Bankruptcy and Restructuring

Our bankruptcy attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in all bankruptcy matters, including complex bankruptcy litigation and workout representation. Our attorneys represent business and individual clients, primarily under Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, including:

  • Debtors
  • Creditors (secured and unsecured)
  • Committees
  • Trustees

Our attorneys conduct a full review of each client’s financial situation, with the initial goal of determining if there are other options to filing for bankruptcy, such as negotiating debt workouts.

If a bankruptcy filing is necessary, our attorneys help determine which form of bankruptcy is appropriate for each client’s particular circumstances.

Business Bankruptcy

Many businesses that need to file for bankruptcy can file for a Chapter 11 proceeding which is designed to allow companies to reorganize their businesses and make an effort to become profitable. Under Chapter 11, the company can keep many of its assets and remain in operation while it works its way out of debt, under the supervision of the bankruptcy court.

Companies that file under Chapter 7 must stop operating and go out of business. In a Chapter 7 case, a trustee is appointed to liquidate the company’s assets and the money is used to pay creditors.

Individual Bankruptcy

Individuals can file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and on occation Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

In a Chapter 7 proceeding, sometimes called a “straight bankruptcy,” all of the petitioner’s dischargeable debts are eliminated. Petitioners filing under Chapter 7 must qualify under a two-part means test calculation that takes into account the petitioner’s expenses, income and unsecured debt. Even in a Chapter 7 proceeding, some debts (such as alimony, child support, certain tax debts, and other obligations) survive the bankruptcy process.

If an individual does not qualify to file under Chapter 7, or if there are substantial assets which may be lost in Chapter 7 but are necessary or otherwise important to retain, he or she may decide to file under Chapter 13. In a Chapter 13 case, also sometimes called a “wage earner plan,” the petitioner agrees to repay creditors under a payment plan that lasts approximately three to five years.

Chapter 11 is also available for individuals, and is similar to Chapter 13 in that the proceeding involves establishing a plan to repay creditors over time. It is primarily used for an individual whose debt is too large to qualify for Chapter 13.

Litigation

Bankruptcy proceedings often involve litigation over a broad array of areas, ranging from the common actions to avoid and recover preferential transfers and fraudulent conveyances, to the resolution of contract disputes and collection of accounts, to equitable subordination, debt recharacterization, and complex interactions with other substantive areas of the law such as intellectual property and regulatory matters. Our attorneys are experienced in both prosecuting and defending such actions, at trial and on appeal.

Our bankruptcy and restructuring counsel:

John Northen
Vicki Parrott
John Paul H. Cournoyer