Slater & Truxaw's bankruptcy practice is known throughout the region as one that consistently provides effective and efficient Bankruptcy Court representation. The firm's bankruptcy attorneys collectively have well over fifty years of Bankruptcy Court experience. The firm concentrates its bankruptcy practice on the representation of trustees, creditors, landlords, creditors' committees, and professionals. However, the firm's attorneys represent individuals and businesses in all legal and administrative matters in Bankruptcy Court.
REPRESENTATION OF BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEES
The firm is among a handful in the area that have provided effective legal counsel to bankruptcy trustees in literally hundreds of Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 proceedings. The firm's services on behalf of bankruptcy trustees include:
Initial analysis of viability of matter in terms of prospects for successful liquidation of assets, assessment of potential for distributions to creditors, and probability of payment and estimation of trustee's and professionals' fees;
Applications to employ professionals;
Attendance at meetings with creditors;
Establishing working relationships with secured creditors and their attorneys if necessary to ensure a more efficient administration of the bankruptcy estate;
Analyzing and objecting to claims;
Defending or prosecuting law and motion matters and adversary proceedings;
Obtaining Court approval for the liquidation of assets;
Analyzing and prosecuting avoidance actions; and
Preparing applications for administrative fees of trustees.
REPRESENTATION OF CREDITORS
Many creditors believe that their rights are terminated when a borrower or judgment debtor files a bankruptcy petition. The firm's bankruptcy attorneys have represented a wide range of creditors in Bankruptcy Court, including institutional lenders with claims secured by real estate or personal property, unsecured creditors, judgment creditors, and creditor's committees. Some of the services the firm provides on behalf of creditors include:
Obtaining relief from the automatic stay to proceed with contractual or State Court enforcement proceedings;
Establishing creditors' rights and priority to cash collateral (rents, profits, etc.);
Analyzing the potential nondischargeability of certain debts and, if necessary, filing adversary complaints to seek a court determination of nondischargeability;
Reviewing the bankrupt debtor's bankruptcy petition, schedules and other financial information to determine whether a dismissal of the case or a denial of the debtor's discharge is warranted;
Attending creditors' meetings;
Filing claims and defending objections to claims;
Negotiating workouts in the appropriate circumstances;
Defending avoidance actions;
Establishing creditors' lien rights (validity, priority and amount of liens); and
Analyzing and objecting to Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 plans.
REPRESENTATION OF LANDLORDS
A tenant's bankruptcy filing creates a precarious situation for landlords. The debtor tenant is usually substantially behind in rent payments, and most of the landlord's rights are suspended after the bankruptcy filing. Due to its expertise in both Landlord/Tenant and bankruptcy law, the firm is uniquely qualified to enforce landlords' rights in Bankruptcy Court. Some of the services the firm provides on behalf of landlords in Bankruptcy Court are as follows:
Obtaining relief from the automatic stay to proceed with state court eviction proceedings;
Asserting the landlords' administrative rent claims in Chapter 11 proceedings and asset Chapter 7 proceedings; and
Asserting pre-petition claims for past-due rent if appropriate.
REPRESENTATION OF CREDITOR'S COMMITTEES
In many Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, representation of creditors is more efficient and cost-effective where a committee of such creditors is formed. Often, the creditors' committee will retain one law firm to represent the committee and the entire unsecured creditor body, as opposed to each individual creditor having to incur the expense of retaining its own attorney. Slater & Truxaw has a history of successful representation of creditors' committee's in Bankruptcy Court, and undertakes such representation with the goal of securing and maximizing the possible distribution to all creditors on their claims.
BANKRUPTCY COURT LITIGATION
Litigation in Bankruptcy Court is governed by multiple sets of interrelated national and local rules of procedure, and the legal issues are often decided by various combinations of Federal and State statutes and legal precedent. As such, litigators who find themselves in Bankruptcy Court and who are unfamiliar with this myriad of legal and procedural pitfalls often need a guiding hand to ensure the successful resolution of their litigation matters. The firm's bankruptcy attorneys have assisted many litigators in successfully prosecuting their matters within the confines of Bankruptcy Court law and procedure, or, even better, have been able to have litigation matters returned to the court where they were filed.
PROFESSIONALS AND OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE CLAIMANTS
The bankruptcy code provides for a list of priorities that favors creditors who provide services after the bankruptcy is filed. These creditors may include accountants, special counsel, consultants, appraisers, or any other individual who provide professional services that benefit the bankruptcy estate. However, asserting a right to payment of such administrative claims is more difficult than it may appear. Such creditors must secure court approval of their employment, and can not always rely on the attorneys for the debtor or the trustee to represent their interests. The bankruptcy attorneys of Slater & Truxaw successfully represent the rights of professionals, and consistently work to ensure that employment of such professionals is properly secured, and that their fees are paid by the bankruptcy estate.