Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights
The Lowis & Gellen attorneys who represent creditor clients have broad experience in matters arising under the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Uniform Commercial Code and state laws and common law procedures governing secured transactions and creditors’ rights in bankruptcy cases and other forms of insolvency matters. We represent secured creditors, unsecured creditors, landlords, equipment lessors, potential asset purchasers, debt servicing organizations and other parties in interest in commercial Bankruptcy Cases and in insolvency, foreclosure, and collection procedures under non-bankruptcy law. Our creditor clients include small and middle-market manufacturers and suppliers, transportation companies, multi-national goods suppliers, regional banks, national banks and other commercial enterprises.
Our attorneys have represented secured creditors, equipment lessor creditors, landlord creditors, mortgage creditors as well as unsecured creditors in bankruptcy cases to protect and preserve our clients’ creditor rights and claims in both Chapter 11 reorganizations and Chapter 7 liquidation proceedings. Where necessary, we litigate through motions, adversary proceedings and trials to remove our clients’ collateral from the bankruptcy estate to permit foreclosure and sale.
Our attorneys represent our banking clients in negotiating cash collateral terms in Chapter 11 cases and negotiating the treatment of their secured claims through confirmation of plans of reorganization or liquidation or where applicable, the conversion or dismissal of the case. During the duration of a Chapter 11 case, we monitor the case to observe whether the debtor or other creditors are initiating any actions that may be detrimental to our creditor clients’ claims or interests.
Our attorneys represent our creditor clients in maximizing any recoveries to which they are entitled in bankruptcy proceedings and pursue our clients’ rights against any collateral or third party obligors. Our attorneys represent our creditor clients to seek to minimize the effect of any actions initiated against our clients by the Debtor or Bankruptcy Trustee in a bankruptcy proceeding.
When a commercial customer or borrower has filed a bankruptcy case under Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, its creditors and lenders must act with speed and efficiency to preserve or enhance their rights with respect to collection and collateral. Our experienced bankruptcy and creditors’ rights attorneys are poised to advise creditors who learn that a customer has filed a bankruptcy case under Chapter 11 or Chapter 7, quickly analyze and determine how their rights may be affected by the filing. A creditor who fails to take prompt action to protect its rights may find that those rights have been barred or materially diminished.
A Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 case also presents an opportunity for a creditor to utilize the powers of the Bankruptcy Court to pursue the creditor’s claims against the Debtor (and its insiders) or supplement any on-going non-bankruptcy actions being pursued against the non-Debtor obligors or guarantors of a Debtor in a bankruptcy case. Where beneficial to our client’s interests, we cooperate creatively with other constituents in the bankruptcy case. For example, we have negotiated terms with Chapter 7 trustees in bankruptcy cases to use their special bankruptcy powers to pursue claims against the debtor and its insiders, or to sell collateral with value-enhancing protections available to purchasers of assets from bankruptcy estates. Our attorneys integrate strategically all of our activities in a bankruptcy case with any collection and foreclosure proceeding initiated in other courts against co-obligors on, or guarantors of, a bankruptcy debtor’s debt.
Our attorneys advise creditors who wish to continue doing business with a customer who has filed a bankruptcy case to understand quickly what claims they have against the debtor and what terms they may impose on future dealings with the debtor. Creditors of a customer who has filed a bankruptcy case who wish to continue to do business with the debtor need to quickly determine what procedural actions the creditor must take to avoid additional exposure and take advantage of certain rights granted to creditors who do business with a customer after it files a bankruptcy case under either Chapter 11 or Chapter 7. Likewise, those creditors need to analyze their claims against the Debtor as early as possible in the case to determine if the bankruptcy estate has any claims against the creditor.
Creditors who lease goods and real estate or who are parties to executory contracts are afforded special rights in bankruptcy cases, but the burden is on those types of creditors to assert and protect those rights. Our attorneys advise and represent lessors of goods or real property used by the debtor, and parties to executory contracts with the debtor, to assert and protect special rights they have in bankruptcy cases. Prompt evaluation of those special types of claims and the timely taking of appropriate action to protect those claims is essential to avoid having those special rights diminished or ignored.
Lowis & Gellen attorneys who represent creditor clients have broad experience in matters arising under the Uniform Commercial Code, state laws and common law governing secured transactions and creditors’ rights matters. We represent secured creditors, unsecured creditors, landlords, equipment lessors, potential asset purchasers, debt servicing organizations and other parties in interest in commercial litigation, foreclosure, and collection procedures initiated under state and federal law. Our creditor clients include small and middle-market manufacturers and suppliers, transportation companies, multinational goods suppliers, regional banks, national banks and other commercial enterprises.
Lowis & Gellen attorneys regularly handle state law creditor claims enforcement litigation and proceedings commenced to pursue our clients rights as well as providing transaction advice in connection with workout negotiations or structuring judicial settlements. Representing our bank lenders and other secured creditors, our attorneys negotiate workout agreements or structured judicial settlements with struggling borrowers which grants the borrower an opportunity to succeed and maximize our client’s position in the event a bankruptcy case is initiated if the workout borrower does not succeed.
Lowis & Gellen’s experienced attorneys are adept at advising and assisting secured and unsecured claim holders, including lenders, bank groups, equity interest holders and other parties seeking to enforce, protect or establish rights against financially troubled or distressed obligor entities and their affiliated obligors. Our experience includes advising our clients on matters involving asset-based credit agreements, secured and unsecured loan transactions, commercial real estate matters and developments, construction, retail, manufacturing, service and other industries.
Our attorneys have experience representing both secured creditors in state law receivership proceedings initiated under common law or under statutes in the states in which we represent our clients. Under some circumstances, receiverships initiated in conjunction with other state law litigation remedies provide for a more efficient and orderly resolution and disposition of the collateral assets of insolvent companies.
Our attorneys also have experience representing both secured creditors and distressed companies in assignments for the benefit of creditors initiated under common law or under statutes in the states where we represent our clients. Under some circumstances, such assignments yield superior recoveries for creditors, as compared with bankruptcy and other workout actions and provide for a more efficient resolution of the collateral assets and debts of insolvent companies.
Our creditors’ rights practice also includes representing individuals and all types and sizes of business entities in their efforts to collect contractual sums due from account debtors and pursuing rights owed by account debtors. The business clients we represent include small single-owner enterprises to large public and private entities with sales in the millions of dollars to national banking firms to international firms doing business in the United States.
Whether the client requires the collection of notes, open trade accounts or accounts receivable, the attorneys with Lowis & Gellen have the expertise, along with established internal procedures and case reporting mechanisms, to pursue requested actions and obtain contractually available results with speed and efficiency. We keep clients regularly and promptly updated on the advancement of their case through the collection process, whether a single account or part of a large volume of cases, so that our clients can continue to make informed business decisions while the cases are being pursued.