Vero Beach Adversary Proceedings Attorney
When you file for bankruptcy protection, there is the possibility that someone may initiate an adversary proceeding in connection with your case. Such proceedings are handled separately from, but in conjunction with, your original bankruptcy action. And while not every bankruptcy case involved such actions, if it does you need to work with a qualified Vero Beach adversary proceedings attorney who has experience in this area.
At Markarian & Hayes, we assist many debtors such as yourself who suddenly face an adversary proceeding from a creditor or trustee. Here are some of the more common types of proceedings you may need to deal with as part of your overall bankruptcy case:
- Objections to Discharge of Debts– One of a debtor’s key objectives of any bankruptcy case–notably a Chapter 7 liquidation–is obtaining a discharge of outstanding debts. A discharge means the debtor is no longer legally obligated to pay the debt. Creditors may initiate an adversary proceeding, however, objecting to the discharge of their particular debt. Such objections are usually based on allegations of fraud by the debtor, or the debtor’s failure to follow certain court orders.
- Fraudulent Transfers– When you file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee is responsible for taking charge of your non-exempt property. In some cases, the trustee may file an adversary proceeding to recover property he or she believes is properly part of the bankruptcy estate. This includes any “fraudulent transfer” of property made within the two-year period preceding the bankruptcy filing. For example, if a debtor transfers an expensive car to his brother shortly before seeking bankruptcy protection, the trustee can seek to recover the care under the theory it was a fraudulent transfer.
- Preferential Transfers– Similar to fraudulent transfers, the trustee may also object to a “preferential” transfer favoring one creditor over another. This usually comes up when the debtor pays off a creditor within the 90-day period before filing for bankruptcy. Essentially, you cannot repay a “preferred” creditor such that they receive more than they would receive in a Chapter 7 proceeding.
- Revoke Discharge or Confirmation– Most bankruptcies terminate with a discharge of debt (Chapter 7) or confirmation of a repayment plan (Chapter 13), but the trustee or creditors may seek revocation of either due to alleged misconduct on the part of the debtor.
- Sale of Jointly Owned Properties– If you co-own any non-exempt property with other people or entities, the bankruptcy trustee may file an adversary action to “sever” your interest and force a sale of the property.
- Debtor Actions– Debtors may also file adversary proceedings during their own bankruptcy case, which is often done for two reasons: (1) to stop creditors who illegally continue collection actions in violation of the bankruptcy court’s automatic stay; and (2) in Chapter 13 cases involving, to convert (or “strip”) second and third mortgages on an underwater home to unsecured debt.
Speak with Our Vero Beach Adversary Proceedings Attorneys Today
Bankruptcy is not just a matter of filling out forms. Adversary proceedings are a form of litigation. And as with any such matter, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact the Vero Beach adversary proceedings attorneys at Markarian & Hayes today if you need help with any type of bankruptcy matter.