take money from a bank in order to buy a home, the bank will typically secure that loan with a mortgage against your home. Conversely, an unsecured creditor loans money without a security interest in the property (an example of this is a credit card company).
At Stok Kon + Braverman, our diligent attorneys can help you enforce your creditors' rights. Creditors should keep in mind that there are important time frames in which bankruptcy cases must be handled. Thus, it is imperative to act quickly—an experienced attorney can help you understand your options. We are familiar with the nuances of bankruptcy law and will work to seek the maximum allowable recovery.