Tampa Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings Lawyer
Bankruptcy is a court-supervised process for eliminating a person’s debts. In most ways, it resembles a non-adversarial administrative proceeding, and few disputes ever break out during the typical bankruptcy. Indeed, many debtors never see a judge even once through the entire process. Sometimes, however, disputed issues must be litigated within the bankruptcy, and reaching out to a Tampa bankruptcy adversary proceedings lawyer is a smart move.
Types of Adversary Proceedings in Tampa Bankruptcies
Most disputes within bankruptcy typically involve:
- Student loans. If a debtor wants to wipe student loans, he must bring an adversary proceeding to establish he qualifies under bankruptcy law. Although the discharge of student loans is rare, judges are increasingly open to adjusting or wiping these debts.
- Other debts. The bankruptcy code prevents certain debts from discharge, such as those obtained fraudulently. A creditor might start an adversary proceeding to contest the debtors’ attempt to eliminate a debt.
- Fraudulent transfers. The bankruptcy trustee might seek to avoid certain transfers a debtor made before filing. For example, the debtor might have given money to a relative to hide from the trustee. If the trustee prevails, the asset is clawed back and included in the bankruptcy estate.
- Preferential transfers. If a debtor pays a creditor right before filing for bankruptcy, then it might be voided as a preferential transfer.
- Debtor dishonesty. The trustee might seek to have the entire bankruptcy dismissed if the debtor has behaved dishonestly, such as by hiding debts or assets. A judge will need to rule on this dispute in an adversary proceeding.
- Automatic stay violations. Creditors must cease collection efforts once a debtor files and the automatic stay goes into place. But some creditors violate this automatic stay and could be penalized.
- Debt priority. Creditors might disagree over which debts have priority, and they bring an adversary proceeding to settle the dispute. Priority disputes are common in business reorganizations.
Adversary proceedings pop up in all types of bankruptcies—Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11.
We Provide Experienced Representation in Adversary Proceedings
Our legal team has helped both debtors and creditors in disputes. Most bankruptcy attorneys have never handled litigation of this sort, and some general civil litigators are unfamiliar with the rules of procedure in bankruptcy court. It is important to seek out legal counsel with experience in both litigation and bankruptcy.
There is a risk that adversary proceedings might spiral out of control, thus costing a client more than what they are even seeking. A creditor hoping to block the discharge of a $3,000 debt, for example, should avoid lengthy litigation with a debtor who has little to lose by dragging out the process. Our lawyers always keep an eye out for negotiating a settlement on an issue so that the bankruptcy can proceed in an efficient manner.
Experienced Help with a Tampa Bankruptcy Adversary Proceeding Lawyer
The Tampa Bankruptcy adversary proceeding lawyers at Trombley & Hanes can help bankruptcy counsel in any proceeding where an adversary proceeding appears on the horizon. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.